View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketches 28 Oct - 2 Nov

10-27-2003, 03:54 PM
Well, since I got all confused last week and made it an eight-day week, this time we've only got six days to fit in our sketches :)

The objective of this Weekly Sketch thread is to pick up your pastels and paint as many times as you like during the week, but within a given time limit, eg. 25-30 minutes, 40-45 minutes, or one hour. Time yourself, and as soon as your time's up, STOP, and share your efforts with us here!

The idea behind the set times is to get the essentials down on paper without fretting about detail. The exercise is probably most valuable if you can sketch from life but feel free to use a ref photo if you prefer. Remember, it's all about making friends with your pastels and sharpening your observational skills. No subject matter is too humble or too humdrum!

EVERYONE is welcome to participate. No critiques will be given unless you request them, making this a safe place in which to develop your pastel skills, whatever your level.

Last week's thread featured a cabbage, a cat, a cockatiel, two faces, Icarus, a landscape, a lighthouse, a parrot, tree bark, a tree-lined path and tulips ... :)


Happy sketching!

10-27-2003, 05:05 PM
These nectarines took 40 mins and are in oil pastel on 'Tints' paper.


Stoy Jones
10-27-2003, 05:06 PM
Here's my pastel sketch, which was done in under 30 min. 8x11 on Canson paper in soft pastels. The second image is what I did with it afterwards. The palm is not coming out as I would like and this is far from over, so any comments or suggestions would be great.



Done a little more on it:

Stoy Jones
10-27-2003, 05:10 PM
E-J, I didn't see those nectarines until after I loaded my pics. Really good looking!! :p -"Slurp" yum! I like the green and dark reds(?) you put in there.


10-27-2003, 05:50 PM
Stoy, I added a deep purple to make the red even darker. I don't tend to dig out the op's very often so it's a struggle to remember to go light-to-dark ... but I think they'd be a wonderful medium for a more considered still life ... something I'll get around to doing eventually!

I think you just need to cut into the fronds of that palm with the sky colour, which presumably you'll do anyway, and put in some darker darks, as there isn't yet much tonal variation. Can't comment on form as we don't see many palm trees here in Cambridge :D Just as well ... imagine if a coconut had landed on Newton's head instead of that apple ... :D

10-27-2003, 05:52 PM
EJ your nectarines look delicious and stoy your beach is inviting. here's mine for the day - bananas

10-27-2003, 06:03 PM
Mz!!!! Is that toned paper I see??? :eek: :D ;)

I like this ... it packs a punch with that background colour ... nice highlights too.

Kathryn Wilson
10-27-2003, 07:40 PM
E-J: Oil pastels?? What did you think of them - nectarines look good enough to eat. Oh, for some good fresh fruit again.

Stoy: I like your palm tree - lights and darks?

MZ: I believe this is my favorite of yours so far - good work on these!

10-27-2003, 07:49 PM
Yummy E-J, those look delicious.
Mz this is a very very nice drawing!
lurking on this thread.........:D

Stoy Jones
10-27-2003, 09:02 PM
We're on a role here, fruit and palm trees by the water! Time to put these on..:) :cool: Nice subjects for a cold, wet day here!

Nice bananas, Mz Sketch!!

Thanks E-J (lol! I'm glad you don't have coconuts falling out of your trees!) and Kyle, for hints on my tree. Will play with this one.


10-28-2003, 12:04 AM
thanks for the comments ej, Meisie, stoy, and kyle :)

10-28-2003, 06:01 AM
Originally posted by kyle
E-J: Oil pastels?? What did you think of them - nectarines look good enough to eat.

Kat, I've had my oil pastels for years (Caran d'Ache and a few Sennelier) but have mostly done just small things with them: a pepper here, two apples there ... all lurking somewhere in the early sketch threads! I've also done a Cézanne copy, an Oxfordshire landscape and more recently, a goat that I posted in this forum, all of these in oil pastel over an acrylic underpainting. I love the paint-like texture you get when you build up colour in op's! but have really been too busy trying to master my soft pastels.

