- Lower Falls at Letchworth State Park
Soft Pastels on Canson Art Board
This painting was done in soft pastels, mainly Mt Vision with some Great American and square Mungyo. The paper is Canson Art Board. An underpainting was applied using Art Spectrum pastels in violet, green and blue. The underpainting was coated with isopropyl alcohol.
The work started with the sky the I put in most of the darks. I then worked back to front as I have learned that I need to focus on values more. In the past I have tended to jump around, thus losing my way with distance. The trees were applied using points, sometimes heavy or swiping to leave a 'lump' of pastel in order to impart some texture, this was applied especially in the mid-ground. With the trees I started with the darkest hues and lightned or darkened as needed. The cliff in the background was re-visited several times, increasing the amount of visible tree lines compared to my photo.
The waterfall was a joy to paint. I could hear the water crashing while I painted. The falls have more texture as I used heavy marks to try and show the turbulence. The mist rising up the crevice on the right was a challenge and had to be re-visited several times to make sure I did not blend out to many trees.
The pool/river was a challenge as well. I took liberty to enhance the blue along the left shore and the green along the right. In the photo the is moss or some water vegetation trapped in the eddies.
Lastly the part that was the most challenging is the tree line on the left that is nearly all covered in shadow. This was changed a few times and had to be continually darkened. I finally went to Rochester Art Supply and picked up two Diane Townsend darks which will be very handy in the future as I really try to avoid black.
Overall I had a lot of fun doing this painting and it is of a place that is a favorite. There are many layers, more than I had planned but in the end I was satisfied. I have included details of the falls.