Designed for Balance


View of scene

Tony Allain demonstrates his process for painting this scene step by step.

Step 1

Step 1: “I quickly sketch in the main design using a semi-hard charcoal stick on a piece of sepia Sennelier pastel card,” says Tony Allain. “The charcoal is a good base to pitch the darkest value of the painting.”

Step 2

Step 2: “Working from dark to light, I block in the passing rain clouds using blue-gray pastels in a range of values. I add patches of clear blue sky as they appear through the storm clouds. A hint of rose pink adds some warmth to this passage. The low late afternoon glow of the setting sun finishes off the sky area.”

Step 3

Step 3: “At this point, I ‘brush’ in the foreground vegetation and indicate the distant field using various greens and earth colors. A strong foreground balances the whole painting and adds a good lead in.”

Final step

Final step: “I now add detail to the farmhouse, and create texture and warmth in the grasses in the immediate foreground. Using more blue grays, I also put in the road. To complete the scene, I add the puddle of water on the pavement and use lime green to indicate the brightly lit areas of the pasture in the distance for Passing Rain on Braco Road (pastel, 12 x 16 in.).”

Paint along with Tony Allain, Carol Peebles, Alain Picard, Harley Brown, and other top pastel artists at Pastel Live, this September!


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