10-28-2003, 06:23 AM
Links to some op stuff (won't post them as images):

Fruits sketch (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Feb-2003/13865-fruits1.jpg)
Pepper sketch (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Feb-2003/13865-pepper.jpg)
'Rustic' sketch (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Apr-2003/13865-oilps1.jpg)
Apples (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Apr-2003/13865-apples2.jpg)

Scapegoat (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Apr-2003/13865-goat.JPG)
Oxfordshire (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Oct-2002/bix.jpg)

Don't have a pic of the Cézanne.

... oh! I was forgetting my White lion (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-May-2003/13865-lion_sml.jpg)! Duh.

Kathryn Wilson
10-28-2003, 08:45 AM
Ahhh, I do remember the lion - did not realize that was in OP's. The goat and the landscape I totally missed, maybe they were done before I appeared on WC this spring - those are really impressive.

Now, since I am curious as to the different techniques used with OP's, it looks like you did not blend the fruits, but maybe some on the landscape and goat. I didn't have great success with OP's, but still want to give them more time. I especially like the huge OP's I have found at Jerry's - they could cover alot of canvas!! and are so very, very smushy.

10-28-2003, 08:54 AM
Love the word 'smushy' :D

The only blending I did on the sketches was with the op sticks themselves, to push one colour into another. With the goat I think I used a colour shaper and with the lion, an acrylic brush.

I thought your experiments with op were very good ... can't remember which brand you had ...?

Kathryn Wilson
10-28-2003, 09:31 AM
Thanks E-J - my attempts at OP's were frustrating at best - but my problem was in trying to work a style that was not me, and now that I have that figured out that, I am going to attempt OP's again.

I used Caran D'ache for the most part - put I think I need to use a different support/paper (not granular) and some "smushy" OP's, along with an underpainting.

10-28-2003, 02:08 PM
E-J those sketches of yours are incredible! I had some op's somewhere, I should haul then out sometime :D

10-28-2003, 08:18 PM
Nectarines, palm tree and bananas all nicely done! MzSP, that looks like colored paper- how do you like it?
Here's a half-hour plein air done on a drizzly day sitting in the van with the sliding door open. It was hard to suggest the steady drizzle plus the brightness of the foliage. 5x7 0n turquoise-primed wc paper
Hope you're having fun with the o.p.s, E-J. Stoy, I've been enjoying your lighthouses in particular and your sketches in here in general.
I hope to start participating more often in here again!

10-29-2003, 12:01 AM
Here's my fourth ever sketch, (just getting started!) a pine tree. Right now I'm not concerning myself with composition, but rather to try and get the sketch to reasonably resemble the subject. I was concentrating on getting the trunk to look "barky". Didn't quite get the effect of a dense mass of pine needles starting from where the trunk disappears into the needles, so it looks rather 2D. Something to work on for next time I guess! Stoy, you got around to your palm tree, I see. I'll be interested to see where you end up with it! I'm really enjoying seeing everybody's work.


10-29-2003, 12:07 AM
sundiver and desertwinds, nice drawings. sundiver- i'm still using the sandpaper, but i'll be getting the darker tinted paper soon.

10-29-2003, 04:07 AM
Tawni, nice to see you joining the sketch thread. You've managed to put some good textures into that pine tree.

Wendy, the more I look at that tangle of warm yellowy orange and reds and pinks, the more appealing it is. The turquoise is an unusual choice. How many plein airs are you up to now? :)

Craig Houghton
10-29-2003, 09:24 AM
E-J - I love the rich color on those nectarines -- ops even! You've also arranged them quite well (even if it was more a matter of artistic intuition -- same thing!). Well done. :)

Stoy - The palm is coming along well. I would just continue expanding the range between the lightest light and darkest dark. Looks great.

Mz_Sketch_Pad - Those bananas are my favorite from you so far. They're wonderfully loose and illustrative.

sundiver - you should post over in plein air! :) Wonderful foliage, and I like the fallen leaves. This looks much larger than 5x7 -- well done.

Tawni - the bark looks great. THere's a real diversity there. Great job.

