View Full Version : Introducing myself

08-21-2003, 09:23 AM
Hi all,

I thought that I might as well introduce myself here. I know I should have posted some sample work in this post but my digicam isn't home right now... I'll post something later, although there isn't much to post yet - I'm just starting out with pastels. My master's thesis is now ready (computer science) and I thought I might take up something nice as a hobby now that my studies are over ;) Since I have always adored pastels I thought I might give it a try. Besides chess, drawing and painting seem to be the only things that completely take my mind off things.

As I already wrote on the weekly thread I just bought a box of Rembrandt pastels (a box of 90 sticks, the landscape selection, got a good deal) and two pads of coloured Daler-Rowney Ingres papers to start with. I would love to paint pastel landscapes although I realise that I probably should start off with simple studies to learn a bit of the medium first.

I am glad that I found WetCanvas, for me it is a wonderful learning opportunity, seeing other's work, in-progress pictures, demos and all that... I guess I will be bothering you folks with stupid questions a lot in the near future, try to bear with me ;)

Quite a long introduction... hmm... well I'll post some stuff later on, but for now - hello everyone!

Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2003, 09:33 AM
Welcome Jay-Pea! So glad you found WC and that you will posting your work in the very near future, I hope. I know you will find WC members a big help to you and that you will enjoy your time with all of us. After you get comfortable with things, you'll find the fun part is emparting to others all that you have learned.

:D :D

08-21-2003, 09:54 AM
Hi Jay-Pea and WELCOME!!! to WC :D
You will come to love WC and the Pastel forum people very quickly. Yes, it is a wonderful learning place and I have picked up so much helpful information from here, so much so that I feel I am learning nothing at uni!! :D And the pastel people and warm and friendly and helpful and make you feel right at home. I feel they have helped me grow immensely as a hopeful novice artist.
I have also just become captivated by pastels and colour.
Anyway, a big warm welcome again and I look forward to seeing your work. :cat:

Craig Houghton
08-21-2003, 10:12 AM
Welcome. Yes, I'd jump right into the water with landscapes or studies or anything, just as long as you jump in -- it's lots of fun, and you're always left with something to show for it :)

Have fun, and be sure and post the results.

Welcome to the forum,

08-21-2003, 12:14 PM
Welcome! The feedback and support is wonderful here. The projects are great fun, and the reference photos useful.


08-21-2003, 05:44 PM
OK, feeling a bit nervous here... anyway, since my digicam got back home here are two pieces I've worked on the past week or so, they're my very first non-sketchy pastels. Both are 12x16 inches, Daler-Rowney Ingres paper, done with Rembrandt soft pastels.

The first one, let's call it "the garden door". I kinda like the actual door, but otherwise I'm not sure what I should do about it. It seems unfinished yet I have no idea where to go next. What should I do with all that brick wall surrounding the doorframe? Cut it out perhaps? Or the plants?


And here's the second one, "barnhouse". I see some compositional problems here myself, the horizon is in the middle (although I'm pretty sure it wasn't when I did the initial sketch ;) ), the (ugly) cloud seems to be competing with the barnhouse etc. Also the treeline in the back is horrible...


Anyway, that's where I'm at right now. I would very much appreciate all comments and critique, plans for improvement, everything. And yes, I can take it so just tell me what you think. It's better to try and correct bad habits right at the beginning, right?

And thank you all for your kind welcome messages!

08-21-2003, 05:57 PM
Hi Jay-Pea welcome to WC i know youŽll enjoy being here and taking part in everything.

I like your "garden door" it`s interesting, it needs shadows here and there but i actuallly like the colour of the wall and the view really great, as iŽm new to pastels too i canŽt comment too much on either of them but i think youŽve done really well for your first pics

08-21-2003, 07:00 PM
Hi jay-pea and welcome!!! I'm not qualified on landscape so will let others help you out there...you seem to have a nice distancing going on...I'd say punch up the bricks and shrub with some different values maybe.

08-21-2003, 07:21 PM
Hi JP... we've already met in the Weekly Thread :) Nice of you to introduce yourself here like this, gives us chance to get to know you more which is good, and don't worry about asking questions, there is allways someone here ready to give help whenever they can they are a greatest bunch folks you could wish to meet.

As to your paintings.... I think you have already answered a lot of your own questions .:) I like the idea behind the Garden Door painting, just a few suggestions, check your uprights there, the edge of the wall and door are slightly leaning.... you have a few things fighting for attention ...... the red brick wall and the plants in the lower corner, these I find are taking my eye away from that lovely sunny area through the door.... this is where your focal point is so this is what you need everything to lead.... cropping the edge of the wall to the bush at the side would help, fading those bricks back using more of a terracotta colour and doing away with the white lines , just hint at some brickwork.....not sure what the white line at the bottom of the pic is, I suspect it's and edge around the earth there, but I find it distracting I don't think it's needed nor is the bottom right bush... one other thing, where you have the paved path..it stops suddenly, maybe continuing this path through the doorway would be better, to give more continuity .....obviously making it more shaded under the archway... just one more... the top of the door is pointed and your archway is rounded, is this intentional? Hope you find this helpful.

