View Full Version : Then and Now

Paula Ford
08-13-2006, 10:11 PM
Hello Artists!! :wave:

We would love for each of you to post your very first pastel painting, and your most recent pastel painting in this thread. All pastelists are welcome!

Let's see how much progress we have all made, if our styles have changed, if our taste in what we paint has changed.

Tell us
1. When you painted your first
2. When you painted your latest,
3. The materials you used, the sizes of your paintings,
4. How did you feel about your first,
5. How do you feel about your latest,

Tell us anything you feel about the two paintings, including where you want to go next with your art.

Have lots of fun!!

This is going to be so exciting!!!


Kathryn Wilson
08-13-2006, 10:20 PM
I agree! This should be lots of fun - :)

08-13-2006, 10:24 PM
okay - I'm in.

Very First - this one was painted on canvas board (not even gessoed) and with reeves pastels almost exactly 2 years ago. I hated both th pastels and the ground, but loved the feeling of working in pastel so much I tried better materials after that.

And most recent - painted a couple days ago:

David Patterson
08-13-2006, 11:13 PM
Oh Boy! Aging ones self is so enjoyable!:rolleyes: I'm going to cheat and show three - only because the first was Oil pastel. The second was my 1st soft pastel, then my most recent soft pastel.

This is titled "Nude on Grass" (It was the 70's okay...there was a pun intended). :lol: It's oil pastel on cheap tag board (poor student) It's 14"x20". I dated it 2005, but 90% of it was done in 1973 (ouch) - I touched it up a little last year. I think at the time I liked the vivid colors. I remember finding that shading was a lot tougher to do in oil pastel verses the graphite pencils I was normally working with. It was done in a figure drawing class while I was in college. We had to work fast, but I remember working a lot of my paintings/drawings away from class.


This was done in the Spring of 2005. I was still in my "nude" phase - 30 years later. This is when I finally got back into my art. I felt comfortable starting with a subject that I left off with 30 years ago...nudes! :o . It was done on canson pastel paper. It's 19"x13". I used Rembrandts only. It's tiled "Enzo". It's from a photo done by the French photographer Ludovic Goubet. Permission to use the image was granted by him. We had some great first coversations, then he turned it into a bash America email barrage, so I refused to respond to him anymore. Anyway, that's a very long ugly story. I really liked the results of this - it was my very first soft pastel painting. I especially liked the blues I used in the skin tones. I fell in love with soft pastels with this first attempt.


My last soft pastel many of you have seen. It's titled "Where Birds Fly". The tile comes from the first two people I showed it to - they said that they wish they could be a bird, and just fly down into that valley and explore it all. I think this painting has given me more joy then any other work I have done - mainly because of the reaction I get when a person looks at it. What more can an artist ask for?! :) It was done this past June. I know, it's been awhile, but I also do a lot of photography - and summer is a photographers delight in the rainy Northwest! I prepared my own sanded board, and for the first time used black colourfix for the surface. It's 18"X24", using Rembrandts for the initial layer - following up with Sennelier's, Mount Vision's, Schmincke's and Unison's. (yes, I've added to my collection of pastels, like most of you) :D I love the way it came out. The colors really popped on this surface. I have sold two prints of it also. So thats my story - and I'm sticking to it! :D Oh - Where do I want to go with my art? I want to do more impressionistic landscapes. I've never been comfortable with my photo realism work. Thanks for starting this thread Paula, I can't wait to see how people have progressed. This IS going to be a fun thread to watch!!


08-14-2006, 07:36 AM
Great thread Paula!! My Mom has my very FIRST pastel I did when I was around 12-13, so I don't have a pic of that , but here are a couple of my first done around 99-2000, as I had done oil and watercolor prior to that..
First is on a terracota Canson and Rembrandts 9X12
A cream Canson and Rembrandts (one of my first landscapes)sorry about the flash, it is under glass...
This was a fairly recent spring, I think Still Life
Wallis paper and Art Sprctrum softies
Last week Ampersand with Watercolor underpainting, Great American softies.
I fell in love with pastels after having to wing a class in them that I had to sub for, and it was history after that:D Started with a 6o set of Rembrandts, and now have tone of different softies.. I am having fun experimenting with different techniques and pushing the envelope a bit to see what happens..also trying different subject matter outside my comfort zone to push myself...Basically I want to go as far as I can possibly go with my art, what else is there????:D What fun Paula..can't wait to see more responses!!! Tres

Pat Isaac
08-14-2006, 09:31 AM
This is fun. I'm in. First I have to find my first OP.


Piper Ballou
08-14-2006, 10:54 AM
I started with soft pastels two years ago. this is my first animal 18 by 24 on Canson paper with a student grade of pastels

I did this cat this summer, 9 by 12 on Wallis

David Patterson
08-14-2006, 11:14 AM
Hi Piper, even though I love the first one, and it has great technique - the 2nd one is so very refined, with better composition. Nice improvement:thumbsup:


08-14-2006, 11:33 AM
Ooh, what a fun thread. I don't actually have a picture of my *first* pastel. That's because, back around 1980, my parents took an art class at a local adult school, and enjoyed it so much my mom encouraged me to take the class too - since she knew I was interested in art although I had really done nothing with it since Junior High. I signed up for the class, and the instructor had us work in pastel - the first time I'd ever tried it. It was fun, but my son was only a year old at the time, and I was working full-time 40+ hours a week, and just had no time for art in my life. So after that class I gave up art again for 25 years, and don't have any pix of whatever I did in that class.

