This is a small pastel I did en plain air, with a painter buddy who lives nearby. I did this in the early spring. This is an elegant stone church in south St Louis called Epiphany Lutheran Church. It is at the intersection of Leona and Holly Hills. It is across the street from Carondelet Park, which is where Jane and I painted this. Both she and I love to paint architecture. The color of the pastel board is gray, so it was easy to add my windows and shadows by just erasing away the pastel.
I enjoy the experience of having people come to talk to me during my outdoor painting sessions. I got to meet a neighbor who lives on Holly Hills near this church. She made a wonderful shawl for my painter friend Jane, and she told me all about the Shake festival in Forest Park, which features a free play every evening in June by Shakespeare. This year is Romeo and Juliet.
The trees did not have leaves on them when we painted this. However, my son Andrew suggested I add leaves to the trees. I did that, and I’m glad I did.
Today, I went to Goldman, Missouri to paint this quaint old covered bridge. It was a perfect day to paint outside – gentle breezes, warm, but not hot, and best of all I found a shady spot in which to paint this. This was done in soft pastels. First, I walked all around the area to find a good view. Then, the smart phone came in handy to make a good composition, avoiding center lines. A few lines were drawn based on this, and then the gadget was put away.
I completed the drawing in white “charcoal” using Sennelier La Carte pastel board in the color sienna. This has a rough, toothy surface that grabs and hold on to the pastel. It is possible to layer it thickly, and get some really good intense, vibrant colors in there. NuPastels were used first – dark, earthy red for the shadow side of the
covered bridge, and a bright tomato red for the light side. I paid attention to the structures inside of the covered bridge, as well. Cooler, grayer greens were selected for the background trees, and warmer, higher chroma greens for the foreground trees, shrubs, and grass. I also blended and softened the edges of the background trees. Dark blue was lightly scumbled over the green for the darker shadow areas of the greenery. Finally, the large tree covering the left side of the bridge was left out, as the composition would benefit from an area of flat color to offset all the variations in the surrounding greenery and the sun dappling.
I love to paint bright, sunny scenes. The key to that is to use a strong value system, including darks. This supports the lighter yellow greens, pinks, peaches, etc in this landscape. I made a special point to use my blue greens as well for the shadowy areas. Can you see the contrast between the warm and cool areas?
A guy was riding his bike over the bridge. That would really add a lot, to put him in there on his bicycle, so I asked him to ride through again slowly, and he kindly obliged. He was very nice, and we talked for a while. He took some pictures of me painting.
Here is a piece I painted last winter with a painting buddy at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Since it was cold outside, we decided to paint at the temperate house. I was very drawn to this lovely bronze statue of a little boy playing the recorder. I have 2 sons, and for some reason this one reminds me of my younger son Andrew. There is something about the tilt of his head, and his general demeanor that reminds me of Andrew. I love how he is reflected in the pond, along with some of the greenery growing around him.
I gave myself a wonderful gift for my birthday. I went to Forest Park here in St Louis
Missouri to paint en plein air. My sister came out and joined me for part of the painting session, which was an added bonus! I painted the visitor’s center. This is one of the many charming old buildings in this town. St Louis has much beautiful, older architecture. I remember spending hours with my art teacher at age 8 learning to paint cubes, cylinders, spheres, etc. and learning how to shade them to make them look 3 dimensional. This is probably why I enjoy painting buildings to this day.
It was a perfect spring day. The sun was shining, and it was warm without being hot. I had lots of people stop by to talk to me, and they were all very gracious.
I’m very pleased with how this pastel painting turned out. It is of the boxwood garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. I really like the contrast of the vertical brickwork in the foreground left and the fountains on the lower right, with the horizontals of the garden behind it. It is very colorful. There is a warm, sunny feel to this piece. You can see the gazebo through the round opening in the brick wall. I really enjoyed creating this painting.
Here is a still life I painted with an artist friend at her place. It is an interesting juxtaposition of a large conch shell, a jade buddha statue, and some pears and apples. I did this in soft pastel. I used more of a linear approach this time instead of using the side of the pastel stick, and I like the texture. I accentuated the light by making the darks a bit darker than they actually were. I also simplified the background by making it abstract.
I did this painting with my painting buddy Jane. It was fall, and again in Carondelet Park, which is just a few blocks from my home. This is one of the old pavilions in the park. This was a bit more challenging than just a regular quadrangle, since there is a semi-hexagonal section in the middle. I love the older Victorian architecture in many of the city parks in St Louis.