View Full Version : Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

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03-01-2007, 04:32 PM
March 5 to 18

Hi everyone and welcome to the dust bin.

I’m so thrilled that you that you’re about to discover what I refer to as the “Chocolate” of the painting mediums. I’ve used pastel for over 30 years and it’s still my favorite.

There are as many methods of applying this medium as there are brands of pastel. I’m sure you’ve discovered as much if you haunt the pastel forum and each artist will soon discover just what works for them. My methods could easily be broken down into either blended or non-blended and the choice I make depends on the subject matter I’m painting. It’s safe to say the 99% of my still lifes are blended and that’s the method I will be demonstrating in this class.

It wouldn’t be difficult for you to determine that I love realism and the challenge of depicting textures. In the process, I tend to intensify colours and values and to accomplish this, I have to examine closely just what I see in front of me. I opt for photographic reference material because this allows me to really study reflected light and colour in great detail. Having spent many years doing just this, I can now confidently invent lighting situations and employ hues not present to enhance or emphasize at will.

This session is designed to show you how I control and manipulate pastels as well as to encourage you to see with your eyes rather than your mind.

Cheers, Dianna

03-01-2007, 04:40 PM
This list is what I recommend my students bring to one of my workshops. Not having everything on here won't stop you from experimenting with the medium to see if it really is for you however it will limit your results. Therefore be sure to temper your final decision with the fact that in pastel, more is better and you may have better results with a larger selection of supplies.


A good colour selection of soft pastels - no oil pastels. I recommend buying the largest set you can comfortably afford. A set with a bare minimum of 72 colors would be a starting point but I would go to around a 96 colour set if you can afford it. I can't stress enough here just how important a good variety of pastels is to the success of your learning the medium.

Recommended brands? Any firm pastel of artist quality is suitable for my type of work. Brands as soft as Schmincke are not. They’re wonderful for non-blended works so make great final touches but are too soft for delicate work. Unison, Rembrandt, NuPastel, Polychromo, Terry Ludwig, Holbein and Windsor Newton are some of the brands I’ve got on my work table but there are many others out there that I’m sure are just as good. My preference shifts as I experiment longer with each brand. At present if I were to have the option of starting from scratch, I would most definitely choose Unison, Terry Ludwig darks and would still have to supplement them with either NuPastel or Polychromo and selected Holbeins.

Koss, Mungio or SMI are definitely NOT recommended nor do I advise purchasing any other pastel of "student" quality. These pastels are usually easily identified by their lack of weight, large square design and low price. They have a very low adhesive quality and if you are taking classes with me because you like my style of work, you will not be able to achieve results even close with these types of pastels.

Pastel pencils are optional if you have them. My preferred brand is Carb Othello although I do use Conte, Derwent and Pitt.

1 Mungio, Koss or SMI black Charcoal stick. I know, I know..., I said "No Mungio, Koss or SMI" but the black sticks are only charcoal rather than pastel and work great…it’s the coloured sticks that I don’t recommend. This brand of black also matches the Pitt charcoal pencil. This is important to my work.

1 Pitt soft charcoal pencil. There are other brands but I prefer Pitt

1 General white charcoal pencil (this is not a pastel pencil)

La Carte Pastel Card is my paper of choice. Though there are many comparable sanded surfaces that I have sampled such as Wallis, Fisher 400 (UK), Estra and Sanfix, I find I prefer the La Carte for all my work and especially for teaching on as the deepness of the grain allows it to be worked a little harder without disturbing what one has already accomplished.

1 or two white clickable eraser (much like a mechanical pencil). These come in different thicknesses (1/4 and 1/8 inch) and a variety is always good as I use mine a lot. Pentel, Tipp-Ex or Tuff Stuff are some of the brand names available in different countries.

1 rectangular white eraser.

1 colour shaper #0 angle chisel (optional)
1 colour shaper #0 cup round (optional)

Coroplast, matboard, hard board, foamcore or other stiff surface large enough to tape each of your paintings to. I prefer Coroplast which is a type of corrugated plastic, a sign painting up to 4 x 8 sheets

Masking tape. The regular type not the easy-to-remove painter’s tape.

Flat, non-folded cartridge paper or vellum. One for each painting you plan to do. Cartridge paper is available at most major art stores in large inexpensive pads. It is very white and retains this whiteness so is an ideal sketching paper at any time.

2 old facecloths or hand towels.

1 good quality fuzzy-backed plastic table cloth for placing under your work. I prefer the round ones for the floor and square if you are working on the table. I use these with the flannel side up to catch the dust and hold it while the plastic side keeps it from going through.

If you have any questions about supplies or suggestions as to where they can be found in your country, please don't hesitate to ask or add information.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-01-2007, 05:06 PM
WOW! I'll give it a try. I hope I have enough time to keep up. Thank you for this opportunity Dianna.

03-01-2007, 06:42 PM
Oh I have been needing a prod in the right direction and you have captured my imagination - ONCE AGAIN Dianna.
I started back at the watercolour class in the Alps today, but it has been a while since I have done any artwork. I cannot pass up the opportunity to attend this class of yours Dianna; so I shall set aside time for it and forego the skiing with Mike - he's better than me anyway at the moment. I have been collecting all sorts of pastels since your UK workshops and now armed with the right tools I have no-one to blame but myself if it does not come up to standard. :evil: :rolleyes:

03-01-2007, 07:22 PM
Hello ladies, how great to see you here...and to know I am taking precedent over ones hubby. :lol: Here is a little information about pastels...The good, the bad and the ugly!

About Pastels

For those of you that choose this medium, you will enjoy it for it's immediacy and it's luminous qualities. A particle of pastel pigment seen under a microscope looks like a diamond with many facets; therefore pastel paintings reflect light like a prism and can actually glitter.

Pastel is pure pigment, the same pigment used in all art media. When properly framed, it is the most permanent of all when applied to archival ground. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause the surface to darken, fade, yellow, crack, blister or oxidize with time.

This lack of binder however allows these pigments to become airborne so one must be careful to institute practices that control the amount of pastel we inhale or absorb through the skin. The use of a good dust respirator and latex gloves or finger cots and commercial vacuum filters are the only true methods of protecting oneself but there is no substitute for common sense. Outdoors is the ideal environment but not always feasible. Overhead fans should not be used and any method you can concoct for trapping the particles that inevitably fall as we use the sticks will increase the safely level. Check your manufacturer’s labeling; as in all mediums, fewer and fewer are using as toxic components as were once common.

A ground sheet is a necessity but not so much to keep the floor clean as to contain the dust. For this I’ve always used flannel-backed plastic tablecloths (flannel side up). These work far better than sheets or towels which can allow some of the dust to work its way through. The benefit of the flannel (or more likely polyester fiber on the newer cloths) is that it does a great job of catching and holding the dust while the plastic backing keeps it from sifting through and theystand up to many washings.

Other methods I have employed are attaching a shallow tray to the ledge of my easel. Damp paper toweling can be placed in the tray. The Coroplast that I use as a backing board isn’t affected by the dampness. Wide masking tape (tacky side up) can take the place of toweling if your worried about moisture near your work.

I was just discussing commercial filtering systems with my students this past weekend. Never having heard one I was pleased to find out that they’re very quiet which was my biggest concern so I will check them out further ASAP.

Alas, the best advice however, is that if you have respiratory ailments of any kind, I wouldn’t recommend soft pastels.

03-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Hi Dianna...My husband knows his place too....he must work to earn the pennies...so I can buy the pastels...and learn from the best!:lol: Luckily...he doesn't read WetCanvas!!!:evil:

03-01-2007, 08:15 PM
Hi Dianne:wave:

Ohhh I looked up that eraser. General's Factis Black No. 18. I could have sworn it said pastels on the wrapper-but I don't have that anymore. On the web it says for charcoal and graphite--but I used it on pastels and it works great.

Thanks for giving us so much info:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

03-01-2007, 08:22 PM
I'm planning to join the class - yay! I purchased Koss pastels two weeks ago and they're not recommended, unfortunately, - whoops! Well, I may chug along with them for a bit until I get frustrated enough to buy the good stuff :)


KA Obee
03-01-2007, 10:34 PM
Oh my... I have to join in! I used to paint in pastel years ago and just this past year got back into it - but life has gotten in the way and I haven't painted in months (again!). This is just what I need, a back to the basics class to refresh my tired old mind with how much fun pastels can be!
I love the table cloth trick! I have lots of pastels, but will have to check to make sure I have all the other fun things you listed... Looks like a run to Jerry's is in my near future!
I have to say, I'm thrilled to have such a wonderful artist teaching this class. I can hardly wait to get dusty once again!
Thanks so much for the inspiration Dianna.

03-02-2007, 09:41 AM
Hello everyone! Do you wear a robe or a special piece of clothing when you work? What size of paper would be best? I'll go shoping this weekend. :)

03-02-2007, 09:49 AM
I read over the introduction for this class and found it so interesting, so informative, that I've decided to follow along as well. Course, there's the added benefit of getting to go back to the art supply store and shop for supplies.

03-02-2007, 12:25 PM
Oh goody, goody, GOODY! I will be back often for this thread (hope I don't get fired). The supply list was already most helpful...especially with the black. And just in case I forget to say it...Thank you, Dianna! I have been waiting for one of these!

PaperMoon, you are going to be amazed with Dianna's work, if you haven't already seen it. If you haven't go LOOK! She's amazing.


03-02-2007, 01:37 PM
Good morning everyone. Everyone wave at Deirdre....as she is the instigator in my presence here...Hi Dei :wave:

I've read here somewhere that it's preferable on the classroom threads to keep the chatter to a minimum ….I don’t know how I shall ever be able to comply with that but I will endeavor to be good so if I don’t personally acknowledge your wonderful comments, please don’t think I’m unappreciative of them…..I really am beaming here at home. :D

About Papers—the low-down

I will feature La Carte made by Sennelier as it’s my paper preference

Good – This is a great sanded paper for beginners because it’s slightly coarser than some others which means it traps the particles better so you have more time to ‘fool around’ whilst learning new techniques.

Bad – This paper cannot stand even the slightest about of moisture on its surface. The glue used to adhere the vegetable fibers to the backing paper is not water proof. So…no perspiring over the paper, if you must blow in it, do be sure there is not spittle in that breath (laugh if you will be you would be surprised how often that happens) and dry those hands and accompanying jewelry VERY well before touching the surface.

Ugly – Oh dear! You accidentally got some water on it and are left with a small white shiny area! No pastel out there will cover this so what you want to do is to purchase a small container of Art Specturm’s Colourfix Primer or product like Golden’s Acrylic Ground for Pastels. Take a ‘00’ (double ought) watercolour brush and using the just the tip, dab on the tiniest amounts barely covering the white background. Less is better in this instance as too much will cause a bump when you re-apply the pastel and it is easier to apply more paint later than to get it off.

Available in manyplaces but these are some of them
Canada through Loomis Art Stores www.loomisartstore.com $8.95 CDN per sheet
USA through Dakota Art Pastels www.dakotapastels.com
UK through www.artifolk.co.uk, www.heatoncooper.co.uk

Wallis, Fisher and Estra are also sanded surfaces that I’ve used. They each have varying qualities that should be checked out the novices since experimentation is the only way to ascertain which surface will give you the results you desire. Wallis is especially good for those who wish to apply base colours in either acrylic or watercolour washes.
Ampersand makes a pastel board much in appearance to that of a canvas board.
Art Specturm and Sabertooth make painted surfaces with a little less grit than sanded papers.


EP if you have a sanded paper, the Koss may not be too bad. The problem with student quality pastels is that they are mostly filler with very little pigment and tend to disappear when one attempts to blend them. A sanded paper would certainly aid in holding them on. Just don’t let it discourage you if it’s not working.