As for myself, while I was on the phone the other day I sketched a gourd upon my table.

3x4 soft pastel on *newsprint* :D - 5 minutes


And yesterday I managed two plein airs. c&c welcome

9x12 soft pastel on fabriano paper - 1 hour exactly



9x12 soft pastel on mis tientes paper - 45 minutes


I don't usually use non-colourfix/golden primed unsanded paper, but I gave it another try anyhow.

Thanks for looking,

10-29-2003, 04:05 PM
Craig, cute little gourd and awesome plein airs!

My experience of outdoor painting is very limited ... I'm just not that brave yet. So I almost daren't critique yours.

To me, that yellow reflection in the centre looks a bit wider than the tree itself. I guess that might have been an effect of the rippling water but it makes the tree look thicker in reflection than in reality. Perhaps you could cut into the right-hand side of the reflection a bit?

I LOVE the lemony yellow and dark reds in the first pic! It's a stunner :clap:

10-29-2003, 05:31 PM
This is tonight's 45-min sketch in various white, grey and black pastels on black paper (my usual sketching paper, Winsor & Newton 'Tints' ). It's Vinny-Van from the ref image library.


Kathryn Wilson
10-29-2003, 05:36 PM
Craig: These are amazing for quick sketches - I love the colors your are using in both!

E-J: Again, so good for such a short period of time. The coat/hair is so well done!

10-29-2003, 09:18 PM
This isn't very colorful, but it's pastel, and it has a great story to go with it:


I did this from a skeleton that's on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Of course, there were plenty of people wandering past, but that doesn't bother me (hey, let them try it).

A woman and her two sons stopped to look, and I took a break and chatted with them. The mother asked where I'd taken lessons, because she was interested in finding some arts classes for her boys. The older one wasn't quite so interested, but the younger one was fascinated. When his family started to walk away, I straightened up my drawing board to finish up--he was immediately right back at my elbow to watch some more. I laughed and told his mom, "You've really got to find an art class for him!"

The moral of the story--take your drawing on the road. It doesn't matter how good/bad/inspired/uninspired/whatever your drawing is. It may make a difference to somebody.

Cheers all!

10-29-2003, 11:43 PM
thanks for the comments craig- great work that you posted. the reflections on the water look real.. ej cute cat:clap:, peg nice sketch- you're a very brave person to sketch while being watched:p

10-30-2003, 12:15 AM
hey all. here's my sketch for wed. i into to doing faces now

10-30-2003, 04:15 AM
Peg, looks like the urge to use monochrome hit us simultaneously :) Good on you for pastelling in public. Wish I had the nerve to do it!

Mz, your sketches are becoming more confident and you seem to be covering more of the paper. Anyway, I like the blues and warm browns you're using ... can see some blues in the skin there ... great stuff!

10-30-2003, 05:39 PM
ok, in all fairness...I just did this in watercolor...so I was familiar with the values, etc

8 x 8 inches on rust colored Canson MiTeintes

20 minutes


10-30-2003, 06:37 PM
Peg, looks like the urge to use monochrome hit us simultaneously Good on you for pastelling in public. Wish I had the nerve to do it!

Actually, EJ, it's easier than you'd think. Most people just stop, look, and move on. The very few who do say something are always nice. I've never had anybody make any stereotypical remarks like "My kid can draw better than that." And if they say they wish they could draw, I suggest local programs if they live in the area, and suggest that the tourists (I meet lots) check the local recreation programs and their phone books when they get home. I figure if I can learn it, so can they.


