Pastel of Goose Lake


pastel on grey Colorfix paper

I was hoping to work longer on this pastel but my carpal tunnel is giving me fits and I was getting tired of painting with my left hand. I am thinking that I need to work on more depth in the water, right now my blue scrumbling over the surface is too uneven and not realistic. I want to remain loose with this painting and working with my left hand helped me in that aspect.


My photo and painting almost marries up except that the blues are jumping forward too much in the photo which I can’t seem to eliminate, keep that in mind. I initially started this painting with a watercolor underpainting but ended up covering it completely with pastel. I think that in the future I’ll use watercolor paper rather than a sanded pastel paper. Check out Debi Riley’s beautiful painting here Watercolor to Pastel isn’t her painting divine? She is such an inspiration and I was hoping to follow her lead but overdid my pastel. There is always next time.


My reference photo

Learning Points:

  • Use the appropriate paper for the method
  • Take breaks for a fresh look and to keep those tendons loose
  • Remember excessive detail can kill a painting, if you want excessive detail, make friends with photography (my opinion)
  • Pastel is fun!

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.


30 thoughts on “Pastel of Goose Lake

  1. It’s a beautiful piece, Margaret. I don’t work with pastels so I can offer only what I know from painting with oils. It seems the chroma is a tad high on the blue middle ground trees. In an oil painting, I would push the color back by using a grayed violet and maybe ultramarine in the areas or trees that are darker.

    I like your learning points. That’s a great way to remind ourselves of what worked or not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My photo changed the chroma to that high blue color and I couldn’t get it corrected, it isn’t like that in reality. I probably didn’t explain that well enough in my post. 🙂 though looking it again, I will push it back even further, I think more with the ultramarine blue 😉 I took about 20 photos of it and I had only one that was almost close except for those blues popping out too much. Oh well….I think that it isn’t helping that we have a gray day and finding the perfect area of the house to photograph it. Thank you Sharon, I love hearing from people 🙂


  2. wow! wow! and wait… don’t do anything!
    this is perfect, no fiddling with pastels now. lol
    ** This is a free fresh Colorful, Impressionist Approach – I love it.
    one hint: I would definitely crop tiny 1/2 inch from the left side. and a good 1 inch from the bottom. get a mount and try this.
    see if the work doesn’t now “Leap with more energy” it does!
    And-That blue, it brings the eye to the focal point area. so, it works in this design imo. (don’t actually cut the paper, just put into a matt that crops it) and there you go. all done. a Lovely colorful Impressionist landscape!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. yes! exactly….keep the “hot spot” I know that sounds funny but cropping at just the right areas keeps the painting alive and “hot”. Cool…..yes, the blue works, it is actually about 3 shades darker than that brightest blue in the photo which is not true. Just right, I think. Thank you Debi! 😉 KISP…..Keep It Simple Precious… moto!


  3. Stunning painting. Really beautiful. In the photo – which I think you also posted in your previous post? – I was immediately attracted to the red-russet grasses on the shore. In your painting you picked this feature of the scene up beautifully. Pastel! I hope this gives you lots of joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes… are correct! I have no idea what kind of plants they are but they were as bright as they appear in the photo, simply gorgeous! I had tons of fun painting this and switching to my left hand didn’t hold that joy back at all. It was thrilling to get back to my pastels once again.


  4. Pingback: Pastel on Watercolor Delight – Yuba Gold

  5. Pingback: Another View of Goose Lake – Yuba Gold

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