Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pastel Sketchbook

I bought a fancy sketchbook couple of weeks ago and decided to use it for my daily pastel studies. It is casebound, hardcover, stitched pages with 90lb paper, see link here. I primed the pages with a mix of pastel ground, fine pumice gel and a bit of acrylic paint for colour. I make a point to paint every morning before going to work, whatever I feel like at the moment. This setup is proving to work great as I am able to bring it with me everywhere, along with my small pastel set. Pages are tightly bound so there is little to no smearing. Yay!
pastel painting plein air tree high park setting sun soft pastels

This one was painted in High Park, the trunk had a abnormal bulbous growth that was catching the setting sun.
pastel painting still life organic pear soft pastels

This was the tastiest pear of this summer so far, I was applying the lightest touch of pastel, getting sort of a scumbling effect.
pastel painting ikea cooking pot metal reflections still life soft pastels
My wife said she likes this study, but would prefer to see me cooking with it instead of looking at it....

 pastel sketch city roof bird clouds evening pixar dominque louis soft pastels
I really can't take the credit for this sketch as it is heavily influenced by the fantastic Dominique Louis work from Pixar's Ratatouille. His pastels and digital paintings are amazing, a wonderful blend of loose brushwork and vibrant yet subtle colour. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sainte Rose du Nord

Couple of weeks ago my wife and I together with Vera and Christian my brother and sister in-law from Romania went to visit northern Quebec, Saguenay region. I was pleasantly taken a back because I did not expect to find such a gorgeous country. Rolling hills, winding mountain roads, pristine lakes. We spent couple of days in a tiny village of Sainte Rose du Nord, population 495. It is situated right on lake Saint-Jean, amidst countless fjords. If you ever decide to venture in this part of Canada, make sure you visit this picturesque village, you will not regret it. I managed to squeeze couple of plein air paintings, it was a pleasure to paint out there while breathing fresh fjord air and sipping a chilled Chardonnay.

pastel plein air fjord quebec st rose du nord trees soft pastels
On top of the fjord right above the village.

pastel plein air quebec fjord Our Lady Saguenay soft pastels

A statue of the Virgin Mary, known as Our Lady of the Saguenay, is perched 177 meters (590 feet) above the dark waters on the first ledge of the cape. The statue, created in 1881, is over 26 feet tall, carved from three blocks of pine and covered in lead. The 3,400-kilo (7,000-pound) statue turned out to be too heavy to bring up the cliff. It had to be separated into pieces, carried up individually, and then reassembled.

pastel plein air st rose du nord sunset fjords soft pastels

This is the view just above the village facing the fjords. I did not change much from what I could actually see. Amazing!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Up High

I love clouds. Their shapes, sheer size and organic nature of their movement... The more I work with pastels the more I love them. The fact that you are limited with how many colours you have in front of you forces you to think before you commit that pastel on paper.