Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Painting Water in Landscape - Part 5 by Carmella Jarvi

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This is getting close to the end-stage - not done obviously, but I want to finish my sky next. That way when I define the building and the trees they are in front of the trees.

Then I'm going to come in and figure out what's going on here with the waterfall so I can do that more convincingly.

In the sky area I want lots of pastel on the surface. Don't forget your sky goes all the way across so don't forget about this area to the left side of the building.

At this point, really thick pastel is needed because I'm getting ready to blend because if I don't have enough it will just get muddied up.

You'll notice I'm moving back and forth, left and right, because you want to start suggesting how the water moves with how you apply your paint.

Love the variety of color and the variety of marks because it will make your paintings better.

Last step before I blend, I'm going to come back in with this darker color - just dragging it across.

The thing about blending is to be gentle. Don't be heavy handed. Think about what it is that you're blending. See how that already looks muddy there - and my finger was clean.

I'm not concerned about the few holes that are there. Here you can see there wasn't as much pastel at the top because it doesn't blend as well. This is when it's so easy to get excited and smear all the colors into each other. Again, I don't want to outline but I do want to suggest that edge.

Now while I have this I want to go ahead and start my blending on the water as well.

I'm going to go ahead and start doing my blending in the water as well. It's the same as when you're applying color when you color in above the water and you go back in and color in the reflection of the water.

It's very cool to have a little bit of the scratchy texture with some of the thicker blended pastel. You'll notice I keep standing back - very important to see the overall impression of the water.

Once you've blended, come back in with your pastel so that you can bring in that fresh bright color again.

I suggested to stay away from white until the very end. Of course with water, the best color you have for your "pop" is using the white. If you can't afford the hand-made pastels yet, at least get yourself some really good lights and dark's in an expensive hand-rolled pastel. Your paintings will benefit from it.

Don't worry about every little thing - have fun with it! Loosen up! Do some loose paintings and then when you try to do more realistic stuff they will be better. They'll have more character because they're looser and have that painterly feel.

Another thing that's really important is that I will not finish this whole pastel here. What I like to do is get a lot of it done and then I put it away for a while. If I'm working on this river I'll get a lot of it done, maybe take a reference photo, get away from it for a while. Go back to the studio, put it up with a fresh eye and decide what the strong points are, the weak areas and what I need to fix.

I think that's really important for me as a painter to not sit down and work on something from beginning to end because I'll get on auto-pilot.

That's it. I'll show you what it looks like in the studio after I'm done.