Ceccy you can adapt your painting to fit any size you like. I’m a firm believer in working large enough to ensure that what ever you choose to do won’t leave you will teeny areas to blend with only your fingertip as a tool. A full size sheet of La Carte is 19 x 25” (approx. 48cm x 63cm) and around half of that would be a good size. I’ll post some of my work here along with the sizes so you can get a feel for how much detail can be worked into various sizes."

Cheers, Dianna:cat:

03-02-2007, 02:13 PM
Here are some examples of my work. This is what I truly love to do...any thing that is a challenge. Additional pieces can be seen on my web site at www.ponting.com


Allsorts of Colour La Carte - 10.5 x 14.5" - 25 x 37 cm

Now this is a perfect example of a object size ratio to paper size giving you lots of room to maneuver those large fingers around in the pastel.

The following are examples of what one can obtain with a little effort and practice however I wouldn’t recommend doing such intricate patterns as the corn or the colour shifts required for the Swiss chard until one is comfortable with the medium and even then I would opt to do it on a larger scale than what you see here.


Three Oranges La Carte - 9.5 x 10.5" - 24 x 27 cm


Raspberry Corn La Carte - 12.5 x 18" - 32 x 46 cm


Bright Lights La Carte - 6 x 13" - 15 x 33 cm

Cheers, Dianna

03-02-2007, 02:31 PM
Oooo Dianna...I'm soooo in awe of your ability! One day, when I grow up.... I wanna do them JUST like yours!! Hmmm....I've just counted the liquorice allsorts.....where are the rest of them?:mad: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2007/33616-37258-23460-smiley_tap_foot.gif
I'm certain there were more in that packet!!:p :lol: :wave:

03-02-2007, 03:58 PM

03-02-2007, 04:02 PM
Deirdre....I just counted the liquorice allsorts.....where are the rest of them?
I'm certain there were more in that packet!! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Mar-2007/34523-34523-iwantcookies.gif Hmmm I can't imagine where those darn things got to :wink2:

Sennelier Colours - From my most favourite #1, next #2 on down to #3. #4 is getting a bit too dark for my liking but I've still used it in a pinch.


Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-03-2007, 07:47 AM
Hi Dianna this looks amazing :-) wow love that licorice allsorts pic yummy!!! i couldnt imagine that this is possible with pastel... wow :-) i usually work with colour pencil but have always wanted to use pastel.. im in australia and its hard to find the paper.. how would the art spectrum hold up? i have some of that?

03-03-2007, 12:35 PM
Hello Naomi - Yes Art Specturm would work fine. That would be my next choice if I couldn't find a sanded paper. I used it quite exclusively for a short while until I found the La Carte. For my type of work I found it difficult to get a solid white layer on a larger area using the darker shades of paper and the same applies with the amount of effort it takes to apply a very dark shade to the white paper.

My recommendations would be the ones with the orange dots here.


Cheers, Dianna

03-03-2007, 05:22 PM
When I read about the upcoming class, I definitely want to do this I thought, my excitement was tempered back a little when I went to pick up the supplies.
I found the La Carte Pastel card no problem most of the other supplies I already had (no pastel pencils yet)but the actual pastels I could not find a set with more than 30 soft pastels by Rembrandt. I could be somewhat restricted or an awful lot of running to the art store to pick them up individually. There was sets of 72 by Loew Cornell but I would think they would not be recommended.

03-03-2007, 05:43 PM
I've also been looking for an appropiate set of starter pastels. I notice Dick Blick has Rembrandt Soft Pastel sets in a set of 60 half-sticks or a set of 90 half-sticks. Would one of these sets be sufficient for this course?

I have been wanting to try pastels for some time now ... thank you for offering this course!



03-03-2007, 07:54 PM
Hi Dave So sorry you're having a rough time of it out there. Actually the 72 by Loew Cornell sounds like a good set. Have you tried the Paint Spot? They used to carry NuPastel at one time.

Laurel the Rembrant half sticks would be good. Check to see if they have a great red, red as sometimes their reds are more to the fuchia side and you might find another brand there with single reds to add to your collection.

Just a word about NuPastel. It's a great starter set as it gives you a good many colours for a minimum outlay however it's not perfect. The first thing you have to do is throw away the deepest red, orange and yellow and replace them with something softer. These three colours are so hard as to be dangerous. :p Although these can be replaces with any brand, I use Unison reds #7 Red (deep cherry red or lipstick red from the 50's), #Red 8 (slightly lighter cherry red) and #Red 13 (burgundy) along with any deep cadmium yellow (Y9) and cadmium orange shades (Red 3)

I've tried to do a colour chart of them but they vary too much on the monitor. The best I can give you is a link to the colour chart on the Unison site where you can zoom in and hope your monitor can see what I do then find something similar. http://www.richesonart.com/cat14.pdf

I've had several PM's here commenting on seeing a demo of the licorice allsorts so I ran out today looking for just the right brand...some are deeper colours than others...and will try for a photo if the sun shines tomorrow. In any event I will add either a new photo or the resources from with I did my posted painting and you can try it if you like. Looking at my finished work will give you an idea of what extra colours you might need to work along.

Cheers, Dianna

03-04-2007, 01:24 AM
Hi all, Dianna, Have a medical problem at the moment and restricted movement so will delay joining, however want to sign in as a lurker and hope to join in later.

03-04-2007, 07:44 AM
thanks so much for the info about the art spectrum paper :-) much appreciated.. esp the colour recommendations! thanks for that!!

Piper Ballou
03-04-2007, 10:53 AM
Hi Dianna, I am going to sign up and follow this thread too....looking forward to painting with you again

03-04-2007, 12:42 PM
Very tempted to join in. Loved the liquorice allsort painting.

03-04-2007, 04:07 PM
I am hoping to join in with this too maybe. Trouble is I work full time and have a busy social life.. so time may not be on my side, but I will follow this thread anyway ! :)

Awesome work Dianna !

03-04-2007, 06:16 PM
Due to my schedule as of late I am going to sticky this a day early.

I ordered the La Carte sienna, sand, earth, dar blue grey and antique white. Well looks like I selected some colors OK.
May be a day or two late for the class with those boards but I'll have the Art-Spectum to play with at first then.

Thanks sooo much for all the upfront info Dianna!:clap: :clap: :clap:
And those paintings are fabulous!

03-04-2007, 09:54 PM
Hi Dianna

I haven't been in WC much lately so I'm glad I found this thread. I've got a lot of things on the go right now but I'm definitely going to try join in on this lesson. BTW - I finally finished off my licorice allsorts - just gotta get it framed now.

03-04-2007, 11:56 PM
Really looking forward to this and learning a lot!

03-04-2007, 11:58 PM
Well hello everyone....old timers :clap: ..:lol: and new acquaintances! :wave: So glad you could make it!!

Well the sun did shine for me today so I got a few shots for a new licorice painitng....something just a little simpler than the gold saucer for those of you who wish to paint along. I will post my drawing that you are welcome to use if you wish.

My finished image size will be aproximately 9 x 12" (23 x 30 cm) so this is meant to be an overly large scale painting to accomodate large fingers new to the medium. :p


And a lightened version that you will want to refer to for the areas hidden in shadow.



A link here to a larger version of the same drawing cut in halves for easier printing.

I'll see you in the (my) morning...Dianna :cat:

03-05-2007, 01:19 AM
Dianna, quick question - what did you use to draw your outline? A dark pastel pencil?

03-05-2007, 02:28 AM
This is very interesting Diana! I won't have time to paint with you but I'll follow this thread! I hope to learn something to. :) thank you for doing this!
(I've already painted one using one of your other ref photos. Thank you so much for making them avalibal in the RIL :D)
Here's a link to my thread about making it:

03-05-2007, 02:34 AM
Hi EP - I do my drawings on Cartridge paper so they're just done in pencil. I seldom draw right on the pastel paper as with constant rubbing of my hand, they disappear far to easily.

Hi Dorte....so glad you popped in.

Firstly, I need to tape my La Carte to my Coroplast along two sides. But because the masking tape doesn't like to stick to the sanded surface, I’ve found another method that works for me. I place a one inch wide strip of masking tape on the back of my La Carte so that it is half on and half off the paper across the entire width of the paper, top and bottom. What this gives me is an extended surface to apply my final tape to once I flip it over right side up. Once this excess tape is taped down I’m positive that nothing will fall of or shift throughout the entire process of painting my picture. This isn't necessary for all papers but certainly is for the La Carte.

:confused: It’s a tricky thing to wrap your mind around so here is a little visual aid.


I transfer the drawing by chalking the back of it with the flat of a white pastel. For Art Spectrum papers I use white transfer paper (like carbon paper but white) or you can use this method. Do be sure to wipe off the chalk once you have done only as much transferring as you need. You can apply more later to other areas but don't want any residual chalk left on the areas that you have already painted.

Any questions....don't hesitate to ask. Cheers, Dianna

03-05-2007, 03:29 AM
God Morning Dianna....I've brought you an apple!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Mar-2007/33616-apple.jpg Might as well start off right!!:wink2: :lol:
I've saved your pictures...then found a problem...I could only get the larger size la Carte...will that do?

03-05-2007, 06:00 AM
God Morning Dianna....I've brought you an apple!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Mar-2007/33616-apple.jpg Might as well start off right!!:wink2: :lol:
I've saved your pictures...then found a problem...I could only get the larger size la Carte...will that do?
OK...so I hadn't had my coffee then:evil: :lol: ...I'll shut up about the paper...which is the right size!:o

03-05-2007, 07:08 AM
Hope this is right Dianna, had to use the darker paper...used the light ones last time!

03-05-2007, 07:53 AM
I can't wait to begin! I've admired Dianna's work so this will be a thrill to be able to take this class. I am very inexperienced with pastels, only dabbled iin them a couple of years ago, I do mostly acrylics.
Dianna, thank-you for giving us your time and expertise, I truly appreciate your generosity, and I plan to make the most of this learning experience. I do have a question regarding the choice of paper. How to you go about picking a color, what criteria is used? Is it overall color of the subject, background? Also, what a great tip about the vinyl tablecloth, I used one before w/ pastels, but shiny side up, you tip maked a lot of sense!!!
Thanks again, and let the games begin!

Merethe T
03-05-2007, 08:14 AM
Hi Dianna, this is so great! I'm joining this too, been wanting to take one of your workshops so this is a good second best...I guess you won't be coming to Norway in the nearest future....:D

I love your All sorts painting, gonna be so much fun to paint this! :)
Got my La carte and ref taped on the board, ready to go ahead with the colors....


03-05-2007, 08:30 AM
Hi Dianna,

This is great fun. Thanks a lot for all your time and efforts. Really appreciated. Love that reference photo. Would it be possible to put a full size one up in the RIL so I can print it? Not sure whether I can join in just now, but will definitely be following.

03-05-2007, 08:41 AM
Dianna, unclear on something--we are all going to be doing the same picture. That works for me but I had camera in hand to shoot some subjects for color pencil stuff and I was going to grab something for pastels but this is dandy too.

03-05-2007, 09:41 AM
:clap: This is a great start! I love the picture. :clap:
I haven't found some of the supplies yet. :( But I will catch up. Thanks again Dianna.

Vincent 22
03-05-2007, 10:32 AM
Yay, the class is happening already!
I had a feeling allsorts would be on the supply list... cannot get that stuff here:mad: , but that's fine. i will just feast on Diannas and everyone elses. They might disappear right off your screen!:lol: Actually, I still can hardly believe I was able to find pastels and have been playing with them all weekend. Paper is harder... Anyone coming to the Baja for spring break?:lol:

Now, hoping for a slow day in the gallery, so I can play... first things first.
thank you Dianne,this class is a treat!
frieda ( oops, my son Vincent is logged in)

03-05-2007, 01:16 PM
These Liquorice Allsorts are also Calorie free...so I can raid the plate as often as I like!!:p :evil: :lol:
Actually...even the the lesson per se has not started yet...there's so much good info here already that I've given it a 5 star rating! I'm sure it will soon be rated if we all do it!!:wink2:

03-05-2007, 01:18 PM
Good Morning!! What a happy group….Hi! :wave:

Let’s answer a few questions first.

