Wednesday, 13 August 2008

With all these questions

... there's a bit of searching going on. - As Vivien rightly says in her comment to yesterday's post... so: do it.

Well... The post got sparked off (quite literally) but the most fabulous glow in the sky I had seen in a long time. A thunderstorm at around sunset turned the sky into that iridescent grey yellow which in turn reflected throughout the garden and coloured everything green into a kind of glowy red/orange.

Thunder at Sunset

No chance for a photo of it, though I tried as you can see. I think my amateur photography skills were no match for it.

So I sketched. Attempt #1 yesterday didn't get the sky. But it got something of the heavy rain shower making the trees fade in the distance.

Thunder at Sunset 1
Thunder at Sunset #1
Soft pastel in Moleskine

But, again, I'm kind stuck with the texture of the sketchbook. It refuses to take more than 2 (max 3) layers of my soft pastels. Then I remembered Brian's explanation (scroll down Vivien's post to read his comment) of how he made the beautiful British Columbia landscapes in his sketchbook for the exchange. So I followed the instructions: one layer, rubbed in well with some paper, another layer, rubbed in, etc. And to use fixative (well, my mum's hairspray in this case) in between. And: hey ho... darker than before, more transparent then before and all in all enough to keep me happy.

Pastel transparencies
Soft pastel in Moleskine
Layering, rubbing and more of the same
Yellow, lime green, pale purple and neutral grey in various combinations

So, here's a bit of experimentation from today:
Note 1 - the transparency of the rubbed in layers
Note 2 - the depth of the dark pastels overlayed

Thunder at Sunset 2
Thunder at Sunset #2
Soft pastel in Moleskine

More skyline
More Skyline
Soft pastel in Moleskine

So, all in all not a bad day... and that's been on the painting front alone.


vivien said...

these are going beautifully!

you did it!

Anonymous said...

Hey G.

it's quite Mist!
Your first picture without the explanation is good, very realistic, is it watercolour?

Gesa said...

cheers, vivien... with the limitations of the sketchbook, yes... there's a bit fleetingness captured nonetheless. now: try on better paper and bigger...

hahaha... misty mist... misty rubbish... where's your alias?

i know you're a bit of a technology buff, so you might have heard of something called photography? you know, the thing with a box where when you press a button the little people inside the box run around, all trained in realist watercolours (first class!!) to produce these litte paintings called photographs. i leave those watercolours to them. stand no chance myself in comparison, no need for trying.

have a good weekend! was good to see you, and bokel without you still feels funny. so: even more thanks for the wifi!

Brian McGurgan said...

I'm glad the explanation was useful to you, Gesa. These rubbed tones you've produced are beautiful. The contrast here in transparency of rubbed pastel versus the density of more heavily applied strokes on top of the rubbed areas is really appealing to me. This is one reason I don't care much for sanded papers - there is a whole vocabulary of marks and rubbings that don't translate well onto an abrasive support. Best wishes!

Brian McGurgan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Klahn said...

These are really great. The abstract effects - I really am reminded of Wolf Kahn's way with pastels. I tried one like this but it didn't turn out as well.

I would add that you can rough the paper with a fine sandpaper.

Sorry I didn't see this in August!

Gesa said...

Casey - many thanks! I hadn't thought of the sandpaper, but I will try... seeing that I am back in the room with that view and my pastels and moley.
Thanks also for pointing to Wolf Kahn again, I do have one of his books and I keep thinking about his pastels - I think with the way my use of colour has expanded over the past year, I really should go carefully through his book again, and to see what I can make of it.