27.5 cm (w) x 37.3 cm (h), unfixed pastels on coloured-ground paper.
Date produced: March 2014 - March 2016, while living at Wattle Park.
This is a study of a small section of sunlit native bushland (a section of Ferguson Conservation Park at Stonyfell, South Australia), concentrating on accurate colours and tones within the available gamut of the media used.
This was a lovely place to do a study at - being warm, quiet and serene. There were plenty of small birds flying about in this tree and the trees nearby. There were occasional sounds of flying insects, buzzing about.
I used unfixed soft pastels on coloured-ground paper for speed of working and for having minimal changes to the resulting colours. The colours required many fine adjustments. It is amazing how subtle most experienced colours are, especially for trying to reproduce the amount of sunlit glow and impact of colour coming from the various parts of the scene.
To do the original pastel study, I needed to have many sessions over many days at the same time of the day, with similar weather conditions. I needed to do it under an umbrella, to shield my work from direct sunlight. I quickly found that the the lighting changed from one week to the next, even though I was fortunate in being able to experience full sunshine most weeks. The suns position in the sky at the same time of each day was getting lower as the weeks progressed, and the positions of the shadows changed considerably.
This pastel is a combination of an original pastel study produced on-site (trying to capture accurately observed colours and tones), a digital photograph taken from the same viewpoint (and corrected as much as possible against the colours captured in the original pastel), and many sessions held back at the site to correct some of the colours and tones on the final study pastel.