Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Pastel

I'm having fun learning to use pastels. I'm still taking advantage of art instruction videos and being reminded of lots of things I had forgotten. About the color wheel, values and such. This painting of water is a combination of two videos that I viewed recently.

I am using watercolor paper, not only because it's what I have, but because you can use water with pastel. Watercolor paper also serves as a great support if you want to make an under painting using water based media.

This next piece is based on a pen and watercolor that I did this past fall. It is looking at my woods from the deck and transferred quite nicely to pastel.

I didn't realize what a nice painterly effect you can get with pastels. I thought I would hate the dust on my fingers, as I'm funny about my hands getting dirty. Really hasn't bothered me in the least. If it does bother you though, medical examination gloves are an easy fix for that and are easily found. I'm still learning a lot about shadows and in this piece I realize that my colors are probably too bright on the shaded sides of the trees. It is a "remembering" process as well as a learning process. Another great thing about pastels is the ability to go back in and change things. They are very forgiving.

This last piece is a still life that I did yesterday. I used a cardboard box and lamp light to get the shadows. The back drop that I used as a drape really was too light, so I changed the color some.

I'm still in the learning stage, so I really haven't grasped the fact that I am going for an impressionist look, instead of photo realism. I tend to want to draw and become detail oriented. I am getting there, though.

So that's what I've been doing lately. I'm having fun and that's what art is all about. I hope everyone out there in Bloggerville is making time for fun this summer. Remember that summer fun is more than gardening and swimming and barbecuing. It's also about working a little bit of art into that fun. So how about spreading a long sheet of butcher paper across that picnic table and let everyone draw and paint. You too, Dad! Put those tongs down and paint with the kids. Have them make pictures of the food you are fixing and then everyone will have a lovely memory of that cookout with Cousin Drucilla.

Well, that's it for today. Have a great week and enjoy life.


Peri said...

Nice work on all three pieces. Even though it is a bit impressionist at times, one can do quite realistic renderings with pastels! Try capturing the exact lighting you see on the still life..pastel can be done with great detailing and one should remember the tiny bit of reflected light at the back of the rounded objects...the basic rules of using color changes in showing light and shadow don't change with the media, but pastel is about the most forgiving media I have used. I like all of your pieces, but the one from your backyard is, I agree, a bit too light on the backs of the trees. You are really coming along nicely with this stuff...quite a nice break from beading, yes?
I agree about getting out and painting with the kids...it is always surprising what adults can learn from the kids if we just pay attention to what they do and say! Looks like you, too, are releasing your inner child and freeing up something. Nice direction to head. Have fun with it.
Okay, okay, I'll stop teaching now, Sis!

Tina said...

Really soooo great. I love watching your exploration. Thanks for sharing. I've been a strictly acrylic girl for so long and dabbling in watercolors recently, but wow, this has inspired me to maybe try something else. Isn't it wonderful to take your talent and put it into using different mediums and see how it manifests as you explore? ok, that sounded like gobbledygook, but I think you get me. Love what you are doing. Blessed by it.

Sea Gypsy said...

I really love these pieces you are doing!!!! Beautiful! I love the softness you get with pastels.

Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

Beautiful Susan!!! I especially love the second one!! ♥