I attempted this small painting three times until I was happy with it. This version was done on Pastelmat support and it gave me the saturation I was after. For the background sky I scraped different pastels onto the board and wet the scrapings with a brush to get an even transition of colours.
The first attempt was done on pastel paper. This is the one below. Here, I used gouache to get the background sky, not pastel, as I did above.
The pastel colours do not sing out and appear flat and dull to me. I also felt there was too much foreground. So I tried again:
This time I obtained the background sky, as I did with first painting – scraping various pastels and wetting the scrapings to get an even background on pastel paper. I also reduced the foreground. It had a better saturation of colour at the end, but some of the darker colours failed to sing out. So that was when I resorted to the pastelmat.
I have used Clairefontaine pastelmat in the past and have always been happy with the results. I did not use it much as I couldnt find any larger sheets of it. The top painting was done on a 30x40cm sheet. Recently, someone told me bigger sheets were available and now I can get 50x70cm sheets which allows me to tackle slightly bigger pieces.
The downside of the pastelmat is the price and the lack of even bigger sheets. However, I wont be using it for life painting, and it is here where I go even larger, but it will allow me to do my small and medium size paintings and get some great vivacity of colour.
Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com