This is an aerial view of a house in Iowa. I liked the viewpoint and the strong values. I got permission from the photographer to use this photo. I usually like to work from my own photos, but always ask permission when working from someone else’s. When planning my painting I decided to leave certain things exact; the placement of the buildings and most of the trees, but decided to leave out a few of them and tilt the whole image to the right because I thought it made the composition more interesting.
Working on a piece of Richeson 300# watercolor paper (it has a soft, smooth surface – a lot of tooth, but not a lot of texture), I sketched basic shapes and composition with a soft, easy to erase pencil. This is the foundation of the painting and making proportions correct is very important. I drew the house on the right and erased it at least three times before I felt it was just right. The angle of all three structures must line up. I didn’t want to make basic structure changes once I had added the pastels. I started adding pastel to the background moving down and to the right. I work this way for practical reasons. I’m right-handed and it keeps me from smearing up the parts of the pastel already worked on.