But in the spring of 2005 I was an empty-nester for a while, and my creative juices began to flow again, and I decided to take a drawing class. After several sessions the instructor allowed us to use color, and again pastels were what we were allowed to use. Being in the digital age now I was able to capture the images, so this was the first picture where I was allowed to use pastel color. The instructor was enamoured of fruit and veggies, and was always plunking them down on the table for us to draw, though a friend of mine tells me I had a rather risque-looking angle for this one. :)


At the end of the 8-week session the instructor felt we should try portraits, and suggested we bring in reference photos to work from, and so the last thing I did in that class was this portrait of my mother:


Anyway, I loved that drawing class so much I hated for it to end, and began taking lessons at the art museum that summer of 2005, and have been taking them there ever since.

So as a comparison I thought I would show a recent still life and a recent portrait. This is my most recent still life, done in class this spring when the model did not show up for the evening.


And this is a portrait done in class a couple weeks ago:


08-14-2006, 12:06 PM
Piper, I agree with David. I do love your first dog there - so soft-looking, and such a sweet expression. But that cat is fabulous.

08-14-2006, 12:06 PM
Cori, what an adorable dog. :)

David Patterson
08-14-2006, 12:51 PM
Cori, Tres, and Debbie - what fantastic improvement!!:thumbsup:


08-14-2006, 02:05 PM
okay I'm in.....

The first pastel I did was done in May 2004....
I can remember absolutely falling in love with this medium...the softness, the immediacy. I didn't fall in love with the vibrancy of colour till I got my first set of with colour..:)

Loew Cornell grey tones, cheapie watercolor paper 140lb w/medium texture.
6" x 7.5"

Okay now for the most recent....

This one started out as a plein air piece while out camping. Finished in studio.

Mix of artist grade pastels on Colourfix 9" x 12"

I must say....since I have started working with pastels, which is alittle over 2 yrs now, my watercolours have sat untouched:D (I even think my pallette was shoved into a drawer uncleaned...:lol: )

Karen Margulis
08-14-2006, 02:54 PM
What a great idea! This will be fun to see everyone's progress! I got started with pastels in the winter of 2005. I wanted to take some kind of art class which I hadn't done since high school, so I took a one day pastel workshop and fell in love. I was lucky enough to find Marsha Savage and started taking classes. This osprey is the first thing I painted. It's on canson with nupastels and rembrandts.

This is an osprey I painted this summer about 18 months after I started. I now have quite a collection of pastels...I am truly addicted! I paint just about every day and I love it!

08-14-2006, 03:16 PM
What a great idea! This will be fun to see everyone's progress! I got started with pastels in the winter of 2005. I wanted to take some kind of art class which I hadn't done since high school

Karen, I can't believe you have only been doing this since the winter of 2005! Your work is so wonderful and professional. You are one of my idols. :) I love your work, and so glad you found pastels so I can enjoy what you do.

08-14-2006, 03:19 PM
We would love for each of you to post your very first pastel painting, and your most recent pastel painting in this thread.

Paula, I can't *wait* to see YOUR "then and now" paintings! :evil:

David Patterson
08-14-2006, 04:10 PM
Yes Paula...where are yours??:p

Pat Isaac
08-14-2006, 04:34 PM
I was always a watercolor and oil painter but in 1992 I was asked to do a painting for one of the retiring secretaries in our school. It was a painting of the land in front of her beach house. I tried it in watercolor and hated it, and didn't have enough time to do it in oils so I decided to try the student grade oil pastels that my high school students were using. They were the square Craypas and I did it on 80lb bristol.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/35760-pine_bush.jpg . After that I looked into better grade OPs and never looked back. I tried a lot of techniques and supports and for the time being have settled on a few. I do several commissioned portraits a year so thought I should put in my first OP portrait done in 2000. I always did oils before this. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/35760-Michael_web.jpg
These are my latest done within the past 2 months. Portrait w/Sennelir and Holbein OPs on rust colored Spectrum colorfix about 16"x 20"
I don't do landscapes except for that first one so here is my latest floral. Sennelier and Holbein OPs on black Spectrum Colorfix. 16"x 21" http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Aug-2006/35760-Its_Spring.jpg I also use Wallis sanded paper and am about to try clayboard as a support.
Really interesting looking at everyone's now and then.


Kathryn Day
08-14-2006, 06:08 PM
Hi, wonderful to see how everyone has progressed in their art. I had done a little bit of oil and watercolor painting in my younger years, then let go of it, as so many of us did during the working/child rearing years. When I decided to come back to it, I started in colored pencil, but it was too slow for my taste, so then bought a box of rembrandts and did this still life from a pic that was posted on WC. I loved everything about them. And I was so happy to produce something that was at least recognizable as a fruit/bowl. I believe it was in Jan 2003. about 9x12 on erstra sanded paper.


To compare, my last still life was this year. Various pastels on la carte paper, approx 10x7.

Portraits were one of subjects that I was very interested in, so the first one I tried was in 2004. 12x15 on wallis paper.

then did a couple of others, but here is the last portrait I have done this year. It is on lacarte 11x14, various soft pastels.

