View Full Version : Hello and Jackie's Challenge

06-15-2003, 02:57 PM

I'm pretty new here, and I haven't posted any of my work before.

I want to post a couple of my pastel pictures, and then one I did today outside, trying to begin to meet Jackie's challenge.

The first one is a sketch of Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter movies. I drew this for my daughter.)

Let's see if it is small enough to load.

I do know that his eye is wonky-looking. All feedback, positive and negative, is always welcome.

I did this mostly with a set of Rembrandt skin tones, with a red from another set for the lips and cheeks.

06-15-2003, 03:10 PM
Here's my first real pastel "painting". I did it in an art class. The details don't all show up here, and part of it looks a bit washed out, but this is a fairly good photo of it considering it kept blowing around while I tried to get the shot.

Anyway, this was done from a photo. It took me several hours but I'm happy enough with it.

Again, comments and critiques are always welcome.

06-15-2003, 03:24 PM
I sketched this outside today, because I have a lot of respect for Jackie's advice and figured I could learn something from trying that.

I'm not happy with it at all, but it is just in my sketchbook and I only spent about 15 minutes on it 'cause I was getting sunburned.

I found that in addition to light perhaps moving, my flowers kept blowing around. So I got more confused than usual with their complicated shapes.

I also realized that I really don't have a handle on this medium yet. But that's okay, I guess I need to practice and "pay my dues". I think the most frustrating thing for me is the lack of ability to draw detail. At the same time, that's probably really good for me, as I need to loosen up.

As always, comments and critiques welcome. I think it at least has an "iris" feel to it, but I won't give it any more praise than that.

06-15-2003, 09:10 PM
Well, you're obviously not in my part of Canada if you're getting sunburned today! It's more like late March here, with cold, nasty rain.
I like all your pastels.That's Ron Weasly for sure! Can't give you advice on portraits, though.
The tree painting is lovely and you've got a real feel for the irus. I find them difficult because they are so complicated.
I look forward to seeing lots more of your work! :)

Mikki Petersen
06-16-2003, 01:15 AM
Welcome to the forum. I like all three of your pieces. You have a very light touch with the pastel. Nice work. looking forward to seeing more from you.

06-16-2003, 10:50 AM
Elf, it is great to see you having a go outside, even tho yu are really very new to the medium!

When I say "work from life" you know it doesn't have to be out of doors. Out of doors take things one step further - you have to deal with wind which causes movement when tackling fragile things like flowers. Your pic does have an iris-y feel to it, but Why not cut some of the irises, and take them INDOORS, and pop them into a container and have another go. No sunburn, no wind, and you can concentrate better!

In between working from life, why not practice pastel techniques. I can see, from what you have done so far, that you are starting to learn a bit about the medium, but there is so much more tolearn, and you can push yourself on faster if you have more tools to work with. Learning techniques is arming yourself with tools. If you don't own any, then get yourself some books out of the library which show pastel techniques, and just practice techniques for the sake of mark-making. Then, you will have an arsenal of different types of mark to use in your work.


06-16-2003, 10:53 AM
Thanks very much to both of you. Sundiver, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who finds irises to be complicated.

I have one of another colour blooming today, so maybe I'll go out and do another sketch at lunch. From the side, where it isn't as complicated! ;)

Unfortunately, I have discovered that I don't have nearly enough colours. I knew I was low on greens so I bought a few extra green ones, but there are several other colours I need as well. I just sorted out my pay though, with the people I contract with, :clap: (sorry for the animated clapping guy, but this is a huge relief to me) and I will be able to pick up a couple of new colours at the end of the month.

Speaking of picking up open stock pastels, my nicest ones were Rembrandts but does anyone think the Windsor & Newton ones are better? When I was trying them in the store, they seemed creamier. They're also a dollar more each, but that's okay if I only buy a few at a time.

No chance of picking up the really nice ones people keep talking about until I make a trip to the big city, but that could be in July. :D

p.s. Thanks to Dark_Shades for welcoming me in chat a few weeks back, and encouraging me to post here.

06-16-2003, 10:56 AM
We cross-posted.
Thanks for your kind comments. It is certainly true that I need practice and a better understanding of the medium.

I think I will go looking for a book or two. I know you have written at least one, and from your instructions on Wet Canvas I'm sure it is well written and easy to follow. If I were to buy one of them, which would be most appropriate?

Maybe I will bring a few irises in, and create a small still life.

Mikki Petersen
06-16-2003, 01:45 PM
Hi Elf! These are great first attempts. I agree with Jackie about the practice and getting some books. As beginners we tend to handle pastels like crayons or pencils and they are so much more...

As for the expense of art supplies, have you done any comparison shopping on line? You can get some great deals and beat the store rates even after paying shipping. Only problem there is the waiting for delivery. But, then it's like Christmas all over when the parcel arrives!

Have fun exploring the medium.

06-16-2003, 04:55 PM
Elf, have a look in your local library for my book "Pastels Workbook", but if that one isn't there, look out for any books on pastel techniques.

Also, look out for pastel half-sticks in boxes, they are good for value. I think there is a thread in the forum, something like "great sale" is the title, where good value pastels are on offer.

Oh, and W&N pastels are not necessarily creamier than Rembrandts. It depends which colour you tested. The darker colours are often scratchier than the light colours.

Look out for Unisons, they are uniformly good.


06-17-2003, 06:49 AM
Hi there Elf. Nice to meet you and welcome you amongst us who really like to get down and get dirty:D
I like your paintings. The tree is really interesting and I love the lilac colours you have used in your iris. Good start.
There are some wonderful 'toys' out there for us pastellists like colour shapers (www.colorshaper.com) pastel pencils, sanded papers and different pastel brands- both hard and soft, to chose from.
I buy whatever I can afford as I go along, plus Mother's Day, birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas are wonderful times to take advantage of the 'need to have' list for family and friends;)
I look forward to seeing you around these parts in the future.