View Full Version : Medium exploration...

05-06-2015, 06:21 AM
For as long as I can remember I have used graphite or black pen as a medium and my colour pencil has never been all that good!
I was given some pastels a few weeks ago and after perusing this site, decided to be brave and give them a go ... I settled on eyes because they are easy to draw which means I can quickly get onto the filling in .... here are the sketches I achieved today!

The one below has lost some of the light shading in the white part of the eye when I have taken the photo ... above one took 45 mins, below and hour

I really enjoyed creating with the pastels ... I found they gave me a lot more freedom so I am looking forward to exploring them more in the future!

05-06-2015, 02:06 PM
Welcome to Art Journals. The pastels are looking great. Looking forward to seeing more of your explorations.

05-06-2015, 07:59 PM
Hi Debbie, than you for the welcome :) ... hopefully I can keep the creative juices flowing ... im feeling very inspired at the moment thanks to the discovery of this forum!

05-07-2015, 01:22 AM
I had so much fun yesterday playing around with the pastels I had a go at a bit more of a complete work today .... was all going quiet well after a few hic cups at the start .... however I tripped at the finishing line .... and now I have a piece that needs some reworking gaaahhh ... and i've made it so dark that its going to be an absolute pain! LOL .... ahhh well ... I guess I learnt something of value right there so the day was a success! ... here are the progress shots and how it sits for today ... will try and save it tomorrow with fresh eyes.




I welcome any ideas on how to fix that horrendous mess (his chest) ... keeping in mind I have had no formal training so most of the "lingo" loses me :)

05-07-2015, 02:37 PM
Love the owls expression. Can you "pull up" some of the pastel with a kneaded eraser by dabbing at the area you are unhappy with? I can do that with colored pencil.

05-07-2015, 06:11 PM
Thank you :) Oh I might give that a go ... I was thinking I really need to get some of the pastel I put down back up ... im not sure if it will work (was only my second time working with pastel and I really have no idea what im doing LOL) but I may as well giv it a go ... might give me a bit more room to move!

Thanks Debby!

Joan T
05-08-2015, 08:49 PM
Love the human eyes and those on the owl!!! Welcome!

05-09-2015, 04:15 AM
Thank you Joan! I haven't had a chance to rework the owl yet ... I have him pegged for Monday .... have some new pastels coming tomorrow for Mothers day :D

05-10-2015, 05:34 AM
I finished the owl ... im not sure how I feel about him now ... I think im already sick of looking at him! LOL

Already onto the next project (which I started the outline of a while back) a VW beetle ... never worked on a car before :)

05-10-2015, 03:01 PM
I still love the expression on the owl's face. The background give it this otherworldly feeling. I rather like it. :)

05-11-2015, 02:02 AM
I have had some good feedback from non arty people away from this site ... I still don't really see it (see most of the stuff ups though!) .... Thanks Debby, at least I managed to capture the expression on him well enough :)

I started filling in my new project today (had the lines down a few weeks ago and WOW did it give me some grief!) So now I have the base down ... I will start some more detail tomorrow and then the background ... Lots of firsts for me over the last week or so and this is no exception ... first time i've ever drawn a car! Feedback always welcome!




05-11-2015, 11:17 AM
The car is going well :)

05-11-2015, 02:37 PM
Great job on the car.

Joan T
05-11-2015, 09:39 PM
Super job on the car!:thumbsup:

05-12-2015, 01:23 AM
Thank you both! I finished the Beetle today ... I don't mind how this one turned out and I really love the warm colours ... I wanted to put more detail into the car but as its a relatively flat surface, I didn't really know where ... so I just left it ...


will have to ponder which way ill go with my next one ... I have one more lot of lines down id like to do but I might have a bit more of a play before tackling that one :cat:

05-12-2015, 02:26 PM
Love the shine you got on the car.

05-14-2015, 02:18 AM
I think maybe the shine was to exaggerated?? ... learning learning! Yesterday I drew the lines for my next piece and today I started working on it with the pastels ... it started out a mess and I wasn't quiet sure where I was heading with it to begin with ... but I kept plugging along and I have to say, im quiet impressed already ... I was worried the windows wouldn't look like glass, but I think I might have captured the glass ok?
This wont get finished until next week now but here are a couple of progress shots .... once again ... happy for any tips or ideas :)



05-14-2015, 02:08 PM
You are getting lots of practice. Your progress shots look great.