I have had such fun/frustration/fullfillment in this creative learning process. I learn something with each piece I do. I just need to make time to do more.:wink2:

08-14-2006, 06:16 PM
What a great thread this is. It is really nice to see how much progress everybody has made since they started.
I started in the autumn of 2003. I needed something to take my mind of other things in life so decided to do a drawing course. Hadn't touched a pencil since my school years.
I took (and still take) lessons at a local art school.
This is the first painting I ever made.

It was made on Canson paper with Rembrandt pastels. I had not got a clue what I was doing. My teacher really had to direct me. Since then I am absolutely hooked on pastels. The play with colour and creating a 3D effect really fascinates me. I bought some better pastels and started working on Wallis and Sennelier paper. I am still amazed what you can achieve with those little sticks of pigment.
The next two paintings I have made in the last couple of months, but you will probably have seen those.



I paint for fun and relaxation and have no ambition to make my living out of my paintings.

Paula Ford
08-14-2006, 08:41 PM
WOW ! ! ! Would you look at all these fantastic paintings!! The progress is absolutely astounding!!!

Ok you guys, here's mine. I first became familiar with pastels after finding Tom Christopher's work which I absolutely fell in love with so I purchased some Mungys at Hobby Lobby, and some Canson paper.

I remember thinking, "you have got to be kidding!" I had orange everywhere...on my hands, face, eyelashes, in my hair! I was an absolute mess! My husband laughed his butt off at me.

After this first experience something inside me kept saying "keep going, keep going, don't give up." The start of my love of pastels was January 31, 2004.


My first landscape was on February 2, 2004, taken from one of Paul Hardy's books.
My second landscape was on February 8, 2004
My favorite of all time painted on August 18, 2004

Oh Goodness!! I want to show you all of them, but better not. This thread was supposed to be the 1st and latest...oh well :D

Ok, here is my latest. It's a really terrible photo of what is really a pretty painting.

Where do I want to go from here? I want to continue making beautiful landscapes; the kind you can just walk into; the kind that you just want to fall in love with when you see it. I just want to continue making beautiful places to go.

Hugs everybody!

David Patterson
08-14-2006, 08:47 PM
Nice Paula - what improvements! AND - I think I've walked into your last dozen landscapes also...truely wonderful!


08-14-2006, 09:41 PM

This is indeed an amusing thread.
I don't have my first ones, since I gave them.
But I have some of the first that I've posted here.
The first three are my first ones :
Then I've posted my last one and one of my best, in my opinion.

Kindest regards,


Kathryn Wilson
08-14-2006, 10:13 PM
Gosh, just going back through some of these paintings brings back memories of when you all first came on WC - like watching your kids grow up :)

:clap: :clap: :clap:

08-14-2006, 10:39 PM
These are all so good. Piper I love your cat. Your dog too, but the cat is so cool. David I really like what you have done figures and landscape. and of
couse Cori's dog is so good too. Kmar's birds and Muffins' Tress ad Scalaway.
Everyones is so good. I honestly can't remember my first one but once I
started with pastel 30 years ago probably I'm still learning. I squeese in
time for oils and other mediums but pastel is more forgiving for me to work
with. I think my last one is a WIP which I' will attach. I keep changing the
darn thing because I don't do my sketch first. sorry I don't know how to
attach it. So, I'll just say I love each and every one here.


08-14-2006, 10:45 PM
Wow. Everyones on page two is great too. I missed seeing these before
I posted. They are really beautiful.


Piper Ballou
08-14-2006, 11:05 PM
This is indeed a very fun thread, nice to go back and see the progress. there have been a couple of times where I actually painted the same reference a year apart and there is a big difference there too....maybe an idea for a another thread in the fall....

I am really enjoying looking at all the paintings.

08-15-2006, 04:45 AM
This is my first and only pastel (chalk in sketchpad). In fact this is my first and only thing so far apart from stage scenery and that which I did when I was a kid. It was done from a calendar photo.

08-15-2006, 05:10 AM
WOW, there some amazing works of art here, I half wondering whether or not to post afterall. When I was in first year high school, art was a compulsory subject and within the first couple of weeks of term my art teacher told me not to bother continuing with art as I hadn't an artistic bone in my body, so naturally I never touched it again until about 4 years ago when I decided I'd like to have a go and took up Watercolour at the local Recreation Centre, the teacher wasn't a bad artist at all just not a very good teacher. Hence I have no artistic groundings at all when it comes to fundamentals or understanding what I am doing and why. I am hoping to be able to pick up on this by associating with all you wonderful artists and teacgers on WC. I did my first pastel painting about in December 2005 with Conte Crayons on ColourFix size A4, for Christmas that year my husband Monty gave me a complete Wooden Boxed set of Rembrandts.!!!!!
Here is my first one of a Maasi Warrior, his adornments were done with borrowed soft pastels of what sort I don't know, but we don't have tha amazing selection of pastels you guys do nor the papers.


My latest attempt is still very much a WIP and still needs a lot of work done to the woman's face and I need to redo the folds in her clothing to make them look more natural. I think I will practice on the same colour paper until I get it right and maybe keep it with some notes for futiure reference. It was done on ColourFix, beige colour with Rembrandts. also A4 size.


I will definitely complete this, hopefully in the near future then I will repost the finished product for you to C&C for me.


08-15-2006, 09:51 AM
This is indeed a very fun thread, nice to go back and see the progress. there have been a couple of times where I actually painted the same reference a year apart and there is a big difference there too....maybe an idea for a another thread in the fall....

