Sketch: Rain Later Today

pastel sketch of sunrise
“Rain Later Today”, pastel, 9″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I did a quick sketch this morning in preparation for a larger painting. I need daylight to photograph the painting, but for now here is a scan of the morning sketch. I stood looking out a window to the east, and the dawn had been very bright copper, then hazy. Soft purple clouds lay on the horizon, and the hills on the other side of the valley were just misty enough to have a blue haze indicating humidity in the air meaning rain was moving in, very simply yet colorful.

Of course, I’ve left out quite a bit—trees, houses, businesses, but this is what I saw on first looking out the window.

In the lighter area at the top, it appears as if paper is showing through the lighter tones. The paper I used is a Wallis brand sanded pastel sheet in “Belgian Mist” and is more or less kraft-colored. I prefer to begin a sketch or painting on a mid-range paper rather than light or white because it’s easier to think in terms of highlights and shadows. The pastel is actually completely covering, but the scanner light is strong enough to actually scan through this lighter pastel. It’s a disappointment and a quandary when I reproduce my art: the scanner captures much more detail and is better suited to smaller images, but this scan-through is often the result on this paper.


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