10-30-2003, 06:45 PM
pampe- Whoa!! that pear really pops off the page :clap:

10-30-2003, 08:25 PM
Hi everyone,

Sorry can´t participate in this thread at the moment due to my allergy, but just wanted to say there are some lovely pics here, my fingers are itching to use pastels but i know i have to wait till i can work outside again, my pastels are all packed up and in the cellar, i´m going to work on the oil pastels and acrylics at the mo, but i hope you don´t mind me popping in cos i miss you all :(

10-30-2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by PegR
Actually, EJ, it's easier than you'd think. Most people just stop, look, and move on. Peg

In my case, unless they know me, they smile and say hi and keep going - they don't even look. I just finished my 22nd plein air and no-one has even peeked. (There was that one farmer who pretended he was going to run me over with his ATV.....)
Anyway, here it is, half an hour 5x7 on red. Julie and I sat in the car in a cul-de-sac ending at the river while the sun went down.
E-J, I hope you pm'd Teanne about that gorgeous painting of her cat.
Pam, love the pear.
Peg, suitably creepy for the season!:)
Craig, you're really getting those plein airs! I especially like the first one.
Tawni, I think you've handled the bark well. I find bark challenging, especially the color when it's in shade.
Hope I didn't miss anyone. I'm so pleased to get 2 sketches done in a week, even if they were only half-hour jobbies.

10-30-2003, 09:03 PM
Hi Sundiver,

I love this pic it says so much the colours the form etc. makes my fingers itch super...............................:)

10-30-2003, 11:23 PM
sun you acomplished alot in 1/2 hr!! love the painting

10-31-2003, 04:41 AM
Pam, I like your pear ... looks like this one was in pastel only (not over w/colour)?

Wendy, great going for half an hour.

I have sketched outdoors a few times. Once a man did come over when I'd finished a very small acrylic sketch to ask if he could see what I'd done with the scene that might be different from how he (as a photographer) would capture it. To me this is like going up to someone who's writing their diary or a personal letter and saying 'Go on, let's have a look then!!' I said sorry, no, I'm a beginner and not very confident. It doesn't even matter if people don't approach me directly. I hate it!

10-31-2003, 04:42 AM
Originally posted by flower
Hi everyone,

Sorry can´t participate in this thread at the moment due to my allergy, but just wanted to say there are some lovely pics here, my fingers are itching to use pastels but i know i have to wait till i can work outside again, my pastels are all packed up and in the cellar, i´m going to work on the oil pastels and acrylics at the mo, but i hope you don´t mind me popping in cos i miss you all :(

Pat, how about a quickie in oil pastels? :) We miss you too!

10-31-2003, 04:11 PM
E-J, just pastel.....quickie for the weekly, thanks

thanks, SUndiver!

10-31-2003, 04:34 PM
Well my DM thisweek was to click the wrong button and put my entry for this thread in the main pastel forum,so spent another hour doing this one,could of put this in the water project but i have already done 3 entries for that thread:D


10-31-2003, 04:59 PM

Sundiver what a lovely painting for half an hour, i love the reds and oranges, and the whole setting, what a romantic place to have been

Guilly, love this water scene, you really get the people boat and colours together

EJ: tomorrow is a public holiday again, and i will do a quickie oil pastel just for you :)

11-01-2003, 07:04 AM
Guilli, groups of figures are your forte I think ... they are nicely suggested ... wish I could do that!

Craig Houghton
11-01-2003, 09:40 AM
Thanks everyone for the comments. And, EJ, you're quite right about those reflections!

E-J that cat looks deceivingly complex. I love it. At first I though, 'oh how nice,' but a closer look led to wow! what fantastic eyes and posturing. I also like the puff of hair by its ear :)

PegR - Thanks for the pastel and the story!

Sketch - I like the portrait and the evolving painterly style.

pampe - 20 minutes!! 20 minutes!! I'll pick my jaw up later.

sundiver - Great work! Coincidence btw, but that last plein air of mine was also my 22nd. I love the colors in the water and those fantastic hills.

guilliame - Those figures are really impressive. THey each have a little life of their own. Great work!!

Two days to go, and I'm hoping to see more!

