View Full Version : Brown Bag - can you help?

Katherine J
03-02-2001, 01:28 PM
Hello pastellists

I was reading the thread about when people paint and decided to paint (pastel) what I saw as I waited for a watercolour to dry. I just needed to get back to my pastels. And now I really like what I have, but I don't know what to do next. Unfortunately, I can't send photos, so wonder if you can visualize and help.

It's vertical on Canson navy ground, 15" x 11". It's placed a little to the left. Should I put something else in, smallish, on the right of the bag? Should I put another bag on it's side coming from behind? Can you have only two objects in a still life and do they have to overlap in space? What about the background?

Lots of questions! I was thinking of putting in a small, painted wooden Pinocchio child's toy with moving limbs (can sit, stand, etc.) which when it's sitting is about 2/3 the height of the bag.



03-02-2001, 07:14 PM

It is difficult to help you without seeing what you have done so far. Is it possible to email someone the photo or post it here?

Here are a couple of "rules of thumb"...paint in odd numbers. Two, four...even numbers are ususally less interesting and more difficult to arrange for painting. So, odd numbers; 3, 5, 7, etc. is a good place to start.

Another, is not to add things just to fill-in areas that seem empty once painted. Just stop, rearrange your setup and start again, placing the main object to the right, left, above or below center.

One other, is to start with a bit larger paper if using pastel. Working at 15 x 11 may be too small if you are using regular sized sticks. Give yourself some room to work. Try using a full sheet (approx. 19x25 standard Canson) or whatever you're painting on. After doing a few you'll have a better sense of the scale you're eye/hand wants to work with.

These are just a start. Keep posting and we'll all pitch in and give you more tips.


Katherine J
03-02-2001, 11:35 PM
Hi Diane

Thanks for your useful input. I'm so sorry I can't send any kind of photo - I don't have a scanner (or digital camera) and the only person I know who does have a scanner is far too busy on her computer (freelance writer) to do me a favor. I realize it's a lot to ask anyone for advice when she/he can't see an image. My husband said it was much to much to ask of anyone!

It isn't so much that I just want to fill in space, but more that there's currently only one object which doesn't make a compostion and it's off-center as though there should be other elements. I get what you're saying about the uneven number and that's what I've always noticed about still life paintings. However, I did see one the other day with 6 apples, but one was apart from the others so it worked.

Good idea about larger paper, although it really looks good this size, even if I do say so myself! It almost fills the paper.

Thanks again,

PS Noticed we share the same surname, only mine's with a 't'.