View Full Version : Jumping right in- WIP
01-04-2007, 03:59 PM
Well, on the premise that the reason I am hanging out here is to learn, I might as well jump in. This piece is on inexpensive sketching paper, so has some limitations beyond just my skill level. But I like the way it is turning out anyway. And I've learned a lot. Comments/suggestions/critique welcome.
My style has always been a bit spare, no matter what medium I work in. The important thing to me is capturing the essence of what I'm looking at, so that I can share it with the viewer. So I tend to focus on what will communicate that. It will be interesting to see how that evolves or changes as I develop more skills with pastels.
10x14 inches, 25x35cm. Used a photo as a starting point, but modified the perspective. Photo is of my daughter and granddaughter, but this is not a portrait. My sil has dibs on it anyway.
01-04-2007, 04:12 PM
Hi Dayle, welcome to the pastel forum!
Great start, I can already sense the devotion and love between the two, and I like the close crop! Will be back to see where you take this...
01-04-2007, 05:29 PM
Hi Dayle, Welcome to WetCanvas, everyone here is so very friendly and helpful, you'll love being here.
You say you are using sketching paper, you will notice an astounding difference when you start to use papers designed for Soft Pastels, the more affordable way to go I have found is using the Canson, some artist use the "wrong" side, or the smooth side and admittedly it is easier to get a better cover without all the little circle type markings. But wait until you use a sanded background, I use Art Spectrum ColourFix as it is the one most readily available to me, for the others I would have to get it sent over from the States, I did however get a "Sample Pack " of papers from Dakota Soft Pastels and can't wait to get the right opportunity to sit down and try them out. I just hope I don't fall too in love with ones I have to send overseas for as that can get a bit costly with the added postage. However I have found that using the sanded surface really helps the pastel to melt into your painting and just feels soooooo good.
Enjoy WetCanvas and enjoy your painting.
01-04-2007, 06:51 PM
Like you said, and like most of us do, you try to capture what an image means to you - I know that you said the essence - but if you don't mind I'll interpret it as what you feel when you see the subject; correct me if I'm wrong.
I find your work to be on the right track. The woman's perspective is a tricky one but you've managed to «play» it well.
Of course that when one compares the subject and your work, there are differences in terms of perspective and position of the characters.
But looking only at your work it doesn't look like something is wrong. It's just different.
For me, drawing people or animals is somewhat complicated, especially because I don't pratice drawing (shame on me).
Well....and that's all :-)
01-04-2007, 06:54 PM
Welcome to the Pastel Forum, Dayle! :wave: I think you'll find us a friendly group... :)
Your painting reminds me a bit of Diego Rivera's Mother and Child somehow:
(sorry for the size of that), or his Sleeping Family:
There's a sort of iconic sense to your painting - I think that's what you must have meant when you said it isn't a portrait. It's a very nice first effort.
I agree with the others who have advised a different surface - it's somehow very satisfying to make your own, as I see you intend to do. So, I hope to see more of your work here soon! :)
01-04-2007, 09:01 PM
Thank you, Clavia. I am not sure how much further to go with this. Since my sil likes it, I'll mat it for him, but at some point I'll do something on good paper, using what I've learned, as a gift to him.
When I started it, it was as an exercise, and I wanted to keep it uncluttered and not have a lot of detail. I chose a limited pallette for this, because I didn't want too much color to get in the way. I have to confess that I like the rawness of the strokes as well. Though it was meant as a practice piece, I was a little surprised at what emerged- it is pretty close to what I was "seeing" in my head. I added some colors and shadows after learning more about them in one of the tutorials. That was exciting. And stirred up some long-forgotten lessons on shape and color I'm going to have to relearn-- and learn how to apply in pastels.
Jose, the shift in perspective was deliberate, so that I could show more of the interaction between mother and child. I once had a drawing teacher who made us do this kind of thing, and as frustrating as it was to learn to apply, it is sure useful for all kinds of things. Thank you for your compliment. It makes me feel good, that I am making some progress. (And it is interesting how each of us have our preferences-- I am fascinated by faces, by how abstracting some element of them can suggest so much!)
CJ-- you must have missed my post in Pastel Notes, LOL. I had just taken delivery yesterday of an easel and 40 sheets of Fabriano Tizioano, hee hee. (AND placed an order for some Sennelier to add to my Rembrandts! Oh, and some watercolor paper, and some gesso and marble dust...)
This afternoon I spent playing with various effects on my new paper and I am really going to like it. (A pad of Mi-Tientes came with my pastels, and I quickly decided that it wasn't for me.)
Annie, I like the word "iconic" -- it beats cliche, which is the word that crossed my mind! I decided I didn't care-- I just knew I wanted to see if I could successfully capture the soft pleasure in the interaction, and it's nice to know I am on the right track with that. Eventually I hope I have enough confidence in my technique and style that I'm not so tentative.
I see a lot of places I could improve, especially technique, and quite a bit of finish work. Happy to take suggestions. In fact, I beg them!
01-05-2007, 11:18 AM
Your "spare" style works well! I really like the angle of view here. It captures this moment of intimacy well. The subtle toning adds to that intimacy. Don't waste these talents on poor paper, though, this is too beautiful to not preserve.
01-05-2007, 04:13 PM
Thank you, TJ! I can't tell you how much your validation means to me. Though I live in New England now (land of missing winters), I grew up out west, and my sense of color and shape is heavily influenced not only by western artists, but by the same landscape that probably shaped many of them. It feels right to me.
I'm looking forward now to doing another version of this on good paper. One of the things I think a good pastel paper will give is more depth and richness of layering- and less frustration!
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