Thanks everyone,

11-01-2003, 11:24 AM
Hey Craig,

You´ve been busy too, love the plenaire, colours are gorgeous

Heres an OP, its 30 x 30 cm had to cut some of it out, what do you think went wrong??????????????????? :(
Alll comments more than welcome :)

11-01-2003, 02:10 PM
Hi Flower,what dont you like about it,i cant see anything wrong in fact i think it's a wonderful start,welldone:D

11-01-2003, 03:02 PM
Pat, your sketch is BIG! Looking good so far. Perhaps see what other colours you can put into the purplish grey of the bridge and its reflection in order to add variety and interest to those areas ...? :)

11-01-2003, 05:46 PM

Guilly and E-J thanks for your welcome comments, i went over a lot of it with citrus turpentine and then did a little bit more colouring, what can i do now to make it better, comments please

11-01-2003, 06:01 PM
Flower,EJ and Graig,thanks i'm glad you liked my boat pic.
Just looked thro a lot of good work in here again.
EJ,nectarines look nice and juicy,what a great drawing of the cat,is it yours,i'll use one of Mo's superlatives here gobsmacked :clap:
Stoy,your background is good but you need more lights and darks to emphasize the tree and for me it is too central,i hope you dont mind i am posting a ref pic which might give you some ideas,you will see that they grow at more of an angle and there are mor fronds,i would like to see you go for this hit it with lights and darks you can do this:D


Sundiver,starting to recognize your work,i like what you do and these are really nice,the sunset just edges it:)
MZ,nice drawing like the highlights
:cool: bananas,ditto EJ with the porrait well done
Pampe, awesome pear.

Craig,nice texture on that gourd,as for the 2 landscapes,love them,technique pastel strokes, colour,you could double the water scene for Mo's water project:clap:
DesertWinds,well you have achieved the barky feel for the tree well done

11-01-2003, 06:25 PM
Flower,i like what you are doing with your progress pic,if you can post your ref pic to compare:)

these are 5 to 10 min studies, blocking in the figure en masse with the sides of the pastel stick to give the impession of a figure,just thought i'd share it :D


11-01-2003, 07:03 PM
Hey Guilly,

I like these what a good idea, i love nude drawings or should i say doing them, this is a good idea going to try some, ill post the pic i´m trying to paint from OK

11-01-2003, 07:13 PM
thank you

Craig, twas just a pear......

11-01-2003, 08:05 PM
I really am folks, I've just been looking through all the quickies here and they are so very, very good... I so wish I could join you, I miss sketching on a daily basis, haven't done any for a few months ......life has turned me upside down right now, but want you all to know I really admire what you are all producing here.
You are all dedicated and determined artists and I applaud you all. :clap::clap::clap:

E-J... Good onya girl...keep it going! :clap::clap:

11-01-2003, 08:50 PM
popping in per usual for my occasional post.

I am trying to see what I can accomplish in a portrait of a child from a photograph in just 1 hour. I'm hoping this will lend itself to something I can do at an art fair as a demo.

Feedback most appreciated.



11-01-2003, 09:03 PM
Now I get to comment on these beauties...

Wow - Mo was right - you guys are cooking in this thread.

EJ starting with you - great nectarines but I have't a clue what Tint paper is. Can you tell us? Short for mitientes? By the way - love the use of green in the shadow that really zings the color of the fruit.

Stoy - I may be wrong but there may be more branches on that palm tree. Take another look and follow EJ's directions on color. Keep going - it's a great subject matter to work on.

MZ Sketch Pad - luscious bananas. Can't tell what size they are but they have volume - good tonal range. And faces - great style on this too!

Wendy you make me long for those fall colors. Nicely done in such a short time and plein air as well. Woo hoo! Is it cold? that sunset (the second one) looks like there is a chill in the air.

Tawni - stick with it and keep posting in this forum. You'll learn bunches!!!

Craig - what can I tell you??? Your landscapes are truly wonderful and you just rush right through them. I'm envious - in fact I'm so green with envy I look like your pear!

EJ - Vinny Van - what a gem - I saw this in the regular threads. Fabulous work. Was it difficult to not get lost in all the stripes??? I'd definitely lose my way.

Peg - what are you doing painting my relatives like that??? I told them not to keep their photos out for others to use. Great job and I'm so happy to hear you encouraged that mom to get lessons for her child. Wish it happened to me.

Pam - lovely pears to go with your grapefruit. I keep forgetting the value of an underpainting. Love the colors!!! What size is this?

