View Full Version : WIP Gold fish

08-13-2004, 06:42 PM
This is one I did for weekly sketch using pastel pencils took 3hrs opposed to an hr but whos counting.........anyway I wasnt happy with the background as I rushed it a bit, it was suggested that I finished it off so looking for all your advise on ways to improve it....


08-13-2004, 09:39 PM
Take a good look at your reference pic and try to see it in value,,(or take it to a photo program recreate it in b/w) Once again, seriously, paint in the dark values you see. Avoid the fear of going too dark, your next layer can lighten up the value. I would avoid the use of black if possible, but that is a personal choice you gotta make for yourself. Once you have placed the darks you will be amazed at how the picture starts coming to life simply because of the contrasts you will have provided.....This is not the only way to proceed, but in my limited experience it is the best.

Glad you decided to give this work its own thread...You really have a good start here and I'm confident its going to be a great piece when your finished!

08-14-2004, 10:39 AM
You have an excellent start!! Like Preston, my advice would be to go ahead and put in the darker background to give you the value shifts in the painting.

(Moved this to the Soft Pastel Studio for you)

08-14-2004, 12:57 PM
Yep- you're missing darks. Don't be afraid of the dark- lol. You can't have lights that *pop* and sing, though, if you don't have darks for them to *pop* against.

I took both the ref photo and your piece so far into PSP and put them both into grayscale so you can see what we mean. Right now, pay attention to the fish- look very closely at the darkest places on the fish, and then see if yours are just as dark.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2004/9169-gold_fish_photogs.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2004/9169-gold_fishgs.jpg

You can pretty much always lighten up a too-dark area- so what I do is exaggerate the dark just a smidge so I KNOW I'm dark enough. I don't know what kind of pastels or how many you have available to you, but if you take a dark purple and dark blue, and scumble those into the dark areas lightly, and then come back over the top of them (WITHOUT BLENDING!!) with your orange, you'll have a nice dark area that reads "dark orange" from any distance beyond, say, 10" or so. If you give that fish the darks it needs, then those highlighted areas on him will *pop* right out, and it'll look much more "real" because it will have volumne now.

Then you can lay in your background using the same light-dark methods.

08-14-2004, 01:08 PM
thanks all will give it a try and thanks sweetbaby for the added advise. :)

08-16-2004, 09:15 AM
I think, this will end as a beautiful painting -- keep on :)


08-17-2004, 02:41 PM
thanks rita am doing my best...........find it a bit hard going back over some of it pastel pencils dont seem to work that well

08-20-2004, 09:52 AM
Ok then here's the finished piece, could still do with some more work but think I might ruin it even more if I keep messing about with it. Please let me know what you think is it an improvement on the first.



08-20-2004, 02:28 PM
Very much improved.....if you happy with it, then its complete...you can always come back after you've become better aquainted with your new pastels if you choose. You've got a nice complimentary dark blue / violet background that's making your yellow/ orange subject in the forground sing!.(perhaps you can rename it The Singing Goldfish!! lol ) The soft pastels are working for you.....Lets see some more :clap:

08-20-2004, 02:34 PM
Well done indeed....... definately an improvement

08-20-2004, 03:32 PM
Thanks Preston and Dark Shade.........but have to confess Preston most of it was done using pastel pencils.........I seem to be having trouble with control over the soft pastels but I wont give up well not just yet anyway........so if any of you can give me any tips will be most grateful. :confused:

08-20-2004, 04:00 PM
My advice to anyone learning something new, is to get a good basic how-to book, and use it much in the same way you would use school text. The internet it great, but you can't beat having pictoral and text info at you finger tips...and it can go where you go, be it studio, bed or bus. If you don't want to invest in a new book at this time, perhaps your library will have something that would help.

(but be careful..books are a lot like pastels....one leads to another, and another, and.....lol)

08-20-2004, 05:56 PM
Yeah I know Preston it just keeps on spreading where it will stop noone knows lol..........but seriously I def need some books to help me along

08-21-2004, 04:54 AM

It is definately an improvement to the 1st post. The complimentary colours work very well. :clap:

A personal opinion - when I 1st saw the ref pic, the scales of the goldfish really grabbed me besides the colour. I would have added some more details giving indications of the scales (perhaps with your pencils would be easier) especially around the widest section of the fish & blurring/fading them as you move towards the right of the painting.

Perhaps next time.

Tanya :)

08-21-2004, 05:24 AM
Thank you Tanya yes it was the scales that grabbed me and I did attempt to put some in but just didnt look right.......obviously the way I did it so took them out again :(

08-21-2004, 05:35 AM
Thanks Preston and Dark Shade.........but have to confess Preston most of it was done using pastel pencils.........I seem to be having trouble with control over the soft pastels but I wont give up well not just yet anyway........so if any of you can give me any tips will be most grateful. :confused:

I first started out using pastel pencils..... then went to hard pastels and now softs...... incorporate them all ....... love the control of pencils and use them even now ...... theres a lot of good work can be achieved with pencils...... but the colour choices in Softs and Hard surpasses them...... its all a learning process, you will get there, when you are ready to explore

08-22-2004, 07:53 AM
Hi Dark Shades have been messing about with softs but finding it so hard to control them guess it will come with practise.

08-22-2004, 09:07 AM
Yes, the second version is MUCH stronger! Getting clean edges with soft pastels is a matter of practice ... don't be afraid to break pieces off your pastel sticks to create a sharp edge you can work with, and don't fret too much about staying 'within the lines' - because it's an opaque medium, you can always go back and work over any fuzzy bits to sharpen them up :)

08-22-2004, 10:36 AM
Thanks for advise E J