View Full Version : Portrait or pile of dust?
02-07-2006, 06:00 PM
I am well into my portriat-of-the-week. Last time I worked on velvet grey paper charcoal paper (as the middle tone) using a sanguine and white pencil. This time decided to add a grey pencil for the mids and work on Wallis.
OMG you have never seen such piles of dust everywhere! Doesn't help that 1/2 the portrait is in shadow (which I like artistically but oh the mess). It's awesome paper but it's proving a lot more difficult for me to work with portrait-wise. At least it lets me correct like mad. Not sure how this will come out but am going to see it to the end. Possibly it would be easier using 'real' pastels instead of pencils- but that's a project for down the line.
Anyway, had to complain a bit before getting back to it.
02-07-2006, 06:35 PM
Oh, wow, doing a whole portrait with nothing but pastel pencils on Wallis IS a dusty prospect! Tips for next time anyway....if you want a very dark background, pre-darken the areas with an underpainting (can use watercolor, turps and oil paint, even acrylcs thinned down...just don't get it totally sopping wet). This will make doing that background loads easier when you get to the pastel phase! Also, Wallis takes hard pastels beautifully and they create a good deal less dust. A light touch is good, too, of course! :D
When it comes to sanded surfaces, a certain amount of dusted pastels is to be expected, but with a few deft tricks of the trade like those above, you can minimize the waste and really enjoy yourself instead of regretting all the dust in your tray! Good luck!
02-07-2006, 06:35 PM
Go right ahead and complain. Sometimes we need to vent our frustration to those who understand what you are talking about. It feels better and you can get on with things. And those you complain to shake thier heads in agreed understanding. Like myself, I have produced more piles of dust (literally and figuratively) than I care to say. So many things I've done is nothing but a pile of colorful dust and nothing remotely art. lol
And in the process have kicked up alot of dust. sigh.
But, we go on trying to make art and hope our next effort is that - art.
02-07-2006, 06:41 PM
during the recent wokshop i had with Biolchini we painted the Wallis paper with pastel and an alcohol wash. Use a large brush, it works really well!
02-07-2006, 06:56 PM
Thanks! I am actually making life hard and forcing myself not to use any mixed media with this current portrait series. Once I'm satisfied I can do it the hard way I'll start relaxing the rules ;-). I've been thru one entire C-O sanguine pencil so far on this single 9x12 drawing and it's not 3/4 done! But it may be looking a tiny bit better. Maybe.
02-07-2006, 07:05 PM
Brad, If it starts getting too frustrating, even if you really feel the need to do it, put the pencil down, and walk away. Do a quick, fun peice you are at ease with to shake the frustration off. Then you can go back fresh.
02-08-2006, 03:57 PM
Oh this was exactly my question and complaint in my "practicing, learning, etc." thread! So, Its not just me! I thought I was going nuts! Also, How do you deal with the drifting droppings all the way down your painting? Can't brush it off - that would ruin my painting - not supposed to blow it off?
Sorry to ask more questions on your thread Brad, but you are getting somewhere and I would like to! On Wallis I guess I have to take it our of the easel and thump the back whilst holding it over the garbage can? On velour I just end up with a blurry mess!:crying: :crying: :crying:
02-08-2006, 04:38 PM
BJC, you need to fix our painting surface on your easel so that the tops tilts just slightly toward you, letting the dust "droppings" fall free to the tray below. This can be done in several ways depending on what kind of easel you're using...most newer models these days have the ability to tilt beyond the vertical for this purpose, but if not, you can always put a thick piece of foamcore on the upper portion of the support bars, etc. to make your work surface tilt...secure it to keep it from falling off the easel with any of a variety of clips or clamps.
Also, it's well, especially while still learning (well, we're all still learning for that matter!), to learn to use as light a touch as you can get by with when applying the pastel sticks...there's no need to apply so much pressure that you wear down your expensive softies to excess....softies ARE soft so that you can "whisper" them across the surface almost...no need to waste 'em as dust! Practice your "touch" a bit, maybe, and you'll find yourself with a lot less "fallout".
02-08-2006, 05:24 PM
BJC, you need to fix our painting surface on your easel so that the tops tilts just slightly toward you, letting the dust "droppings" fall free to the tray below. Practice your "touch" a bit, maybe, and you'll find yourself with a lot less "fallout".
OK Sorry, I will go away and practice! Thanks for that - I must have forgotten to readjust my easel (still new to me!).
02-09-2006, 12:23 AM
Well, this one is giving me fits-- but have learned a ton. Most importantly have learned NOT to do another all-pencil portrait in 3 hues on Wallis any time soon! ;-) Am going to call it quits and will post the result tomorrow. Nowhere near as happy with it as my last-- but it was instructive.
02-09-2006, 12:58 AM
Brad, I'm sure you are just being hard on yourself. I look forward to seeing it. I bet it will be good. You are really a good artist.
02-09-2006, 12:32 PM
Thanks Diane-- just posted it for better or worse in the pastel studio forum.
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