Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Painting Water in Landscape - Part 1 by Carmella Jarvi -- Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff

In this segment, I'm going to show you how I go about painting one of my water in landscape pieces. This time I'm starting with a photograph that I shot on location. Sometimes I work en plein air, but a lot of times I like to go back and work in my studio.

I have my picture, I've printed it, and I want to make sure it's not the only copy I have of the photo.

Then the next thing is my color palette - especially with pastels. I'm going to hold the picture up and pick some of my colors in this piece based on this picture. I don't need to pick every color but I do want to have some idea.

When you're picking your colors you want to think about your complimentary colors, some lights, some darks, some brighter colors - basically a nice variety.

Also the fun thing about pastels is picking the "surprise color" which we'll do later on.

Now that I have my palette picked out, I want to pick my background color. This is a scrap of paper that is the same color as the final. It's really good to have a border around your pastel paper so I can come in and not only test the colors but test the marks.

It's good to practice what you're doing before you're working on the final and the final will be better. As you can see here, you have the light colors, some darks and some brighter colors.

Back at the easel now. I mentioned that the "body has memory." It's really important to practice - whether I'm doing this from a photograph or en plein air. I always like to have a piece of junk paper (newsprint works great) and conte' because it's a great bridge from line and form drawing to painting with pastel.

What I have here is the image and I have my newsprint. I've already sketched this in. You can see it's basically proportionate to the paper I'm going to work on.

What I'm going to do is flip this paper over. Underneath you can see that I have a glassine sheet - an archival material that I use to protect my pastels - because I don't fix them and if I travel or if I'm taking it to the framer I want to be sure I have protection.

Underneath the glassine here we have the image that I have started blocking in.

This is on the Richeson Premium Pastel Surface - the color is called Storm - and I use archival artists tape.

Now what I'm going to do is continue working with the image. When I'm working I'll hold the picture and a lot of times I will step back to get an overall impression.

You can see I've blocked in, I'm not worried at all about it being perfect. This is my impression of this picture. Don't worry about getting it exact or draw with pencil first. I always start out with my soft pastels on the paper itself.

One trick you can do is pick a color of pastel that's very close to the color of your paper and you can do some sketching in if you're nervous about starting your first painting or doing it on good paper. If you make a mistake it's not so bold and you don't have to worry about fixing it quite as much.

Since I'm painting water, I want to address what's above the water and then what is the reflection of the water at the same time.

That way I don't have to go back later and fill it in. It never looks like the reflection is as accurate if you don't work it at the same time.

I want to use both the point of my pastel and also use the side. You want a variety of marks because it gives you a better range.

I'm going to go ahead and start my marks accordingly here in the water because of its movement.

I'm going to go ahead and start my marks accordingly. And even though there's a lot of yellow in these trees there's also some warm - the fun thing about pastel is that you want to put those colors in underneath.

As you're working you want to think about this pastel painting in terms of background, middle ground and foreground.

Even though I've started everything (sky, house, trees and water) I want to make sure I finish the sky first, then the house and trees, and then the water. The very last thing will be what is closest to me.

In my picture here the sky completely washed out, so I'm going to take some creative license here.

I want gradation in my sky so I'm going to make it brighter in the lower areas. The nice thing about stepping back is that it gives you a better view of the whole thing.

Because I did that I'm coming back down to the reflection of the water and suggest the movement of the water with my mark