Friday, July 8, 2011

Luminous Twilight Colors

Lake Superior Sunset, Peach Pastel, 4.25"x4.25"

This small painting was done looking west along the shore of Lake Superior to what is known as the Sawtooth Mountain Range.

I started this painting with a watercolor wash to lay in some complementary colors to the pastels used to render the final image. You can see the texture of of the cold pressed Arches watercolor paper. The texture worked out well to help me show both the small waves on the water and the rough rocks of the shoreline. I primarily used Rembrandt and Unison pastels and then put in some details with Carb-Othello pastel pencils.

Pastels work especially well to capture the luminous colors of the long twilight along the north shore of Lake Superior. We are located about forty miles from the Canadian border where in midsummer twilight lasts until after 10 PM on the summer solstice--noticeably longer than twilight in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Not quite the same as the "White Nights" of a Scandinavian summer, but almost.

As I sit here describing this painting, I realize the titles of this series should have been "twilight" not "sunset." Too late: the titles are posted on the gallery walls. If you want to see them in person go to Betsy Bowen's gallery in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The Summer Underground Show will be there until July 27.

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