Deirdre thanks so much for the apple...and the stars.!! :heart: So you and Merethe are ready to go I see. Great:thumbsup:

Jackie – in this method of painting, I cover the paper completely so paper color isn’t really relevant to what I do. The big decision in choosing a base color is whether it’ll be easily cover from the white value to the darkest value. The darker papers are little too hard to get back up to white for the lightest areas and although it’s not as hard to work the dark areas into a lighter paper its still an advantage to have some colour there. For this reason I stick to light to mid-tones.

Marina – I have posted it to the library though I don’t know how long it will take them of approve it.

Jay, I think that’s a question you’ve asked :p It's just force of habit... I find in my workshops that it’s easier if we are all working on the same demo painting. That way any answers I give are relevant to the struggles of the whole class. Anyone is certainly welcome to work on whatever they wish and I will post some alternate photos a little later should that interest any of you.

Welcome Cecilia and Frieda…and thanks for your enthusiasm! :clap:

I’ll just talk a little here about the order in which I attack a new piece.

As a general rule I work a painting from the left hand top corner down to the bottom right hand corner finishing a section completely as I go along. This just ensures that I keep my hand out of the finished painting and of course there will always be exceptions.

Although it appears that I do, I don’t necessarily work from back to front but choose the route that makes my life the easiest. For this reason, I intend to do the hardest area or object first; the area that would need the most fussing and blending before the adjacent area requiring less effort.

I’ve attached a couple of examples here where the outlined area is generally all one color which would be easy to apply and has seven or eight colors that butt up to it that will require a fair amount of work. This is where would I add and blend all these surrounding colors, finishing everything off completely then work the outlined area last.



I go out of my way to avoid using black until I absolutely have to. This means I want to blend of all those subtle colors that abut the black…finishing everything off 100% then performing the “coup de grace” with my wonderful Pitt Charcoal pencil or a tiny sliver of whatever color I might choose to use in place of black.

That said, I’m going to begin with the pink square candy at the top left leaving the plate and the table cloth for later.

I’ll be back shortly with a start on my painting…. Di

03-05-2007, 03:45 PM
Here I am at last :lol:

As you can see here....I have only traced as much of my painting as I wish to use right now. I will later rechalk the back of the other areas and transfer them. You can also make use of your General white charcoal pencil to darken (?) your transferred drawing if you feel it needs it.


The General White Charcoal Pencil.

This is not a pastel pencil. It has a somewhat different consistancy that I find unique. I use it for all of my small white areas and sometimes for the larger doilies as well.

If you use it to draw with it has more staying power than a pastel pencil. Now that is great unless you are trying to get rid of it later. So use it lightly as an overall drawing tool and a little harder in areas the you intend to blend over but don't wish to obliterate or re-transfer the drawing. Holes in a colander are good examples. You can blend the overall colander colour and the white outline of the holes will not disappear entirely.

The colours I've noted on the following visuals are only suggestions and can be substitued by anything that you have. The blues that I use are ALWAYS ultramarines (red-blues or lavender-blues) as opposed to green-blues or cobalts. Terry Ludwig has a wonderful deep ultramarine in his Intense Dark set. I love Terry's darks and use them all the time except that my cat (Brat Cat) just knocked them all off the counter and it was a disaster that we don't even want to get into here. :eek:

What you will find is that an ordinary all-round set of pastels will not have any real dark DARKS in it and you will have to seek some out. It's sometimes possible to apply your darkest colour, blend it in, then take your charcoal pencil on it's side and very gently add a thin layer of black and re-blend the area. This would work fine in the reflection areas in the dish but not in the actual candies. Consistently adding black to colours will give your painting a rather grey dismal look so its only a stop-gap measure and not meant to replace finding some wonderful deep darks as you need them.


Overlap all of your colours and push them into the paper with the actual pastel so that you have a nice ...not thick but a solid layer with no gaps in between. Lay down your colour in blocks and leave off the blending until you have applied all the colours in that area except the black and white.


Now I am ready to blend for the first time.


I then did my white area with the charcoal pencil before applying the black pencil.


Nothing left to do but clean up now.


Why not just draw on the paper?

I find that having the drawing on a separate paper, attached and ready to re-transfer frees my students up when it comes to the blending stage. If they are consantly worried about loosing that drawing that they have spent hours on, they poke and piddle rather than boldly go forth. It has proven to be a great stress reliever.

I would like to mention here is that I also add a couple of alignment marks at the bottom of the drawing so that as it gets used and kinked going from front to back several times, you can still stretch it out and get the proper positioning every time. These are marked on the pastel paper following along the bottom of the drawing sheet and with an added upright to assist in the sideways alignment


Please don't hesitate to ask if I have missed something.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-05-2007, 04:11 PM
Thanks a lot Dianna for posting the photo in the RIL. This class brings back a lot of happy memories, I can hear you talk and see you at work.:)

03-05-2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks a lot Dianna for posting the photo in the RIL. This class brings back a lot of happy memories, I can hear you talk and see you at work.:)
Me too! I just wish those magic, nifty fingers were here too! The photo shouldn't take too long now!:wink2:

03-05-2007, 05:59 PM
Hi Dianne, Your drawing/painting looks so great so far. Wait till you see mine :) From where do you buy your Terry Ludwig dark singles and your Unison pastels? I've checked the Loomis and Opus art store sites and neither carry these items. Terry's website seems to sell only sets? Thanks!

03-05-2007, 06:10 PM
EP...Terry Ludwig does sell Open stock...but minimum online order is 10 singles!:wink2:

03-05-2007, 06:15 PM
Dianna I have done everything apart from adding colour. I have been delayed but will catch up shortly. There is a need to lock oneself away and be out of reach for the duration of the lesson. I shall have to put a sign on the door "out to lunch" or "getting really dirty in here". Should I be concerned if I cant match your pastel supplier - I dont have Holbeins. I have nu-pastels, unison, terry's dark set and Faber Castell Polychromos. Quite enough I'm sure - just need to find an equivalent I guess.

03-05-2007, 06:59 PM
For those who would like the Large image of the ref...it's now available in the library!:)

03-05-2007, 08:43 PM
Oh Boy! I just love that work but can see that I'll probably be the dunce of the class :eek: excuse me while I have my usual kniption :evil: before I get down to work & do it.


03-05-2007, 10:52 PM
Marina and Deirdre....thanks so much for the vote of confidence and also for getting to EP regarding Terry's pastels. :thumbsup:

EP Petrov's in the Lonsdale area sells Unison but I'm not certain if they sell singles any more. Petrov's Art & Craft Supplies. 51 Lonsdale Avenue. North Vancouver, BC. 604-985-1545

The best selection in the west is Island Blue in Victoria. If you call them they'll mail them over to you. PDQ http://www.islandblue.com/

Currie's is quite slow but a good supplier. http://www.currys.com/indexeg.asp

And you can always have them sent up from Dakota Art Pastels as I don't think there is a pastel or paper that they don't carry excep maybe Fisher. http://www.dakotapastels.com/

Diana - you should do quite will with all those to choose from. If your ultramarine blue Polychromo # 140 isn't light enough they just glaze a little white pencil over it. The same is true of the PC light pink # 11(?) ...it's broken in the middle of the third number. The deep coral pink #123 should come in handy for variation and the dark maroon PC # 194 could replace the Unison #13 red.

Sue there are only dust bunnies in my class...no dunces. :lol: and don't let these guys frighten you as three of them have taken my workshops before so they have some practice time behind them. :)

I will get back to work early tomorrow morning. So sorry but I had to spend the afternoon shifting work between galleries this afternoon. I'm not really going to take two weeks to do this entire painting. I will work out one or two more detailed mini WIPs as we go along, other than that I will just show you the finish of each candy....unless you wish more???

Cheers, Dianna

03-05-2007, 11:05 PM
Oh Boy! I just love that work but can see that I'll probably be the dunce of the class :eek:

Sorry Sue, I have already reserved the dunce of the class spot :D

Dianna, thank you for this opportunity and devoting your time and talent

03-05-2007, 11:48 PM
I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere- but how long is the class open in the sense that Dianna will be actively interacting? I probably won't have time to work and post until this weekend. In any case it's tremendously useful just to read this thread, but I'd still like to upload my WIP later if possible. I seem to remember these are open about 2 weeks but not sure...

M Taylor
03-05-2007, 11:58 PM
Thank you Dianne for this oportunity to follow your class from my RV in La penita Mexico. I don't have all my 'stuff' so I'll follow along if you don't mind and learn as much as I can. MaralynT from Bradner.

03-06-2007, 12:56 AM
Tsk, tsk....we'll have none of that now Dave. :lol: I love the Crispy Critter. You must have heard the one..."What do you find in a burned out school bus?" Oh!!! I can't believe I said that! :eek:

Yes Rich... I will be here for 2 weeks. I'll be watching for you. :)

Terrific Maralyn...have we met? I was just talking to Doug today....gotta be one of your kin. :D

Good night all.........Dianna :wave:

Ruth Grinstead
03-06-2007, 03:43 AM
:wave: Hi Dianna

Just popping in to say hi. I will keep popping by but may not say much as I have a 16 day open studio event after Easter and it is new territory for me so a steep learning curve.

It is going to be brilliant to have this here to visit when I need a refresher after a break etc.

Thank you :clap:

03-06-2007, 04:09 AM
Hi Diana, thank you for sharing this with us.

I am watching and will try to join in, but am away for several days from tomorrow. :crying: I will pick this up again when I return.
One question - What do you use to blend? and how do you know when to stop blending?
Sorry, that's two isn't it.

Kathryn Wilson
03-06-2007, 10:26 AM
Hi Diana! Thanks so much for doing this for WC members! I want to join in, but it depends on time constraints. If I don't, I'll definitely be checking in.

Looks wonderful so far and you are soooo organized!

03-06-2007, 10:34 AM
Well, I did the 1st bit. I have a ?, How do you get the dust off, I tried to blow on it, gently, also tried with a soft brush, about the same results, the dust is still on the top portion of the paper. What am I doing wrong??? This sure is fun, but very messy :)!
Will we be posting pics of our progress?

03-06-2007, 10:48 AM
Hi Dianna and Fellow Classmates - I have a new set of 36 Polychromos Pastels. It was the biggest set I could get here and at Euro 60 and my being a total beginner, I don't think I should invest more until I know if I'm going to be a Pastel Person. I got a beautiful big sheet of nameless paper from a little Italian artshop. It's like a very fine, silky sandpaper in a rich cream colour - (the only colour they had). Of course the white pastel tracing won't show on it! Should I go for a blue pastel or grey transfer paper? I think I should practise making some marks on a scrap before I begin anyway.
Thank you so much for this class - I rated it five stars too!

03-06-2007, 12:52 PM
Hi Dianna,

Well isn't this a special treat!!!! I have to run out but will check back to see where we are. Thank you for being so generous with your time and your talent.

Mary Nixon West Vancouver, BC Canada

03-06-2007, 01:54 PM
Dee and Dianna - thanks for the info on where to buy Unison and Terry's pastels. I'm going to work with the ones I have but I wanted to know where to get the "good stuff" :)

Here is my progress.


The size is approx. 11x17 - I used the large images on your site, Dianna, and taped them together. I thought the bigger the better for my chubby fingers to try this :) I found that the white pastel on the back of the drawing didn't transfer that well to my paper. Maybe it's because I didn't have room on my drawing board to use as a heavy duty flat surface to chalk against.


Ruth Grinstead
03-06-2007, 02:08 PM
Hi Dianna

I'm back again, marketing is too much like hard work - I think I'd rather be painting.

Now I wonder if you or one of the other people watching might be able to help with my black crisis. I sharpened both my pitt charcoal pencils out of existence last week and to add to my woes I have misplaced the black stick of the:

'1 Mungio, Koss or SMI black Charcoal stick.'

