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Dorothy Ford King

My Plein Air Landscapes are a vivid interpretation of landscapes from my travels in the US and Canada. My objective is to express all the colors in nature, not just seeing the blues, greens and browns, but the purples, oranges and reds that are more elusive to the eye.

I always do preliminary sketches to figure out how I can improve the scene if I tweak the buildings, hills or location of trees. I also draw my sketches inside a box on the sketch pad so I can extend the sketch in any direction. It’s also important at this stage to decide where your light source is coming from for the direction of shadows.

I work primarily on artist sand paper using a variety of Sennelier, Rembrandt and hand crafted soft pastels. I sometimes use a pastel and alcohol wash or watercolor base when starting my paintings. I feel it’s very important to apply your lights and darks first to create the feeling of depth in my paintings. I generally work the whole painting, not by object, but building up color by applying the light or dark areas and then working toward middle ground. I think it’s just as important to know when to end a painting as how to start it.

I have been painting pastels for over forty years and never grow tired of the challenge and joy in seeing my interpretations on paper.

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