Invoice Cone – On Returning To The Identical Location

I’m an enormous fan of the pastel work by Invoice Cone! Fact be informed, I used to be barely anxious about reaching out to ask him if he would think about contributing a visitor publish to HowToPastel. However I did and, oh my, he stated Sure!! I can’t wait to share his phrases of knowledge with you!

Earlier than we get going, a teaser picture and a wee bit about Invoice Cone. (He took my request for a very brief bio actually!)

Bill Cone pastel. Yet another sunrise on a morning with a lot of contrast. Note the strong difference in value between shadow and light.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 x 9 1/2 in. Dawn on a morning with lots of distinction. Notice the sturdy distinction in worth between shadow and lightweight.

Invoice Cone Bio

Invoice Cone has been creating landscapes in pastel for over 25 years. He lives within the San Francisco Bay Space. He teaches a number of workshops a 12 months and reveals periodically.

You possibly can see extra of his work on Instagram.

Now right here’s Invoice! (Notice his I-had-no-idea-he-did-this! profession.)


Notes on returning to the scene of a criminal offense…

My early artwork profession for nearly 10 years was as a industrial illustrator. I then labored in laptop animation as a designer for nearly 30. I fell into utilizing pastels and portray on location within the late 90s. This was after I was working at Pixar Animation Studios on the movie A Bug’s Life. I’d began a number of years earlier as a set and prop designer on Toy Story beneath the artwork route of Ralph Eggleston

I used to be significantly impressed by Ralph’s lighting research for Toy Story. They have been created with the luminous medium of pastels and I used to be decided to hold on with that medium and do one thing related for A Bug’s Life

An preliminary stumbling block for me was that I hadn’t used pastels in any respect since a determine class in artwork faculty, some 15 years earlier. So as to stand up to hurry with this dry, crumbly medium, I began practising outdoors of labor hours – at lunch, on the best way to work, on the best way house, on the weekends, and on trip. I used to be pushed by a mix of worry of failure, together with the need and pleasure to know and get higher management of the method. 

After about 6-8 months of working outdoor in my spare time, solely with pastels, I had way more confidence and management. I additionally skilled a sluggish epiphany, that portray outdoors in nature was like being in an everlasting classroom of types, with an ever-changing show of sunshine and color to encourage, problem, and train me as an artist.

Portray outdoors was way more inspiring than working from pictures off of the web. Sarcastically, my use of pastels and the inspiration of portray in nature was actually triggered by this must do lighting research for an animated movie round 1996. 

Bill Cone pastel. This painting and the one below were painted a few weeks apart in the same location, in 2000. This one was done early morning.
Invoice Cone pastel. This portray and the one under have been painted a number of weeks aside in the identical location, in 2000. This one was achieved early morning.
Bill Cone pastel. Like the one above, this pastel was done around 2000. This one is in the late afternoon, with the sun glaring on the bay, and the fog slowly starting to gather in front of the hill I was on.
Invoice Cone pastel. Just like the one above, this pastel was achieved round 2000. This one is within the late afternoon, with the solar evident on the bay, and the fog slowly beginning to collect in entrance of the hill I used to be on.

Working outdoors, I started to note how the color and worth buildings of what I used to be finding out would differ all through the day, as a result of angle and color temperature of the solar, in addition to the climate. By sitting nonetheless and observing nature, one may actually see the shadows transfer, and the color of the sunshine evolves from hotter to cooler, or vice-versa, relying on the state of affairs.

I recognised that Claude Monet’s research of haystacks and the Rouen Cathedral have been documenting the identical results of sunshine and color over 100 years earlier. I not solely felt this connection deeply however realised that each artist who paints in nature may uncover for themselves the identical timeless qualities and rules via their very own efforts. It doesn’t come from a guide – it comes from apply and immersion. 

Relying on what’s taking place in our lives and what now we have as obligations and priorities, it’s an actual problem to seek out when and the way we are able to ‘immerse’ ourselves so to talk.

I are inclined to see the apply of artwork, until one is already a full-time skilled, as a type of train, like figuring out each day. It’s one thing that takes effort and time however could be readily built-in into one’s day and one’s life. And in direction of that finish, the concept of re-visiting a handy and galvanizing spot to work begins to take maintain. 

Bill Cone pastel. This painting and the one below were painted a few years after my earlier ones.  They were painted one after another, in the late afternoon.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 x 9 1/2 in. This portray and the one under have been painted a number of years after my earlier ones. They have been painted one after one other, within the late afternoon.
Bill Cone pastel. This was painted in the late afternoon, right after the one above. In it, you can see the glare on the water from the sun at the top of the image.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 1/2 x 9 in. This was painted within the late afternoon, proper after the one above. In it, you possibly can see the glare on the water from the solar on the high of the picture.

Not solely is there a long-established custom of such a apply however there are additionally sensible causes for portray in the identical spot. Chances are you’ll paint near house, even perhaps your yard or an area park.  At any fee, these selections and decisions are as much as every particular person. Practising artwork requires some effort and is much less of a leisurely pursuit than some may think. 

On this publish, I’ve included a number of pastels that I’ve painted in roughly the identical location over the previous 25 years.

It’s a large turnout alongside a street within the Berkeley Hills, sufficiently big to drag over and arrange your gear. The truth is, it’s sufficiently big to host a bunch of scholars which I’ve achieved quite a few occasions. It seems to be to the west, down into Emeryville and North Oakland and throughout the bay to San Francisco and Marin County.

