Intermediate pastel over watercolor: Three reference photos

Hello painters,
I am so impressed with all the paintings you brought to class yesterday; it gladdens my heart to hear you say you couldn't wait to paint - that's EXACTLY how I feel about painting!  You are a bunch of go-getters and I am having a blast painting with you!

Yesterday we created a vibrant pastel painting of fall trees and grasses with a watercolor under painting.

From my original image I created 2 additional reference images a black and white 'value finder' and a pixilated 'large shapes finder' (all three images were printed on one sheet of paper which is why the B&W is vertical).

I use these two altered reference photos for the simplified drawing, the watercolor under painting, and initial pastel block in.  I keep the original photo face down on my desk until it's time to add the details.  This practice keeps me focused on large shapes and large value patterns when it really counts, in the beginning of the painting process!

Painting large dark shapes color-next-to-color (so there are no hard edges) with a size 16 round brush.

Very loose drawing indicating big value shapes.  I used a firm pencil line so it will be visible after the watercolor is applied.

Beginning to lay in darkest pastel passages after the watercolor is dry.

Adding medium and then light values in pastel.  Pushing branches and 'leaves' into the sky.

Adding more depth of colors and some large details, allowing watercolor to show through.

Last pass I add the lightest lights and the details such as 'sky holes' and sunlight on tree trunks.  I will lightly fix the pastel before carefully cutting the watercolor paper off the block.

Thank you to Liz Bumgarner for the photos!

Next week we will work on the small still life (below) with one glass object, I have created all three reference images for you, please print them out and bring them to class with you along your pencil drawing on a 9" x 12" watercolor paper.  

As always, if you have the time, I encourage you to "try painting it at home first" so you will come to class with specific questions and therefore will get much more out of the class.  

If the image isn't to your liking, you may substitute your own composition, but KEEP IT SIMPLE please!

Thank you and I'll see you on Tuesday!