05-14-2015, 04:41 PM
I really am enjoying your sketches - nice work! love the car and van the best.

05-18-2015, 01:39 AM
The encouragement is terrific ... so thank you all for popping in and seeing where im at occasionally! I really appreciate it!

Ok so over the weekend I started a friend request project ... im seeing her at the end of the week so I wanted to surprise her ... I finished it today and here are a couple of progress shots and the finished piece ... the photos don't do it justice at all ... I have fiddled around with it in photo shop trying to get it to look true but its still not right ... oh well, you'll get the idea anyway




Ill finish of the other car tomorrow

05-18-2015, 06:57 PM
Wowsers! The owl in flight is very dramatic against that background. Awesome job.

05-19-2015, 06:57 AM
I was hoping the background was going to make the owl POP off the page so im glad to hear I have been somewhat successful!

The VW Kombi is now finished ... I wish this one would photograph properly ... im so proud of the background but alas it doesn't show true as usual...


Next one is going to be tricky I think... will see how we go

05-19-2015, 01:34 PM
Great finish. Looking forward to your next one.

05-20-2015, 05:35 PM
I love this owl. So expressive!

05-20-2015, 05:39 PM
:) Pastels are my first medium. I love them. I've moved onto watercolors but I keep thinking about pastels. The colors are vibrant & they are so forgiving.

05-20-2015, 07:32 PM
Ive had to put the one I had planed to work on next away for a week or so as ive been asked to do a couple more cars for a few people ... Bummer! I will get to it though ;)
Hi Bridgie ... I am enjoying the pastels as well and I think its because as you say, they are so forgiving! I do a bit of work in black pen and with that you just need to learn to make the medium work for you ... a line in the wrong place means you just have to deal with it! Pastels have opened up a whole lot more freedom ... I am also finding the shading so much easier to achieve than with graphite ... Im getting a lot more into my work now ... although to a degree im also not getting the detail I would like to .... so hopefully the more I do the more technique I will pick up! I'm having a blast with the process though!

05-22-2015, 01:53 AM
The owl went off to its new home today ... the buyer was very happy with it.

Here are a few progress shots on the current car project which I will get finished tomorrow (this one was a request)




I think I see progress and improvement with each new piece I do ... Im hoping to pick up my fantasy piece again next week so need to get the two cars ive been requested to do out of the way asap :)

05-22-2015, 02:09 PM
I have to say, you are doing great on the cars. Cars are not something I am drawn to. :lol: (Pun intended. :))

05-22-2015, 08:02 PM
LOL ... I wasn't really either ... but I have always had a soft spot for Volkswagens and we bought a little Herbie (he really has racing stripes and Herbies number) which we plan to give a full restoration to so he is sitting in the shed at the moment .... I just got inspired to give drawing a beetle a go ... and it was TRICKY! so many curves that need be as close to accurate ... it just started to snowball from there ... I put the two VW's I drew up on a VW forum and every one loved them ... then the requests come rolling in! My heart is in fantasy or a blend of fantasy and realism of sorts (think along the lines of BORIS) .... but Im learning lots of technique with the cars so Ill just run with it for now ... the piece I have stashed away is more back to my fantasy style and im itching to get it out again :)

05-23-2015, 03:12 AM
Ok .... progress report ... not quiet done with this one but all the green has made me cross eyed! LOL ... ill add a bit more detail on Monday ... in true form, a lot of the lighter detail in the foreground has disappeared in the photo...



05-23-2015, 02:09 PM
Looks good. With all the requests, are you charging for these? After all, there are supplies and a lot of your time involved.

Joan T
05-23-2015, 05:24 PM
You are really rolling along with the cars and the van!!! Great work!

05-23-2015, 05:59 PM
Great birds! The cars are good too. My favorites are the owls.

05-23-2015, 08:06 PM
Yes Debby, charging for them ... it does feel a little weird to ask for money for them as im not sure they are worthy of $$$ but the buyers seem to be happy so I guess that's all that matters.

Thanks for the encouragement Joan and Robert :)

05-23-2015, 11:02 PM
I like your style so far :) I tried pastels at some point but did not got hook up on it as much as on watercolors :D

05-24-2015, 01:46 PM
Don't be embarrassed to charge for your art. If someone wants it, they want it and are willing to pay. Or, if you prefer, exchange energy for it. :) It's all about energy. One can't live in a vacuum. Money is just a form of energy.

