#67: Dusk Landscape

Num-67-Charcoal- Landscape
#67: Dusk Landscape (Charcoal and Pastel on Paper, A3 size)

This weekend I bought some pastels. This is my first attempt at using them. I was not really trying to make a pretty picture, just seeing what could be done with these two mediums together. The source photo is shown below.

In the end the image reminds me of something by Albert Pinkham Ryder. As I was finishing it off I just took the charcoal and drew a thick, pitch black frame around it, which I will keep as part of the picture itself.

As you can see from the source photo below, this is the same image that featured in my earlier works, Edge of Camp, and Edge of Camp 2. I am actually pulling an Andrew Wyeth by repeatedly going back to this scene/theme, one that I pass on my daily walk. Just today I did another small oil painting of this scene, which I hope to post soon.

Num-67-Source (2)

I love the feel of pitch black charcoal as it goes down on paper – an earthy, mat colour that I can get lost in. The darkness inside the textured colour asks questions of me. I always think of the poem by Charles Simic that I quoted in an earlier post, in which he writes about the darkness inside a stone. Here is the last of the three verses again:

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill –
Just enough to make out
The strange writings, the start chars
On the inner walls.

I will end the same as I did in my earlier post: thanks to all of you who have encouraged me with follows, likes and positive comments. May the star charts on your inner walls lead you to your true self.

10 thoughts on “#67: Dusk Landscape

  1. Very nice and you don’t have to frame it! I have fun painting frames within my paintings. They crack me up…like I am being sooooo clever! And….it is clever! I like your picture. How did you like working with pastels?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes DawnMarie, I can just imagine you having fun with those frames! I like working with the pastels, but as you can see from my comment to Margaret below, I find blending and getting the right color a very new experience. Lots to learn! Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did pastels once in 8th grade art class. I thought they were fun but I don’t remember much more than blending blending blending. I think I did a sunset….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pastels! how fun…..I remember my working with them and hating the dryness and mess on my hands, now I am used to it. I really liked how you framed it with charcoal…..and yes, how do you like pastel or is it too early to be asking you? Love that poem by the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Margaret. Thanks for your comment! I really like putting down the pastel, and since my studio is basically an old shack with barely any windows or roof, the dust does not bother me too much.
      But I have no skill in blending or getting the color I want. You can see in the clouds, the dark on the right above the mountain is too green. I had no idea how to fix this once it was down.
      I do not like the pretty, pastel, like aspect of pastels. But I think it could be useful to put an extra nuance or depth in my charcoal works, so I am cautiously optimistic!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know that this seems odd but for some reason when an artist start out in pastel work, it often will veer on the edge of “too pretty”. I wonder if it is because of the purchasing of sets or? There is a myriad of choices in pastel colors that can boggle your mind and pocketbook. Like you say, you can combine and layer your colors to get to those darks but it is nice to have some specialty colors. There are artists such as Doug Dawson that paint very moody, dark scenes. I also think that pastel is known for being sparkly, and brilliant. Pastel is pure pigment and has minimal binder (depending on brand). Anyhow, perhaps if you are interested in continuing, buying your own choice of color but from an open stock, that is, if you choose to continue with pastel. I think that would be the better choice for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Margaret, your comments are very helpful and encouraging. I will definitely look up Doug Swanson. I very much like the way the charcoal goes down, the physical act of putting it down feels like I am sculpting the image stroke by stroke. My main challenge is to mute out that intensity, go a bit more tonal while still keeping some color. I will do some research and work to achieve that. Will start by looking at Dawson’s work. Thanks again! Weekend now, so tomorrow I may find some time to check what YOU have been up to!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good to try new mediums, I still prefer the lighter #64 there’s more detail and contrasts, whereas in this one it seems very dark, but thats just my opinion, which doesn’t matter anyway as this is just a ‘getting to know pastel’ session. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks FR! Yes, I have so say my opinion changes from day to day. I like the red and green contrast in #64. The charcoal and pastel is a bit more romanticised. I keep on learning!

      Liked by 1 person

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