I bought from you last year variety.

Have any of the UK people found a substitute? Or found an outlet in the states which stocks them and will ship to England?

Thanking you all in anticipation.


03-06-2007, 02:20 PM
Ruth, did you try the Rembrandt black pastel. I find that one closest to the charcoal stick. I used it several times. Good luck.

03-06-2007, 02:29 PM
Ruth...the Mungio Black pastel stick are sold in Ottewill Art Shop aka Denne Bros...Bury St Edmunds!

03-06-2007, 03:18 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Mar-2007/59045-allsorts.jpg Well here's my efforts! Note the dust.

03-06-2007, 03:30 PM
Well hello Ruth and welcome…does this mean you finally got your studio?? :clap:

Hi Kat…you’re more than welcome…hope to see you back….you also Mary!

More questions….well let’s see….

Marion – so far I have just used my fingers but I do use color shapers and I will pop in a list of just what they are.
How much I blend and when to stop? …. Good questions!
Backgrounds I blend a lot sometimes using the whole flat of my four fingers until I have a smooth transition. On this type of thing I keep it to a bare minimum. Only enough to blur the edges between colour shifts in the pinks of the candy. The trick to minimal blending is being sure to have enough pastel on your paper. You’re not trying to fill the gaps at this point …that should be done in the application process. All you want to accomplish here is to take the roughness out of your work. If you find yourself having to blend a lot, you probably need more pastel.

Jackie now I need to know which dust you speak of. Eraser debris is just rubbed off or touched off carefully with a thin watercolour brush.
I work on an easel and my easel has a slight forward tilt to it so the dust falls down on my towel rather than on my paper. Any French easel will tilt forward. This is especially helpful on sanded paper which tends to collect the dust. If you are working flat you will have to be careful to tip the board over quickly onto your flannel and rap the back to dislodge it. You need not be too worried right now….just be sure to erase any colour from white or light areas before applying pastel

And YES, please do post your progress especially if you would like feedback.

Robyn…good for you. Colour isn’t as important here as learning the process and getting your values right. You may just have to do a little more layering to obtain a variety of hues. An artist can make green cows look good as long as the values are correct. You can use any colour to transfer your drawing just keep it a light neutral shade.

EP- thanks for being the first post. Great idea to go very large…I can’t stress that enough for anyone first starting out. I see you have a lot of texture in your paper so you will have to work a little harder that I do to fill the grooves. I would suggest that you blend the Ultramarine into the pink just a tad more. Easier done now than later. If you can’t get it smooth, try putting some blue on your finger and applying it.

Jackie I see you just posted yours…..I will be right back to comment on it along with a new installment.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-06-2007, 04:05 PM
Hi Jackie - You've got lots of pastel on there so you should be able to blend just a little more on your next one. There needs to be a smoother and softer transition from the lit side of the pink to the top of the candy. This will make the edge look less sharp as we know they are not as crisp as I see here.

But more importantly we have lost the shape of the candy and heaven knows it may well have been squashed in transit but if you look at the angle adjustment and the correction I suggest, I think you will be happier with it in the end.

To do this you will have to erase the black first just in the area in question.


The arrow at the bottom of the above picture indicates just where I would have added just a thin line of black.....ever so lightly between the white and blue just to define the break between candy and reflection. This would be indicative of a "shady happening" that would occur as the edge of the candy starts to roll over and make contact with the plate.

Cheers, Dianna

03-06-2007, 04:42 PM
So here we go with the next candy. It was a toss up as to whether the white one or the orange/white would come next as they are about even in difficulty. Why I chose the orange/white one was because I would be able to use my white pencil on the white one to make a nice clean edge between the two.



My NP (NuPastel) is broken so I couldn't read the number but it is a very deep rust.

Now we are going to layer colours here to obtain hue that we can't find in our box. The more pastels you accumulate, the less you have to do this just to obtain a colour though this practice produces wonderful rainbow results but that is for another time.




The addition of all of these colours to one little candy is what gives it such a glow. Because this photo is taken in bright sulight there are areas of reflected colour like this one happening throught out it and these are the instances where painting what we actually see taking place rather than our perception of what this candy looks like is so important. If we take the time to note these areas we can exaggerate them and produce a piece that sings.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-06-2007, 05:09 PM
Hi Dianna...I had trouble finding the Numberless deep rust...so I found the colour chart (http://www.rexart.com/media/color_charts/sanford/nupastel/nupastel2.html) and that made me realise it was underneath! Duh!:lol: :o it's 343!

03-06-2007, 05:35 PM
Good girl Deirdre….Thanks so much. :thumbsup: Have you finished yet??? I know the speed at which you work so I’m expecting you to be sitting back with your feet on the desk waiting for us to catch up. :lol:

Cheers, Dianna :D

03-06-2007, 06:00 PM
You know me so well!:lol: :p http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Mar-2007/33616-coffee.gif

03-06-2007, 06:13 PM
Dee - you're done already? Yikes! Here I am blending and smooshing into the texture of the paper and that's only the first candy ... :)

03-06-2007, 06:14 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Mar-2007/34523-33616-coffee.gif Yes...:lol:

Here is something for you to work on....candy number three. As we can see, these little guys are as individual as people. Little candy portraits and painting them is the kind of challenge I thrive on. :p





Happy little candies. :lol: Cheers, Dianna

03-06-2007, 06:16 PM
Dianna, thank-you for the instructions! I'll make the corrections asap. I am working flat, so I'll do as you suggest to get the dust off, but I am using sanded paper and theres still clinging , I guess I shouldn't worry about that at this point. Thanks again!!!

03-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Dee - you're done already? Yikes! Here I am blending and smooshing into the texture of the paper and that's only the first candy ... :)

Smooshing ??? Is that good?? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Mar-2007/34523-34523-thinking.jpg

Can I suggest EP that whilst you are doing your smooshing you lighten the sunlit side of the pink and darken the end colours somewhat. The greated value change will give the cube more of that sunlit feel.


Jackie My first easel consisted of a stepladder with a board clamped across it to stand my painting on. When I applied the pastel I simply tilted it forward so the excess fell on my toes then leaned it back on my 'easel' to do the blending. Is there anything in your place that might allow you to invent your own temporary easel?

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-06-2007, 06:39 PM
It is great learning a new method-- this is so contrary to the way I usually work (which is all over the place in a huge mess which is constantly refined). I'm finding it a real challenge to work methodically and bring small portions to a high finish with others untouched. But that's what I'm here to learn! Still, I know I'm going to have to return to do quite a bit of tweaking as more of the painting develops. That said, here's where I am.

Oh, one question, the Mt. Vision I used for the shadows on the top of the candy is quite hard and granular-- having a tough time smoothing it out. Any suggestions or should I just go for a different pastel stick next time? (It was the closest color/value I had-- but unfortunately not all that close :-(

I did the blacks in pastel pencil and need to work them a bit more for sure.

This is really fun!!! Thanks again!


Pat Isaac
03-06-2007, 06:55 PM
I am intrigued by this workshop and even though it is not for oil pastels, I am going to follow along and learn some things. I especially llike your subject matter.... Still life.


03-06-2007, 07:19 PM
Dianna, You're going to kill me! I have an easel, but I don't want to get it dirty:(. I do have an acrylic painting in progress that I'm doing for an uncoming show. I will see what I can find, oh wait, just remembered my french easel!!! I'll pull that out! Cool, problem solved Thanks for getting me to think!

frieda L
03-06-2007, 07:21 PM
slow day in the gallery today, so I got my courage together and cracked open the pastel box... not the best activity in public, when you do not know what you are doing, but I thought a little candy was discreet enough...:lol:
So, here is my fist ever licorice! My 90 box rembrandt let me down for the dark colours, or even some light lavender I had to fake...
it was fun, but it seemed my 10 thumbs were blending all over the place. :rolleyes: There must be a trick to it...
I hope to get enough daylight left after work to do a second one...
Dianna, thank you so much for this class.:clap: :clap:

03-06-2007, 07:54 PM
Hi Rich this is going well for you. Sometimes when a colour is too hard, you can sand a little off, dip your finger in it and apply it that way. If that doesn’t work I would toss the pastel and find another. The reds in NuPastel are the same…hard as nails.

I would like to suggest that you widen the blue line in your reflection so there’s no background paper showing…even just smoothing it out my work to cover the whole area.

Hi Pate we’re glad to have you join us.

Good one Jackie just be sure to tilt that French easel forward.

theHi Frieda…you have a nice range of colours so far. If you do a little lightening with the white pencil over the pink on the sunny side and darken the various stripes on the shadow side as I have shown ….do this by using the side of your black pencil over the colours you have if you can’t find anything darker. Then just straighten out that back edge by going over the pink with your black pencil.


Cheers, Dianna :wave:

03-06-2007, 08:27 PM
Are you ready for number 4?






Is 4 enough for a party? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Mar-2007/34523-34523-spaz.gif Cheers, Dianna

03-06-2007, 08:29 PM
Update: I blended the blue into the pink, lightened the left side of the pink candy, and worked the darks into the grooved paper as per your suggestions, Dianne. I also painted two more candies.

Can't wait till the next step :)


03-06-2007, 09:04 PM

03-06-2007, 09:06 PM
This is looking really good EP especially your white candy with the hightlighted edges. You may want to take that white pencil and do the same to the top corner of the pink one. Just work it enough to lighten the pink but not make it extremely white. This will add a little continuity to the party. :lol:


Cheers, Dianna :)

03-06-2007, 09:07 PM
What is this Deirdre....it's only 2am your time??? :lol:

03-06-2007, 10:10 PM
This is what I have done so far, I did not scan it used a digital camera without flash, not the best picture. I am enjoying this project but will have to continue tomorrow.

03-06-2007, 10:39 PM
I don't know if I'll do the same photo but I'm definitely reading and learning. Thank you, Dianna, I know how time consuming this is and all us pastel newbies really appreciate you giving out your advice.

03-06-2007, 11:24 PM

Bravo Dave...looking good!! If you were to take your black pencil you could round off some corners like this on all three candies like this....


See you tomorrow....I'm for bed also......:wave: Dianna

03-06-2007, 11:57 PM
This sounds like fun with all the quips back and forth.

I have the supplies and may see what kind of time I can put in to join you.

Have a blast and thank you for your generosity Dianna.

Robin Neudorfer
03-07-2007, 12:09 AM
Thank you, Diana for offering your time.
At the moment I am currently learning a different method with pastel, but I am enjoying watching your process.

03-07-2007, 06:56 AM
Hi every one
wow Dian
when I first visited your site I thought "she couldnt have done this with pastels!"
but now looking at this thread n ur explanations made me think again
I just stated to play around with pastels a few weeks ago, but I didnt know you could achive so much with it,
How did you learn to do such great work?
cant wait to see whats next

03-07-2007, 09:03 AM
Hi All - Here's where I'm up to. Of course, I'm finding 36 colours very limiting:crying:but, frankly, the mess I already have my sanded paper in, I'm not sure that I deserve more. I'm working large - a half sheet of paper (42 x 43 cm) - the image itself will probably only be 10.5 x 14". Thanks Dianna, I printed out your drawing.
I am working on an easel and stopping frequently to tilt it forward and tap the dust off. The other problem I'm having is sharpening my white pencil - it keep breaking, so I'm now using a scalpel.

03-07-2007, 10:39 AM
Good morning everyone and great to have you pop in Robin and Maggie!!:wave:
A huge hello to you Benta....wow I get your first post...I feel honored. :rolleyes:
Nivedha...so glad we could entice you away from the acrylic forum for a while...welcome!! :D In answer to your question. I'm self-taught. Just a lot of trial and error over the years. Thanks for asking.:cat:

MARION....I'm so sorry I missed posting a reply to your question a few pages back. I did the homework then for some reason didn't post it.

