A Touch of Fall

"Herbst" 9 x 12 Chalk Pastel on Paper
Click here to view large or purchase original
"Herbst" is the German word for fall.  It seemed to fit this picture better than the English word for some reason.

The bird is a bit large for a dove, but it was a dove that inspired this painting.  I took a quick photo of this bird relaxing in my driveway as the sun was heading for the horizon a few weeks ago, on a rare day where it had cooled off somewhat.

Fall is usually my favorite season. The days have been so hot these last two months, it's been difficult to remember that summer's been over for a while.  The best part of the day for me this year is when the brutal sun sets, and the air takes on a mild chill.  We have a variety of birds who visit our property and seem to enjoy the evening cooling as well.

It was nice to sit down and make a spontaneous painting that didn't turn into hours of hesitating and overthinking each step.  I just wanted to show the soft golden light and cool shadow so typical of an early fall dusk in Southern California, and staying focused on those simple things made painting this piece a relaxing, pleasant experience.  I used the photo on my phone (which meant setting the screen timeout to 10 minutes), taking out the sometimes annoying step of having to print out a photo reference.

We're hoping to make it to the pumpkin patch before the baby comes, so there should be some harvest-themed art coming soon as well.  Falbrook is starting a new tradition this year: Scarecrow Days.  It's fun to drive into town and see the different scarecrows outside the local businesses, although a few of them make my daughter nervous (and I'll admit to being startled by a couple I walked past as well).

Visit my fine art website to see some Fallbrook and harvest-themed work featured on my home page, or browse my Plein Air Gallery to see some locally themed work done in spontaneous sessions close to home

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