Oh, this does sound like a fun idea! It would certainly be interesting indeed to do a thread like that. There are some of my earlier pictures it might be fun to try over again.

Dot Hoffman
08-15-2006, 11:41 AM
Hi, what fun! I'm not sure which is my earliest pastel, but this is one of the first, done in 2002. I am pretty sure it's nupastels on Canson paper. I was so frustrated at my first attempts I almost didn't continue with pastels, but the more I played with them, and taking a couple classes helped, the more I enjoyed them until I, like so many of you, got hooked.


Here is my most recent, currently at a show where it won a 2nd place award. You may remember my posting it a while back. It's various soft pastels on 16 x 20 Ampersand sanded board. I was pleased with it; it felt good all the way through the painting process, so I was especially happy that it won an award.


terence p
08-15-2006, 01:53 PM
What a great idea. Facinating to see the changes people have made.

I am including self portraits - I feel it would really show any change. I didnt realize how much until I found the older one, stored in a closet.

The first was done about 30 years ago on the rough side of canson paper with nupastels. While I still often use canson papers, I now use the smooth side.

The second was done about 6 months ago. Used soft pastels on Wallis sand paper. While I aged and look grumpy, I like the looseness of this, something I am trying very hard to do more of.

Paula Ford
08-15-2006, 09:39 PM
Oh! I couldn't wait to get home from work and see all the new painting here. WOW, isn't the progress amazing?

I promise to be back to say more really soon. The corporate world is booming this week.


08-16-2006, 02:39 AM
piper thanks for the link these are great

Pat Isaac
08-16-2006, 07:48 AM
I am more and more impressed with everyon's progress. As a teacher it is exhilerating.


08-16-2006, 09:41 AM
Hi, what fun! I'm not sure which is my earliest pastel, but this is one of the first, done in 2002.

Wow Dot, I'm gobsmacked. Your first picture is a very nice attempt for a beginner who obviously has talent, but your latest is just gorgeous, and a well-deserved winner.

08-16-2006, 02:08 PM
Cori: Great improvement isn't it?
David: your work is fantastic, from start to finish
Piper: agree with all, the dog is sweet, and loving but the cat is a real portrait
Tressa: wow, you do beautiful work!
Debbie: you realy have learned how to use color--gorgeous
Dania: I am the same as you, haven't touch my watercolors in two years. great rocks, you are good!!
Karen: I agree with Debbie, I can't believe you have only been painting since 2005, you are very professional

08-16-2006, 02:26 PM
I started to mess around with soft pastels just about 2 years ago. No one showed me the ropes but my father in law was cleaning out his attic and found an old box of Grumbachers' softies and this is what I concocted as my first piece..


I go to a pastel "class" once a week from September through May. However, this painting was done at home without the help of my peers! And of course now I am painting with all of you on Wet Canvas and having a ball!!
This is the latest:

this is a fun thread, thanks for doing it

David Patterson
08-16-2006, 02:50 PM
Dang Linda (pequan), not a bad "start to finish" either! You are very talented.:thumbsup: Thanks for the nice comment.


08-16-2006, 03:05 PM
This is probably the most inspiring thread I've seen on here so far. You guys make beautiful art, and have really grown your talents.

I don't have my first pastel. I mostly worked in color pencils, but a teacher in highschool go me to try some softies for a while. I remember getting dust everywhere. I tried softies again about 6 years ago, but never could get the hang of it again. I found OPs in 2003, and I thought i had found heaven. I was quickly seduced by the feel of using them. My first is a sunset with Loew Cornells or something like that. 9x12 on watercolor paper.
I was very happy with it when I painted it, and I still am.

The second is a portrait from picture that I just finished last night. 9x12 pastel paper with Holbeins. I'm really happy with the colors in the skin. I think I'm getting better. This is my 3rd portrait with OP's.

David Patterson
08-16-2006, 07:45 PM
Dot - amazing improvement - from frustration to an award, that had to make your day!

Terry, your self portraits are wonderful. Don't you love aging yourself though?:rolleyes: I'm going to make it a point to do a self portrait also, as soon as I drop 20 pounds!:D

"skintone" - your OP's are great. I love the colors in your sunset. You can sure see the improvement you have made also. Your portrait is very nice - a simple composition that really works. Portraits are tough to do - I know, because I seem to always have to start over when doing them.

It's really nice to keep visiting this thread - keep 'em coming.:thumbsup:


Kathryn Wilson
08-16-2006, 10:41 PM
I am astounded at the talent blooming here - can't wait to see more!

I can't even remember my first OP - I think it was about grapes or something. Will have to dig around to see if I still have it.

As for softies, I started so long ago compared to the rest of you - but I still have a photo of my first one. Will post all 4 when I get them gathered together!

David Patterson
08-16-2006, 10:43 PM
Can't wait to see them Kat!


08-16-2006, 10:54 PM
How did I miss an entire page? They weren't here when I posted either....They are so professional, they are all amazing.......

08-17-2006, 01:36 AM
Well, I haven't been doing pastels all that long, but here's my first and my latest attempts -
The tabby was done on a plain black paper with no tooth to it, with a set of 30 Rembrandts. :rolleyes: I finished it in February of this year.

The gorilla I finished this weekend, on Wallis paper with a much wider selection of pastels. :)

-- Linda

08-17-2006, 02:06 AM
WOW, Linda I absolutely love the cat, she looks so much like the one I had and still very much miss, she was 20 years old when she passed on. She looks real enough to pet.


