View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketches, 30 May - 5 June '05

05-30-2005, 12:39 PM
Welcome to another week of pastel sketches!

The idea is simple: get out those pastels and complete a sketch in one hour or less.

The thread is open to everyone and you don't have to sign up anywhere to take part. The only requirement is that your sketch is done using some kind of pastel (that includes soft or hard pastels, oil pastels, pastel pencils and chalks) and takes you no more than an hour.

This is a fun way to sharpen your observational skills, try out new pastel techniques or simply keep your hand in when you're short of time. You can work from life or from a photo - it's up to you. Try timing yourself, keeping your sketch within a 30, 45 or 60-minute time limit. When your time's up, STOP - and share your efforts with us here! Remember, there's no pressure to produce a masterpiece - but you just might come up with a nice little piece of art.

Let's get sketching! :)

05-30-2005, 03:59 PM
Hi E-J...saw this by chance...couldn't resist, realised the challenge might be more than I could do as I used oil pastels to draw a kitten! If only I'd realised! So, I did take more than 60 mins...I gave up at 90! Doesn't time fly when you are trying to solve a hairy problem? :evil:
Ah well...here it is

and my ref
My daughter's brand new kitten (one of them anyway!) may I introduce Ruby? :D

05-30-2005, 04:17 PM
Cute kitty! I think you did excellently well with OPs!

05-31-2005, 05:30 AM
Deirdre, I think you did a great job, especially as fur is much trickier in OPs (I find) than in softies. And yes, Ruby must have been an irresistible subject!

05-31-2005, 08:04 AM
Thanks E-J & Sooz! It was not the kitten I came across by chance...it was the weekly pastel sketches! :D I've looked & Posted, in both the OP & Soft pastel studios....but never thought to look in here! :wink2:
The kitten, is 10 weeks old and belongs to my daughter! :cat:

Ruth Grinstead
06-02-2005, 06:47 AM
Hi All

Lovely kitten, Deidre, so sweet.

I have been AWOL so long I can't remember how to do anything.

Have had the builders in for 3 months doing a 5 week job and it has made me tired and fed up because it is still all wrong.

So I need to get some creativity back.

So something quick and easy, Raw Ratatouille which I dumped down on some white melamine, cos it was there.



06-02-2005, 07:05 AM
I love the colours in the aubergine. Luscious
I can sympathise with you about builders. Just to cheer you up you will probably be dusting at full tilt for ages. At least you've done with it.

06-02-2005, 08:58 AM
Hello Ruth. This is a terrific sketch! I too love all the rich colours you've put in that aubergine. You've made me feel guilty with this one ... watch this space and I may be back this afternoon with a sketch of my own! Well, I'll HAVE to, now I've said that :)

06-02-2005, 12:58 PM
Eggplant=aubergine? Wow, didn't know that! I love to paint them, but don't EVEN try to make me eat one! ACKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK! PTOOOOOEY!!!

Excellent sketch, tho!

06-02-2005, 01:56 PM
Yep Sooz, eggplant/aubergine is one of the MANY food-related words that are different in UK and US English! There are so many vegetables, herbs and also cooking utensils that for some reason are given strange names in the US ... hehe. The one I've never quite got to grips with is your word for a swede - 'rutabaga'. Always thought that was a car :)

Well, I can't in all honesty post this afternoon's sketch because I decided an hour wasn't enough and kept going for a further 30 mins. It seems to be the nature of OPs for the 'ugly' stage to last a lot longer. But here's a link.


Ruth Grinstead
06-02-2005, 02:28 PM
Hi Ann Thank you. I am unlikely to get on top of the dust situation as I have started adding to it :D

Hi E-J - Thank you. I love your sketch and sometimes they just need to go over time. Just don't go feeling guilty on me again as it turned into a cloud that lurked over East Anglia all day.

Hi Sooz - Thank you. Funny thing this language business. Eggplants are gorgeous to paint aren't they, but I like to eat them too. I eat much better when I am painting as it gives me an excuse to linger over the fruit and veg in the store and bring loads home.


06-02-2005, 03:17 PM
Just don't go feeling guilty on me again as it turned into a cloud that lurked over East Anglia all day.

Ha ha ... sorry about that :)

Sooz, aubergines are really very tasty provided they're drained/dried and salted properly and have the bitterness cooked out of them. Honest. See, you get sketches AND cookery tips in this thread!!

06-02-2005, 03:31 PM
Ha ha ... sorry about that :)

Sooz, aubergines are really very tasty provided they're drained/dried and salted properly and have the bitterness cooked out of them. Honest. See, you get sketches AND cookery tips in this thread!!

