Friday, January 27, 2012

Harmony with the Hills, Pastel, 7 1/2" x 16 1/2", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This painting was done from a reference photo taken by Paula Ford for WetCanvas' refeference image library.  I thought it was beautiful, with rich greens and a sense of grandure.  The layers of atmosphere and lighting also attracted me, as well as all those trees.  This started out with a pastel and alcohol underpainting, then I used Mount Visions and Ludwig sticks for the actual painting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Allison's First Ballet Shoes, 7" x 10", Graphite and Graphitint pencils

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is another page from the same sketchbook using Graphite pencil and Derwent Graphitint pencils.  The Graphitint pencils are kind of fun, the colors are soft and you get the gray of the graphite coming through, so it's not pure color, much more muted.  Again there is an issue of light fastness, 5 or 6 pencils from the set have a low light fast rating, so I just avoid those if possible.  Too bad really, these pencils are quite fun to use also.  I wish manufacturers would stick to only making truly light fast products, it makes one wonder why a company would make a pencil that would fade with time.  Any artist I know wants their art to last forever.  Why paint it if you know it's going to fade?  Yup, sketchbook materials only.......

Monday, January 23, 2012

Birch Along My Driveway and Tree at the Arboretum, Inktense pencils, done on one page of a 7" x 10" Stillman and Birn sketchbook

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Another page from the same sketchbook.  I sketched this back in November 2011.  This time I decided to try Inktense pencils just to see if the paper could handle the water.  I thought the paper did an excellent job, though there was some buckling.  A few heavy books and a couple of hours later, and the buckling was almost gone.  These pencils aren't always light fast, but for sketch booking I think they're great.  The sketchbook stays closed most of the time, so the few times it gets opened should hopefully be okay.  I do stay away from the worst offenders for fading, hopefully that will be enough.  I wish the pencils were more light fast as they are truly fun to play with, the colors really are intense!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lexi, Graphite Pencil, 7" x 10"

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I often times feel like I'm all over the place with my art, reaching to do other mediums even though my first love is pastel.  I sketched this just a couple of months ago (November I think).  It is a sketch of my late dog Lexi.  She was a cutie, and as cute as she was she really was a handful at times.  It did break my heart when she died, Lexi was a real sweetie, which made it much easier to tolerate her sometimes difficult behavior.  She was never mean, always sweet, just a bit of a handful.  It's always hard to say goodbye when a furry friend leaves us, this was the second time I had to do that. 

I had this photo I took of her that always screamed at me to do something with, and one morning I just had to sketch her.  I have some Stillman and Birn sketchbooks, and I've found the paper in them to be quite nice to use, hopefully that will be my motivation to add more sketches to them!    

Friday, January 20, 2012

Late Afternoon, Pastel, 6" x 11", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I painted this back in 2010 using a reference photo from the Wet Canvas reference image library.  The person that took the photo is Paula Ford, a wonderful landscape pastel artist and member of Wet Canvas.  I was drawn to the photo because of the lighting and the colors she captured, as well as the interesting shape of the roof on the barn. 

I didn't have this painting for very long, it sold rather quickly.  I had it in a local art show, and after the first day I received a phone call telling me that there was a person interested in it.  It's a wonderful feeling knowing that someone purchased your painting because they loved it.  That's my definition of a great show! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eggcentric Citrus, Pastel, 8 1/2" x 11 1/2", painted on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is a favorite painting of mine.  I painted it back in 2010 after a long hiatus from painting still life - I was doing a landscape marathon - lots of landscapes - that lasted two years!  I think what I like most is the unfinished area, it shows the process and what a pastel looks like in the beginning stages.  It was the first time I used my Ludwig darks in a painting, and I found that they really gave the background colors the "punch" I was looking for.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Veronica for Dan, Charcoal and Tinted Charcoal on Canson paper, 11" x 14"

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

I finished this charcoal portrait for a client just before Christmas.  I also used tinted charcoal pencils, making sure to use only the pencils that were light fast.  I'm really starting to love charcoal for portrait sketches, you can get beautiful soft shadows and lovely results without a lot of fuss. This client also wants a pastel portrait of this beautiful lady, which I told him I could do after the holidays.  I'm just finishing up another pastel commission, so I will be able to start it shortly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Just a quick sketch of two apples, 6" x 8", painted on Canson paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is a quick sketch I did last week.  I go to a friend's studio to paint one day each week, and I forgot to bring the reference photo of a landscape I intended to paint from.  So, there were these two apples just sitting there on the table asking to be painted, and that is just what I did!  Sometimes it's nice to paint just for the sake of painting, and for no other reason. 

This is by no means a "finished painting", it's just a sketch, but sometimes the unfinished ones get me more excited.  I think it's because I was painting with no worries, "just because........" and, there's nothing like painting from life, it beats photos every time!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Autumn Woods, Pastel, 5" x 7", painted on Arches hot press watercolor paper with Colourfix ground

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is a very tiny painting I did from a photo reference in the WetCanvas Reference Image Library.  I believe the person that took the photo goes by the "name" Snowgoose on WetCanvas.  It is a beautiful photo, and I enjoyed painting this because the colors were so vibrant.  I took some artistic license with the composition and cropping, the photo has much more of a foreground and is actually a distance shot as opposed to this type of a closeup.  I'd like to paint this one again, but much larger.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Walk One Sunday, Pastel, 8 1/2" x 13", painted on Canson paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

This is another painting I did of that same vineyard on the North Fork of Long Island.  That Sunday afternoon gave me so many reference photos for inspiration.  I can still remember standing there and focusing the camera, marveling at the light and sense of peace.  It was so quiet, a very remarkable afternoon.  I have no idea what that building is at the end of the road, I assume it has something to do with the manufacturing of the wines, those grapes do end up in barrels and they need to be stored!

I have more photos of this beautiful place, I am sure I will be inspired by another one because of that memorable afternoon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fields of Gold, 4" x 11", Pastel on Wallis sanded paper

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Believe it or not, this painting is of that same place on the North Fork of Long Island, a winery.  By looking in another direction one will see a very different landscape.  I was experimenting with color in this little painting.  My intent was to paint in a higher key than I normally do.  I exaggerated the colors quite a bit, and I found it to be very liberating.  

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Vineyard Glow, 6" x 10", Pastel on Canson paper

There is a special place here on Long Island called the "North Fork".  It is filled with wineries and farms, and it is quaint and charming, all the things I find so appealing when looking for landscapes to paint.  The lighting is especially alluring, and I find the opportunities  to paint endless.  I can easily come away from a Sunday afternoon with a hundred photos in my camera.  This painting is a result of one of those Sunday afternoons.  I've so far painted five pastels of this special place, and I know I can come up with more, I probably will!