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pallavi
11-26-2005, 07:43 AM
I have already mentiones in my last post that I am a begginner,I want to learn art and some day make good pastel paintings,but the problem is that I cannot go to any art schools.therefore I can read through books and internet. i would even count books out for now, because the place where I live is very turbulent and people here don't bother about the books least of all art books. I have searched the whole city and I couldnt find one book in English .But hopefully things will change by next year in the mean time I can access internet.The problem with internet is that so much information is there and all of them are haphazard. For example take this site,it a gold mine of information but if a begginer comes and read the articles,although he would find each and every one of them to be very informative but he wouldnt know how and where to start his learning process. Each and every field has a curriculum or one can say a path to reach a goal. You have to learn the alphabets then small words,how to use those words in forming sentences and then learn how to make your sentences be correct and beautiful. Does art follow the same path and if yes I would like to know:
1. ABC'S of art?
2.What kind of exercises will help a student to understand these abc's and use them properly?
3.What are the exercises which can improve the understanding of perspective and drawing?
4.What are the exercises which will improve the understanding of the medium(soft pastels)?

Since all of you are a masters of this field I would be very obliged ,rather all the newbies will be really obliged to get this kind of information.I hope I will get answers to my questions.
Thank You
Pallavi

prettytulips
11-26-2005, 08:54 AM
I have already mentiones in my last post that I am a begginner,I want to learn art and some day make good pastel paintings,but the problem is that I cannot go to any art schools.therefore I can read through books and internet. i would even count books out for now, because the place where I live is very turbulent and people here don't bother about the books least of all art books. I have searched the whole city and I couldnt find one book in English .But hopefully things will change by next year in the mean time I can access internet.The problem with internet is that so much information is there and all of them are haphazard. For example take this site,it a gold mine of information but if a begginer comes and read the articles,although he would find each and every one of them to be very informative but he wouldnt know how and where to start his learning process. Each and every field has a curriculum or one can say a path to reach a goal. You have to learn the alphabets then small words,how to use those words in forming sentences and then learn how to make your sentences be correct and beautiful. Does art follow the same path and if yes I would like to know:
1. ABC'S of art?
2.What kind of exercises will help a student to understand these abc's and use them properly?
3.What are the exercises which can improve the understanding of perspective and drawing?
4.What are the exercises which will improve the understanding of the medium(soft pastels)?

Since all of you are a masters of this field I would be very obliged ,rather all the newbies will be really obliged to get this kind of information.I hope I will get answers to my questions.
Thank You
Pallavi

Hi Pallavi,

I'm still relatively new to pastels too. I have sat at local book stores and read books on Pastel and other mediums and bought Jackie Simmonds video, one of them and it seems the only real teacher is practice, (No offense Jackie) Each painting gets better and better with practice. I'd say just dig in and start painting. If you have no books available, start here at wetcanvas, it really is the best place on the net for this. Try drawing a still life, like an egg or jar and go from there. Train your eye's to see instead of interpreting what you see. As far as learning what 'Art' is, that is interpretation. I had an art teacher discuss with me 15 years ago what I thought art was by giving me examples of paintings - to me, it all looked like art, to her most of it was crap....so it's all up to the individual really. Teachers can give pointers and advise, but your the one practicing your skill. I've been amazed just watching various artists over the last year get better and better from this site, the support and practicing. Also, don't get caught on technicalities reading books, it prevents one from jumping in and painting.

The one main thing I'd caution any new pastelist is how addictive it is to buy more and more shades and brands of pastels. Some argue that you only need a handful of colors, but I need much more to feel confident. Start off with at least 60-90 colors minimum. Anything less than that will give you serious fustration to start. Also, buy a good quality pastel to start - like Rembrandt.
Stay away from student level pastels.

I'm sure some moderators will cut and paste some links for you also to start out with.... Everyone starts somewhere and not everyone here is a master, but there is alot of info on this site:) Good luck.

