Friday, July 11, 2008

The Totoro Forest Project

7 5/8 x 16"
Pastel on Canson paper

This was done for the Totoro Forest Project, a worthwhile fundraising effort via an auction of original art and the sale of a book, in conjunction with an exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum.

The challenge put to the participating artists was to respond to the question: What is your Totoro? A constraint was that the original characters in the film could not be depicted. Almost 200 artists contributed work for this show, and the variety and styles of work is really fun to see. Check out the link above to take a look.


Nat Loh said...

This is awesome.

RAWLS said...

Beautiful work Bill! Great piece for a great cause! What a super opportunity! Great work my friend!

Unknown said...

Beautiful work as always

Benjamin Plouffe said...

loooks great. I would bid on this if i were to attend !!!!

Bill Breneisen said...

Hi Bill,
I absolutely love your work! Especially your stuff in the "Art of Cars."

I was wondering - what does your pastel palette consist of? Is it a large set, or a more limited range that you can manipulate from?

Take care,

Bill Cone said...

Thanks for the notes about the Totoro piece. I encourage everyone to go to the website and look through all the art. There's a huge range of styles and ideas.

Bill Breneisen asked about my 'palette'. My general experience with pastels is that you regularly don't have a color or value you wished you had, but if you have EVERY color made by a manufacturer, you'll likely only be using 20-30 of them on any given piece or series of images. On the Grand Canyon trip, I used a
box of 60 'Southwest Canyon" colors sold by Terry Ludwig, and they covered most of what I was looking at, with a few 'holes' in the palette. It was really quite nice to have only one box to deal with.

When I go outside to work, I generally am hauling
a few hundred pieces of color around in a few boxes, though, again, I'll probably use only 20-30 colors on any given piece, perhaps even less.

For Cars, I had an entire set of Unisons, which came in 5 boxes. I couldn't even fit that many colors on my table and have any room to work, so I ended up working out of 2 or 3 boxes, as many colors were quite redundant, or entirely out of key with the color range of the film. I had started using Terry Ludwigs by then and would keep a landscape set of those around as well.

You can be lavish in the studio with extra color, but
you may not use a lot of them. In the field, you don't want to carry so much, but you don't want any gaping holes in your palette either.

Color limitations are a normal circumstance
in this medium. Embrace it!

Plein air work in pastels has a lot of what I would call 'substitution' going on. You almost never have the exact color, but you have plenty of colors that WILL work, in terms of value and temperature, even if the hue is sliding around a bit. You get accustomed to making colors do a specific job in an image. Once you adapt that attitude, you'll spend more time making a picture, and less time smearing colors into mud, and losing edges, intent on matching something you're looking at. Best to substitute and move on.


Lettie Lo said...

this is beautiful <3

Anonymous said...

Beautifully serene pastel. The Totoro link is definately worth checking out. Nice work.

olgastern said...

So inspiring Bill.
I havnt visited in a while.
I am always in awe at how smooth and detailed you are able to get your pastel work to look. The use of colour in all your work is gorgeous. I am aspiring to get that level of control in my pastels at some point.
take care.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Totoro piece, Bill, and thanks also for your notes on painting with pastels outdoors in that comment, I always enjoy hearing details of other artists' methods :)

Jared Shear said...

Beautiful piece Bill!......fits in very nicely among so many other beautiful submissions.

Craig Mackay said...

Just gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Yours work are fantastic!!!
I can add you to my blog? Bye :)

fredpalacio said...

One of my prefered picture of the "The Totoro Forest Project". I m still impressed how you handle your colors. Thx for the "insider" view/comment of your composition.

thx for sharing...will love to see more of yours picture with the TOTORO theme.

david santos said...

Excellent work!!!
You are MASTER!!!
Have a nice Day.

Angaramiel said...

I love this piece (found it through the Totoro Forest website).

I was wondering if you ever do prints of your work? I love this one so much but am a poor college student.

Raul Avila said...

buen dominio del pastel...colores limpios

Unknown said...

Love Totoro!! peluche totoro

robertsloan2art said...

Thanks for the great comment on color! Yes, it's still being referenced years later. It helped me make sense why I've got over a thousand pieces of pastels, use all of them, but usually only 20 or 30 per painting - it's about the same for me.

I rotate boxes a lot at home but going out, I've got to use what fits in the backpack and have various solutions. White gets used up fast if I don't have tints along.