So this is for you regarding blending and for you Robyn ....a look at my sharpening equipement. I don't know how much good this will do you in Italy but my favourite sharpener (Staples brand)also goes by the name of DelRey so you may have better luck with that brand. I have tried a few but this one aways works for me.

Robyn - great progress on your painting...your limited supply doesn't seem to be affecting you at all. :D Looking terrific!!

These are my only blending tools ...second only to my fingers.

Colour Shapers...available through most art suppliers. I have had larger ones but find these are the only ones I really need.


And here is a list of the various tools I use.
My tools consist of the following

1. a,b,c – white erasers
2. sanding pad for sharpening
3. Exacto knife
4. sharp roller pen for transferring
5. General white charcoal pencil - should have included my black Pitt charcoal pencil also
6. narrow sharp implement for cleaning #7
7. Staples pencil sharpener also know as DelRey
8. color shapers
9. toothbrush for executing changes
10. all 8 of my fingers.


Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-07-2007, 11:19 AM
Here's a quick update. The far right candy needs the lights tweaked quite a bit more but wanted to post now as I'm not sure when I'll next have time. If only I could work on this full time instead of doing pesky work and chores!


Piper Ballou
03-07-2007, 11:50 AM
I have my first candy done. thnk I may have the top- the pink on top tilted down a little too much.


03-07-2007, 11:54 AM
Hi Dianna!

Thanks for the headsup on this workshop! This is fantastic! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am passing the news around to the three art clubs I am involved with so some Medicine Hat and Maple Creek artists can get in on this also.

As always you are amazing in your generous sharing of information!

:wave: Kath

03-07-2007, 12:40 PM
I'm ordering my paper today.....so I'll be playing catch up, but running, like heck! Thanks Dianna. You're a gem!

03-07-2007, 12:42 PM
Well HELLO Kathy and welcome to Wet Canvas!!! I know you'ld get here sooner or later. :lol: Thanks so much for popping in :)

Rich...your doing great also...keep it comin'. Both yours and Piper's have a good colour shift from sun to shadow emphasizing the corner.

Piper, yes you could add a little more to the top right corner but let's everyone remember that these things are pliable so can be somewhat misshapen. The real thing to worry about is whether any unusual shape stops the viewer cold. If they have to ponder whether it was an error or intentional then you would be well off to correct it. Yours could well be just a poor little fellow that has unfortunately been crowded in his bag. It is off a little but it’s not blatant.

Great work people...cheers, Di

03-07-2007, 01:42 PM
Many thanks for the sharpener guidance Dianna, and the encouragement. I am having scanning problems so I will post now but try to photograph my next stage outside if we get some sun tomorrow. I'm having a lovely time and am totally in love with this process. Thank you:clap:
As I suspected - that shadow on the RH lower allsort isn't quite as wild as the scanner suggests. This is a hundred times better than I would have anticipated though:)

Ruth Grinstead
03-07-2007, 01:44 PM
Hi Dianna :wave: -Yes I got my studio :D Although I have temporarily lost it to the contents of the RV whilst it is at the garage.

Marina :wave: I'll bear your suggestion in mind

Deidre :wave: I rang Ottewill and they say Mungio is now Inscribe (not sure when this happened), and I have some of those from a while back so I will try that black next.

Thank you

03-07-2007, 02:21 PM
This is hard! :eek: Here is what I've done so far. It is much more fun (and dusty) than I expected. I'm happy to say that I'm learning!!! :smug: Dianna do you think I'm doing OK? Where did you find the color shapers?

03-07-2007, 04:12 PM
Latest update...
Even on 9x12" colourfix, my fingers are just too big for most blending here. I have been using a Q-tip (cotton bud) instead-- but it sometimes removes more pastel than I'd like. Oh well, I need skinnier fingers.



I just noticed the pink reflection in the shadow on the white candy and the area below it do not look right. Will go tweak.

03-07-2007, 04:52 PM
Hello Louise – you slipped in here under the radar……Here’s a hug http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Mar-2007/34523-hug.gif ….I think you need one. :cat:

Good for you Ruth!! It's been a long wait but I'm happy for you. :thumbsup:

Robyn - that you're having a wondeful time shows in your work..bravo..looking great!:thumbsup: As is yours Rich!! :thumbsup: I had a laugh at this line
Rich - I just noticed the pink reflection in the shadow on the white candy and the area below it does not look right. Will go tweak.
:lol: I've started labeling then candy 1,2,3,4 in my mind. Perhaps we should do so here for ease of discription.

Cecilia my love, you are doing just super also. :clap: Everyone is producing such cheery little fellows. I have a suggestion for the side of #1 candy :lol: When you run a line down the closest corner to us, the far corner should be fairly paralell to that. If you were to take your black pencil you could just run over everything to the outside of the left hand line.


Cheers, Dianna :wave:

03-07-2007, 04:53 PM
thanks Dianna for terrific class! You are so helpful! :clap:

Here's my try. I'm using nupastel and getting a little frustrated with colors (72 of them) - matching them to what I see is so hard. The pink for example is not right at all :confused: ... Also I'm having hard time with darks. Dianna, please advice: what to do when I don't have dark color that is deep enough - mix it with black charcoal?


Pat Isaac
03-07-2007, 05:03 PM
This all looks ao wonderful. I am following along and may try it sometime in OPs..Thanks, Dianna


03-07-2007, 05:12 PM
On to the yellow candy - #5; this one contains lots of coconut. It’s always good to have an intimate acquaintance with your subject. Now this little guy was a good friend of mine…not as good as his pink companions but well enough that as I sensuously stroked him just before I popped him in my mouth, I noted he had as bit of a bumpy texture. That’s what you want to strive for here rather than the smoothness of the first four challenges.

We need three shades of yellow for this little fellow…one for the base color and a lighter and darker shade to help us bring out the texture.



The two or three small amounts of ultramarine blue are just indications of the shadows of slightly larger bumps. Be sure to add a light area in a northwesterly side of these shadows to make them work. We have a little ‘T’ junction happening here where two colours that need blending come up against a finished area. The easiest way to make a clean job of the blend is to lay down a paper mask. Just be sure not to slide the mask but to place it and lift it carefully.



When it comes to all your little spots of colour it’s important that you don’t blend any these areas or you will diminish the texture effect you’re trying to produce. Of equal importance is that these dots or spots be of uneven size and spacing. Heaven forbid they should look uniform.

I have also added a few white spots creating just one more dimension in depth. This is a good place to use your Schminckes. They will adhere with only the slightest of pressure.


This is a great place to introduce on of my favourite pastel pencils. Surprise, surprise…CarbOthello’s Ultramarine blue # 430 ! Nary a painting leaves my studio without ultramarine in it so I use up a lot of these little darlin’s.
I’ve stated that CarbOthello is my brand of choice; this has to do with their exquisite texture. My fixation with them doesn’t hold me back from using Derwent, Pitt’s Fabre Castell and Conte but I will always search among my Carbs first (the only carbs that are legal for me).

I’ve used this pencil with a very soft touch to ease the transition from the yellow to the lavender shadow and I’ve purposely left it a little rough to indict that all-important texture.


Cheers, Dianna :wave:

03-07-2007, 05:26 PM
Ursula I think your doing an awesome job with only 72 NuPastels. :thumbsup: There are no real darks in there but it doesn't seem to be slowing you down any. In answer to your question on adding the black to your existing colours, for the sake of expediency I will just refer you back to the top of page 4. :)

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-07-2007, 05:33 PM
Hello Diana and thank you for this wonderful lclass.

I am very new to pastels (and art in general) and only have a set of 36 Winsor & Newton pastels and some ingres paper. I've ordered the good stuff but it won't reach me here till the class is over. So I hope you don't mind that I'm trying to follow you along with less than perfect materials.

This is my attempt so far. I've had to invent the colours I don't have.


Now if you will allow me one silly question - how do I keep a sharp edge on my pastels?

Once again thank you so much.

Susan Borgas
03-07-2007, 05:34 PM
Dianna I just wanted to let you know that I am watching but unfortunately do not have the time to spare to participate at this moment.

I am cheering everybody on though when I do take a peek. :thumbsup: :clap: :clap: :clap:

03-07-2007, 06:13 PM
Hello Susan....so nice to see you here :wave:

My Goodness Rose!! I think I shall just have to throw out all my pastels and go back to basic. It would certainly free up a lot of my counter space and since I see what you have done with only 36 colour I know I won't be anyproblem. Bravo lady...good job!! :clap: I can't wait to see what you can do with a full set. :lol:

Cheers and keep dirty, http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Mar-2007/34523-3_fingerprints.jpg

03-07-2007, 06:17 PM
Dianna...I know I could do with some of your blending magic...I wonder how long it would take to get to you and back again?:evil: :lol:
Here's where I'm at...

Petra K
03-07-2007, 07:12 PM
Hi Everyone, I've just started to follow this great class. I'm wondering if you are using a black Carb Othellow pencil or the Pitt characoal pencil for the black areas surrounding the candies? -- Petra

03-07-2007, 07:19 PM
:lol: My goodness Deirdre...you must just be wearing your heels out keeping those horses in check by trying to keep pace with me. I thought you would have left me inthe dust by now. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Mar-2007/34523-biker.gif Well you must be doing a great job because my mouth was beginning to water when I looked over your yellow candy. :p :thumbsup:

Hello Petra and welcome :wave: I'm using my Pitt soft charcoal pencil for the black areas. :)

Shall we attemp # 6, our first licorice twist? mmm mmm good.

Firstly I’ve done a little drawing here to explain what we are attempting to accomplish in this tiny little space. These licorice pieces can be quite shiny at times but alas, these ones weren’t so I took out a special license that covers everyone here and we are now allowed to invent our own light....just for this instance only. :p So here’s the plan……


Shall we give it a try? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Mar-2007/34523-53443-0_cheerleader.gif





Good luck...cheers, Dianna

03-07-2007, 07:33 PM
Well I have been stalling getting started on this because (1) I didn't have the Pitt or General charcoal pencils :evil: and (2) haven't touched a pastel in almost a year:crying: . I found the Pitt pencils at a local art supply store today and thought I also had the white charcoal, but alas when I got home realised that they are Pitt White Pastels:( .

Gonna start tonight any way and see what happens...its only paper.:D

Everyone who has posted is off to a good start. They are really looking tasty!!


03-07-2007, 08:47 PM
Nice work, everyone. It's starting to look really yummy in here :)

I've incorporated your suggestions, Dianne, and I've done candies 4, 5, and 6. My light ultramarine blue didn't want to adhere to the black, so I had to lay down more dark ultramarine blue upon which I put the light u. blue.


I really need to work in this scale (approx. 11x17) because there's no way I could do the detail work otherwise.

Feedback welcome. Cheers,

Tracy Lang
03-07-2007, 09:40 PM
Hi Dianna :wave::wave::wave:,

Thanks for doing this fantastic class!!! It brings back wonderful memories and is also a great refresher to the San Clemente workshop last summer :D

Here is a progress shot...I started last night and will do more tonight!