HarvestMoon
11-26-2005, 10:52 AM
Hi Pallavi,
I have been working with pastels almost a year, and sadly am still really a beginner- and I can tell you why. When I look back at many years ago's art- I was drawing with pencil, then colored pencil. I took a lot of time to try to get the drawing right before heading to the color stage. Then I did a series of fruit and such for a vegetable stand, with mostly pastel pencils- and did a pretty decent job of them. Since then though, I did go from a bad selection of hard pastels plus the pencils, to getting carried away with all the different types of pastels and easels. I must mention I had 2 pastel classes and the instructor emphasized very quick sketching then blocking in colors- pretty fast and at the easel. I have realized that in the past many months, I have not taken the time to do a patient, careful drawing first. I am too busy trying to get at the beautiful colors- and trying to do it all fast. Then I get disappointed in the results and do nothing for days. I would suggest that you spend a lot of time making a careful drawing of your subject, and applying the pastels will come fairly easily. There are some good VCR and DVD tapes too, if you have access to those. I hope your part of the world is quickly restored to peace. The situation cannot be good, but art is a good thing to lose yourself in, so to speak, to forget your troubles and create beauty among chaos. Or perhaps create moving images of the turbulance to make people see it and hopefully try to put a stop to it. Best of Luck!!!

K Taylor-Green
11-26-2005, 12:53 PM
Hi pallavi! You have been given some good advice here. All the books in the world will not help you, if you do not practice. Read all the info here that you can find. Then draw, draw, draw. If you are short on subject matter, check out our Referance Library. It is located at the top of the page under content area.
And have fun! Drawing is a pleasure.

khourianya
11-26-2005, 02:41 PM
I started in pastels about a year and a half ago (almost). I had just taught myself how to really draw and loved the medum immediately. I, too, emphasize drawing. I carry a small sketchbook with me everywhere and try to make drawing something a part of every day.

A book that helped me greatly in that respect was "Drawing on the right Side of the Brain". As for books and videos on pastel - most of the beginners books say all the same things. I really like the book "The Art of Pastel Painting" by Alan Flattmann. It is out of print but pretty easy to find used. It tells everything from preparing grounds and making pastels to technique and using those pastels. Both books can be bought online through Amazon.

Having a range of colors is important, but I think the basics of drawing will help you the most in the long run, no matter what medium you end up working in.

Don't discount Wet Canvas as an excellent reference too - I learned so much from reading the advice given to other people, as well as by posting my paintings and asking for feedback for improvement. I was really horrible when I first started and now I don't think i am half bad so it must count for something.

Deborah Secor
11-26-2005, 04:06 PM
Hmmmm, well, as an art teacher and ongoing student, of course, I have to say that I think there ARE some ABCs to art. First of all you must learn to draw. That means using line, contours, values (tone), textures, edges, and learning to use linear perspective, as well as aerial perspective (in the landscape). I'd say get a sketchbook and draw every day, if you don't already do so!

Then there's composition. Drawing is a great way to learn about composing without investing a ton of money. I usually work from photographs, so I suggest you take a good photo and try to make three or four drawings--maybe just quick sketches--using it. Look for different areas of interest and place them in different quadrants of the composition. Make some horizontal and some vertical. Play--try different things. Have fun. I like to draw in charcoal because it's so easy to erase and can make a nice dark area, too.

Then there's color, which comes quite naturally from value, since color is inextricably linked to value. In pastels you use color on color on color, in layers, so it's important to know the color wheel, what a complementary color is and what it does when used with its opposite (graying the color...), what happens when you layer colors that aren't the same in value, how colors are affected by neighboring colors, what contrasting hues do, and how strong value contrast affects colors.

In pastels, traditionally we work from dark to light colors, so to begin with you must have a good range of dark and light colors... This is where you'll learn from doing in pastels! As you progress, show your paintings here and let us give you a boost. We're happy to look at what you're doing and give a little advice.

