There are two large sycamore trees near the entrance of the Panhandle Trail, but because they are growing against a hill I don’t see them from this angle against the sky until I am headed back home, nearly at the trailhead, and often at dusk, especially the early dusk of a winter night. Because the light changes so quickly at that time of day I knew there was no way I’d be able to capture the scene en plein air, so I photographed it almost every time I saw it. I guess I really wanted to paint this scene, and for this year’s Panhandle Trail exhibit I decided it was time.
I debated among media to use. I wanted the smooth solid color of the evening sky to the east, I wanted each branch and twig to be clear, and I wanted it to look almost monochromatic, capturing the l’heure bleu I love so much. Though I’d always imagined a watercolor I decided on pastel, mostly because I could feel my hand drawing the twisted twigs. To achieve the smooth background I used colored pastel paper, Canson mi-tientes, on the smooth side, because the blue was just what I wanted for a cold winter dusk. I drew the shadows and characteristic mottling of a sycamore tree on the trunks and branches in dark warm gray pastel, the highlights in light warm gray, then added just touches of blue for the mid-range shadows. The moon is in pure white with its characteristic grayish shapes on the glowing white surface that make it recognizably our moon, and resting among the somewhat gnarled sycamore branches.
Sycamore Moon, Pastel is 12″ x 18″ in soft pastel on blue Canson pastel paper. Prints on paper and canvas are available. You can read more about this painting and order other sizes of prints as well here. The original painting was featured in my 2016: Sun Shadow Ice & Snow, Seasons on the Panhandle Trail exhibit.
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This month’s desktop calendar
Wallpaper calendars are free to download. You’ll find them below along with instructions.
If these sizes don’t work for your device, or if you have problems, please let me know. Often I can troubleshoot the reason an image won’t download or won’t load on your device, but if I just can’t figure it out I can just email it to you and hope that works.
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- Click on one of the images below that matches the dimensions of your monitor to open the image in a new page.
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- For mobile devices, press on the image to bring up a menu and choose “open in new window”. Go to that window and press until a menu appears and choose as “set as wallpaper” or “set as lock screen” or whatever you’d like—this is slightly different on all devices.
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Take a look at other featured artwork and desktop calendar posts.
Each month I feature a piece of artwork or a photo from the archives to the present day, tell its story, and set it up as a free downloadable desktop calendar for just about every electronic device available.
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