Mary Jane Brewster agreed to be the model.
This first sketch shows how I often do a lay in with pastels. Usually starting with some kind of background color. Not always the one that is there. This one happened to be pink and it suited her. Sometimes I leave it white but that can be pretty hard to keep clean with pastels. Having a color there makes it easier to start blocking light shapes in at the same time as the darks.
Five of us were out to lunch after the painting session when Nancy Robbins called to see if anyone wanted to go with her on a hike to see the Indian Arch Rock at sunset in Yosemite. I wasn't sure hiking the 3 miles back out at night was in me but I'd never been there. Fortunately I had my day pack, head lamp, and hiking shoes in my car. After getting the affirmative from my painting pals that such a hike was a bit crazy I decided I'm just crazy enough to enjoy this.
Of course keeping up with her is another matter altogether. Even with her bad wrist, shoulder, and a heavy pack full of camera gear she leaves me winded trying to keep up.
It was a bit of a race with the sun to try and get there with the moon just rising and good light. Nancy was already at the Indian Arch when I stopped for a breather and looked back in surprise to see Half Dome glowing across the valley.
I didn't want to leave but it was getting dark and the hill down was quite slippery with small gravel acting like ball bearings on hard granite.
It was a long walk back with our head lamps on but we took it nice and leisurely. It was a hike I hope to do again. I'm lucky to have such wonderful inspiring friends.