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Posts tagged “original pastel

Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting of cold snowy sunrise
pastel painting of cold snowy sunrise

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 2012, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like this out there this morning.

The coldest, frostiest mornings always seem to come in January, right after all the warmth and color of the holiday season. I painted this just one week shy of two years ago in January 2012, standing at my window to sketch the basics but finishing from a photo, the light so fleeting, but I look at this view each day and know the details in all seasons. This morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration. I’m not sure why, but seeing the steam rise over the neighborhoods and town on a frosty morning has always had a sense of both melancholy and security for me. As I watched the sun rise and the day grow light, photographing as it went, it seemed everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time and I knew I had to paint this scene.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the row of trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, but really when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left, and in another snowy scene from this same vantage point. “Snow at Night”.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.

Prints of this painting

“Frosty Morning” traveled to its final home over the holidays this year, to a friend “just north of us” in Canada. I offer a variety of prints of this painting, as digital, giclee or on canvas. Visit my Etsy shop to see the options and purchasing information.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


White Houses in Spring

pastel sketch of white houses on hill
pastel sketch of white houses on hill

“Houses on the Hill”, Nupastel on multimedia paper, 10″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

This is a plein air sketch I did yesterday afternoon from Main Street in Carnegie. The houses, nearly all of them white so I took a little liberty with them, sit on the edge of the bluff for the view, the steep drop below covered with scrappy trees just turning hazy shades of green. In the bright sun of afternoon the shadows and shapes were clearly defined so I drew it pretty much entirely using the side of the square pastel stick so I’d achieve geometric shapes with just a little blending.

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For a print of this or any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Winter Sunset Reflections and Uncertain Light

winter sunset
winter sunset

Winter Sunset Reflections

Here are two winter landscapes I painted from photos as well. Above, the winter sunset colors the clouds and the hill covered with bare trees, turning them into bronze in the warm sunlight, a view I see through the back windows of my home. Below, valleys fold into one another under uncertain skies.

hills, valleys and snow

Uncertain Light

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.

Also see other pastel paintings and original art.


Original Artwork: Winter Still Life

pastel painting of ceramic bowl of apples on crocheted cloth
pastel painting of ceramic bowl of apples on crocheted cloth

“Winter Still Life”, pastel, 10″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

That deeply angled winter sunlight reaches farther into the windows than summer sunlight, into the corner with the fruit bowl. I’ve been looking at the late afternoon sun hitting this vintage ceramic bowl where I keep my apples and enjoying the shapes of the apples, the reflections on the bowl with its uneven design in indigo with gold leaf brushed into the pattern here and there, the crocheted cloth and the mix of direct and reflected light on the apples, the bowl, the wall, the painting above.

The light changes too fast so I can’t sketch it on site, but of curse I’ve also photographed it, and worked from a series of photographs over a period of minutes as if I was working in the moment. I’ve found that when I work from only one photograph I feel a little stiff with the subject and a series of images feels more natural.

Granny Smiths are just about my favorite apple and are the most likely to be in the bowl and the reflection of their color on the walls around gives the scene an overall green cast. In the original painting, the crocheted cloth is a little more yellow than you see here.

I painted this yesterday along with a few other simple sketches of winter landscapes.

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.

Also see other pastel paintings and original art.


Sketch: Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski
pastel painting     Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

It looks like this out there this morning.

I’ve always liked this view out my back window, and this morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

The colors in this aren’t entirely accurate plus certain parts of it smeared when I put in into my scanner, so I may try photographing it tomorrow and replacing this image if the colors are more accurate. I began it first thing then put it aside as the light changed, later working from the photo I’d taken and just from my visualization. It’s 10″ tall x 18″ wide.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration as well, I’m not sure why, but when everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time is when I knew I had to paint this.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, and when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.


Sketch: Clementines

pastel painting of clementines on shelf
pastel painting of clementines on shelf

“Clementines”, pastel, 10″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A pastel sketch of my current crop of Clementines on the shelf in my kitchen.

This sketch is drawn entirely in Sennelier soft pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper in the warm gray threaded tone. I wanted to use the laid texture of the paper to help convey the lightly pitted texture of the Clementines, and then also to soften the edges of everything to help capture the softened angled light from the window. The light comes mainly from the left, but several fruits are also catching a softer mid-tone highlight from a window in the next room to the right.

I had sorted them out of their bin since only a few were left and went to get a little basket for the. As I came back I saw the composition—the top of the cherry bookcase, my crocheted dresser scarf, the green-toned wall and of course the little stars themselves. The light comes in at a very slanted angle at any time of the year, especially winter, and for most of the day it’s reflected light from the sky with a cool tone and softened shadows. It doesn’t last very long, and I knew it was near the end of its journey on a short winter afternoon so I snapped a few photos and started a quick color sketch, but it was days before I got back to it. Glad I did, or those Clementines would have certainly lost their sweet and bright character in the meantime!

