• by JOEY HEUISLER WARD

PASTEL STEP-BY-STEP DEMO: TRES ARCOS | THREE ARCHES

Updated: Apr 3

Since I was very small, one of my favorite places has been Mission San Juan Capistrano. It's a beautiful structure and grounds. Last year, during the #superbloom, I shot this image.

While this photo doesn't show the garden colors, I was drawn in by the arches, sunlight, and the textures.



In the final version, I took out the benches to make the imagery about the arches. This is 9"x12" on Uart 400 beige.



I started with a sketch...

I began by toning the sanded paper with a watercolor wash using Sennelier French Artists' Watercolor - Chinese Orange over a graphite sketch.



These are the colors of the palette. It's all of the usual pastel suspects: Schminke, Unison, Sennelier, Terry Ludwig, and the NuPastels.




Major shapes are laid down and the bricks start to take shape.



Details are starting to emerge.



At this point, it was clear the sunlight was lost and needed to be added.




More sunlight captures the sunny atmosphere of the Mission and now I can call this done.



Confession: I don't enjoy landscapes (except the ocean/water scenes) and I think it's because I need more practice. I would much rather paint a portrait or a still life.

In this exercise, I wanted to push my landscape skills so that I might improve in areas of perspective and composition. I guess I'd hoped that I could learn to love landscape painting...maybe I will, someday. I added features (HIGH contrast, color in the foliage, the tree limbs point to the arches) to draw the viewer's eye into the arches gallery. I'm just not emotionally drawn to the painting.



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