Monday 26 December 2016

Tree trunk in shadow - A soft pastel painting

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven." Rabindranath Tagore

Beautifully written quote by Rabindranath Tagore. Trees are such an essential part of beautiful nature that surrounds us. I have been doing a series on "Trees" using different mediums and my love for this subject continues to grow. 

This particular tree on the banks of river Kaveri, was in the shadows and the sunlight perforated through the foliage to light up the raised areas of the exposed roots. The light and contrast in the scene appealed a lot to me and I selected this scene for my soft pastel work. While in Dubare forest area last March we got the opportunity to photograph many such strongly rooted beautiful trees and I will be painting many of them soon.

Soft pastel painting of a tree trunk in shadow by Manju Panchal

Tree trunk in shadow
A soft pastel painting on Canson Mi Teintes paper
Size 6.5"X 8"

I started this work on a black coloured Canson Mi Teintes paper which was taped on to a hard board for support and then I placed this board on the on the Easel. Having purchased a table top Easel is a great advantage and I am putting it to use for most of my art works. It is very convenient to work with the easel as I can look at eye level and sketch. Once placed on the easel I begin with the first step which involves creating the basic outline of the tree trunk and the exposed roots. At this stage I put in efforts to check on the design and composition.

Steps in creating the soft pastel painting of a tree trunk by Artist Manju Panchal

Step 1
Creating an outline
keeping in mind the design and composition

Next came the "BLOCK IN" stage wherein I carefully selected the colours keeping in mind the values and I filled in the masses. I keep the detailing for the final stage.

Steps in creating the soft pastel painting of a tree trunk by Indian artist Manju Panchal

Step 2
Blocking in the colours
paying attention to the values

In the final step I add the details and the darker values to create the depth. I also add a few pastel marks in earthen shades on the trunk to suggest barks and other growth on trees.

I got into drawing and sketching trees somewhere in 2014 when I was making a transition from "Still Lives" to "Landscapes". That is the time when I felt the need to understand the anatomy of the tree in order to paint it well. From then on I have created a series on "Trees" and continue painting and sketching them.

This weekend I had a great workshop in soft pastel medium with three participants who were very passionate about art. They learnt the basic techniques involved in creating a soft pastel painting and then went on to create a soft pastel painting of "Santorini, Greece" and "Maya Bay". I shall be posting the images of their works soon in my art workshop page.

Thanks for browsing through my works and please do leave your comments.

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