It’s the nice thing about art that you can leave out things you don’t like to be there. This shelf sometimes becomes a catch-all for things, and though they were actually in the scene I just left them out. There are also things hanging on the wall, and it’s a stucco wall that’s white which I rag-painted with vanity yellow and pale mint green. In this corner the shadows are dull and I debated having a cool gray-green wall to really bring out the orange of the Clementines, one of the reasons I began with this tone of paper, which you can see at the very top. I decided instead I wanted to keep with the rich tones in the rest of the sketch and worked the shadows in green—it’s not at all a realistic choice of tone or color or even quality of shadow, but I like it, and it works. I also decided to leave a loose edge at the top, I’d visualized it this way from the very beginning. I may have liked a loose edge all around but I ran off the paper on the sides.

I had mentioned with the last sketch of fruit that I was eyeing those Clementines…

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If you’d be interested in purchasing this sketch, please contact me. Likely I’ll frame it and add it to my Etsy shop.


Sketch: Snow at Night

pastel painting of snow out the windows at night
pastel painting of snow out the windows at night

“Snow at Night” pastel, 11.75″ x 8.25″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

From the window at the back of my house I can see out over the valley and the hill beyond. When it snows at night the scene is transformed from black velvet punctuated by rooftops and streetlights and lit windows to a hazy wonderland of blue and creamy white, the familiar rooftops and trees given depth and dimension by the falling snow. Just like “Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, I’d been visualizing this little painting of the snow falling at night, the house with lit windows nestled into the snow-dusted branches and bramble and trees, silhouettes of rooftops beyond, the lights of Carnegie’s Main Street brightening the view behind them, then the haze of snowfall where normally I’d see only darkness. It looks quaint and kind of cliché, but it looks like home to me.

This painting is done in Sennelier pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper, in the dark green hue. I knew that I could get the softness I wanted from the Sennelier pastels on this paper which has a nice soft surface to capture pastel, and though I wasn’t sure I wanted the texture of the laid finish it worked well to break up and soften the edges. I used three tones of Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue and tempered it with violet and gray in the shadows, then added pinks and yellows to the lighter areas. The windows, of course, are several shades of yellow.

If snow is what you’ve got, then snow is what you paint—I’m going to take advantage of it while it’s here. I’ve started another sketch from this morning when there was still snow in the air but the sun was shining.

See “Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, and also see other pastel paintings and original art.

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.


Sketch: Afternoon Apples

pastel sketch of apples on counter
pastel sketch of apples on counter

“Afternoon Apples”, pastel, 5″ x 7″ (paper size) © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A pastel sketch of Granny Smith apples, mixed pastels and pastel pencils on 2-ply vellum bristol.

An independent produce seller visits my neighborhood every two weeks, in the growing season carrying all local grown stuff, in winter fruits and vegetables that were good deals from some of the larger local suppliers, along with local cheese, butter and honey. We used to call these guys “hucksters”, but that almost seems derogatory compared to this entrepreneur, who is also a small farmer himself, who took the chance to knock on a few doors and start getting customers.

We also exchange conversation about our holidays and the things we’ll be cooking. He had a special on Granny Smith apples, which I like to eat and bake with (so I guess an apple crisp is in my future), and I joked that I’ve also painted them and I should count the purchase as a tax deduction for materials. Immediately I envisioned two apples on the table by the dining room window in the cool indirect winter light. And so I did paint the apples, two of them at least. There was a baker’s dozen of apples in each bag. Should I claim a deduction for 2/26 or 1/13 of the cost? I may also paint the peppers and cucumber and maybe a few more apples. I think I’m creating an accounting nightmare. I’ll get more out of the apples if I just eat them. But I think you’ll be seeing a few more little still lifes like this. I’ve been eyeing my Clementines too.

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If you’d be interested in purchasing this sketch, please contact me. Likely I’ll frame it and add it to my Etsy shop.


Hemlocks, Snowy Morning

pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow
pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow

Hemlocks, Snowy Morning, 7″ x 10″, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The view out my side window of my neighbor’s hemlock trees with the hills far beyond and the morning sky with clouds and sun and snow. In this sketch, I not only wanted to capture the sun streaming through the hemlock and the cool colors of a snowy morning, I also wanted to capture the nature of the hemlocks, their shape and growth habit, the straight trunks with the branches that tend to break easily, the bare little twigs inside the tree, and the tufts of needles at the ends of the branches. At one time there had been another hemlock that completely blocked the view, and the sun, hence the bare insides of these trees. I hate to see a tree go down but when that one was lost in a storm it literally opened up a new view for me, and much more sunlight.