YACK!!! Nonononononooooooooooooooo! And no rutabaga EITHER! yeesh...next thing you know you'll be sending me a haggis!!!

The kitty is cute! Love the self-satisfied expression.

06-03-2005, 02:23 AM
Haven't touched a pastel in 5 months. Finally finished those "I'll draw after I . . . ." projects. I have never done anything in an hour. Feels strange. Looks aweful. But, I painted!! :D

06-03-2005, 04:15 AM
yeesh...next thing you know you'll be sending me a haggis!!!

Oy oy Sooz ... what's wrong with haggis???? :confused:

06-03-2005, 04:18 AM
Haven't touched a pastel in 5 months. Finally finished those "I'll draw after I . . . ." projects. I have never done anything in an hour. Feels strange. Looks aweful. But, I painted!! :D

It doesn't look awful!! Your iris is exactly the kind of thing that an hour's sketching time is great for achieving: a loose piece which captures the essence of the subject and, best of all, warms you up for further painting after time away from your pastels! Welcome to the thread and we hope to see more :)

06-03-2005, 03:09 PM
I'm a new kid here, and new to painting in general. Well new to art in general. I have not done any "art" other than doodling on the edge of my paper while sitting in meetings at work for 30 years, LOL.

But I recently began taking art lessons, something I've always dreamed of doing, and have fallen in love with pastels. I love the paintings I see here at wetcanvas, and make all mine look like kindergarten stuff. I'd never have the nerve to post one of my pictures here - but I thought this category was something I could try.

After all, it's only a sketch. No one will expect it to be perfect! (right????). While on vacation last week week I decided to try some "plein air" painting. To show how far my education has progressed - a month ago I'd never even heard of the term "plein air". LOL

So this is a picture I did at the beach at Fort Macon, NC. I got up early to be first at the beach, and I worked fast for fear people would arrive and start wanting to look over my shoulder. I spent about 45 minutes on this picture. It needs more work, but people were starting to arrive at the beach and I was too self-conscious to stay any longer. So it fits within the 1-hour time limit. Actually all the plein air pictures I did fit as I found it so frustrating I could not spend longer than an hour!

Debbie C.
(or course I'm not sure if my picture will be here or not. I've never done this before. It *says* it's attached but I don't see it in the post preview. Oh well, if it does not make it I'll save myself some embarrassment)

06-03-2005, 03:43 PM
I love it!!!
It's awesome. :clap: I'm kind of a newbie too. I bought a box of pastels when I was about 25 and moved them with me for decades. I finally decided about 2 years ago that I was getting so old that if I didn't start soon I would not be able to see. :eek:
Congratulations on taking the plunge.

06-03-2005, 04:08 PM
Debbie, I see nothing of the kindergarten here ... and no reason whatsoever to be embarrassed. This is an EXCELLENT plein air! :clap:

Painting outdoors is a real challenge and many of us here would struggle to produce something as good as this. I hope you've posted it to the Plein Air forum too? They are an enthusiastic and encouraging bunch, and would love to see this painting and hear your story.

06-03-2005, 04:57 PM
Thank you E-J,

No I haven't posted this to Plein Air. In fact it's the first picture I've had the nerve to post to WetCanvas at all. I'm still too intimidated, LOL. And still feel too much the newbie, both in art itself, and here at WetCanvas (as witness my 6 posts versus your 3797 posts!)

But now that I've "taken the plunge" I hope it will get easier. In fact I'll even post a second photo to this category. I don't feel so intimidated when the goal is to spend no more than an hour. Some of the works on WetCanvas are fabulous but look like they took weeks to produce - and I just don't have that sort of patience.

This new picture I spend about an hour on, and it was copied from a photo I'd taken rather than plein air. I did it on blue Canson Mi-Tientes paper using the rough side. I had not tried that paper before, and was too ignorant to realize that many people use the smooth side. I figured since the rough was the "right" side I had to use it. I didn't like that surface at all, so originally hated the picture when I started it - which was why I stopped after an hour, sort of in disgust and frustration.

But afterwards the picture sort of grew on me, and I think the paper actually ended up working well for me. If I had used smoother paper I would probably have felt compelled to try to include ever little blade of seaweed and gotten too bogged down in details.

And my son and daugther-in-law liked the picture and took it to hang in their apartment, so I have one picture not languishing in a portfolio collecting dust and probably getting smudged. Just for fun I've included the reference photo as well.

Debbie C.

