Image

Paint My Photo… of Cadair Idris

I’ve submitted this for the September panoramic mountain scenery challenge over on Paint My Photo. I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m just noodling flakes of pastel around trying to get them to stick now, so I may as well move onto the next project. So we’ll call it finished, shall we?

Photographing Cadair Idris over Llyn Cau, Snowdonia. Soft pastel and Pastel Pencil 80.5cm x 16.5 cm

Photographing Cadair Idris over Llyn Cau, Snowdonia. Soft pastel and Pastel Pencil 80.5cm x 16.5 cm

The main references I used for the is photo were The Photographer by Sharon Whitley (of Gary Jones) and this stunning shot of Llyn Cau and Cadair Idris by Gary Jones.

I don’t know if both photos were taken at the same time and place, but they fitted together so well I hope they were. To fit them both in the same panoramic scene, I needed to alter the perspective of Cadair Idris, so I found two further photographs of the mountain by Gary and Sharon helpful. I even put in the sheep, though obviously they are very small in my painting.

Here are a couple of close ups on the detailed areas though now I look at the first one I’ve accidentally lightened it too much when I was preparing it for uploading:

Can you spot the three sheep?

Can you spot the three sheep? They are tiny!

Detail of Photographer Gary Jones

Detail of Photographer Gary Jones

I find it hard to get in fine detail at this scale in pastel using my current materials but I enjoy the challenge. Maybe I’ll be able to treat myself to some new materials for my birthday!

I’ve got a couple of Pet portrait commissions up next so that’s different again, and then I have a present to work on, and if the October Paint My Photo challenge captures my interest then I’ll likely want to attempt that too. So a busy month ahead, do you have projects stacking up ahead of you too?

I’ll leave you with me experimenting with digitally with blending out the paper join, and adding a digital frame:

Soft Pastel and Pastel Pencils 80.5cm x 16.5 cm with digital frame.

Soft Pastel and Pastel Pencils 80.5cm x 16.5 cm with digital frame.

Posts about this piece in progress

Image

Further Progress on Cadair Idris

I was glad to be able to work on this painting through the night whilst waiting for the results of the Scottish independence referendum. I still have a lot of work to do on the details as you can see but it is really beginning to take shape. Llyn Cau is a spectacular tarn or corrie loch/lake. It should be finished in time for the Paint my Photo September Challenge.

Most areas now blocked in but they need further refinement and details

Most areas now blocked in but they need further refinement and details

Reference photos:
The Photographer – by Sharon Whitley (of photographer Gary Jones)
Llyn Cau by Gary Jones
Cadair Idris over Llyn Cau by Gary Jones

As for the result, I know many people will be disappointed with the result and that is understandable. But I am relieved to still be in a political union with our nearest neighbours in England, Wales and NI. It was poignant to me to be working on a painting of a Welsh scene while waiting for the results.

I went to my new art group this week, who are a very talented but modest bunch. Whilst there I did a sketch of two goldfinches in my sketchbook from a reference brought in by the mentor. I felt that the large panoramic pastel painting would have been too long to transport without risking damage.

Image

Cadair Idris in Progress

I’m back from my adventure in Devon and London! It was certainly an adventure and I took a lot of photos that I can’t wait to create art from. I didn’t get a chance to sketch as I was looking after toddler all the time and I was exhausted after packed days – especially in London. But I’ve got plenty of ideas and references to work from. We had a great time!

Another new and interesting addition to my creative life is that I’ve joined a local art group. It’s not a class as such, everyone works on their own projects but there is a more experienced artist who offers advice and the group and there is peer support, and a chat and a cuppa. I won’t be able to go weekly but I’ll drop in when I can. They were a very friendly and modest group.

Whilst I was there I spend the time trying to create a composition for Paint My Photo’s September Challenge which is about mountains and depth. They have specified an extremely panoramic format so that the winning painting can be used for their website banner for a number of months. At home since I have altered the composition again, most dramatically by deciding it had to be BIGGER and making it over two sheets of A3 instead of one to make the whole thing less fiddly in pastel.

I’m working from photos from Paint my Photo taken by Gary Jones and Sharon Whitley of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia, Wales. I’ll link properly to their reference photos once I’ve completed it. So here it is in all its unfinished panoramic glory.

Cadair Idris (in progress)

And here’s the detail of the area I’ve worked on most.

Detail of the sky, mountain and lake

Detail of the sky, mountain and lake

What projects are you working on?

Image

Scottish Boathouse – Completed

I finished it just in time for my trip away, so I was able to enter it for the August Paint My Photo Challenge. You can view the other submissions in their August Album. There is almost a week to go, so still time to enter.

A3 Pastel Painting based on a Photo by Rick Brind

A3 Pastel Painting based on a Photo by Rick Brind

Reference Photo by Rick Brind

I would like to have spent longer on this as it’s a bit sketchy in places, but I like the overall effect. The challenges are a great nudge to try subjects I wouldn’t have considered before. I can’t wait to hear what next month’s is.

Let me know what you think of my first pastel landscape in the comments below!

Up on the Roof Challenge – Still in Progress

Here’s where I’ve got to so far. As you can see the walls of the boathouse and the foreground need a lot of work. I’ll also put more into the roof tiles as they are meant to be the main subject.

Still have to work more detail into the building and foreground

Still have to work more detail into the building and foreground

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to complete it tonight and tomorrow before I go on my adventure, as I’d love to submit it for the challenge before I go.

Image

August Challenge – Up on the Roof

I really enjoyed taking part in the July Challenge over on Paint My Photo, so when they announced their August challenge about roofs I was keen to take part even though the subject isn’t necessarily my strong point. There were two photos that I would like to have attempted but I’m running out of time before my trip away (the deadline is before I get back) so I think I’ll be lucky to have one finished piece.

The reference I’m using is this Scottish Boathouse taken by Rick Brind. If I was a more experienced watercolourist I’d have loved to attempt the colours of the roof in watercolour, but I’m not! And I don’t really have time to experiment if I want a completed entry in the challenge, so I’m sticking with more forgiving pastels.

Here’s where I’ve got up to at the moment, just the first layers of colour on the background. I’ve got to adjust the pitch of the roof as it’s looking a bit skewed.

First layers of soft pastel

First layers of soft pastel in the background

Image

Tay Rail Bridge with Pastels

Tay Rail Bridge from Dundee

Tay Rail Bridge from Dundee

I quite like how it turned out with the pastels. I tried not to over work it so didn’t add much, I didn’t want to take away from the lovely translucency of the watercolour where it was working well. I lightened up the sky a little, tried to play light on the water and added some contrast and texture to the wall and path in the foreground to give it some solidity. I kept feeling I ought to add more detail to the rail bridge but at this scale I found it difficult to add anything, and I needed to zoom in on the bridge in my reference photo to pick up the detail so it probably shouldn’t be there!

I love the scrumptiousness of seeing all the pastel colours laid out so I’ll give you another workspace shot. All the pretty colours!

Workspace with fabulous pastels

Workspace with fabulous pastels