Thursday, May 7, 2020

Pastel Rocks

Some more pastels produced while taking the online course on by art professor and teacher Gregory Kerr, using different methods of creating the paintings. This one of my son - about 25 years ago - and our dog Gucci who has featured elsewhere on this blog... he wasn't actually present at the rock pool, or even born at the time, but due to the wonders of photography and drawing he makes an appearance. This one was built onto a charcoal base.

And this was onto a base of a tonal ink painting, which is how I got such dark areas - difficult otherwise with the medium. This is my husband's grandmother's bridesmaid transported from Cape Town in 1910 to a Kidds Beach thicket of bush. How are those flowers!

So what do I like about pastels?

  • They are quick, you can lay down colour in seconds, layer after layer.
  • They are easy to change, almost endlessly depending on your paper. You can work and rework and add and remove over and over again.
  • There are loads of colours available, but you can get lots of effects just with a basic set.
  • They're easy to take out and put away.
  • You can get lovely veils of colour, as well as expressive marks.

What don't I like?

  • They are dusty, chalky, stick to your fingers and clothes and work surfaces. Which actually you don't even notice when you're deep in the process, but do have to clean up eventually - the whole room!
  • There seems to be a lot of waste - so much pigment just falls down the paper, and some colours get used up fast. I've been collecting it in an envelope, perhaps to use as a base for another one - waste not, want not, or just Scrooge?
  • The results I've had so far are - pastelly, I want to get some bright brights, dark darks - which is possible as I've seen in others' work but not in mine so far.
  • I tried quick sketching with them (below) and they were - ungainly, clutzy, although once I stopped trying so hard to control them (got really annoyed!) and let them do their thing, I was happier with the results - in the last drawing. 
  • They seem very fragile - you can fix them very lightly with hairspray or fixative, but a heavy coat changes the surface alarmingly. Storing and framing must be a challenge!

I've always wanted to paint this chair with the about-to-bloom cymbidium, and the light behind them - more of this subject to come I hope, if I can stick with it!  (This was a London USkTalks project to use different colour papers, and different to your usual palette)


takasumi said...
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Ginny Stiles said...

Chairs are such a wonderful subject.
I could paint them forever!!! These three are great.