PDA

View Full Version : underpainting/sketching assortment


bgordo3
11-14-2014, 10:55 PM
So I have a set of 80 Senn half pastels and 24 nupastels to try this medium out. Is my assortment of nupastels sufficient, or should I go ahead and order some more individuals online to bring it up to 36 or 48?

Thanks for the advice.

DAK723
11-14-2014, 11:23 PM
You have more than enough pastels to try out the medium! No use spending more money on pastels until you know you like using them!

And welcome to the forum!

Don

Nick7
11-15-2014, 04:38 AM
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

You have definitely enough pastels! Keep painting and after some time you will learn if the softness and texture of the pastels you have suits you and where the gaps in color range or value are.

water girl
11-15-2014, 12:33 PM
Welcome! You are set to begin. You didn't mention your paper, but it's probably the smooth side of Canson Mi-Tientes? Try starting with blocking in your shapes with the NuPastels, which are hard. Then, layer your soft pastels over that. Remember, you actually mix your pastel colors in layers, on the paper. To start with, you have the right amount of pastels. Now....paint!

rugman
11-15-2014, 12:40 PM
Hi and welcome. Ditto to what has been said...have fun!

robertsloan2
11-15-2014, 05:17 PM
That's a great starting assortment. I've actually had both those sets. 24 is enough for underpainting and sketching, that's a complete range for the purpose and a lot more convenient than the full range set since it's on one layer. 80 Senneliers has a good assortment in both hues and values.

If you don't already have it, think about picking up a pad of Canson Mi-Tientes basic assortment. The weave side is a big texture that's lots of fun for exploring broken color with light strokes. The smooth side is my favorite and the most versatile. It's good paper, very popular, and the basic assortment has all my favorite colors. The pads come in two sizes and put the weave side on top, but the back is a little easier to control.

Another good surface is cheap 140lb watercolor paper, cold press, and with that you have the option of using Golden Pumice Gel or Art Spectrum Multimedia (Colourfix) primer to create a sanded surface exactly like the expensive AS Colourfix sanded pastel paper or, for Supertooth, even rougher tooth. It's the other most popular type of pastel surface and allows more layering, also the clear primers allow underpainting before priming. Watercolor paper and multimedia papers like the Canson Multimedia wirebound sketchbook I've got (100lb paper) are good for pastel directly.

One good thing about Senneliers: they wil teach you control of pressure. A light hand is good for being able to layer more and combine colors or do optical mixing by broken color layers. They encourage loose painting and broad strokes. Nupastels are as good as pastel pencils for doing very fine details like eye detail in a portrait, and can layer well. So with some subjects it helps to remember to do the finishing work with your hard pastels as well as practicing making small and controlled marks with the Senneliers because when the tooth is full, a Sennelier will go over anything.

So have fun with them! Enjoy! That's enough to go on with. If you want to explore other textures, email Blick or Jerry's Artarama to ask for samples of brands they carry in open stock. They will send samples and those can add to your collection as well as let you find out which pastels have your favorite textures.

JustinM
11-17-2014, 03:33 PM
If you don't already have it, think about picking up a pad of Canson Mi-Tientes basic assortment. The weave side is a big texture that's lots of fun for exploring broken color with light strokes. The smooth side is my favorite and the most versatile. It's good paper, very popular, and the basic assortment has all my favorite colors. The pads come in two sizes and put the weave side on top, but the back is a little easier to control.

Good tip as usual, Robert.

Interesting about the Mi Tientes (I agree about the smooth side) - I was watching one of Daniel Greene's brilliant demos the other day & while he didnt mention MT by name, Im pretty sure thats what he was using & he suggested that the textured side is in fact the "wrong" side. lol - that the smooth side is the 'good' side, which for his (and my own) detailed work obviously makes a lot of sense.

allydoodle
11-17-2014, 03:39 PM
Yes, you have enough to start with. Like Don said previously, no use in spending more money until you're sure you like the medium. Canson MT paper is great, smooth side is definitely preferable. Like Karen said, start with your Nupastels, then on to the Senneliers.

Might I suggest starting with a simple still life set up? Maybe an apple or a pear, with a light shining on the fruit to give you nice cast shadows. Keep it simple, one subject, a light and you're ready to paint. It's enough to try and figure out a new medium, keep the subject simple.

bgordo3
11-17-2014, 05:46 PM
Thank you everyone - I do appreciate your expertise and advice. I picked up a set of 15 Richeson medium-softs on clearance to try something in between the hard and the softs. I do have a pad of Canson, and also a couple of sheets of UArt sanded and one sheet of Wallis Belgian Mist. I just wish I had them along while I was visiting Audubon Park this past weekend...

I will give the still life a shot, and on the smooth side of the MT. Thank you again everyone!

robertsloan2
11-17-2014, 09:54 PM
Perfect completion for the starting range. Good bargain on the Richesons too. Their smaller sets are good for color range, it's only their big sets that start to have too many near duplicates but gaps in what I'd expect of a big set. Good range of surfaces too! I love Uart - it's fast becoming my favorite sanded paper for its variety of grit. Wallis is great stuff too.

One thing helps for still lifes. Plastic fruit. In a pastel painting they look real. The good ones get shaded in a lifelike way and even two identical ones can be turned so they look different. But they don't go bad while painting. Other than that, apples, pears and oranges don't go bad that fast. Bananas do, in one day it'll change.

Silk flowers are fun too but it helps when they're simple with few petals and a distinctive shape. Roses, zinnias, marigolds, daisies all suffer from complexity and sometimes repetition. Vases with curves are hard to get symmetrical. Vases that are cylinders are hard to get the ellipse right.

Vases that are cubes, square ones, are stupid easy and you just do a cube in perspective, so if you want a vase in something a square one is the soft option. A round cylinder will be challenging but worth mastering. A curved vase stumps some of the greatest artists I know with its symmetry and a good cheat is to cut out a template of half of it, then flip it over on the center line without marking it to get both sides the same - and work out the ellipses on the template.

Heh. I should write that up on one of my Art Lessons and make one and do it as a demo, just thought of a good lesson topic.

blr2449
11-18-2014, 09:14 PM
And you could title it "Plain, Stupid Easy Vases."

bgordo3
11-20-2014, 09:44 AM
I've been reading the "collecting" thread and now I'm wondering if I should exchange the 80 Senns for the Paris Collection and have no regrets... Will be travelling to an area with a Jerry's this weekend... Or should I just open the box and get started?

Nick7
11-20-2014, 10:40 AM
Open the box. I have the Paris and I haven't used at least twenty sticks yet and maybe never will. And I miss some others. After you find out WHAT you need you can buy just the desired sticks :)

bgordo3
11-24-2014, 05:10 PM
The temptation is so great. Found a 40% off coupon and a set of 60 Rembrandt half sticks for $45 after discount and a set of 90 for $66. Maybe I should skip both of them and buy the Mabef full french easel for $115...it is addictive.