Gator Pond, 5.5x8" pastel, Diane Mannion
Sometimes I ask myself… why struggle with this medium when I'm perfectly happy with oils? Then every once in awhile a pastel turns out pretty well almost by accident. Maybe it's the vivid colors, or the different way of applying the material, by hand instead of a brush. Whatever… this love/hate thing with pastels has got me hooked. My goal is to use these pastel studies as reference for oils. One medium DOES inform the other.
It's frustrating while searching for the perfect color pastel stick when I know I can mix the exact color I need in a second with my limited palette of oils…red, yellow, blue, and white! Then sometimes, because I can't find the perfect color, another color pastel stick works out in an unexpected way. Like a game of chance, by not being able to control the colors like I'm accustomed to in oils, new creative directions happen. Sometimes…
Gator Pond was a struggle! Blended, brushed, wiped, sprayed with fixative, brushed with alcohol, and almost tossed it out. Worked from photo reference again, a scene I shot at the Punta Gorda Environmental Center, major alligator habitat! Loved the cloud reflections in the water. Still stormy weather here and recovering from surgery (healing fast, thanks!) so I couldn't work outside. Another studio study. What did I learn from this one? Don't give up. Patience! Persistence!
Underpainting of local colors blended with alcohol.
Worked on Uart 400 sanded paper with assorted pastels, hard and soft.
Should have stopped here!