Please find below a demonstration showing the stages a second pastel painting goes through to reach completion, with commentary by Peter.
Stonethwaite Approach 2011, Pastel on Pastelmat, 19 x 27 inches
Here's my last Pastel for the time being which is going to be framed with the new ClearColour plus UV glass, which you need a mortgage for! The glass alone for this one will cost around £90...gulp, but the clarity is unbelievable compared to standard picture glass. I've long thought that my Pastels have taken on a less vibrant look when framed and found that standard glass has a slight grey cast which, of course, dulls the image underneath. The new glass also has reflection control and it actually appears that there isn't any glass! The price for this will obviously reflect (get it, ha ha) this glass...I thought about £750,000....oh no, what am I thinking - that's just for talentless daubs requiring zero design and skill ...
Pastels lack the crispness of Oils, but I love the softer feel, and this one was a joy to paint. I loved the Eagle Crag towering above Stonethwaite hamlet, adorned in mauves, blues and beiges, silhouetted against the sunlit hills behind it, yet lighter in tone than the foreground mountain, which in turn provided a gorgeous backdrop for the right-hand tree in its winter garb. The road of course acts as a nice lead-in and invites the eye to roam through the composition, and the tree on the far left stops the eye flying out of the picture. Lots of light and dark in this picture, especially in the wall, sunlit on the left and deep shade on the right.
After sketching in the composition with charcoal, I placed in the easy bit - the sky, then the background sunlit hill and the darker Eagle Crag.
Blocking in with roughly the right tones, I continue down the painting.
Now I draw in the buildings and the skeleton of the trees.
Before getting bogged down with any detail in any one place I continue to block in more colours.
The entire block-in completed now, I have a roughly toned image of the painting, with the darkest darks in the foreground wall progressing through to the lighter tones in the background.
Now I give some attention to the hills again, refining as I go and give the trees some definition, with their sunlit branches.
More definition is now given to the cottage, barns and other paraphernalia and trees.
Here I've painted the wall in shadow on the right.
Finally, I do the sunlit stone wall on the left and give attention to the road and the cast shadows of the wall and posts across it. Once finished-ish, I cast my eye over the entire painting and correct any drawing errors and re-state important bits like the sheep's' legs, then voila, finito (I'm multi-lingual) ...
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