Tumacacori with Tucson Pastel Society: Plein Air Pastel


Spanish Catholic Ruins in Tumacacori, AZ. A favorite haunt of plein airists across the palette.


Immediately drawn to the Bell-Tower.


But, after some consideration and the fact that I need more practice panning out for the big picture, more pastel stick control and more subtle high key color practice, I choose the greater challenge: the original ruin.


I change my pallet a few times, deciding to key it to red-orange instead of yellow-orange.




Still a work in progress, I’ll complete this in the studio. Or, better yet, return to the site.

At least I’ve got the composition down.

Working this large is a challenge with a lot more editing.

Exceeding limits (challenge) leads to innovation and the unexpected. Plein air is a good venue for exceeding limits.


Reflecting on a warm winter’s morning in Southern Arizona. Doesn’t get any better than this!

2 thoughts on “Tumacacori with Tucson Pastel Society: Plein Air Pastel

  1. What size was your board? I particularly like the tree shadow in the foreground. From my POV it completes the composition. Right?

  2. Im working on Arches 140 lb watercolor paper, cut down to 16 x 20 inches from a whole sheet. The cardboard is a bit bigger…but not cumbersome. You are correct about the shadow “anchoring ” the composition. The sky also “pushes” the mid-section down framing the building as the center of interest…

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