Where this site has featured a daily photo, I’ve decided to also use it for my occasional sketches. At one time I always carried some art materials with me as well as my camera. I fell away from the sketches, mostly landscapes and Main Street and still lifes around the house, as life grew a little too busy for a while to take the 15 to 30 minutes needed for a little inspiration. As when I visited the Panhandle Trail on Christmas day, I hope to post more sketches in addition to the photographs from each day.

I did not photograph this scene, only drew it as I stood at the window, so you have no photo to compare.

You can purchase this sketch matted and framed in my Etsy shop or as a variety of print styles and sizes up to 48″ x 72″ on my Fine Art America profile.

I also post daily sketches of my cats on The Creative Cat as well as daily photos, which many people follow already; today Mr. Sunshine had something to say about this sketch in particular.


Sketch: Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise

pastel painting Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski
pastel painting     Frosty Morning, Just Before Dawn, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”, 17.25″ x 9″, pastel © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I’ve always liked this view out my back window, and this morning’s hazy frosty look with the valley in shadow but the bright sky was very inspiring. I decided to finally do this sketch that I’ve been visualizing for years.

The colors in this aren’t entirely accurate plus certain parts of it smeared when I put in into my scanner, so I may try photographing it tomorrow and replacing this image if the colors are more accurate. I began it first thing then put it aside as the light changed, later working from the photo I’d taken and just from my visualization. It’s 10″ tall x 18″ wide.

Not just the colors of a snowy, frigid morning, but the steam rising from all the chimneys were part of the inspiration as well, I’m not sure why, but when everyone’s furnace turned on at the same time is when I knew I had to paint this.

The four houses across from me I’ve sketched a number of times before, but in this case I’ve also included what is Main Street in Carnegie off to the left, the little collection of square-cornered things are the buildings there with steam rising just as well.

The one element I did leave out was the trees in my back yard which were just featured in a dawn photo the other day. They were just too chaotic and detailed, and when I visualized the scene I realized my visualization had left them out. There is plenty of interest here without them. You can also see a portion of this scene in a frosty photo from last year before the heavy snowfall and ice knocked down a number of trees on the left.

This painting is done in hues of only four colors, a Prussian blue which is a cool blue tending toward slate blue, haze blue that is a warmer color with a red tint and has elements of violet, and one shade each of yellow and pink.

This was one of those times when the photograph just wasn’t going to work.


Hemlocks, Snowy Morning

pastel sketch of hemlocks with snow

Hemlocks, Snowy Morning, 7" x 10", pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The view out my side window of my neighbor’s hemlock trees with the hills far beyond and the morning sky with clouds and sun and snow. In this sketch, I not only wanted to capture the sun streaming through the hemlock and the cool colors of a snowy morning, I also wanted to capture the nature of the hemlocks, their shape and growth habit, the straight trunks with the branches that tend to break easily, the bare little twigs inside the tree, and the tufts of needles at the ends of the branches. At one time there had been another hemlock that completely blocked the view, and the sun, hence the bare insides of these trees. I hate to see a tree go down but when that one was lost in a storm it literally opened up a new view for me, and much more sunlight.

Where this site has featured a daily photo, I’ve decided to also use it for my occasional sketches. At one time I always carried some art materials with me as well as my camera. I fell away from the sketches, mostly landscapes and Main Street and still lifes around the house, as life grew a little too busy for a while to take the 15 to 30 minutes needed for a little inspiration. As when I visited the Panhandle Trail on Christmas day, I hope to post more sketches in addition to the photographs from each day.

I did not photograph this scene, only drew it as I stood at the window, so you have no photo to compare.

I also post daily sketches of my cats on The Creative Cat as well as daily photos, which many people follow already; today Mr. Sunshine had something to say about this sketch in particular.


Winter Afternoon on the Trail

sketch of trail

Trail Sketch, pastel, © B.E. Kazmarski

I took a walk on the Panhandle Trail on Christmas day, a lovely sunny day and even fairly warm, no snow, but no rain either. Of course, there were many photo opportunities and one of my pleasures of being on the trail is also doing a sketch or two. Above is my sketch from Christmas day, just a nice spot on the trail, but nothing notable. I like to show the edges of a sketch, not sure why.

I hear about winter being “gray” or “brown” and somehow these colors are unpleasant and there are no others in the scene. Anyone who doesn’t see the the colors of a winter day just needs to stand still and let them happen. Below is the photo I took of the same scene, though it was near the time I was done and the light had changed somewhat. Still, there are blues and purples and reds and yellows to be found in highlights and shadows, and the light itself is always dramatic.

trail image

Trail Image