“Autumn Poplars”: pastel 6×6″

I am attempting to use last week’s pastel sketch as the basis for a small oil painting, on oil paper; it’s under way, but at the moment too damp to photograph or scan. With solid grey skies and low light levels, there’s little incentive for doing much at all, but I strive to overcome this by looking at photos taken last year (or even the year before!), to see if they have any nice cloud formations that I can make use of.

In the meantime, I was rather taken by an autumn photo that offered the opportunity for a quick pastel piece. It is only 6×6 inches, and I don’t usually work quite that small these days with pastel, but with only an hour or so spare it was good enough. The view is at a local lakeside, with a couple of nice tall poplar trees. The footpath leads into the picture very conveniently. The day I recall was bright, not warm, but not completely overcast either. Autumn colours just beginning on the trees; a strip of green sunlit meadow forming the bright patch on the landscape.

It worked out a little too detailed for a small panel, but such exploration allows for a repeat painting, having discovered the stronger focal points and worked out how things fit together. There are also other scenes around this “home patch” that I am thinking of creating pictures from.

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