Summer has a distinct atmospheric quality that is challenging to capture. Whether you are painting a rural mountain scene or an urban park, there is a certain shimmer to the air that only happens in the summer.
In the painting above, Bryant Park Path, I chose bright yellow greens to contrast with very dark, almost black, shadows. I used yellow ochre and Naples yellow on the brightest areas of the path and purples and blues in the dappled shadows. I made sure to fuzz some of the edges to create that sense of shimmering air on a hot summer day.
Pastel is a great medium for creating atmospheric effects. It’s powdery nature is perfect for overlapping areas where you want to create thick, atmospheric conditions that occur in summer.
I am having a Summer Landscape in Pastel workshop this Saturday, August 15, at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. In the class, which will be held indoors but may feature a demo outside depending on the weather, I will focus on creating the atmospheric light that is such a hallmark feature of the summer landscape. The workshop runs from 10 am to 4 pm and is $100. To register, visit the VACNJ website (scroll all the way to the bottom to see this workshop listing). While you’re on the website, don’t forget it’s time to sign up for fall classes. Don’t lose your spot!