An Idyllic Combination (pastels on canvas)

"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 have some wonderfully bright oil pastels, which turned out to be just right for this piece.

After blocking in more darks and defining the big shapes, I went back over the canvas with chalk pastels (the softer the better, when trying to work around or over the oil pastel). I'm not sure this combination would have worked as well on a stretched canvas, but the flat canvas was stable enough to hold both mediums well.

I wish I had taken photos of the earlier stages of this work, as the piece really came alive with each stage. Now that I've done the process once, I'll try documenting it as I go for the next one.

Here's another tropical piece:
"Tropicale" 12 x 18 chalk pastel on paper (framed!)

To see more of my original pieces for sale, click here:
http://www.nikihilsabeck.com/

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