I am loving those sweet candies :heart::heart::heart:

(Sorry for the blurry pic)



03-07-2007, 10:24 PM

This is my updated drawing, I found that the licorice at the top hard to do and get a defined shape, I think I missed that one a little, it just doesnt appeared defined enough. Do we at any point use fixative Dianna.

frieda L
03-07-2007, 10:46 PM
hmm... do I dare ask my question? :evil: I do not think I have had a colored licorice. I love the dutch black licorice, but some of those taste salty, these look sooo sweet. Are they? Now, texture (need to know)... :lol: are they soft and almost fluffy like marshmallow, or hard and shiny? The edges seem hard enough for them to be dense... :rolleyes:

I finished the first 4 candies, will post them in the morning.
good job, everyone, and thank you, Dianna

frieda L
03-07-2007, 10:58 PM
Actually, I do have a more serious question. no less dumb maybe, but I find it hard to see what I am doing with the pastels. I am used to working with sharp pencils, getting the graphite exactly where you plan. With these, (Rembrandt) round sticks, I find I have to go blind, :confused: aiming for the right spot, and then adjusting if I missed it.:rolleyes: Nice sharp corners or edges are hard to put down. So, my question... do you sharpen the pastels, or does it just get easier as the round sticks get flat edges through being used? Or is it a matter of practice? :lol: I probably just found the answer to my dilemma, but just in case there is more to it, I'll post it anyway.
good night to all,

Piper Ballou
03-07-2007, 11:41 PM
Finished candy 2 and 3....this is way too much fun.
Hi Tracy, fun to paint with you again


Jo Castillo
03-08-2007, 12:43 AM
Dianna, This is great. I can't do it now, but will comment so I will get the updates and can try later.
Thanks for your time and patience,

03-08-2007, 04:49 AM
Dianna, love the class but at present I seem to buried under an avalanche of work - will get started as soon as I can escape ( now where is that St Bernard - I could do with a brandy :p ).

Just love the work that everyone is doing - hope I can keep my end up.


Ruth Grinstead
03-08-2007, 05:41 AM
I may start again as my mind has been on other things and I used a piece of paper already cut to about 6x7.5" and I wish it were bigger now.

This is what I have so far:


03-08-2007, 06:46 AM
Thank you so very much for your kind comments Miss Diana.... they were a joy to wake up to! :)

Here's my update:


03-08-2007, 08:47 AM
Hello Joe and Jo…we’ll be watching for you two. And Sue, you don’t get the brandy until you finish!!

Way too much fun….that’s what I want to here Piper.

Tracy...this is like old home week. What a treat to have your company and I see you haven’t lost your touch!!

EP – you did well opting for the oversized painting. This would be far too difficult a lesson for a newcomer in anything resembling life-sized so I hope anyone brand new follows your lead. Now just a couple of teeny suggestions… a little more a transition in these two areas…touch your blue into the lavender just a few more times to soften the change over and in the white candy drag that rust down to form an edge as the candy turns the corner from white to dark. And that’s it…bravo!!


Dave you’re just humming along also. Fixatives….no, it’s the rare occasion that I use any. An instance would be when I have a dark base and wish to use pastel pencils over top. I would cut out a mask and spray only the area concerned. This will set my base and allow the harder pencil to adhere without the darker colour bleeding through.

:( For those of you who have expressed a difficulty layering the blue over the black just remember that clickable eraser can take off just a little strip of black or even just thin it down to make the application of the ultramarine adhere better. I have no problem with my choice of pastel but yours may be harder and less inclined to cover so use your discretion as to whether or not you need to take a wee bit off.

Frieda – yes you’ve answered your own questions. :lol: With the very large pastels it’s just a matter of gently touching down to see where you are then moving to where you want to be. Eventually they will form their own corners and edges or dropped :eek: and you end up with small slivers to work with. You can sand them if you with to make your own edge or use a piece of screening to rub them along (metal not plastic screening) but as you become more familiar with them, you will find them easier to control.

:eek: OH MY GOSH…5 X 7”!! Ruth you have really picked a challenge working on such a small scale but it appears you’re up to it and it’s great when the class gets to see what can be accomplished with these clumsy sticks in a small area. You may want to darken the reflections beside the round pink candy. I will work on that area next and show you how I might handle it.

Rose – not to be out done…excellent progress!! :clap:

Cheers, Dianna :wave:

Merethe T
03-08-2007, 09:15 AM
Oh my, so many started already-I got some catching up to do....and everyone's doing great, the paintings look soooo yummy!
Gonna get started on mine now, hopefully I'll have a pic ready in a couple of hours....(mhm...gonna finish my coffee first.... :D)....great class Dianna!


03-08-2007, 09:18 AM
I have a craving for Liquorice Allsorts! It could be years before I ever see a real one again.:crying: But I see some beautiful ones being posted here that look good enough to eat. Van Gogh once ate his paints - I'm heading in that direction.:lol:

Dianne - can't thank you enough for what you are doing for us here. I've finally caught up but am not happy with that yellow sweet (No5?) on the right. It looks hard, not soft and chewy like yours or the reference. What have I done?

03-08-2007, 10:33 AM
Hello Merethe. Your candies look just great and not at all hard and chewy :lol: And remember...NO drooling on this paper. It can't handle the moisture. :p I might suggest a few larger spots rather than dots might create more the texture your stiving for. We sometimes forget when we enlarge things that tiny dots on something like a pear must be painted much larger when we double the size of what we see in the photo.

Frieda - I forgot to describe this lovely candies. :rolleyes: They are soft and chewy unless they are stale. The colourful layers are probably 90 % sugar and have the texture of fresh marzipan. Our licorice is unlike some European brands I have tasted which are so salty I can't eat them. Ours are not so much sweet as almost neutral. On a scale of 1-10 they would be a 5 where the candy covering would be a 10. The round candies do contain a wee bit of coconut so they have a slightly different consistency and are just as sweet. :D

Cheers, Dianna :heart:

03-08-2007, 10:42 AM
I really wanted to take this class, but at the time there isn't any money for new art supplies. So I am using the 12 pack of student pastels that we got for my 8 year old stepson to play with, my blending tool is the eraser on the end of a pencil. Fortunately I do have a white charcoal pencil and a few black charcoal pencils. I am doing this on regular sketch paper. With the limited colors that I have to work with I am not able to match the colors exactly but I am learning and I think that is a good thing. So here is a photo of what I have so far. The photo is a little fuzzy.


03-08-2007, 11:53 AM
Well, I had figured I'd enjoy all the action from the bleachers but now I'm drooling at all the wonderful paintings! Maybe tonight I'll jump in and play catch-up! :)

-- Linda

Merethe T
03-08-2007, 11:59 AM
Back again - got started on mine finally... ;) I guess you got me and Robynsin mixed up, as I haven't posted my pic yet...no wonder though, with all the students you got here! :)

Gotta say I've already learned a lot, and get to use different colors than I normally do...some of the greatest challenges for me is what colors to choose for shadows, especially for cast shadows with subtle color changes....following this class has already given me some great tips as how to see colors...can't thank you enough for taking the time to do this for us!

So, here's my painting, still got some catching up to do... :D


03-08-2007, 12:36 PM
Had to rush quite a bit with this and not wild about the last 2 candies-- but I can work more on them later. Want to keep up in real-time if possible. So here goes...



03-08-2007, 01:03 PM
Diana: I don't know if I'll have time to participate, but wanted to say hi :wave:, and what a wonderful class this is. You have it so well organized, and the step-by-step photos (complete with commentary!) are really helpful - very much more than a purely verbal description would be. Thanks so much for your generousity in offering this wonderful opportunity to us WC people. I'd give it 10 stars if I could. :)

frieda L
03-08-2007, 01:30 PM
Dianna, thanks for the corrections, encouragement and description of the real life candies.
I am amazed at the results we are all getting with your guidance. All keepers!
I am falling in love with pastels.

Merethe T
03-08-2007, 01:37 PM
Ditto, this is a wonderful class, Dianna....
Here's my painting, managed to catch up, phew! ;)
Having a ball with this, so much fun....did run into some trouble with that yellow guy, I had a hard time trying to keep my fingers from blending...:D


harvey concepts
03-08-2007, 01:58 PM
Thanks so much for someone who sent the reminder - I almost missed this one! Dianna, I have admired your work for sometime and am thrilled to take this class.

03-08-2007, 02:24 PM
Hi Dianna. :wave: Thank you for hosting this workshop and providing such detailed instructions. The diagrams have been really helpful.


I can't wait to see how it turns out! :D

03-08-2007, 03:13 PM
Your absolutely correct Merethe...I thought I was addressing Robyn....sorry Robyn...your not in the least forgettable :( :)
Wow you’re catching up fast here. I just got ready to post this and up popped a host more replies on being your second posting and looking beautiful I might add.

Hello Linda…glad you could join us!

Tammy…you are truly a miracle worker….everyone note that she has accomplished this with 12 poor quality pastels and two pencils. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-2thumbsup.gif I think she deserves a round of applause for this terrific painting. Bravo!! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-53443-0_bow_down.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-king.gif You are the queen of the day!!

Rich you couldn’t possibly get behind at the pace I set here with my cropping editing and typing. This would normally be a 3 or 4 hour painting for me. I think you might be happier with the results if you were to lightly use your black pencil and ease a little darkness into the shadow area of #5 right where it meets up with 3 and 4. Not in the whole shadow but just deepening it as it gets closer to the aforementioned (always wanted to use that word) candies.

Thank you so much Annie. I’m a visual person myself. I skim through my art books gleaning information from the photos and only delving into the print when I have to. I’m glad to know it’s working for someone else.

That’s my dearest hope Frieda….falling in love with pastels. They really are an exciting, if messy medium

HELLO Sarah and Lisa!! Great to have more new faces and to see you’re both doing wonderfully is even better.

Well I’m so pleased that everyone is having fun here. I’m sure some of you fast workers are twiddling your thumbs so I had better get to work on those reflections.

Cheers, Dianna

03-08-2007, 03:18 PM

My rule of thumb is to always make reflections a minimum of least one value deeper than what is being reflected but more often two to four values deeper. Those images viewed in a mirror would be the closest in colour to the original image whereas those being reflected in a black surface tend to be much darker. I would err on the side of caution in this case by making the reflections too dark rather than too light and not be overly concerned regarding correct shapes. These shapes should be a little softer in focus as well. Here’s your one area where you get to practice a little freedom….go for it!

You will notice that I changed the drawing a little here. I wanted #2 candy out a little to the left so that it wasn’t lined up so closely with what will soon be #7, the round pink one. I wasn’t too concerned about the increased width of the reflection in this area. I could go through the effort of fabricating a back shadow but I want this area to remain simply a support area rather than a main feature so the less attention drawn to it the better so I chose to keep it simple.

This is typical of an area that I might assess further down the line to decide it if needs toning down.








Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-08-2007, 03:57 PM
Hi Dianna,
I'm on board here too. Looking forward seeing you in May...:clap:

03-08-2007, 04:09 PM
Well I almost caught up! While I was catching up "Speedy Gonzalas" Ponting posted another stage!! What's a guy to do!

Gotta admit pastels are much faster to work up than CP ...or even graphite! Just finished a 8x10 in Graphite that took me well over 100 hours. The attached is about an hour and a half!

Here's my effort on 9x12 in Mi Tientes, so far it is all NuPastel, Pitt Charcoal, and a couple of CarbOthello pencils for the tight spots. Oh and my Pitt White pastel pencil subbing for the white charcoal.

Comments and criticisms Very Welcomed!

03-08-2007, 04:29 PM
What's to say Rich...it's looking just hunky dory :lol: It wouldn't hurt to add just a very few really light spots to number 5. Chunky spots for texture. :cat:

Welcome Susan!! What do you think...want something like this for the Okanagan workshop? http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-thinking.jpg

Well everyone is so quiet...I hope that's good...I can hear the pastels scritching away. :lol:

Cheers, Dianna

03-08-2007, 05:03 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/59045-allsorts2.JPG Hi All, great work being done here!!!
Dianna, I also am experiencing a problem controling these pastel sticks since they are wide, will that just come with time? I'm using Great American Artorks pastels that I got as a gift. They are very soft, but have a wonderful buttery quality. I'm enjoying this soo much, I stayed up until 12:00 pm working on it! I don't even paint past 9:30! Well here's where I'm at. Thanks Dianna for a great experience! Oh, BTW, I went to 3 stores today before i found these Allsort candies...I like em :)! Please keep in mind that I'm new at this, LOL!

03-08-2007, 06:07 PM
Oh dear it is getting way past lunch for me...my mind is going.

