This pastel is finally finished, except for the signature which will be added after placing the picture into the frame. I decided that I’d try painting it on a soft Rives printmaking paper, with a very satisfying middle value olive-beige tone. It worked well. The paper took the color very nicely, and allowed for sufficient repeat applications of pastel. Just a touch of fixative was introduced in the darkest darks and developed lights.
Divers at Halona Cove pastel 14 x18″
The subject itself is one I’ve been working with for years, and the challenges are tremendous for a plein-air approach. Most everything is in movement, and the surges of water and sometimes wind can be powerful and unpredictable. Because of this, the wave effects have to be determined in advance, and then simplified. Also, it’s very easy to overplay the already beautiful colors of the water, so I prefer to make a point of following nature’s lead closely by revealing the wonderful combinations of colors already presented as truthfully as I can.
Preliminary 9 x 12″
The first days I had on this piece were remarkable for the clarity of the light…as with so many things in life, good weather seems like it should last indefinitely, though of course I knew it wouldn’t. We eventually were locked down by heavy rains for many days after the first few afternoons, so the final picture was eventually adjusted indoors, from memory.