Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Michael Chesley Johnson - Rain in Sedona

The day before, we had rain, which is an uncommon but welcome event in this dry country. Needless to say, we painted from indoors, but looking out at the view.

I chose pastel to do two small sketches. I was interested more in color and value than anything else. I worked especially on the cool reds and greens in the distant hills and the relationship to the warmer foreground greens. For the distant hills, I chose two pastels of the same value - a rather vivid red-violet and a blue-green. After blocking in the hills, I layered the complement of each over them to neutralize the rich color somewhat. I also used a bit of "real" grey to cool them down further.

For both of these pieces, I used the "Belgian Mist" color of the Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper plus the hard Polychromos pastels. Having the paper already toned a warm grey helped warm up and harmonize the cool, sometimes discordant colors I used in the underpainting.

Michael Chesley Johnson

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