I'm sorry Joe http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-hug.gif ....I posted your reply under Rich's name. Do forgive me while I reiterate here.... What's to say Joe This is looking just hunky dory :thumbsup: It wouldn't hurt to add just a very few really light spots to number 5...Chunky spots for texture. :cat:

Cheers, Dianna :o

03-08-2007, 06:13 PM
This is looking great Jackie but I am so sorry that I am leading you so far astray that you have to spend time traipsing from store to store searching for bad bad candy. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-head_smack.gif I hope I'm not the cause of waylaying dieters. :lol:

03-08-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm in a hurry to join in & post so I've just done the first ex. so far. :cat:

03-08-2007, 07:11 PM
Hello Tammy - as you have probably noticed by now if your still working....you need to move the layers of your candy down one as you see here. It's fairly easy to get confused when you're not working one layer after the other.


Once you have redone this be sure to soften up the edge between the light and dark pinks so it appears to roll over rather than turn abruptly.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-08-2007, 07:16 PM
Okay, we've hit my Achilles heel! Blending! Take the area where the blue and the rust transition on the reflected candy. I work and I work until I have a dull and dirty mess. Should I use my fingers (big and clumsy as they are) instead of a cotton bud? Should I pull the light into the dark or vice versa or both or neither? I can see exactly what I want it to do, but I have just never been able to get blends to cooperate in pastel. Plus I've overworked the area so much now the shapes aren't even right anymore. Whine whine ;-)

Oh-- thank you for the earlier tip on darkening the shadow's edge-- really helped!


03-08-2007, 08:30 PM
Oh Wow-such wonderful paintings everyone! :clap: :thumbsup:
Dianna-I just love the ref-those colors are gorgeous. My La Carte came today! I am so happy I can finally get started!

Wow too! Almost 5,000 views of this Class!:eek: :D :thumbsup: :cool: :cat: :heart:

03-08-2007, 08:44 PM
Wow too! Almost 5,000 views of this Class!:eek: :D :thumbsup: :cool: :cat: :heart:
WOW cool

03-08-2007, 08:56 PM
OH MY http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-e-smile_perverted.gif

Hi Rich – first of all, I don’t like cotton buds, stomps, tortillions or even chamois on the sanded paper, I much prefer the fingers…large as they are, they do the best job even better than the colour shapers.

It looks to me like you need to take your rust and work it lightly over the area trying to use the actual pastel as a blender since both your Polychromos and your Mt. Visions are quite hard they can be used this way. Just gently work one over the other and see what happens.

Remember also that shape isn’t really an important factor here. This is a warped design and who knows what it must look like.

Layering order

As far as which order to lay the colours down when layering, there isn’t a set pattern. I tend to put the darks on the first simply because it’s easier for me to make something darker down the line than lighter. Once the dark is on top in a small area, it becomes a guessing game as to whether it’s going to be too much or too little. Too little is okay but too much means taking it out again. Now I’m talking serious darks here like Terry Ludwigs or Unison for example…soft ones.

Tracy Lang
03-08-2007, 09:19 PM
Dianna...this is sooo FUN:clap:

Between last night and this afternoon, I am caught up!
It's amazing what you "see" when you take a picture of your work...I believe I have some "tweaking" to do on the yellow candy and the licorice and perhaps the reflected candies too!http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/75377-Candy2.jpg:o

Thanks again...I am having a ball!!!

PS Piper, nice to be painting with you again also:wave:


03-08-2007, 10:25 PM
I don't know Tracy it looks awefully good to me. :thumbsup: You might want to soften up those reflections just a smidge but that can be done at any time. Whe we finsh what's around them is when we can really tell what they need. Tres Bien!

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

Tracy Lang
03-08-2007, 10:52 PM
Thanks so much, Dianna...I have a major tendency to OVERWORK...much to the detriment of my paintings...I am letting go now and awaiting the next installment of this classroom!

PS Just made a FAB "green" soup... I know you are a soup Queen...my fav meal also!!!Let me know if you want details.

03-08-2007, 11:14 PM
Hi everyone,

Isn't it amazing how our pictures are looking so wonderful? Thank you so much Dianna for your detailed step by step instructions - with photos and callouts and even animations. You have gone to so much work for us and I hope you're enjoying seeing us have all this fun in class :)

Here is my latest. I've tried to incorporate the blending suggestions and work on the reflections. I had not yet transfered the traced image to those parts but plunged forward bravely... until I got to the pink reflection. Then I meekly traced the missing parts so I could match the latest lesson and tidy up to post.


Someone in my house keeps walking up to the easel and takes huge imaginary bites of my painting! That must mean there's something good going on.


03-08-2007, 11:18 PM
Thanks! I have gone back and reblended and it has helped.

Have a related question-- everyone else's work looks much denser to my eyes-- while I'm still coming across rather granular. Am applying what I think is a LOT of pastel so not sure why. Working 90% with FP Polychromos plus a few Mt. Vision Darks and some pencils. These all tend toward the harder range-- but I think other people are using similar. I have not been finger blending... could that be a factor? (Paper is Colourfix.)

03-09-2007, 12:12 AM
All right…..anyone bored yet??? :rolleyes:

Well now Rich you have just figured out the difference between the Colourfix and the La Carte. All those real smoothies will be a sanded paper. You are so smart!!:thumbsup:

EP good for you…make it our own. :clap: In fact I didn’t mention that you were all free to do your own drawings, I just put mine up to speed things along. I just imagined I could see the bites. :p So I have just one suggestion and that would be to darken the reflections as it gets closer to #2


I’ll be right back….cheers

03-09-2007, 12:17 AM
Okay here’s for you Tracy and YES I want the soup recipe! Please, pretty please.

This doesn’t require a lot of chatter here as I can see you all have the routine down pat now










Cheers, Dianna :wave:

03-09-2007, 12:54 AM
how do i insert that *jaw dropping 6 feet* icon in here???? ... dianna, i am in awe of what you are doing here for everyone ... your detail ... the instructions ... the effort !!! .... you are a true saint to do this for us ... and i marvel at the absolutely fabulous progress everyone is making!!! .... great paintings so far, everyone !!! :thumbsup: and :clap: :clap: :clap: ... due to technical difficulties i have been without a telephone and THE INTERNET :eek: :eek: :eek: for a week now so you can imagine my surprise to find this thread at 11 pages !!! and me so far far behind now ... :crying: .... i hope to get on the bandwagon but fear i just mightn't be able to catch up needing some supplies yet on top of it all ... i *will* be watching, though, ... just know that i'm cheering everyone on and can't thank you enough for your generosity, dianna ... sharing your knowledge and skills the way you do ... you're definitely :music: :angel::music: special ....

03-09-2007, 01:39 AM
Okay, so I have been hurrying and playing catch-up all night and here's where I am so far. Painting candies is fun!


So, about the second candy into the painting this lefty remembered that in class we inverted our pictures horizontally to avoid putting our fists into the finished part of the painting. OOPS! :eek: Ah well, that can be remedied. ::Leans over the top of the easel with mahl stick in hand and paints upside down:: :D

-- Linda

Tracy Lang
03-09-2007, 01:47 AM
Here goes, Dianna,
I've had MAJOR fun making different "coloured"soups...gets the kidlets into making "weird" choices from the produce section...I'll keep this on topic by relating it to a color family and the adaptability and personality of each artists unique approach :) Soup is art!!!

After a trip to the farmers market(Art supply store)...Lots of leafy greens...Chard, big shiny leaves with intense red veins, a head of curly Kale, green onions, cilantro...Spinach...etc... washed/chopped and thrown into a pot of boiling water (some may want to season)
At the same time carmelizing onions in a tad of olive oil...and sauteed garlic in another pan...kitchen filled with steamy aromas :)
I add a chopped potato or two because I'm Irish and can't help it :)...and it also adds a nice base to the soup. I also like to add a bit of lemon juice...for some acid...to balance the base!
At this point, some diced, earthy mushrooms (or just about anything ie carrots/tomatoes...just enough for the "body" of the soup...without changing the GREENESS can be thrown in).Once all is cooked, can be blended in a processor, although, I prefer mine just mixed/chopped by hand with chunks of texture.
I serve with some Feta cheese crumbles on top and crusty, warm hunks of bread.
For Yellow soup...substitute/add more squash/carrots etc
for Red soup...add/substitute lots of tomatoes/red peppers
I've found that my little munchkins love shopping for the "Colors" to make a soup!
Let me know if you have any ?'s :)


Tracy Lang
03-09-2007, 01:54 AM
Hi Linda-great to be painting with you again:)

03-09-2007, 01:56 AM
Likewise, Tracy! You've got a great start to your painting! :)

-- Linda

03-09-2007, 01:59 AM
Hi Violet...my goodness one week without internet....how did you survive...I'll bet you got lots done. :lol: Heard a little ditty the other day about some group approached by a survey team and when asked if they had to give up either the net or the tv...the majority said tv. :)

Just smashing Linda!! I think it's a keeper... :lol:

Tracey, thanks so much. I love the name more than anything. Green soup! You can bet I will try it out. :thumbsup:

Cheers, and good night all......:wave:

03-09-2007, 02:06 AM
OH MY http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-e-smile_perverted.gif

Layering order

As far as which order to lay the colours down when layering, there isn’t a set pattern. I tend to put the darks on the first simply because it’s easier for me to make something darker down the line than lighter. Once the dark is on top in a small area, it becomes a guessing game as to whether it’s going to be too much or too little. Too little is okay but too much means taking it out again. Now I’m talking serious darks here like Terry Ludwigs or Unison for example…soft ones.

Hello Dianna, I have been following your lessons but could not participate at this time. I am fascinated by your method and want to thank you for doing this lesson.

For some reason, I cannot understand your statement above about layering. I'm not understanding why you would put down the darks first. It would only seem logical to me to put down the lights first. Could you maybe help me understand this better? Thanks.

03-09-2007, 03:40 AM
Hello there paintnut...how nice to find someone is acutally reading what I write :lol: Well it's easy to see why you are confused. I transposed the two words and here it is corrected and edited. I hpe it makes more sense now. :p

Layering correction
The purpose of layering for me is to create a blend with my fingers. As to which order to apply the colours before blending, there isn’t a set pattern. For me as always, it's a matter of control. I tend to lay in the darkest values first simply because it's easier for me to regulate the addition of lights down the line than it is to do so with darks. When adding dark on top especially in small areas, I have much less control and it's more of a guessing game as to whether it’s going to be too much or too little. Too little is okay but too much means having to take it out again and possibly disturbing the areas around it. Now I’m talking serious darks here like Terry Ludwigs or Unison for example…soft ones that are so intense they can easily become overpowering when being added to the mix.

Thanks so much for bringing that to my attention before I led too many people astray. :thumbsup:

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-09-2007, 04:48 AM
Dianna - just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading along with this fab lesson. A real treat! (ok, would be even more so if the candy was for real, too, but those paintings all of you are producing are just as good.)
I've never tried pastels but have a set of 36 Faber Castells laying around somewhere. If I ever get to give them I try I'll surely come back to this thread!

take care,

03-09-2007, 05:32 AM
[quote=ponting]Your absolutely correct Merethe...I thought I was addressing Robyn....sorry Robyn...your not in the least forgettable :( :)

Dianna - No worries. I knew who you meant. My mother had five children - I'm used to being called by the wrong name:lol:

Tammy(TJLind) - Brava!:thumbsup::clap::clap::clap: I'll never complain about my supplies again!

03-09-2007, 05:33 AM
Dianna...I'm righting a wrong....I just know you ate Bertie Basset, so I've restored him...and eaten the yellow one!:lol: :p :evil: :lol:

03-09-2007, 05:37 AM
Great, Deirdre, :) :) :)

03-09-2007, 08:25 AM
Oh dear it is getting way past lunch for me...my mind is going.

I'm sorry Joe http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Mar-2007/34523-hug.gif ....I posted your reply under Rich's name. Do forgive me while I reiterate here.... What's to say Joe This is looking just hunky dory :thumbsup: It wouldn't hurt to add just a very few really light spots to number 5...Chunky spots for texture. :cat:

Cheers, Dianna :o

Thank you. I am quite use to being called Jim here, but the Rich fooled me. In fact with, JayD as the Moderator my name may soon be legally changed on WC to Jim.:D

Working on Chunky and the next 2 stages. Thank you again.