Bill Cone pastel painting. Late afternoon with a lot of bright haze in the air, really pushing the hill into the blues and violets at fairly close range.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 12 x 9 in. Late afternoon with lots of shiny haze within the air, actually pushing the hill into the blues and violets at pretty shut vary.

There’s a multitude of causes, from the sensible to the inventive, to return to a supply of inspiration. Every go to isn’t precisely the identical and the extra one returns to a spot, the extra you start to catalogue the the reason why that’s. 

Listed below are a number of:

1. Time of day: The Earth is rotating with us hapless artists upon it for the trip. Due to this fact, the angle of the solar, with respect to our view, modifications always all through the day. This makes an enormous distinction within the worth construction of your picture in addition to to the color.

2. Climate: Is it sunny or overcast? Foggy or crisp and clear? 

Bill Cone pastel painting. An overcast morning in the spring. Note the green grass on the distant hill.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 x 9 1/2 in. An overcast morning within the spring. Notice the inexperienced grass on the distant hill.

3. Seasons: Are the grasses inexperienced or dry? The timber barren or filled with leaves? Has the foliage altered? Has it grown considerably, is it in bloom, or fallen or reduce? Is it moist or coated with snow?

4. Ambiance: The character and color of the air, actually the house between us and different objects, performs a strong function because it incorporates mud, gases, and moisture. These all contribute to the best way gentle and native color is filtered on their technique to our eyes. For a number of years, I primarily centered on portray environment, particularly the color leap between objects close to and much. I used to be fascinated that native color may change a lot simply by being additional away in house.

Bill Cone pastel painting. Late afternoon, probably around 2012.  One of my favourite paintings for expressing atmospheric light (the gradient of colour and value towards a light source).
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 1/2 x 9 in. Late afternoon, in all probability round 2012. One in all my favorite work for expressing atmospheric gentle (the gradient of color and worth in direction of a lightweight supply).

5. The Artist: Sure, YOU! Our moods, focus, pursuits, well being, age, and expertise change over time. We aren’t the identical from everyday not to mention 12 months to 12 months. 

These qualities and others will probably be mirrored in your work each time you exit. 

Touching again on the idea of artwork as a type of examine and train, I’m reminded of the tune title: After I Paint My Masterpiece. After I exit to color, I don’t have such a lofty concept in my head. I’m typically excited to focus and get all the way down to work however I can’t predict the consequence. I’ve come to understand that if I paint 10 work, I’ll often discover about half to be higher than the others. It doesn’t imply the remainder are horrible, however that I can (subjectively, in fact) select the hierarchy I’ve described. The highest 5 often are offered over time and the remainder sit in folders. Some could make their technique to the trash bin after a number of years. 

Bill Cone's Plein Air set up for past eight years or so.
Invoice Cone’s Plein Air arrange for previous eight years or so.

Nevertheless, simply because I choose a bit undeserving of promoting, doesn’t imply it lacks emotional or academic worth for me. There’s quite a lot of causes to hold on to work in addition to promote it. Generally my batting common is worse and generally higher, but it surely has been pretty constant for fairly a while. Oddly sufficient, some work that I didn’t like in any respect after I did them, slowly redeem themselves years later, so one has to just accept that our judgement will not be solely subjective but additionally based mostly on what/who we have been after we made these selections… If we alter our minds later, and the paintings hasn’t modified in any respect, then we will need to have modified!

Bill Cone pastel painting. Sunrise, painted in Fall of 2012. The grasses are dead, but the shrubs and trees are still green. The light is rather flat and dead on, as the sun is directly behind me, but there is a demarcation of shadow and light from the hills that I am on, casting their shadows into the lower half of the image. I think there was a high altitude haze that lowered the intensity of the morning sun.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 9 x 12 in. Dawn, painted in Fall of 2012. The grasses are useless, however the shrubs and timber are nonetheless inexperienced. The sunshine is moderately flat and useless on, because the solar is immediately behind me, however there’s a demarcation of shadow and lightweight from the hills that I’m on, casting their shadows into the decrease half of the picture. I believe there was a excessive altitude haze that lowered the depth of the morning solar.

I urge of us to seek out spots they’ll return to often that present one thing of curiosity to color. Research these areas at completely different seasons, climate, and occasions of day, after which periodically check out the variations between the work you do that can assist you perceive what’s going on and why. Chances are you’ll come away with a renewed appreciation of what nature has to supply, in addition to a deeper understanding of the ephemeral, infinite character of sunshine and color.

Bill Cone pastel painting. Every morning is different!
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 12 x 9 in. Each morning is completely different!
Bill Cone pastel painting. Later in the morning than the previous image, as you can see, the shadow has dropped down the hill more. But this painting was executed a few years earlier. The background strip of blue at the top of the image is the shoreline of the north San Pablo bay, below Sonoma.
Invoice Cone pastel portray, 12 x 9 in. Later within the morning than the earlier picture, as you possibly can see, the shadow has dropped down the hill extra. However this portray was executed a number of years earlier. The background strip of blue on the high of the picture is the shoreline of the north San Pablo bay, under Sonoma.


I don’t find out about you however I’ve been fully impressed by Invoice Cone and his artwork and phrases!! 

I’ve returned to particular areas however I typically get the sensation I’m simply repeating myself. Seeing Invoice’s work and listening to his reminders makes me wish to get on the market and paint a well-known scene once more. I believe having a scene that conjures up you is tremendous necessary! You could be curious to see and paint the modifications Invoice talks about.

Now it’s your flip. Do you have got questions or feedback for Invoice Cone? Tell us your ideas!

Till subsequent time,


PS. Right here’s a hyperlink to Bob Dylan’s tune When I Paint My Masterpiece