View Full Version : Another Newbie!!!!

08-10-2004, 01:56 PM
Hello everyone!
I have been bouncing around this site for a day now and read ALOT of interesting and helpful advice about pastels. I have only begun to experiment with pastel over the past few months. I started with 24 Nupastels and a cheapo drawing pad (obviously not suitable for pastel work) and a few reference photos from calendars etc...
Well, I shall say it has been interesting to say the least. Blending? Not sure how! Fine detail lines? Tough. Making mud---very good at that. Using "black" rather than other colors to achieve the look of black. And many other issues as well.
I have never taken art classes (except in high school, and it was pretty boring...not the type of art I am interested in) I strive to do animals of all sorts. My mother is very artisistic, and I never really persued the fact that I had the "knack" also. My last sketch (of a black bear climbing a tree) was done in 1987 when I was 16. Now at 35, I am starting back up. I have a few (4-5 pastel portraits) that I should post for you all to guide me in my endeavors of becoming the animal pastelist like so many of you out there.

I have questions about paper and techniques. Besides velour, what pastel paper is best suited for animal portraits. Smooth flowing fur and fine detail, etc...and as far as the techniques, pastel strokes, colors and blending are all issues for me.
Please help the newbie :D I currently have 60 Nupastel colors, and 195 Rembrandts (I won the e-bay auction and got these for a steal :clap: ) Next comes the paper and the pastel pencils. Any other items I need??????

08-10-2004, 06:37 PM
Hello Petlover,
and welcome to the pastel forum. You have definitely found the right place! and all of us are looking forward to getting to know you :)

The answers to many of your questions can be found in the threads listed in our Pastel Library. The index for the Soft Pastels will help you to find information by subjects.....and you can always post a question about a specific need in the Soft Pastels Studio.

Be sure to check the sticky thread on how to find Pastel Articles. Many of them are demonstrations which I think you'll find inspiring and give you ideas of how to use those new sticks!

Again welcome!!

08-10-2004, 06:53 PM
Welcome! Have fun!! Post soon and often!!!

08-10-2004, 06:55 PM
Yup! I have been jumping all around reading some good info. I'll be back with other questions I'm sure. :p

08-10-2004, 07:03 PM
Welcome, Petlover! Sounds like you've come to the right place! We have several excellent animal artists here (alas, I'm not yet one of 'em!). Plus, there are tons of articles, threads, etc. to do with all the various aspects of pastel art you could ever imagine. Outside of velour and suede paper, I've seen animals of all kinds done on Canson Mi Tientes, Wallis, and almost any other quality pastel paper. Any of these would work with your NuPastels and Rembrandts just fine. Best thing to do is check out Jackie's sub-forum and all the wonderful information she has there for new pastel artists on basic techniques, etc. After that, try to get a sampling of the different papers you see mentioned and try them out. The cheaper ones are great for practice, but sometimes the more expensive ones are so much easier to use, it's worth the cost. Just depends.

And YES, do post your work and ask any questions you like! We like newbies! :D Probably because we all WERE newbies at one time or another!

K Taylor-Green
08-10-2004, 09:41 PM
welcome, petlover. You are going to love it here. I am an animal artist. What help you can't find here can be had in the animal and wildlife forum. A lot of them work in pastels, also, as I do. Would love to see your work.
My two favorite papers for animal work, are velour, and Wallis sanded.

Deborah Secor
08-10-2004, 11:00 PM
Glad you've joined us! We do have fun here and there is a lot of information to be found. Ask away... and show us some of your work soon, too.


08-10-2004, 11:48 PM
Thanks everyone! Every tid bit of info helps. I will post my work in the animal and wildlife section soon. But remember....the very first to lastest pic, is a big difference. I still believe I have a ways to go. I'll keep you posted. So don't laugh :D

08-11-2004, 07:10 AM
I posted my pics in the Wildlife section(still under newbie!!!) :confused:

Deborah Secor
08-11-2004, 02:43 PM
Petlover, we'd love it if you'd post some of your work for us to see, too. You could start a thread in the Soft Pastels Studio... we can look at it from the standpoint of pastelists, where the folks in wildlife respond more to the subject matter. :D

I took a look at your thread in animal and wildlife and thought I'd add a link HERE (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208702). Very nice work--I love the mastiff.

You mention the fixative kept sinking into the paper. Are these on velour? Or another paper...? We can give a lot of advice to you here. When you post your new thread tell us the paper and pastels you use, and if you want any constructive help you can ask for comments and criticism (C&C) too.

I have questions about paper and techniques. Besides velour, what pastel paper is best suited for animal portraits. Smooth flowing fur and fine detail, etc...and as far as the techniques, pastel strokes, colors and blending are all issues for me.

In answer to the first question here, I think the best paper for any subject matter is Wallis, as others have mentioned. There's a thread in the Soft Pastel Studio about how to use ground colors (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202184) that will show you how you can tone Wallis paper any color. I also like La Carte, which is softer and sandier feeling, not as mechanical. It comes in a whole range of colors you can use.

My advice to those new to pastel is not to blend much at all to begin with, as that tends to dull colors and make them slightly muddy. I think you can achieve wonderful reults by layering and using various other techniques such as scumbling and feathering, with only a little bit of blending now and then.

Hope some of this helps you! C'mon over to the Soft Pastels Studio and show us some work...