It's hard to believe that two weeks ago was my day off between the two Connecticut Pastel Society Workshop I conducted in Newtown, CT. I have had a chance to complete two of the demo studies I started on location. The first one is from Ferris Farm. This is a pastel on black Canson Mi-Tientes paper. After returning home I dry mounted the paper on a panel of gatorboard. I usually do the dry mounting before I start a painting but in this case it is none worse for wear when mounted partway through the painting. I have even taken finished paintings back from their owners and dry mounted them when the painting has had issues of buckling in the frame. It is because of this warping, which I cannot predict or prevent, that I mount my paper to gatorboard.
This painting did not require much more work. I needed to straighten out some of the architecture of the red barn and develop the light thrown on the barn side. I added some work to the foreground drive and grassy areas to brighten those areas. Some final marks here and there overall and I am done. I like working this way - starting a piece on location and then doing the finish work in the studio under more controlled conditions.
This next painting, from the top of Holcombe Hill, required a bit more work. This was a piece that benefited greatly from having been started plein air because my reference images failed to capture the subtlely emerging colors on the treeline or the directional light on the treeline. In my reference image everything looked pretty green. Since I was there and capturing the emerging colors in my underpainting I knew that is what I saw.
To bring this painting to finish I started with bringing the right hues and atmosphere to the receding hills in the background. The entire painting needed to be brought up to green. If you get close you will see the purple, yellow, and orange underpainting peeking through. Since the sky was intensely blue above me you will see the relfect of that blue in the shadow areas in the foreground - teal and cobalt blue is lightly scumbled over the dark green and purple shadow. To give you a sense of scale the final painting is 12 x 18 - it is done on a piece of 500 grade UART sandpaper drymounted to gatorboard.