Blue Moods

"Harbor Reflections" 12 x 16 Mixed Media on Paper
Click here to purchase original
No surprise here: when feeling discouraged, I turn to the color blue! The painting above was done mostly from imagination, although I did flip through a few reference photos of boats at the harbor in Oceanside, CA for inspiration. I am enjoying the process of adding thick acrylic with a palette knife to structure a piece, and layering in pastel to finish it. I did have to use some gesso, having run out of white acrylic. The gesso worked nicely as a base for some of the chalk, and I'm tempted to stick with that instead of buying more white for a while. I wanted to capture the effect of bright sunlight, which deepens the blues and highlights the stark whites when the weather is at its finest down in Oceanside.

For my next piece, I went to another familiar theme: cats.

"Now What?" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Flat Canvas
Click here to view Etsy listing

This particular cat appeared while we were having lunch in Carlsbad, CA. She showed up just as the food arrived (we were sitting on a patio), and hung around as long as my husband continued giving her bites of chicken. She grudgingly turned around to stare at me so I could ge a photo; she seemed to know that I was vegetarian and didn' have anything to offer her. Once she had her fill, she moved on to another table.

I normally don't use fixative for my pastels; however, this piece was different in that I only used dry chalk on the flat canvas, and needed something to make it stay in place a little better. The fixative actually worked quite well, and I may end up buying a new can after all (I've been keeping the same spray can around for years, always disappointed in the results when I try it).

"Canopic Blue" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Flat Canvas
Email nicolehilsabeck@yahoo.com if interested in purchasing


 For the final piece, I revisited a reference photo I had painted previously but didn't like when it was finished. I thought I would try it in a more monochromatic tone, choosing cool blues to give the canopic jars a peaceful feel. I used water to blend the pastels onto the flat canvas, and enjoyed the "watercolor" effect this had.

If you like this piece, see more of my Egyptian-inspired art here:
http://artbynikihilsabeck.blogspot.com/p/tomb-egyptian-inspired-art.html

Click below to visit my Etsy store and see additionl mixed media works:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/nikihilsabeck

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