Monday, March 22, 2010

More Art Workouts

Pastel sketch
from charcoal study below

Charcoal study

Calero County Park Hike and Sketch
Los Cerritos Trail
Top - Looking West
Bottom - Looking East

Calero County Hike and Sketch
Los Cerritos Trail
Left - looking East
Right - Historic Bailey-Fellows House

I've been quiet in blogland the past week, but I've been doing my art exercises. The pastel was done from the charcoal value sketch in this morning's drawing class. This was one of the most helpful mornings I've experienced. Bob (Robert Semans) decided we needed to do some basics to refine our skills so we went through doing charcoal sketches first to get the form and cast shadows, the transition areas, and the value relationships. Then we did the pastel which went very quickly, probably done in an half hour, because all the work on value was completed first. I always find value and chroma can get confusing for me.

The Calero County Hike and Sketch was a delightful day spent with the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society plein air painters. Usually we are stationery, but about once a month, we take it on the trail. We'll hike with a limited amount of gear and stop along the trail to sketch and paint for about 20 minutes. The results are pleasing, though definitely sketches lacking the dark values and much detail.

The park is just lovely and is located about 5 miles from my home in the mountains that abut my neighborhood. The park allows hikers and equestrians and surrounds Calero reservoir, an important piece in our complex water supply. I got to see parts of the reservoir I'd never seen before from the "road" side, and also some lovely views in reverse. The Santa Cruz mountains continue upward behind the part between my home and the coast.

The wildflowers were magnificent, with those wonderful California Poppies beginning to bloom, and lots of tiny white, purple, and yellow wildflowers to set them off. The poppy sketch should also include the mountains, but I didn't get that far before we moved on.

I am working on two studio pieces as well. More to follow.


Anonymous said...

You have definitely been busy! I love all of these- the pastel study is my stand out favorite. The color palette is so pleasing!! Your surroundings must be simply gorgeous.

Barbra Joan said...

Well Mary, I can see that you've been a very busy lady. I've just read all your latest posts enjoying each one. Your description of those California poppies are letting me be 'right there' as I remember it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, words, and of course, your art work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Fun to have a peak at your sketch book! It does look like a fun expedition. And, your deliberate studies of the apple are most compelling!

Jan said...

Mary your art is so pleasing to the eye. I loved seeing your sketch book. I've never done anything like that but I've been tempted :) Very nice~~~

Mary Paquet said...

Pam, thanks for checking in. I am fortunate to live in a very beautiful and inspiring area of the county.

Barbara, the poppies are just so lovely.

Peggy, I had a great time doing my apple study. Bob promised to do more objects with a similar approach to reinforce how we define form with value.

Jan, thanks for visiting. I've joined your blog and look forward to reading your poems and seeing your artwork.

hwfarber said...

Wow, you are really working out. All of these are great; I love both apples. I really enjoy working with charcoal and pastel--looks like you did, too.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, once again let me say how I admire all your art "workouts". You are certainly honing your skills regularly and your results show it. I always enjoy reading about your busy and interesting life!

Candy said...

Mary, these are very nice sketches and I absolutely love your Jane sketches. You sure seem like you're having a great time!

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, I do love pastel, and this lesson was particularly helpful.

Christianne, as always, I appreciate your encouragement. I look forward to a new round of Italy pieces inspired by your recent trip.

Pepe444 said...

A maça a pastel e em carvão ficou mt bem feita!