Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One sunrise, but not the same

      Sunrise, First of December 6x6 oil, copyright 2011

December Sunrise 12x9 pastel, copyright 2011

A first for me, two different paintings from the same reference photograph.  The first was just a quick study, painted the same day I took the photo.  It came out a bit softer and more muted, in part because I was spent perhaps 15 more minutes on it than I should have, and was starting to make mud.  I stopped when I realized it, made a few corrections then quit.  The second one I finished just yesterday, and perhaps overcompensated a bit for the earlier painting's softness, though the colors look a bit too saturated on my monitor.

Looking at the two of them together, I can't decide if one is really better than the other as both capture some aspects of the mood of the moment.  I'm not sure if it's the media or light in the studio or my subconscious that made them so different.  It's an exercise worth trying again with another photo.

Edit:  The pastel image has been revised, and is now a bit closer to the real thing.


  1. My first response is to favor the oil, because the sky is so airy and vaporous, but the pastel is superior in the treatment of the field and trees, imo. So I guess my decision is split as well. ;-)
    Both good though, and remarkable that you got them both out of the same photo. Good work!

  2. Thanks! I'm with you, the sky looks better in the oil. For me, it's a lot easier to get that translucent effect with oils, I haven't quite figured it out with pastels especially when using a paper like Richeson which has a pretty rough texture. On the other hand, details are easier with pastels, as I tend to end up making mud with oils, especially when I try to finish it in one sitting.

    It really was quite a sunrise, I got several good shots I plan on using in the future.