Painting two.

Okay you are unhappy with the cloud and the tree line ... so break up the cloud :) instead of one big one just have little wispy ones scudding across the sky...... with the treeline vary it .....trees are rarely all the same height and width... this will break up that straight line.... your light source seems to be coming in from top right, but I don't see any ground shadows... the trees behind the barn seem a little dumpy, I would make them taller with the base shadows behind the trees.... I'm not sure what the little white squares on the horizon are, could be buildings, but do you need them there, maybe better to just have a line of trees at varying heights.... as to the foreground and midground these are of the same tone and colour so your feeling of distance is lost....some warmer and darker colours in the foreground receding to paler cooler colours will give you distance... again I hope I've helped you some, I don't paint landscapes very often, so can only give general advice here, hopefully the landscape experts will know more..... both your paintings have a good style developing and your colours are clean and sharp... I like the contrasting blue side of the barn, maybe darken it under the roof a little ....oh and once again check your uprights there....Hope I haven't nitpicked too much for you...:)


Kathryn Wilson
08-21-2003, 07:53 PM
Hi JP - hey, you got brave and posted! Good for you.

Listen to Mo - she's got good suggestions there.

To be more specific, on the bricks - some should be lighter, some darker, grey down the grout lines. No two bricks are alike, so vary them in color and value.

On the scene in the door, brighten it up with some golden yellows to indicate the sun shining back there - it will take you eye right to it. Don't go hog wild - just a little bit at a time until you are happy with it.

Have fun!

08-21-2003, 10:37 PM
Welcome! Just make yourself right at home here...you've come to the right place!


08-21-2003, 10:49 PM
Welcome JP you have already been given some good points and have made a nice start on your pastels. You will like them lot ( maybe too much!!?? Warning they are addicting.:D


08-22-2003, 06:34 AM
Thank you all!

Mo, some good points there I hadn't noticed myself. I'll look into the brickwork and maybe crop the image a bit. I do have problems with my uprights, although the barnhouse really _was_ slanted (it was very old and not in use), but otherwise I tend to have slanted uprights. Any suggestions on this? I think so far I have just tried to copy everything I see into the pictures, from now on I'll try to work these things out a little before I start to paint. Thanks for your excellent advice!

Kyle, yes I think there could be some warm yellows in the sunlit view, thanks. And the brickwork shown here is really just a sketch, since I didn't know how to do it, nice suggestions there too. Overall, I think that the brick wall shouldn't be more than a frame for the doorway, so perhaps I should leave it without any details?

One more problem, I don't think that the paper will accept much more pastel, any advice on this? Can I somehow rub some pastel off or does it smudge the whole? Is there usually a point in a pastel painting when you just can't work on it more (too much pastel on the paper)?

You're such a nice bunch of people, giving advice to a newbie nobody like that, I really appreciate it!

See ya

08-22-2003, 08:58 AM
Hi JP :)

I'm none too experienced with pastel landscapes but the things that leap out at me with the second painting are that tho the horizon level looks fine to me, it would be nice to see a little variation in the height of that line of hedge/bushes and the cloud needs to be broken up, as Mo has said, and made less central (even tho Magritte painted some surrealist masterpieces with giant objects hanging right in the centre of the sky so who's to say that's wrong! :)) I also like the blue shadow on the barn's side wall but feel its colour should be varied a little for interest. I love the field colours. These are both very nice pastels.

I'm quite a fan of Ingres paper, tho many here aren't keen on it because it's so thin and those laid lines show through. You can try spraying with fixative and see if that allows you to build up another layer of colour but yes, there is a point at which the pastel just starts sliding around. Why not try another version on a fresh sheet of paper using everyone's suggestions, and keep your original one for comparison?

Thanks for showing :)

08-22-2003, 10:42 AM
Hi JP welcome to pastels!
You have done 2 lovely first goes at pastel and got some good advise to go at.....so i'l leave it at that for now!
look forward to seeing more from you.

08-22-2003, 12:13 PM

E-J you have a point there... maybe I'll just try my hand on these again from scratch. At least I get more practise that way, not trying to desperately fix these two. Or maybe I'll start something else... you guys are right, this forum is addictive. So much good pieces of advice floating around here and there, I don't want to miss any ;)

Hopefully I have time to paint some more this weekend, I'll post if I do. Have a nice weekend everyone!

08-23-2003, 12:42 AM
Welcome aboard Jay!!
Love your bold approach to color..keep up the great work!!
Now gimmie 20 more pics by ....Sunday?? lol ;)

08-23-2003, 04:23 AM
Welcome to WetCanvas! This forum is wonderful and very giving to it's artists. Feel free to ask questions. There are many artists that are willing to answer them and point you in the right direction if you get lost. Looking forward to your visits and postings.

08-23-2003, 08:26 PM
Welcome! I've only just fallen in love with pastels and color myself, so I'll leave the critique to the more experienced in the forum, but I believe you should jump in with the subject you're passionate about and it looks like you are! WC is a very friendly (most of the time) and helpful environment! You'll make a lot of cyber-friends here!