Paula Ford
08-17-2006, 05:33 AM
Dot, Terry, Skintone, Linda, WOW!! Unbelievable how everyone has progressed, just unbelievable!!


David Patterson
08-17-2006, 08:22 AM
Wonderful compositions Linda! The cat is my favorite.:thumbsup:


Pat Isaac
08-17-2006, 08:46 AM
2 great pieces, Linda, but I do love the cat.


Dot Hoffman
08-17-2006, 02:25 PM
Linda, I'm blown away by your cat, and your gorilla, although I am partial to cats :lol:

Everybody's work is so amazing. I think we all deserve a pat on the back:clap:

08-17-2006, 02:39 PM
Wow! What a great thread...everyone has improved so much...it is terrific to see how much growth has taken place and I bet a lot of it is due to the wonderful help here at WC.

I don't have my first pastel as it is hanging in someone's house (family/friend). But since I just finished working on one which is sort of a redo from a couple of years ago I thought it would be fun to show them together here.

Here is the old one (in case you can't tell!)

And here is the new one:



Kathryn Wilson
08-17-2006, 03:08 PM
It's been a real pleasure seeing all the progress everyone is making - newbies and long time members alike!

I've searched through photos and came close to my newest and oldest in soft pastels:

The first is one of my earliest Wet Canvas paintings.
The second is my very first pastel painting - done in early '90's
The third one was done early this spring/summer.

The last two are oil pastels:

Henrietta - not the very first, but close
Arches National Park - my last OP

Pat Isaac
08-17-2006, 03:13 PM
Amazing, Sandy. Very nice redo.
Kat, that last one is fantastic.


Kathryn Wilson
08-17-2006, 03:36 PM
Thanks Pat - that last OP is one of those paintings that looks best in real life. We tried like heck to get a good shot for the competition, but never did quite get it. It may be a do-over as I really like this - I think I might go vertical on it rather than horizontal.

08-17-2006, 04:09 PM
I remember that first one, Kat! I love your oilies!


Kathryn Wilson
08-17-2006, 05:40 PM
Sandy, you do have a good memory! A lot of firsts on that one - first WC painting, first show, first award and first sale. :)

08-17-2006, 05:44 PM
Linda/Goewyn........your work is simply gorgeous.

David Patterson
08-17-2006, 08:09 PM
Very nice work Kat. The last landscape is my favorite, especially the clouds. One can definitely see the improvement from the earlier pieces.:thumbsup:


08-18-2006, 09:31 AM
beautiful work Sandy and Kat....amazing what a change from start to finish...I can't wait to see what happens in my work after a few more WC months!!

Merethe T
08-18-2006, 02:25 PM
Ah, great thread - I love watching how everyone's grown! And what amazing talents there are, what progress everyone's made!!

Here's my first pastel, done after I found WC and got inspired from all the wonderful work I saw here. I didn't know much about pastels, but had a set of 12 FC polychromos, and bought some W&N. I don't know what paper this is, I still have the pad, it's now used for storing finished works...lol This is about 23x28 cm. I was quite happy with this, and went for several crazy shopping-frenzies to expand my pastel-collection, lol....


And my latest work, done on La Carte, 23x28 cm also. Painted this with mostly FC and nupastels, allthough my pastel-collection has grown a lot since my first painting...


I love my pastels, and will stay true to them even though I sometimes venture into other mediums. Also, I'm a full grown WC artist, everything I know I learned here, with encouragement, and helpfull c&c from other WC-artists...

Pat Isaac
08-18-2006, 02:31 PM
Truly wonderful cloth, Merethe, and great color.


David Patterson
08-18-2006, 02:32 PM
Both are wonderful paintings Merethe! The 2nd one is much more refined from the 1st though - a marked improvement. I love the contrasts in the 2nd one - Very nice.


Kathryn Wilson
08-18-2006, 06:48 PM
beautiful work Sandy and Kat....amazing what a change from start to finish...I can't wait to see what happens in my work after a few more WC months!!

I hope you take advantage of all that WC offers - explore the other forums, including the All Media Events that are held on the weekends. Those are truly fun to do and you learn to paint fast and true. We should be having some fun projects this fall, so stick around - you will learn lots! Remember to take photos of all your work so you can look back next year and see how far you've come. :thumbsup:

Kathryn Wilson
08-18-2006, 06:50 PM
Merethe, this is the best example of how far someone has progressed - we can compare apples to apples! You obviously are talented, but are now refining technique and style.

08-19-2006, 07:31 PM
My first. Using Nupastels on Velour paper. Done about 2 years ago. 9 X 12"

My last landscape. Using Unison and Rembr. on Velour board. Done last year. This is the 12th pastel (or thereabouts). 16 X 20"

This is my first portrait in pastel. Using Unison and Rembr. on Velour board. Done last summer. 18 X 24"

I'm experimenting with Wallis paper now. I tend do work on several projects at once, so I have not completed works more recent.


David Patterson
08-19-2006, 08:11 PM
Wow Karen! Your first pastel is excellant, but I do love the darker colors and more of a depth feeling in the 2nd landscape. Your first portrait is fantastic - you're obviously very talented!:thumbsup:


08-19-2006, 08:42 PM

Thanks, I wasn't sure if I was getting to heavy with the colors on the 2nd landscape or not. I've only been doing color at all for a few years. I was strictly B & W before that. Portraits are my favorite thing as you can tell.