05-24-2015, 06:41 PM
I could use some energy this morning ... *yawn* ... I am quiet familiar with barter as a form of payment :) have preferred to work this way for years when giving my time to people ... however here I think I at least need to recoup a little back to be able replenish my pastels ... they do wear down quiet quickly!

Thank you Tameia ... ive never tried water colours ... I have some water colour pencils in there I was gifted a while ago but I wouldn't even now where to start with them :)

05-25-2015, 02:14 AM
I was feeling a bit underwhelmed today after all these cars ... I was supposed to start another one for another person but needed to get my creative juices flowing again ... so I officially started the piece ive been hanging to get onto ... and im feeling the inspiration flowing freely again! ... its a long way from finished, but here are a couple of progress shots ... not sure if I should be adding the nudie bottom icon now?? just let me know if I should :)



05-25-2015, 02:02 PM
Remarkable piece. Yes, unfortunately, this now needs the butt icon. I'll alert the moderator.

Joan T
05-25-2015, 07:25 PM
Nice to see this as you work on it.

05-26-2015, 01:38 AM
Ok ... here is the progress I made today ... im really annoyed at how this is photographing ... Ill put up 4 photos but to be honest not one of them looks how it does to the eye ... very frustrating!





05-26-2015, 03:03 PM
Intense piece. The moderator has added the icon to the thread, you're all good now.

05-26-2015, 11:10 PM
I wasn't happy with how I left this yesterday, nor how the background had killed the overall feel ... so I got back into it today with the focus being to sharpen the over all focal points up and fix the cruddy background .... I think I have hit both goals ... let me know if you agree?


05-27-2015, 03:12 PM
The lighter background gives the piece more pop. The shading and definition give more depth to the piece. Good job.

05-28-2015, 02:19 AM
A smaller project today and back on paper ... another owl






05-28-2015, 07:38 PM
Nice owl.

Joan T
06-01-2015, 09:06 PM
Great job on the additions to the figure and horse. Love the owl!

06-02-2015, 06:13 AM
Im glad you both enjoyed the owl, ive been busy over the last few days and have another owl to the collection ... this time a little Owlet and I've also started another car project for a client.
Im not sure these are still "sketches" per say but I am enjoying documenting my progress so I hope you don't mind if I keep posting my work here ... its forming it's own sort of journal :)

med/soft Pastel A4 pastel card




06-02-2015, 06:19 AM
and the car which is still a WIP

A4 pencil/soft pastel on pastel papaer





Ive now hit disaster with the sky ... I think im going to try and rub the sky out and start again .. hopefully I haven't ruined the whole piece :(

06-02-2015, 02:50 PM
The owl turned out great. I really like the VW on the grass with flowers.

06-03-2015, 12:55 AM
Im not sure how much your going to like it now Debby LOL ... I had to remove the sky because I completely fudged it the first go around ... and I ended up with something that was less than impressive :( ... my first real botch job I think


06-03-2015, 03:17 PM
We all have our oopsies. You are right, it looked better before. Too bad you couldn't save the sky. Does the person who wanted this like it? If so, it's all good.

Joan T
06-03-2015, 05:18 PM
It is true, sometimes things just don't come out perfect. It looks like a night scene now...which is nice too.

06-03-2015, 06:38 PM
Yes ... she likes it ... she didn't see it before so has nothing really to compare it to .... I look at it and see where I've tried to change the composition .... not so successfully although I guess if you didn't know what was there beforehand it looks part of the sky ... I have certainly learnt something from this ... and because of the problems I had here i've gone and participated in this months pastel spotlight on landscapes, hopefully that will help me a little with my backgrounds ... particularly skies which I seem to fumble through .... Thanks ladies ... do either of you have any suggestions on how I may have tackled the background of the car differently?

And here is my very first landscape effort ... done for the pastel spotlight
Was a quick little sketch (around an hour and a half) where I tried hard to not get bogged down and just let things flow





06-04-2015, 02:54 AM
I cheated today .... no background LOL ... but I still tried something different with the black paper ... im going to do more on black paper, I really enjoyed it





06-04-2015, 02:30 PM
The horse on black is stunning. As far as backgrounds, particularly skies, I haven't anything to offer as I have never worked in pastel. Tho' it looks to me like the paper gets smudged as you are working on the subject matter. Is that leading to problems?

