Friday, June 26, 2009

Capturing the Desert in Pastels

The desert is a wonderful landscape to push a color pallet...especially when you are painting in the high noon sun. It seems to me to be easier in the late or early sun, as the colors tend to fall in the yellow-orange hue for early day, and magenta-violet in the late of the day. Mixing these colors with green may be difficult, even for veteran painters. The key is lightly applied layers upon layers with soft pastels.
The 3 paintings in this post were all painted as plein air paintings within 1 hour....which can be a challenge to those of us who don't practice this on a regular basis. But when the mood strikes, and the vision is there, it is time to paint! I often challenge myself with a close up of nature in plein air format instead of the overall landscape view.
The blooming cactus of the Sonoran desert in the spring have captured my attention and plein air inspiration. May it be told, I prefer to paint a plein air painting of something such as the cactus up close, especially on the wonderful, sunny, spring days here in my beloved desert.

4 comments:

Gary Keimig said...

wonderful blog. Great art.

Robert A Vollrath said...

I like:)

Mona said...

The texture seems different on these. Did you use Wallis paper?

Jessa said...

Hi Mona,
I found Wallis paper about 10 years ago...I love it but prefer Museum grade to Professional, I can layer more with Museum. After I found Wallis, it is all I use now, but I did play with a new brand of pastels for the desert scapes (testing for my students).