06-03-2005, 05:46 PM
Welcome, DebbieC! I use the C so Deborah knows I'm not presuming to call HER Debbie...lol. Welcome to the crew! You've come to the right place for getting your feet wet here on WC...sketches aren't supposed to be masterpieces, altho with E-J's stuff you have to wonder if she cheats! :D

This is a GREAT place to study whatever medium you're interested in. The Pastel Forum, particularly, is so supportive and welcoming to all levels of artists. I've learned more here in the last year than I could've hoped to learn in a classroom. We have well-known professionals here right on down to first-time dustbunnies...everybody is treated with respect and given lots of encouragement. Questions always get answered, as well!

Your first two posts are GREAT! You obviously have a thing for the ocean (I know I miss being near one myself!). Your water is really awesome. What kind of pastels do you like best so far?

06-03-2005, 06:18 PM
Your first two posts are GREAT! You obviously have a thing for the ocean (I know I miss being near one myself!). Your water is really awesome. What kind of pastels do you like best so far?

Hi Sooz, I'll admit I do have a thing for the ocean, LOL. I lived in Colorado for a year (many years ago) and I admit I was so darn homesick for the ocean I could hardly stand it. But I find water to be very frustrating to try to paint.

I've mostly used NuPastels. They were the ones recommended to me at Jerry's art store when I went there to get my first supplies, and I've been happy with them. I bought a small set of half-size Senneliers too but I have not been as happy with them and use them sparingly. I bought a small set of oil pastels as well. I only tried one painting with those and while I ended up liking the painting I was not 100% sure what I thought of the oil pastels and I put them away, and now can't even remember what brand they are, LOL.

I have not tried any other brands. However one thing I did learn when I was trying my plein air pictures. I don't have nearly enough colors yet. :p

Debbie C.

06-03-2005, 10:33 PM
You favor the harder pastels, then. Might add a set of Polychromos sometime...they're similar to NuPastels, but different colors and tints. Keep 'em coming!

06-04-2005, 03:58 PM
Hi everyone, I'm still pretty new to pastels too but really enjoy using them ..this is my latest effort which proves I need to practice, practice, practice......I'm sitting here wondering how I ever had time to work because I still don't have as much time for fun stuff as I would like. this is 9x12 red strathmore with mostly pastel pencils ..just a bit over one hour. :cat:


06-04-2005, 07:34 PM
Cute kitty! Very well done, I'd say! Keep dusting! A little bit of time is better than none and goes a long way with pastels! Nice to see you posting!

06-04-2005, 11:35 PM
Thank you Sooz .... the person who owns the cat actually recognized her so I guess I am getting better LOL

06-05-2005, 10:51 AM
I like the eyes on the cat. They look lovely, deep and mysterious, just as a cat's eyes should be. I always say I should do my cat Snickers sinc he always walks all over my art table when I'm trying to draw or paint, or all over my computer table when I'm online. Just like a cat. :) But he has green eyes just like in your painting, and I'd love to steal yours for his picture!

Debbie C.

06-05-2005, 07:29 PM
Debbie, the number of posts doesn't necessarily mean diddlysquat ... just tells you that some of us talk too much :) I've been frequenting this weekly thread for over two years now and it's been THE most helpful thing in developing my pastel skills. So, keep posting and don't be shy to introduce yourself elsewhere ... you're sure to be welcomed.

I really like your rocks and think you've done a fine job despite your struggle with the paper. I've only ever found that texture useful when painting oranges! Some enjoy it, though.

NaughtyTuck, thanks for joining us and posting your kitten! I'm amazed you could do this much in just over an hour with pastel pencils. I've got some CarbOthello and they do have a nice feel to them, but I find working with them very slow. I've never tried Strathmore - is it a fairly smooth paper?

I'm off to open a new week of sketches ... see you there :)

06-05-2005, 09:17 PM
DebbieC thank you and steal away *S*

E-J yes the paper has a ruff and a smooth side they seemed to go very easily on the smooth side

06-07-2005, 02:52 PM
Atmospheric Susan

I've been reading a while, but this is my first post. I hope the img thing and the attachments come out.

I got a new box of Van Gogh pastels (sort of hard, square) and on Sunday was diddling, scratching out the colors and seeing how they'd go down on scrap Wallis paper.

After a little while, I figured it qualified as a quick ditty. This was about 30-45 minutes and very different than my usual style. It is about 6"x8".

[Nothing worked. I am at a loss, but I'll try this. I had to email it to myself to reduce the image size. There's got to be a better way.]