by Bethany, November 7, 2017
My Autumn painting challenge is here! Use #bfpastelchallenge (see below!)
November and all its glory….seems each month gets richer, more vivid, more vibrant, more…more. The sunsets are rich, the trees are showing off, even the animals get fluffy and puffy.
This piece “The Day, Lingering” – a 9×12″ pastel on Uart, was an exercise in Autumn. I began with a cool blue monotone underpainting, with my favorite Indigo Nupastel. I like to think of it as a skeleton for the upper layers. I knew I wanted bold shadows, plays of warm and cool colors, yellow Fall grasses and the light source from the top left corner. I had no reference except a mini-sketch I had made with a tree in the left third and shadows on the ground.
I began by building up the layers slowly…increasing the lightness of the values and the intensity of the hue depending on where I wanted more “oomph.” Using blues in the shadows and in the distance compliments the yellow and russet tones. (Remember? Blue is our friend!!) I also added the same colors in the distance and foreground so they would speak to each other and make sense from front to back.
I utilize far more earthy tones in the Fall and love to pull out those pastels that might not see much use during the green summer months. There are so many beautiful sets by some amazing pastel companies and the ones below are some I use to add punch to my Fall paintings! The books are some beautiful art inspiration (not necessarily pastel only), and I use the ink in my shadows and darks. For more info about using ink, please visit this blog post , watch this video or this one.
I would love to see your Fall paintings with those beautiful earthy tones of oranges, golds, umbers, and russet. Mixed with blues they are impactful and gorgeous! Post your paintings to social media using the hashtag #bfpastelchallenge (I’m on instagram at @bfields) and maybe I’ll post yours in a future blog!! Can’t wait to see what you create!