Sunday, January 27, 2013

New York in the Rain - Pastel in the Chelsea District

"Chelsea In the Rain"
9" x 12" pastel on sanded board
This is the first creation I have done in a while. It has been so busy that I have only occasionally been able to draw (usually a digital piece on my iPad, usually in the few hours before I nod off, which is much easier than pulling out drawing materials).

On a trip to New York City last October I had the luck of having my camera handy while a drizzly day ensued. The umbrellas I saw as a beautiful punctuation to the streets and braved getting my DSLR wet to get some photos. This is a pastel piece (still learning to use pastel) that took me about 3 different sessions. I am still thinking of some tweaks I'd like to do but don't want it to be otherwise overworked. I have pulled off all the labels on my pastels but there is a mix of brands in there. 

This was also my first homemade pastelboard. I bought some leftover mat board that was uber cheap and used a mixture of sanded (liquid paint like stuff that has sand in it to create a textured surface) primer and a brown paint to make my own paper. Since pastel paper is several dollars per sheet this was a way to keep it less pricey.

I can't recall the exact street but I know we had walked a few blocks up and over from the Flatiron Origins building and were in the Chelsea District, hence the title. 

The blur on the right side is still challenging me. In the original photo it is a partial building side and roof jutting, hence the odd angle. 

Thank you for looking and I would love your comments. Too cartoony? Good contrast? I did enjoy the wet ground and all the colors.


  1. Hey! We met up at Art Unleashed last year and I've been following your blog ever since. 

    This piece is excellent! I've always enjoyed the play of colors on rainy streets, too, and you've captured that type of scene really well. It doesn't look cartoony to me and the blur on the right didn't catch my eye. 

    The only area I would work on are the street lines. It would be tough to edit but the angle of them and the spacing doesn't feel right to me. It seems like they are floating up instead of being grounded under the pedestrians' feet. Critiques are so subjective, though, I'd get more opinions and see if anyone else agrees.

    In any case, I still think this rocks and that it would sell fast if displayed. One artist you might dig who also does rainy cityscapes in pastel is Anne Kullaf. Look her up on Facebook.

    Hope to see you again at ArtUnleashed this year!

    1. It is definitely noticeable about the street lines. I'm terrified to attempt reworking it, truth be told!! lol

      I was thinking we'd have heard about the Art Unleashed by now but haven't heard a whisper about it. You?

      Thank you for your comments and I'm flattered you follow me! I am sorry I don't have a lot of pieces. I am super unmotivated lately and am not sure how to get my creative juices flowing! I tend to work in waves... I'll put out a few pieces in a short stretch then may touch nothing for 6 months. Having a goal keeps me motivated, such as Art Unleashed...but so far, not sure there will be one.