Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Pastel on Pastelmat, 13 x 19 inches

Yes, I've switched disciplines and swapped my Oils for Pastels. I painted a similar view of Grange in Cumbria in Oils recently and thought I would see how the subject looked with the dry medium.  The subtleties of tones and colours in the mountains is a real challenge with Pastels and, hardly surprisingly, gives a different look to the painting.  As with Oils, by far the most challenging and time consuming part of the painting is the painting of the trees and mountains, whilst the water, the coup de grâce in any painting, takes very little time.

Being a dry medium, Pastel is a very different kettle of fish to mixing Oil colours on a palette.  Personally I don't find Pastel a practical medium to use en plein air, because I have literally hundreds of colours arranged in boxes around my easel, and even then, mix the colours somewhat with the finger.  Conversely, with Oils, I use only four colours to mix ALL the colours I need for 95% of all subjects I tackle, so I find it a very transportable medium for use on site.
Again, as I mentioned before, trying to replicate the colours of the painting in a photograph is frustrating. My Nikon D70 always seems to accentuate the reds, no matter how much I've tweaked the settings.  I even bought a Canon EOS 500D recently to see if it would solve the problem, but I still prefer the Nikon's results overall.


  1. Peter,
    great painting using my favourite medium. I encounter similar problems with taking photos of my paintings, tweaking the digital image doesn't work either (at least I can't do it). I guess that is something one has to live with.
    I really enjoy looking at your work of art and I try to learn as much as I can.
    Kind regards

  2. Thanks for your comment Oli. You've done some nice work yourself. I like Pastelcard too, but I usually rub it over first with a piece of fine sandpaper because I find it a bit too 'gritty' and coarse. Pastelmat is similar, finer, but on not such a heavy card, but nice to work on.

    Happy painting!


  3. Just came across your Blog and enjoyed having a trawl through some of your beautiful paintings.

    I don't use a paintbrush, nor do I attempt landscapes but I admire people who do one, or especially both!!

    and ... I often feel I spend as long trying to photograph my pictures as I do producing them so I share your pain :-)


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