Paula Ford
08-19-2006, 09:50 PM
WOW Karen, such fantastic work here. The portrait is absolutely amazing and I just love both landscapes.


08-21-2006, 09:24 PM
Karen, love both your pieces...but agree with David ~~~it's amazing what darks can do to a painting!!

08-22-2006, 05:48 PM
Wow what a fun idea! I really enjoyed looking at everyone’s works.

08-23-2006, 03:33 AM
Sandy, you do have a good memory! A lot of firsts on that one - first WC painting, first show, first award and first sale. :)

Kat, I recall those trees very very well - but then, it was me who took the ref photo and I remember being amazed at what you did with it!

Hopefully nobody will mind me poking my nose into the thread, when I'm such a stranger to you all these days (fairly good excuse, though: my baby is due in 6 days' time!!) but I thought you might like to see a similar thread of "first vs. most recent pastels" which I started almost 3 years ago! Lots of great paintings in there, some from members still posting to the forum, others from pastellists who have since dropped from view ...


Lovely to see your work, everyone! Have a great week.

Kathryn Wilson
08-23-2006, 08:35 AM
:wave: :wave: Hi E-J - good to see you here. Wow, 6 more days. When you feel up to it and have a few moments, I hope you will post photos of the baby in the scumble.

Good memory E-J - I'd forgotten who the photographer was. Thanks for adding the link into this thread - probably a good idea to keep it up for future WC generations. Have I been on WC that long? :eek:

Pat Isaac
08-23-2006, 09:03 AM
Hi E-J, Wow, six days!! How exciting.
Thanks for the thread, I wasn't here then so it is interesting to look at the paintings.
Yes, baby pics when you have time...


Paula Ford
08-23-2006, 12:33 PM
Hi E-J! 6 days! You're gonna pop any time now.

So nice to see you again!

Thanks for that link. I just love seeing all the progress of everyones paintings.


08-24-2006, 09:28 AM
I love threads like this- so much fun to browse through, and so encouraging to boot. But I'm having trouble viewing your images because I have an excruciatingle slow dialup connection here to go with WC's intermittant slowdowns.
Here's one from when I was a middle-schooler: 8x10 Alphacolors on cheap charcoal paper, probably copied from a birthday card or something. It's hanging on my daughter's wall here at the cottage, and is behind glass. I think those might be spots of mildew, which wouldn't be surprising here.
The second one is recently finished and now in a shop at the local arts centre/concert hall complex. 8x10 oil pastel (and a wee bit of softies) from a personal photo. It looks pasty here but not IRL.
Third one is a plein air done the other day, 5x7 opies and softies combined on suede, 5x7. I've done a pile of plein airs this summer and love doing them.

Pat Isaac
08-24-2006, 09:33 AM
Wow, Wendy. A big leap. I love your landscapes, they have such an airiness and outdoor feeling to them.


08-24-2006, 12:08 PM
Wendy -- there is something very nice about each of your paintings. However, I think your last one is astounding. Your draftsmanship must be wonderful to have done it plein air. There is something very alive about it. Everything about it works. I don't see how you did such a wonderful piece so small.

Paula Ford
08-24-2006, 12:22 PM

Your first painting is absolutely precious and the landscapes are absolutely gorgeous!!


Dot Hoffman
08-24-2006, 05:58 PM
I've been off the computer for a while cause it got "sick", but now I have my new one, and it's mostly configured the way I want it, so I'm back, and I have to say, I'm amazed at these before and after pix. Wonderful!!

08-24-2006, 09:42 PM
wendy, i very much like the second one, third too! i liked seeing your very early work! i can't seem to find any of mine, dang. i am curious, i've not heard of using both oil p. and softs in the same piece, how is this done? thanks.

K Taylor-Green
08-25-2006, 11:20 PM
I haven't read the whole thread, just popped in once in a while to see what's goin on. Don't you love seeing the growth, others as well as your own?

My first pastel was a horse, of course. Lots of greys and black on velour paper.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Aug-2006/41107-Spindrift-jpg.jpg

Recently, I painted the same horse, same pose, experimenting more with color.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Aug-2006/41107-Smokeyn.jpg
This time I used Wallis paper. The texture is different, of course. Velour is so soft. I've won awards with both pieces, and there isn't a LOT of difference in the two. I felt more free with the second version, but that could have been from three years more experience!

CM Neidhofer
08-26-2006, 02:30 AM
Hi everyone. :wave: I haven't posted anything for a while now, so I'll jump in here. This is one of my early works, done about six years ago. I thought it was just soooo good at the time I created it!! :p


The second was done at the end of last year. I haven't done a whole lot since this. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Aug-2006/40633-PickaPunkin.jpg
A couple of unfinished pieces I hope to get to soon, along with a lot of new possibilities from photos taken over the summer and from vacation in OK, TX and NM. It's been a very busy summer and will hopefully slow down soon.


08-26-2006, 03:13 PM
wendy, i very much like the second one, third too! i liked seeing your very early work! i can't seem to find any of mine, dang. i am curious, i've not heard of using both oil p. and softs in the same piece, how is this done? thanks.