06-04-2015, 06:21 PM
Oh thank you Debby ... I loved creating the horse ... im keen to start another piece on the black paper. I thought I was doing something wrong with the pastel because of how grotty the paper got so I asked in the pastel forum and was told its normal to make a mess with pastels LOL ... they are very messy to use ... and that is the reason I have to put backgrounds into my pieces, to cover the mess I make with my fingers! LOL

06-06-2015, 10:46 AM
Gorgeous horse on black! I love working on black or colored grounds. If I cover it, that still affects color choices and is an undertone. If I don't, that much less work on a background!

I still work hard on skies too, there's some tips I gave you in pastel forum on that painting. The night scene with the car isn't as bad as you thought, looks better than the too-pale sky. Sometimes you can get away with a white sky if it's overcast but even then a bit of variation helps, it doesn't work as well f the ground is that saturated. Nice perspective on the car. Cool owlet!

06-09-2015, 04:04 AM
I saw your help on skies, thank you for going to the effort Robert ... I also saw the post you put up with your landscape and paid particular attention to how your sky looked (it had so much depth and feel to it). I however haven't revisited my sky in the above piece yet .... I instead have worked on another horse after watching another members YouTube link and picking up a few little techniques/tips from watching him work! ... I put them into practise today and im so excited at the change it has made to my work! Ill share a few progress shots ... its not finished yet.
Pastel Pencils on A3 Carsen paper





Joan T
06-09-2015, 02:09 PM
Your two horse pieces are wonderful, Emma! The one on the black paper is really striking.

06-09-2015, 03:14 PM
The horse is looking really good. Looking forward to seeing the finish.

06-10-2015, 05:05 AM
So she is finished and im so happy with how she has turned out :)


and ive started my next one already ... This one already has a few issues ... I think its because I could hardly see my sketch I laid out on the black paper so I didn't pick up little area's which weren't quiet right .... so here we go ... how she will end up I really am not sure!






06-10-2015, 01:26 PM
Your series of horses on black is wonderful.

06-11-2015, 09:25 AM
Thank you Debby .. although I think you cursed me today :P
Loooooooong story short ... this is where my horse is at ... I've just about changed every section on this horse at least once ... and I've still got work to do as she still isn't right!


feel free to offer up any advice on her structure ... I have had a lot of off site advice today and most of it very helpful :smug:

06-11-2015, 12:10 PM
Horse looks good to me but I don't know horses that well. Hopefully others will chime in :)

06-11-2015, 02:05 PM
Didn't mean to invoke any bad art mojo. Pretend I didn't say anything. :lol: I'm with EP, I don't know horses well enough to know if you are on target or not.

06-13-2015, 01:37 AM
LOL thank you both for your comments .... ive been working on the horse all day again today and re worked quiet a bit ... still not finished but I thin I have brought the piece back from near death! LOL


06-13-2015, 04:08 PM
Lovely. It didn't look near death. :)

06-15-2015, 04:22 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap:
I am finished!!!!!!!!! :cool: :cool:


do I like the finished piece? ... YES ... very much! .... am I glad the journey has come to an end ... ABSOLTELY! :lol:

06-15-2015, 09:23 PM
Looks gorgeous. Onto the next one. :D

06-16-2015, 04:28 AM
Ahhhh ... Debby, im to predictable! :lol:

and true to form ... I have something to add to my "journal" pages





06-16-2015, 10:49 AM
Love watching the doggie come alive in each picture :)

06-16-2015, 12:47 PM
Looking good.

Joan T
06-16-2015, 09:05 PM
Love seeing your animals develop! Great job!

06-18-2015, 06:15 AM
Thank you Joan, Debby and EP ...

Hit a major speed bump today that threw the wheels off my "Mitch" project and careering off into a tree, head on ... resurrection was no longer an option ... in short ... he was stuffed *sigh* .... so what does one do? one starts all over again ... double *sigh* ... However second time over ... I think Mitch actually is starting to look like Mitch!!! Wooo Hooo






Now this has only had 3 hours in it and I NEED to fix up the ears ... but much happier with how this one is turning out

06-18-2015, 02:12 PM
Sweet dog. Looking good.

Joan T
06-18-2015, 07:58 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: Wonderful!