Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lake Shore

Lake Shore 9x12 pastel, copyright 2012

This weekend the family spent a lot of time on the water at Leesville Lake, visiting and celebrating birthdays.  It seemed like a good time to practice plein air painting so I packed up all my pastels in a sturdy wooden box that barely fit into a backpack.  Most of them survived although a few smaller bits of the soft ones crumbled, and the pack was pretty heavy.  I'm hoping to lighten the load a bit next time.

Sunday morning I hauled it all down to the lake and sat on the pontoon boat for about an hour, painting the shoreline until the heat got to me.  It was a pretty rough painting, and when I took it home I discovered that I had overcompensated for the brightness of the sunlight and painted far too darkly.  The past two days have been spent trying to fix that issue.

I still haven't decided about the top third of the painting - the foliage of the trees just isn't working.  And it's very green, which is always an issue for the eastern half of the country in the spring - everything is green, making it hard to create a landscape that isn't too monochromatic.  I am pretty happy with the reflection though, so it is definitely worth salvaging even if I do end up cropping off the top third.


  1. I like it but maybe it needs some darker tones to push the top back?

    Re box - I know it's traditional to use wood but have you thought about a tupperware container? I think you can get flat compartmentalised one for sewing or odds & ends. That would be lighter.

    1. I actually made it lighter because I thought it was too dark! I think you are right though, there's not enough contrast to give it proper depth.

      I found a compartmentalized plastic box for beading and used foam to keep the pastels from moving around too much. It works great and is much easier to deal with; I'll have to post a photo. Great minds think alike! ;)