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Torrential rain and gale force winds

I love seeing progress photos of another Artist’s work.

Do you ever take progress shots?

Due to the horrific weather conditions we are experiencing while in our caravan at Yeppoon, Queensland, I’m posting a step-by-step of a demonstration painting I had published in the Artist’s Palette magazine …. “Wet & Wild” …. which is exactly what it is here. 180mm of rain in less than 24hrs and gale force winds making the caravan rock so much I think I’ve got a bit of motion sickness!

Step by Step - "Wet & Wild"

My demonstration is a painting slightly different to my usual pastel beach scenes, which are normally completed in landscape. I had taken some photos on a really cloudy day where rain was imminent and I was sitting on the beach while my husband was fishing. The unusual cloud formation and wild seas really needed a larger format and I thought a tall narrow painting would be interesting. Note throughout this demonstration there is no pre-drawing of the subject, however I measure and mark the main points of the painting to ensure their placement is correct.

Here is a close-up of the wave detail:

Wave detail from Wet & Wid by Carole Elliott
Wet & Wild - Step 1

Step 1: After deciding where the horizon line would be I blocked in the clouds with Ultramarine light.

Step 2: Using the finger from a disposable latex glove, I then blend the pastel so it covers all of the paper. This will form the base for the clouds.

Step 3: The unusual cloud formation was then layered with different shades of Ultramarine.

Step 4: This stage involved a lot of blending and then more blending. It was just a case of adding more dark blues and light blues until the desired result was obtained. Once the clouds were complete, the sea was blocked in using Ultramarine Deep with Ultramarine Light blended over the top. The back wave was then blocked in, using Permanent Green Light for the areas where the light was shining through the top of the wave.

Step 5: The back wave was completed and the front wave blocked in with Permanent Green Light for the backlit area and Ultramarine Deep for the shadowed area. I also included a strip of sand colour through the middle of the wave.

Step 6: The front wave was completed and I was really relieved to get the result I had set out to achieve. This would be the highlight of the whole painting and it was important to get it right. As you will notice I tend to finish each section of the painting to almost completion, only requiring a bit of fine-tuning at the end with maybe a few tonal changes and added highlights.

Step 7: The whitewater wash was blocked in with a green base colour and patches of sand. I mostly work from dark to light depending on the colours. Sometimes a really dark colour is hard to cover so I would then use the mid colour as I did with the clouds.

Wet & Wild by Carole Elliott

Step 8: The wash was completed with lots of messy whitewater and bits of green showing in-between. Sometimes the messy parts are the hardest to paint. Finally the wet and dry sand were added to complete the scene. A few minor touches here and there and it is ready for my signature. There are probably some aspects of the painting I could change but you have to learn when to stop! I rely on my husband’s fresh eye to glance over it and give me the okay to sign and frame it. YAY!


Mid grey sanded paper

Rembrandt soft pastels

Schmincke pastels (very soft)

Kneadable eraser

Dust mask

Disposable latex glove

Paper torchon

Clear plastic ruler




Hints and Tips

- Don’t just rely on your eye......measure, measure & measure

- Vary your subject matter and experiment with your palette to keep your work fresh

- Don’t be too scared to make mistakes, pastel is fairly forgiving and can be erased, especially when using sanded paper

- When painting from photos remember there is subject matter in the shadows, don’t just make it a dark area of nothingness

- Try to have something to aim for to prevent procrastination, either an art show or a date set for an exhibition

- I always wear a light face mask to prevent breathing in pastel dust

- Enjoy yourself :)



"I'm Will, I'm 20 and I live with Autism.I can't read write and my speech is limited.

I am recycling cricket bats with artists from around the world and creating employment for people with disabilities."

I've received my cricket bat at the Caravan Park in Yeppoon so I can paint turtles on it to help raise funds for Will. Check out his crowdfunding page ..... such an inspiration!

Here’s my finished bat:

Bowled Over - painted cricket bat by Carole Elliott


Happy creating :)


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