I've been asked this so much lately that I think maybe I should start a thread about it in here. It works particularly well on a suede surface. Opies go on first, the softest of the softies go over it, and opies will go over them, too. For the last couple of layers I sometimes just.... use them both, interchangeably. The softies are more opaque, the opies are not dusty, and those to me are the main differences; otherwise I use them in a similar manner.

08-27-2006, 10:49 AM
Kate: marvelously free second painting......... I can't believe you could do such a great job for a first pastel painting....talent talent talent!!!
Christine: love that "pumpkin" in the pumpkin patch...amazing what 6 years can do, although that dog is pretty darn good.

Paula Ford
08-28-2006, 12:48 PM
Kate, I love both of your paintings, but he second really pops!

Christine, It's nice to see you. Your first is so cute, but your second I remember from last year. Loved it then, love it now!


09-02-2006, 03:53 PM
This was so cool to see all the improvements people can make! This was a great idea!


09-05-2006, 02:38 PM
Wow, I've been up in New Brunswick, Canada for the last two weeks, with only a *SLOW* dialup access, so have not kept up to date with the thread. What a pleasure to see all the paintings that I have missed. So wonderful to see everyone's progress.

09-13-2006, 02:17 PM
I hope this tread hasn't closed :)

Well here is my first pastel drawing on velour paper.
I used Derwent pastel pencils. I made it 10 september 05

And here is my latest, also made with Derwent pastel pencils and velour paper:

09-20-2006, 11:27 AM
I am not a pastel artist, so I have nothing to add, except for WOW! These were so much fun to look at. You all have gone through an amazing growth.

Dorte: Your young girl has such life in her face. Since I am a portrait artist I think I need to take some lessons from you. :)

Paula Ford
09-20-2006, 09:42 PM
dbjs...WOW!!!!! Your first painting is lovely, but the portrait is absolutely fantastic!!


09-21-2006, 10:16 AM
Amy > hehe ^^ well I'm honored that you like my style of drawing. Don't know if I can teach you anything. You do some nice portraits! :)

Paula > Thank you! I was just thinking about posting the portrait in the pastel tread. I'm gonna do it today sins you like it so. :D

09-22-2006, 07:35 AM
Hi this is my 1st post.. nice work here!:) . I came across my 1st pastel which i think I drew when was about 10 years old lol so I thought i'd share here. I haven't worked with pastels for years now after college. The most recent one was a commission of Millie, a friends dog which had to be done in pastels so im getting back into it now:)

my 1st one i remeber drawing sitting on a wall looking at the back garden.. hehe strange memories looking at it now

This one above, I was around 12 or 13 years old and drew it in art class from a stuffed seagul and some reference photos..



And finally the ones above are the most recent and only one i've attempted for years so I really got to work on improving:cat:

Thanks for looking =)

Paula Ford
09-23-2006, 03:36 PM
Hi Acrylic Fox! Welcome to the Pastel Forum.

You certainly have a wonderful soft style and the pup is just wonderful! I can definately see that you've come along way.

Thank you for posting here!!


09-24-2006, 07:18 AM
Thanks Paula that's really encouraging =) I was a bit shy about posting at first.
I love your landscapes and could just get lost in them, they're really beautiful!
This is a great thread and its so wonderful to see everyones progress.


10-26-2006, 10:37 AM
I've been lurking over in the drawing & sketching forum, trying to improve my basic skills.
I love pastels.
I gave up cigarettes in 2001 & decided I needed to keep my hands occupied, and as I always wanted to be an artist but only could manage things that looked like graphic art logos, I decided to take up art.
I found a local art class and the first pastel I did was of a red-eyed green tree frog in November, 2001.

I gave this one away to a local community group when they needed something for the bare walls in their new building(I figured that even if no-one ever bought a piece of mine I would still be hung somewhere :o ).

About 6 mths later I did sell a piece & not long after I did this commission of a basset.


I have since become fascinated by life drawing - my favourite piece is the one in my avatar and my most recent is an experiment on black colourfix
70 cm x 50 cm.

Thanks for a wonderful place to post works and hear truthful comments and criticisms.

Paula Ford
10-26-2006, 12:31 PM
Hi Sue,

WELCOME!! So glad you found, and fell in love with pastels. I LOVE your paintings, especially the Bassett. He's gorgeous!

So glad you posted! Please join us in the Soft Pastel Studio and Pastel Talk. There are always lots of things going on over there.


Paula Ford
10-26-2006, 12:33 PM
Forgot something...Sue, your figure is just beautiful! The proportions are right-on, IMO. I love how dramatic the painting is also. Painting on black is always great!


David Patterson
10-26-2006, 01:17 PM
Very nice Sue. I see a great improvement from your 1st pastel, to your last. Love the "shadowed" nude - nice effect. Welcome to the Pastel Forums!


10-26-2006, 01:57 PM
HI everyone , Im Will, a newbie, this is a great thread, my first attempt at pastels ,was on some mount board that I had ,an old piece of off cut. and I had bought some pastel pencils in a sale ,so I produced this study of a Puffin . I fell in love with the medium and now do Animal portraits, landscapes , and have just done my first portrait . I love the medium, it is wonderful.The landscape is my latest , I did this this summer, I spend a lot of time developing the composition, with a great deal of thought going into the sky, I now use Art Spectrum board and a full selection of soft pastels and still use the pastel pencils. By the way Idid the Puffin in 2000 it was all watercolour and oil before that

10-27-2006, 07:49 PM
Thank you all for the kind comments.

