Friday, August 15, 2014

The making of this years wine poster

 ~click images to enlarge~
Above is the beginning  layout on the Wallis paper.  This is actually step 2 of when I start a work like this.  1st step : drawing out the design on either drawing paper, or poster paper........ reworking everything to come up with the exact line work I want, then  turning the sketched paper into a carbon.  This is done by taking pastel and rubbing it all over the back of the drawing.  Then, carefully lay it over the Wallis paper, go over the line work and "Ta Da"......the end result as you see above.

I like the spontaneity of brush and line work applied in a painterly light stroke when starting a work.  When there is need for me to be tight with line work,  I prefer to use the above method of starting a painting.  This way, I don't fill the tooth of the paper with working out the elements of the composition. 
 Now the fun part begins............
Step 3 :  Blocking in color and balancing the light values with the dark ones.  The color of the paper remains in the middle value range.
 Step 4 :  continue refining line work and blocking in color......
Step 5:  The finished piece!  Here I study what I've completed.  I look at the overall  "balance" of lights and darks / cool and warm color and make changes if necessary.

"2014 Iowa Nouveau Wine"  24"x18" Soft Pastel on Wallis paper.
The owner of Tassel Ridge was pleased with the finished work.   I feel this is a sophisticated version of Art Nouveau style.  I've been told it feels more "Modern".

Poster reproductions of this work will be available in November.  I will be at the winery signing them on November 20th.  The signed poster is "Free" with purchase of a bottle of 2014 IA Nouveau wine. 

I'll re-post the final image in November with detailed announcement of the winery's IA Nouveau wine celebration.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Raku Still life

~click on images to enlarge~
Here's the set up for the following 8"x8" pastel.  These lovely pots were fired during Betty Printy's last Raku workshop, May 2014.  I've added the silk flower Irises for added interest.

Here's my initial sketch  for the composition and establishing my lights and darks. I've used matboard as support and applied AS Colourfix multi-media primer to the surface.

.....and here's the finished work.  Pastel - 8"x8"
I like the play of brush strokes left on the surface when I apply the primer. Layering the pastels creates an interesting texture.  I've smudged a few places, but overall, I like the look and color play of the layers overlapping each other.

Most of the pastel sticks I used for this work came from my student box of Dick Blick Pastels.  They are Semi-soft....much like the Rembrandt brand.  I couldn't find an exact match for the purple in the playing with other colors made them "Pop" with life.  

Here I'm practicing what I preach to my students.......if you can't "match" the color you see in front of you, don't be afraid to use a color that comes close to what you want.  As long as it's in the right value range and you pay attention to Warms/Cools of a color, it will work out.

.......and YES......the Raku pots have these colors in them.  That's what drew me to them in the first place.