I mentioned in my previous post about a cycleride in the afternoon sun, last Saturday. Here is another in the small series of paintings from that trip. This one’s a pastel. The low afternoon sun pierces through gaps in the forest, picking out skeletal birch trees, which hang there, like automatons on a ghost train ride, scaring no one.

A fellow blogger, N, from Ink,Yarn and Beer told me to look at the pastel work of Karen Margulis. In one utube video she used a wet brush to spread and mix the pastel across her support. When I’ve done this the paper cockles, making further work difficult. But recently I have been using gouache as a base for dark areas in my pastels and havent had any issues. So, for the forest background, I dragged down purples, siennas and browns with a wet brush to create a backdrop, using Karen’s approach. I also did it in the sky. With the amount of water kept to a minimum it seemed to work. When the sky and backforest was dry, I went in with the foreground trees, grasses and the leaf covered path.

It is a dark piece and I am a little undecided about it, particularly its commercial potential, but I’ll put it up and see how I feel about it in the coming days. I have another watercolour on the go from this trip and am thinking of making the previous painting of the birch copse with shadows, into a bigger acrylic piece.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website:



    • Thanks for the insights, Michael – always welcome. I think that the low res images I use here dont help.
      But I take, your point. The focus, for me, is the sharp tonal change of the birch cluster in the middleground right. I’m not going to get detail there – its a muddle in any case.
      Perhaps I need to illuminate a tree or two, foreground left and get them to lead the eye to the middleground right. I think one is already partially illuminated.
      Food for thought.
      You might be seeing this again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. WOW!!! 🥰 The light in this is beyond-words-beautiful! It’s warm and revealing, and I love how it takes my eyes through those woods. You probably tire of my saying this but honestly I can smell the leaves & the warm bark & that fascinating footpath. 👏👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

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