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Showing posts from August, 2011

An Idyllic Combination (pastels on canvas)

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"Hideaway" 8 x 10 Pastel (Oil and Chalk) on Canvas
Click here to purchase

It started out as a sketch on brown paper, using charcoal and ink, inspired by the gazebo outside Glen Ivy Hot Springs in California. Thinking (as usual) that it would look so much better in color, it became a pastel painting on canvas.

I bought a bunch of little flat canvasses at a cheap price a while back, thinking they would be good for practice or plein aire. Using my previous charcoal and ink sketch as a guide, I blocked in the trees and gazebo with ultramarine blue chalk pastel on the canvas. I then used a wet brush to blend the blue chalk, identifying lights and darks and middle values.

It sat in this stage for a while, as I wasn't sure whether to add more chalk, use the underpainting as a base for some acrylic, or to try out the oil and chalk combination.

I knew I wanted the end result to have a warm, tropical mood, complete with a turquoise sky, lots of green, and a splash of red. I ha…

Here's to Surfers! (Most of them, anyway...)

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"Happy Hour" 5.5 x 7in. chalk pastel on paper
Click here to buy original or view large


Cards starting at $2.40 (click here):http://www.redbubble.com/people/nikihilsabeck/art/7619119-happy-hour-pastel

Used the back side of some Canson Mi-Teintes to get that bright effect this time (I would only recommend this for quick pieces that don't have a lot of layering...)

Oceanside Harbor has become quite popular with surfers lately. Years ago, I didn't quite understand why the beach was separated into designated surf and swim areas, as there were only a few surfers out there on most occasions. Between the summer season and the increase in popularity of surfing, there is now a definite need for all those flags and signs, as it's much more crowded out there in the water.

I usually take photos of the whole beach, and focus in on interesting figures later when looking for inspiration. I remember this particular surfer, who showed up during the afternoon rush (kind of like hap…

Dangerous Waters: The Temptation To Overwork A Painting

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"Breaking the Day" 17 x 23 in. Mixed Media on Paper
Another workshop, this time working from digital art-- in this case it was Randy Sprout's "Fortuna on the Spot"







(Click here to view Randy Sprout's original piece:http://www.redbubble.com/people/randysprout/art/4863131-fortuna-on-the-spot)


To participate in Sojie 13, I chose to approach Randy about his piece for two reasons: I loved the bold composition of the digital work, and I have a strange need to paint boats on a regular basis. I thought I would approach the piece as an acrylic painting with chalk pastel as a top layer. It turned out to be more of a pastel painting on an acrylic surface, because I ended up covering the entire acrylic painting with the chalk.



It started off simple enough, and I liked my original sketch so much I had to convince myself to get started with the paint. It's not that I have such a high opinion of my sketching abilities, but rather that I always enjoy the beginning stage,…

Familiar Roads

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"The Road to Fallbrook"
4.5 x 6 in chalk pastel on paper
Click here to view large or purchase

Another plein aire view from home, this time the familiar view of Mission Road into Fallbrook...

This painting was initially done a couple weeks ago, but the hills didn't look quite right, so I went back to it later to reshape them a bit. Sometimes the most familiar scenes are the most difficult to paint, as we know them so well it's hard to let go of the differences between the actual view and the painting.

This road is a pretty quiet one, unless you're on it in the commuting hours on a weekday. Morning traffic piles up as cars form a line to cut through Fallbrook to get to the military base in Oceanside. The same crowd returns in the early evening to head back home. Rather than include the cars, I left the road empty to show how it looks on a weekend morning, when the "Friendly Village" gets a break from all of the base traffic. I've always liked that …

Familiar Roads

Image
"The Road to Fallbrook" 4.5 x 6 in chalk pastel on paper $30
Click here to view large or purchase

Another plein aire view from home, this time the familiar view of Mission Road into Fallbrook...

This painting was initially done a couple weeks ago, but the hills didn't look quite right, so I went back to it later to reshape them a bit. Sometimes the most familiar scenes are the most difficult to paint, as we know them so well it's hard to let go of the differences between the actual view and the painting.

This road is a pretty quiet one, unless you're on it in the commuting hours on a weekday. Morning traffic piles up as cars form a line to cut through Fallbrook to get to the military base in Oceanside. The same crowd returns in the early evening to head back home. Rather than include the cars, I left the road empty to show how it looks on a weekend morning, when the "Friendly Village" gets a break from all of the base traffic. I've always liked …

Le Chat Bleu: Bad Kitty Dreaming

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"Le Chat Bleu" 12 x 16 Mixed Media on Paper
Click here to view Etsy listing

On many occasions, the painting itself requires so much work, photographing it is the easy part. This painting was one of those rare cases where the process itself went smoothly (too smoothly, I should have suspected) and photographing the piece proved to be the real challenge.
I'm working on a series of color themed mixed media cats. Trouble is, I'm using different paper than usual and working in monochrome, both of which may be contributing to my difficulty with photographing the end results. I like to work on bigger paper with mixed media, so going to a smaller size and scanning the works aren't really an option. I finally got some decent pictures in the bright sunlight, something that tends to wash out my other works but ultimately was needed for this one.

Blue is a serene color, even in its brightest form. I knew my "chat bleu" would need to fit the tranquil mood of the col…