Monday, 26 September 2011

Anatomy of a Pastel Painting

It occurred to me that some of you might be interested in how a painting evolves from start to finish, so I took some photos during the process of painting Stonethwaite Approach:
After sketching in the composition with charcoal, I placed in the easy bit - the sky, then the background sunlit hill and the darker Eagle Crag
Blocking in with roughly the right tones, I continue down the painting

Now I draw in the buildings and the skeleton of the trees

Before getting bogged down with any detail in any one place I continue to block in more colours

The entire block-in completed now, I have a roughly toned image of the painting, with the darkest darks in the foreground wall progressing through to the lighter tones in the background

Now I give some attention to the hills again, refining as I go and give the trees some definition, with their sunlit branches

More definition is now given to the cottage, barns and other paraphernalia and trees

Here I've painted the wall in shadow on the right

Finally, I do the sunlit stone wall on the left and give attention to the road and the cast shadows of the wall and posts across it. Once finished-ish, I cast my eye over the entire painting and correct any drawing errors and re-state important bits like the sheeps' legs, then voila, finito (I'm multi-lingual)


  1. Hello Peter, I'd loved to have seen your painting evolving, but the images do not show. I tried Google Chrome and Internet Eplorer but neither worked. I just wanted to let you know.
    Best wishes

  2. Thanks Oli, I'm sorting it. I used the 'Blog this' button in Picasa and it all worked fine until I tuned in this morning to see no pictures! Blasted technology.......hope it is working soon, uploading my normal, slow way.
    All the best,

  3. Thank you Peter for sharing your pastel secrets, cool!!!

  4. Thanks Oli - got it sorted at last. Only took me another hour!

  5. Beautiful, beautiful, totally amazing and fantastic!

    Now, where did I leave my pastels?

    Great job.

  6. Thanks Ann Onymous, you're very kind!


  7. Thank you for doing this wip, I love pastels and it is great to see how you do your masterpieces. I always get bogged down in detail way too early, so I will take on board your method and try it out.


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