A seascape in Pastels
(Photographed by Alan Curtis)
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A professional photographer friend of mine, Alan Curtis, who has a studio in Kidderminster, has recently gone digital and he was very interested in the possibilities of creating animations of paintings.

 I visited his studio one evening and we did this animation which, in terms of its lighting and framing consistency is streets ahead of my other demonstrations.
Blending colours with the fingers
Some pastel painters get very precious about blending pastels and make exaggerated statements about the grease from your fingers affecting the colours.

One of the joys of painting with pastels is the feeling of immediacy that you get by being able to mix colours directly on the paper as I am doing here with the sky.

I also refrain from eating fish and chips while painting with pastels.
More sky tones
Skies nearly always change colour as the eye moves from high in the sky towards the horizon.

Here I am putting in the progression of colours which will be blended to form the finished sky
Roughing  in the background and the curl of the wave...
Roughing in the foreground.
Here we see a light lemon yellow tone which forms the transparent part of the wave and the beginning of the rocks on which the wave is breaking.
Building up the foreground.
Here I am roughing in the way in which the water flows over the rocks in the foreground.
Building up the wave...

The different greens are being added to the wave and the spume is being added.

(What a lovely word "spume" is.)
Adding the wind and the waves...
Here some of the spume has been made to fly to the right to indicate a strong wind and provide some additional motion. The sea in the mid ground has been added in a dull green grey to provide a foil to the transparency of the breaker.
The final result.
The final touches are the addition of seagulls - birds always add a feeling of airiness to a painting - and a green texture to the foreground rocks to suggest weed.
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One of the disappointments that I used to experience when I was learning to paint was that demonstrations in books on painting were nearly always done as a series of paintings to illustrate the various stages after the painting had actually been painted.

This meant that I was always distracted by the fact that things in the painting would change position or colour from one stage to another. Using a digital camera while I paint means that I can record the actual stages in the painting as it progresses.