JeffreySmithArt


Pine Tree Clearing, work in progress.
April 26, 2009, 9:26 pm
Filed under: landscape, pastel, work in progress | Tags: , , ,
Pine Tree Clearing, 20x16", pastel on panel, by Jeffrey Smith, work in progress

Pine Tree Clearing, 20x16", pastel on panel, by Jeffrey Smith, work in progress

To start the above painting, I pulled out a less than successful oil plein air study I did in 2007.  The nice thing about using an older, not-so- stellar paint study, is that I’ve found myself less inclined to stay very true to the plein air study, and more willing to make changes for the good of the painting.

This work in progress piece is pastel on a Gatorboard panel that I made my self.  I started by an orange toned board, and then painted on Golden Fine Pumice gel in an irregular pattern.



Blue Pot, Orange Begonia
March 11, 2009, 7:40 pm
Filed under: daily painting, floral, Painting, pastel | Tags: , , , , , ,
Blue Pot, Oange Begonia, 9x12", pastel on panel, Jeffrey Smith

Blue Pot, Oange Begonia, 9x12", pastel on panel, Jeffrey Smith

I had a few hours to get into the studio today, and thought this would be a great chance to revisit this wonderful potted begonia.  It has been bringing a touch of spring to my studio for the last few weeks.  I really needed it today.  The high here in Minnesota didn’t reach much above zero, and with the wind, it felt much colder.  I can’t wait for the spring thaw!

This piece was painted on a Jack Richeson pastel panel.  This is a new surface for me.  It doesn’t have quite as much tooth as the Wallis pastel paper does.  That means that it probably wouldn’t hold as many layers of pastel.  I do a lot of layering in my work as I play with color, so this one is important to me.  The panel is on Gator board which is very rigid, and very light weight.  Because of  that, I could see these panels being very useful for plein air landscape work. Lightweight makes it easier when you have to haul everything with you, and due to limited painting time, you probably wouldn’t do as much layering.



Forsythia and Copper Canister, final
March 8, 2009, 7:24 pm
Filed under: floral, Painting, pastel, Still life | Tags: , , , , ,
Forsythia and Copper Canister, 18x24", pastel on Wallis paper, Jeffrey Smith

Forsythia and Copper Canister, 18x24", pastel on Wallis paper, Jeffrey Smith

I do love reaching the end of a painting! I had such a wonderful working on this piece.  I has been far too long a break from pastel this time, and I’m thrilled to be back at it.

To celebrate my last day in the studio with my forsythia painting up on the easel, I put together a little video.



Forsythia and Copper Canister, update #2
Forsythia And Copper Canister, 18x24", pastel on Wallis paper, Jeffrey Smith

Forsythia And Copper Canister, 18x24", pastel on Wallis paper, Jeffrey Smith

I’ve been digging through my boxes of pastels to find colors that I can use to unify areas of the painting.  To do this, I try to find a color that can be applied to a few different objects. 

An example would be the light blue that I was able to use in the background, the table top, and the green cloth on the left side of the painting.  By repeating strokes of the same color on top of different objects, it help to create a feeling of those different objects being seen under the same light.  In this case, it is cool north light through my studio window.



Forsythia and Copper Canister, work in progress update
Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, 18x24", Jeffrey Smith

Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, 18x24", Jeffrey Smith

I finally got back over to the studio today.  We have been moving from an apartment in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, to our first house, over in Saint Paul!  I’m thrilled to be living back in Saint Paul, but moving is a lot of work! Every time that I’ve done it, I swear that this is going to be it for a long time, but I think this time, it is going to be it for a long time.

I worked across the whole painting today.  My goals were to

  1. Develop and  correct the drawing, or shapes through out the painting 
  2. Push for a more accurate value relationship. Basically how light or dark is one thing or shape in comparison to the things or shapes that surround it. 

With pastel, I usually add in some “pushed” or exaggerated colors at this stage.  These colors with get subdued as the painting develops further, but the colors influence can be felt.  You can see an example of this with the strong red on the right side of the bowl, or the orange on the folds of the cloth  just to the left of the copper canister.



Forsythia and Copper Canister, work in progress.
February 25, 2009, 7:42 pm
Filed under: floral, Painting, pastel, Still life | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, by Jeffrey Smith

Forsythia and Copper Canister, pastel on Wallis paper, by Jeffrey Smith

Today I thought it would be great to have another dose of spring.  I have loved forsythia since I was a kid.  I have some great memories of a forsythia bush that we had in our backyard that you could actually crawl inside of.  It was like being surrounded by sunshine!

This is a work in progress shot of a pastel still life that I started today.  I began with a 18×24″ sheet of museum grade Wallis paper mounted on to a sheet of 4 ply mat board.  I used a large round bistel brush and toned the paper with a very, very thin wash of oil paint.  If you are going to use oil paint as an underpainting, it is important to use a good quality thinner, I use Gamsol by Gamblin. Another must for oil underpainting sucess is to keep the oil paint thin.  It should look and feel a little like tea.  Think watercolor as you are painting.  Let the white of the paper show through for anything white in your set-up

Once the paint had dried, which took very little time because of all the Gamsol, I blocked  in the pastel painting with Nupastels and Rembrants.  Jumping in with pastels, I did a couple rounds just looking at the big pattern of shapes and values to refine the image left by the oil underpainting.  I always like to start with the darks and build up to the lights.



Pastel Field
February 16, 2009, 8:41 pm
Filed under: landscape, Painting, pastel | Tags: , , ,
Pastel Field, 8x10", pastel on panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Pastel Field, 8x10", pastel on panel, by Jeffrey Smith

Still more longing for spring…  Here in Minnesota, we have had a few days with above normal temperatures.  Then, things dipped back down into the single digits.

This little painting was done a hand made pastel panel.  I started with a piece of Masonite.  I prepped it with 2 layers of acrylic gesso.  Then, I painted the surface the bright orange liquid acrylics. That’s what you see in the lower right hand corner of the painting.  Finally, I painted on a layer of Golden Acrylic fine pumice gel.  You need to thin it with a bit of water to expose the pumice particles.  If it’s done with a bristle brush, it gives a wonderful, random, surface to paint into.