Guilli's got a boat load... Guilli's got a boat load. YOu amaze me in selecting the most complicated think to paint for a short sketch. Yikes - how do you do it?

Patricia - is that an OP or a watercolor painting? It's stunning and if your allergies were kicking in while you painted this - I hope they do so more often. It's fantastic.

Signing off.... Keep on painting you guys. I'm going back to the easel before the darkness sets in.


11-01-2003, 10:59 PM
I'm wondering if I'm perhaps pushing these a bit and should really spend more time on them... Oh well.


11-02-2003, 12:01 PM
Barb, I think these are stunning for just one hour's work, especially this last one you've posted. You are one of my very favourite artists in this forum ... you're just so far ahead of what most of us are doing! I want to be just like you when I grow up ... IF I ever grow up :D 'Tints' btw is Winsor & Newton's answer to Canson Mi-Teintes and it might only be available in the UK as I've never seen anyone else here mention it. I find the texture a bit more pleasant than Canson but still I usually end up using the smoother side.

Mo, YAY! Good to see you.

Pat, haven't the slightest idea what citrus turpentine is but it sounds delicious :) As for where to go next ... how about a bit more definition in the areas where you most want the viewer's eye to go? I'll wait for you to post your ref image before making any more comments.

Guilli, great practice. I'll confess to being a bit dazed after a wild weekend of socialising but I plan to do some figure sketches myself tonight if I don't fall asleep at my computer! :)

11-02-2003, 05:49 PM
Hi all,

E-J its for watering down oils and oil pastels , its from lemons isn`t as bad smelling as the other turpentine things LOL

Bnoonan: i was using oil pastels, can´t use the soft pastels at the moment, LOL it must be the alcohol content in the OP`S thats helping my painting..........
thanks everyone for your lovely comments, really makes me determined to keep going,

Bnoonan: i think your portraits are very very good, wow you have so much detail in a short time and they look excellent, i would be happy to go home with one of these........................

Here is the ref pic it was very small I don´t know how it will come out here goes

11-02-2003, 05:57 PM
Hi Patricia,
Not sure it's the size that makes it difficult to see or the lack of contrast.


thanks for the feedback on the portraits.

11-02-2003, 06:09 PM

Here it is again, it was meant for watercolours but i thought i could do it in OP, is it any better???

11-03-2003, 04:01 AM
Pat, it's very pixellated so hard to make out, but is it a snow scene?

11-03-2003, 03:53 PM
Barb,2 cracking portraits,just an hours work,takes me that to get my drawing done before putting in any colour,either of these would would make a great demo the 2nd just edges it for me :clap:

Flower,ok it looks very much to me like a snow scene and the river is frozen over,i just scrolled down to look at the pic but it's not there so i will have to go by memory:D yours is cropped on the right hand side of the bridge,i would have liked to see the house on the right in the painting,i'm not much good at critique,i'm a sort of trial and error guy,so take what i say with a pinch of salt,i think i would try to get a sharper finer line for the bridge and the buildings,as the river is frozen over i would work in some light blues and greys for the shadows,darken them up if you need to,some white for highlights,altho the white areas in your river has a nice feel about already,the reflections of the bridge in the river i imagine to be more solid rather than broken up if it was water,this is a nice painting and you are doing great so far so just look at the areas that you are not happy with,do that area on another piece of paper with deeper or lighter tones and or colour then cut it out and place it over the area to see what it loks like :D

11-03-2003, 08:04 PM
Hi Guilly,

thanks for your comment i will try to work these ideas in, yes it should be frozen snow and the other part i had to cut off because it didn´t fit in the scanner but i´ll take a pic, try all these ideas out and let you see thanks :)

11-05-2003, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by E-J
. Can't comment on form as we don't see many palm trees here in Cambridge :D Just as well ... imagine if a coconut had landed on Newton's head instead of that apple ... :D

LOLOL EJ.... You DO make me laugh..... lol..... was doing a search on you for your easel...... and came across this

11-06-2003, 04:19 AM
Dawn, here it is ... the Artmate ... still doing it 'donkey style' LOL as it turns out I can't be bothered to reconfigure it :D