Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lacy Mangroves

Lacy Mangroves, 6.5x8.5"pastel, Diane Mannion


Lacy Mangroves is based on a field study from my last post, Shady View.  Tried to visualize and remember the original reason for sketching this scene in the first place… loved the Gulf water sparkling through lacy mangrove trees.  
Shady View, 6.5x8.5" pastel, field study, Diane Mannion

My first attempt at doing a study from this plein air sketch was a disaster!  I kept notes on my struggle to share the misery.  My emotions went from "Why am I torturing myself with pastels?  To… "There's something wonderful about this stuff!"
The I HATE IT! stage.  Darks too dark.  Did not capture the "mood" I wanted.
Didn't want to rip it up because it was on Pastelmat… not to waste!  Had smashed tons of pastels on it.
Went outside and brushed it over a sheet of copy paper.  Then tipped the pastel dust into my Dust Collector Jar.  Saved almost enough to make another stick which I will eventually do when I have collected enough hate-it-stage dust!  Just add purified water and mix, shape, let dry and presto… a new stick.  Sprayed the drawing with Workable Fixative for extra tooth and workability.
Liked the way it looked as an underpainting, had an ethereal quality.
Began putting colors on in straight, diagonal patterns.  Some artists like working this way but after a while, I lost patience and had to resort to my speedier, scribble technique.
Here's the finish again… MUCH happier with it.  There's something wonderful about pastels!
Yesterday I hated them… today it's love.
And I didn't waste that sheet of Pastelmat!
***Pastels used: Nupastel, Girault, Rembrant, Sennelier, Great American
      Paper:  Pastelmat by Clairefontaine, 7x9.5" white pad with glassine between pages, great for travel!
Book reference:  PASTEL POINTERS, Richard McKinley… classic!  Has instructions for making pastel sticks from dust and scraps.


SEH said...

Nor did you waste all that extra pastel you used - I didn't know you could create a new pastel out of the dust. It's kinda like what Don Melander calls "gutter paint" - using the mixed-up crud on your watercolor palette for special purposes. Your piece sure turned out nice!

Diane Mannion said...

Thanks, SEH! Richard Mckinley's book, PASTEL POINTERS has instructions on making pastel sticks.