This site is so big I could bounce around forever without coming to the same thing twice I think! But I'm getting better at navigating.

I'll try to join in on some of the threads but I am at a disadvantage at the moment, in that I don't have a digital camera to be able to post my efforts. But I will try to participate in my own little world and will post when I do update.

I've been thinking about a dig camera for a little while now - its daunting though with all that is available out there.Hopefully will find one that will do the job and I won't lose an arm or leg.


Paula Ford
10-27-2006, 08:01 PM
Hi Will, Welcome to the Pastel Forum! I just LOVE your Puffin. It's terrific. Your landscape is lovely too. The sky is fantastic!!

Glad you joined us!


Kathryn Wilson
10-27-2006, 08:03 PM
Hi willG - welcome to WC and the Pastel Forum. Your two pieces are fabulous and I hope to see more from you -

Why not post your first landscape in the soft pastel forum for all to see - they certainly would enjoy seeing it.

10-29-2006, 01:10 PM
Thank you Kat and Paula for your nice welcome and kind comments, I am looking forward to some good interaction on this site . I would like my national flag next to me,can anyone tell me what to do on this . thanks,Will

Paula Ford
10-29-2006, 01:14 PM
Hi Will,

If you go into "My WC" and fill out your profile, when you tell it what country you live in, it will then display your flag.


10-29-2006, 10:56 PM
Hello......pastels are holding a fascination for me, so thought I would show you what I've done so far. Pretty sorry stuff compared to all the wonderful work here, but I'm trying!
This first one I did about 2 months ago, on 8 1/2 x 11 plain construction paper. I inherited some Rembrandt and other pastels that don't seem to have a name.

This second one I'm not sure what else to do with it, so am calling it finished as of last week. 8 1/2 x 11 on Strathmore Pastel Paper with the same pastels as above.
Both are from photos. The first one I sprayed with a matte sealer, the second one I did not.

I would love any help or comments....thank you!

10-29-2006, 11:35 PM
Hi Sharon, :wave:

Good job on your Dacky.:clap:

If I can be picky I would like to suggest that you use a little artistic licence and make the eyes a little larger than in your reference material. In real life it is the eyes that grab us with dogs. Its those "great big puppy-dog eyes". By making them just that little bit bigger in a head study it pulls the eye and gives that impression of those eyes that we focus on in life.:wink2:

Also did you use black on the coat? I try to avoid using black and rely on a very dark pastel. For black dogs with a blue under colour (look at the dog in the sun and you will notice black dogs usually have a blue or brown under tint to their coat) I use my absolute favourite Art Spectrum's darkest hue of 'Flinders Blue Violet'.

Hope you find some it useful,


10-30-2006, 12:10 AM
Thank you Sue! I was trying too hard to get the picture just as in the photo...I will for sure take your advice and try for bigger eyes. I really do enjoy doing them. Yes, I did use black:o..... This dog definitely looks blueish in the light....!! I would like to do him over and do a better job.
Your suggestions are a definite help...thanks!

Paula Ford
10-31-2006, 06:23 PM
Hi Sharon,

Wonderful pups! Their eyes are amazing! They both look gentle and soft....great job!

I don't do animals so...sorry I can't help.


11-02-2006, 10:27 AM
Thank you, Paula.
Your paintings all look like beautiful places to go...all so lovely!

07-17-2007, 08:42 AM
Phew! There's some great stuff on here, and the amount some of us have come on is nothing short of amazing; a big, sencere thanks to all of you who relentlessly go round supporting and encouraging everyone else - it's much appreciated.
The vase is not technically my first, but one very shortly after. it's done on plain sketching/drawing paper, using some very cheap and nasty pastels. My first was used as a backdrop for fixing others, then became too shabby to use, so it got binned. Wish I'd at least have taken a picture of it. Time taken I reckon was about 90 mins, and it's roughly a good A3 size.

The helmet I did last week; Colourfix burgundy paper with W&N softies, no fixative, 10"x12" taking me under an hour (it's one of the Weekly Sketch pics).
Yeah, I think I've some on some.

07-17-2007, 02:51 PM
I was so pleased to see this thread!! What fun!
I have been painting for years, but just recently picked up oil pastels, and found them to be exciting! I have only done two so far! The first one is a little quickie of my Bichon Max. It looks like a small child did it!:) It is trading card size.

07-17-2007, 02:54 PM
And this is the one that I just finished. I have learned alot already about blending, but still have a lot to learn.

Pat Isaac
07-17-2007, 04:20 PM
Welcome, Paul and Annette. It's fun to see the growth and there definitely is.


07-18-2007, 05:56 AM
Hi Pat - growth can be a very slow process, one that needs to to encouraged and nurtured along. Looking at many of these works, I can see that most of the earlier attempts made by members are much better than my present!!!
But the one thing that WC! and its members has given me is the confidence to "have a go" in the first place. Skills will come with time and lots of practice, but it takes confidence to have a go in the first place, and then for some, it can be a very difficult thing to actually post.
This is where all the help, support and encouragment comes from WC! and its legions of members.
I hope this thread either runs for a very long time, or is repeated every couple of years so we can all share in each others triumphs. A truly great thread!

Pat Isaac
07-18-2007, 07:36 AM
This is the second time a thread like this has run since I have been at WC, so I am sure another will run again. This is a very supportive community and it is hard not to grow with all that help and cheering.