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Summer is not over yet

Wild blooms

Wild blooms, pastel, 12x16 in, plein air, $550 framed.

Afton mountain on a rainy day

Afton mountain on a rainy day, pastel, 16x20 in, $650 framed

Summer is almost over in Virginia but the wild flowers are still blooming profoundly around my house in Crozet. I love to paint them in the sunlight, both in oils and pastels.

As an artist I have been always fascinated by the play of light on any object in a landscape and on flowers too. I love to paint anything outside as I believe that outdoor painting is always so exciting and inspiring. You can see millions of things you may miss when painting from a photo. You may notice new color shades, interesting shapes of in a landscape, challenging contrasts and dynamic compositions.


And I want to give you a general advice on how to paint fast outdoors. Don't go into details. Paint shapes of color, color of light and color of shadow. If you are not certain of color, just paint the values, because if your values are right you can use any color you want. You may sharpen your skills doing a series of plein air black and white sketches. It is a good way to study both values and a composition. The main composition types are well features in a book by American artist and instructor Edgar Payne in "Composition in an outdoor landscapes". Look up the major composition types, like S, O and a diagonal type. S and diagonal make any composition dynamic and inviting. O or a circle composition is more calming and offers ca view to study an object more closely.




The Blue Ridge Mountains in the afternoon light, oil on canvas, 24x36 in $2000, framed

September blooms

September blooms, pastel on paper, 12x16 in, $400 unframed

Wild flowers in the setting sun

Wild flowers in the setting sun, pastel, 16x20 in, $750 framed or $650 unframed.

Delicate flowers in this plein air pastels painting are partially in the shade but some petals are in the sun, which creates a landscape full of light, full of life! The hazy purple mountains add more color to this vivid landscape. The house in the distance seems inviting, though truthfully it is a farmer's red barn. There are myriads of butterflies fluttering in this beautiful place!

Wild flowers at Chiles peach orchard

Wild flowers at Chiles peach orchard, pastel, 12x16 in, $450 unframed or $550 framed.

I always do a series of landscapes from the same place following the changes in light and color. This pastels was created outdoors in the same place, the Chiles peach orchard in Crozet, Virginia. I went for a splash of red and purple colors painting them in the light and some in the shadow. Notice that I painted the dead and dry flowers too, which added more contrast to the sunlit foliage. The warmth of this scene in shown in mostly warm colors which domineer the landscape before the sun disappear behind the mountains.