There's a series here at WC in the drawing & sketching forum (in the learning center) that is basic, basic, basic. Take a look here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=276503) You will learn a terrific amount--and all free! Check out their list of art links (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232255), too! There's a lot of information there, as well as in our Pastel Library.

Hope this helps!
Deborah

Bringer
11-26-2005, 04:31 PM
Hi,

Quote : «....Since all of you are a masters of this field ....»

well...I wasn't aware that I was a master but if you say so, who am I to denie it :rolleyes:

I don't know where you're from be taking in account your user name, I'd say you're from Eastern Europe. Am I right ?
Well, I'm sure that during your stay with us (which we hope it will be a long one) you'll get many advices.
Besides all info that you can search here and through the net, I have started at the Pastel Talk forum a monthly thread of things that I find about pastels and art in general; mostly about pastels.
You can check the October and November pastel links threads.
I hope that you find usefull info there.

Regards,

José

KJSCL
11-26-2005, 08:03 PM
Hi Pallavi
Welcome to the world of pastels, I'm sure you're going to love it.

You've gotten alot of excellent advice here so far. But remember one thing, while books are great for reference the only way that you'll really learn is to just pick up a stick of pastel and go for it!!. Also remember, it's only paper.

Please make sure you post your paintings. You'll get alot of great advice and pointers from everyone here.

lmundiclan
11-26-2005, 11:23 PM
I have been disabled since 1991 and in order to not go nuts I decided to teach myself how to paint. First I started to watch the public channels on tv which offered painting lessons, I still watch them. I bought tons of books, the best one was Drawing With the Right Side of your Brain," assorted videos and spent a lot of money doing so. The best way to learn as others have said is to do it. Now I've learned to buy all my art supplies, books and videos from ebay. I got started on pastels when I purchased an old wooden art case full of pastels on ebay for really cheap. One good thing about selling art books on ebay is, you can get some of your money back.
Most of all have fun learning.

DFGray
11-27-2005, 05:36 PM
Hi
A quick shortcut is to work from the figure once a week
although in my case I am still working from the figure after 30
years

pallavi
12-05-2005, 03:20 AM
Hi
Sorryfor not responding to you all but you all must be aware that the wet canvas server had gone faulty and so i was not able to access this page.
hi deborah i followed your suggestion and went to the drawing and sketching forum.its simply great.i will be starting the lessons from today.thank you so much for showing me the way.
i hope i am not asking too much,but deborah can we have something similar for our soft pastels.that thread,as you already know gives us exercises and explain our mistakes.can we have something similar.i know, the thing i am suggesting will require so much hard work from you but though this medium is so beautiful it is not so popular.we can find so many artist doing oils or watercolor but soft pastels artists are so few.infact in India,this medium is literally non existent.
i have expolred this forum and have found that we are a kind of family and we are thirsty for knowledge.i hope you like my sugesstion but in anyway i have offended you then forgive me
BYE
PALLAVI

E-J
12-05-2005, 11:16 AM
Hello Pallavi

There is a wealth of information in the Pastel Library which will help you you practice drawing, colour and composition ... there's also advice on materials and pastel demonstrations. Here's the link: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134750

Also, as you have internet access, why not order a book online to get you started? Jackie Simmonds' "Pastels Workbook" is great for beginners - it has exercises to get you exploring the feel of your pastels, demos to follow and advice on the basic principles of art too.

Deborah Secor
12-05-2005, 02:30 PM
Hi Pallavi. No, I'm not at all offended that you would like such a series of online classes in pastels, but I'm afraid I don't have the time to do it! Maybe someday... I've been trying to get my new self-published book written, Painting the Landscape in Pastels, but that takes time away from the forum! I usually end up here answering questions, instead of putting time into the book.

For now, as E-J said, there is a lot to learn here and there in this forum and Jackie's book is a great primer. You should order that one!

Enjoy the drawing course, too...

Deborah