03-09-2007, 09:27 AM
Every day I get further behind. Oh well, tomorrow is my day off, hopefully I can catch up then.

Dianna, thank you for the encouragement and positive comments on my painting. Yes, my name is Tammy, but how did you know? I don't believe that I have posted it anywhere.

Piper Ballou
03-09-2007, 09:56 AM
Deirdre, you are just too funny

This is slow for me but tomorrow is the weekend and the start of spring break so I should get all caught up


03-09-2007, 10:01 AM
Gosh these pastels are so exciting a spent a whole morning drooling over a picture of a full set of 520 Senneliers and just dreaming of winning the lottery! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Mar-2007/95602-105.gif

Here's my update:


By the way here's your beautiful Fraser Valley. :) This is a stitching together of three shots I took from a window in the Benedictine Abbey in June 2004:


... and this is Mary Lake on the Abbey grounds:


Maybe if I do win the lottery I will not only get the Senneliers but also come back to BC to paint some landscapes. ;):)

03-09-2007, 10:11 AM
Delicious work everyone:thumbsup:
I was warned pastels were dirty, I've just discovered it isn't the pastel dust, it's the lack of time to do any housework once one gets started with them.:o Oh, and I've abandoned my surgical gloves. I guess I'm a convert:lol:
My update:

PS - I've just realised, Dianna that I haven't considered the line of the plate cropping those reflections across the bottom LH corner - Mmmm - back to the drawing board. I should have included that line when I transferred.

03-09-2007, 10:21 AM
Well now Rich you have just figured out the difference between the Colourfix and the La Carte. All those real smoothies will be a sanded paper. You are so smart!!:thumbsup:

Actually not so smart! I thought Colourfix WAS sanded. It feels sanded. But I see it describes itself as coated with a 'light tooth acrylic base primer'. Well I'll be! It's good to know the fault lies in the paper and not in myself ;-) I will finish this on Colourfix then probably go back and different setup on La Carte (which I've haven't played with yet).


03-09-2007, 11:39 AM
Good morning everyone!! And what a fine morning it is with as Robyn says….all of these delicious paintings What a hoot! :lol:

Where to start…you’ve all been so busy….

Hello Amira and thanks for popping in. The more the merrier.:wave:

:lol: Deirdre we don’t have Bertie Basset in our allsorts. The first time I ran into him was in the UK and was quite concerned that somehow he had gotten in here by mistake. Maybe you should work him in and you’ll have a very Deirdre painting. :thumbsup:

Robyn and Joe and Tammy. Tammy your name is in your profile and I so much prefer real names to monikers. Therein lies my potential for screwing up. If I just went with everyone’s WC name which is right in front of me when I’m typing up my answers I wouldn’t have to remember who is whom. Thank you all for your patience. :rolleyes:

Looking good Piper. Spring break, time to seriously get down and dirty.

Rose thanks so much for sharing the pics. I live across the river somewhere behind that big tree on the right on a farm in Bradner. Did you go into the Chapel and photo those wonderfully unique windows?
Never mind the Sennelier you’re doing so fantastic with your set of 36. I think you need to tone down that little yellow reflection a wee bit and see if you can work some of that wild pink in the square candy into that same round one to give it not only more colour but more depth. You see at the top right hand of this post there is a #181. On the previous page I suggested EP darken an area in post #161. You could try the same thing.

Robynsin -I was warned pastels were dirty, I've just discovered it isn't the pastel dust, it's the lack of time to do any housework once one gets started with them.

I love this quote Robyn; I shall have to remember it for my classroom.
Yours is looking …yes delicious also. Possibly lighten up the light side of the chocolate layer. Chocolate can have a lot of pink in it when it when it’s lightened. Do you have a dark flesh tone #132 in your PChromes? If so, put that to use gently to lighten or a soft coat of white.

No definitely not you Rich….do you have La Carte there with you? If so work out your frustrations by trying just one little ole candy on it and see the difference.

Cheers Dianna :thumbsup:

03-09-2007, 11:42 AM
Here are my three licorice pieces completed



Here is a good place to really put your colour judgement to the test. When I put the dark lavender for the white shadowed center, I knew what it needed just from having done it before but when you look at the first picture of the two...this colour without the surrounding black looks waaaaay to dark. As you can see, when you do surround it with black it appears to be the perfect colour. Now you try getting right on the first try and yes I know some of you have the right colour but many others are making them up so this is a good test for them.

Cheers, Dianna :cat:

03-09-2007, 12:11 PM
I haven't got time to take part but I'm enjoying following it :D

lovely work going on and Dianna you give some really good tips and information

03-09-2007, 12:40 PM
Well hello Viven...I haven't run into you in a while :wave: Nice to know your out there looking through the candy store window. :p

Jackie - I was reveiwing here and I wanted to make a suggestion before you get too far down the line. I think if you darken this area a little you will be happy with the results.


Cheers, Dianna

03-09-2007, 01:02 PM
I hope you had a good time in England

03-09-2007, 01:11 PM
When I registered I tried to use my real name but, of course it was already taken.

Here is what I have so far. This yellow candy gave me a hard time.

03-09-2007, 01:13 PM
I also thought Colorfix was sanded. It feels much more that way than Canson. I'm using Colorfix & mostly Rembrandts with some NuPastel. I don't have a black pencil like yours Dianne. I tried using a black Conte but it doesn't seem as intense. Should I use a black Rembrandt or NuPastel? What are you using to clean up the edges?
Tammy O.

Ruth Grinstead
03-09-2007, 01:48 PM
:eek: What happened to our Liquorice Allsorts in the UK. I went and bought a bag in the name of artistic research :D and they made me want to :crying: . Only one all black one and that looked as though a child had extruded some playdoh and cut slices from it and no white and orange, or white and brown or white and pink - you can have orange with orange, brown with brown or orange with orange.

After recovering from the disappointment I managed a little more on my little painting. I have been working this size for about 3 weeks now - since I found little paintings would fit above the bookcase and under the window. I had one painting so I hammered in 7 hooks so have been painting little ever since :lol:


03-09-2007, 02:42 PM
Talking about the real Allsorts.... you know which one I'm missing here... the one that's all black inside and has tiny, crunchy flaming pink beads on the outside. I used that love that one.

Dianna, unfortunately no I don't have pictures of the wonderful windows. I did see them of course but we were only in the chapel for Mass and I could not use the camera. OK.. so that's one more reason to get back to BC! :lol:

03-09-2007, 02:55 PM
Violet I had a truly memorable time. I got to teach in Scotland, Ireland , Wales and twice in England and I drove most of the way in between classes so I saw some beautiful country. I will be back for sure but I'm also thinking Australia and NZ so it's a toss up right now. :cat:

Tammy L the yellow one may have been giving you difficulty but you certainly can’t tell by looking at it now. :thumbsup:

Tammy O that looks better. I’ll bet you it didn’t take long to notice things weren’t quite right. Your off to a good start here and it wouldn’t hurt now if you were to darken down the backside of the pink layer… above the blue layer.
Art Spectrum’s Colorfix is the next best thing to a sanded paper but not nearly as good as the real thing.
Pitt;s Black pencil really is very intense and if you can get one and all it will make the job much easier than working with a stick. I clean up the areas with a white eraser and clickable are much easier to control. There’s that word “ control” again…. It’s all about control. :p

Oh yes Rose…I did one of those in my last painting but I decided not to torture the new students with little round balls. :D

Ruth what logical reasoning for picture size. :lol: I’ve taken the liberty of altering a few small areas of your painting… mostly just darkening here and there then coming in with a little more light on the round candies giving them more definition. :rolleyes:


03-09-2007, 03:30 PM
No La Carte on hand but I just tried a small candy on a scrap of Wallis I had. *Much* different result than on the Colourfix. Far smoother as promised! So I will order some La Carte online today.

03-09-2007, 03:56 PM
Greetings and salutations everyone! :wave:
I'm trying to keep up. (Laundry keeps piling up and dust bunnies are out to play, might as well leave them alone :lol: ) Here are two updates. I took the first one before you posted the correction I needed to do, Dianna. Thank you. I took the second one today. I'm enjoying this very much. My only concern is that I feel my drawing doesn't have enough definition. Do you have any advice that could help me? All the other works are great! I wish I could see all of them together. Thank you again Dianna. This is really a great opportunity.

03-09-2007, 04:31 PM
Yes...let those dust bunnies alone Cecilia!! This is looking good and the correction went well. I don't understand what you mean about your drawing not having enough definition?? I do see however that you have missed tracing a few lines here and there. If you still have the drawing hinged to your board as I suggested then you're okay to chalk only the areas that you missed and transfer them. Do be sure to clean all chalk off the back of your drawing before adding just enough to those areas that need addressing.

Rich you could go with wallis as it's a great paper. I like the La Carte for teaching on because it has a deeper tooth than Wallis and allows my students more leeway when it comes to blending. On Wallis its a little too easy to blend it completely away with one stroke. Once you get more comfortable with blending Wallis is great.

Cheers, Dianna :cool:

03-09-2007, 06:01 PM
Pastels are definitely fun!!!:thumbsup: The colors are so intense and work up so quickly. It is like instant color gratification! :p

Truly enjoying this lesson.

All comments and criticisms appreciated.

03-09-2007, 06:24 PM
Does that mean that CP us work Joe? :p This is why I tell everyone they're the chocolate of the painting mediums....it's like playing rather than work. Dessert rather than meat and potatoes. :lol:

In any event you're handling this superbly. I hope we see you in the pastel forum on occasion now. I think this would be a good time to thin down that liorice twist. The sides need to be paralell at the least. With it coming towards us in reality it would flare out at the closest end but being as short as it is I we needn't be overly concerned with perspective just so long as it isn't getting larger as it moves away from us as it appears to be doing now.

I've thinned it down here by just taking it off the left side and re-doing the blue edge.


Cheers, Dianna

frieda L
03-09-2007, 06:39 PM
uh-oh, I am way behind now. Spent most of the day trying to connect to the internet... painting is more fun!
So, I will post what I have, as I started out to do this morning, and then I will reread all posts i missed, and try to catch up...

03-09-2007, 07:01 PM
I think I've got the next 2 candies done.

03-09-2007, 07:02 PM
I'm just about caught up now...had a busy week! You're right about me holding my horses Dianna...but I know if I don't the livery will end up a different colour!:eek:

03-09-2007, 07:29 PM
Will definitely be returning to those dang black licorice!


03-09-2007, 08:34 PM
Hi again,

This is the installment after the reflections work. I darkened the reflection as suggested (is it dark enough?) I've worked on the two black candies and then the hot pink round one and the layered guy in front of that (7 and 8?, or 9 and 10?)


Dee, who or what is that blue creature running out of your painting? Is he allergic to licorice?


03-09-2007, 09:38 PM
I think I shall just let you guys run with it now...you're all doing so well. :clap: :clap: :clap:

The only concern I keep seeing in some of your work is this area.


Every one take a minute to look at their own paintings

If this reflection is too colourful...to close in intensity to the candies beside it, it will draw the viewer’s eye simply because it appears as an anomaly and for that reason the viewer will pause and try to figure out what he sees. “Is this a squashed candy?" "Why would they put that there?” We don’t want this to happen. We want his gaze to follow around the candies much in the order we painted them settling to rest on his favourite. If he gives this area more than a passing glance then we’ve done something wrong.

To begin with at least separate it from the candy with a black line fading it into the reflection.

If you have attempted to darken the whole area and you’re still not sure that its enough then wait until we have finished the plate….walk it up to a mirror, open your eyes and see what you think with a new perspective. Flipping it in PhotoShop will also allow you to view it with new eyes.

EP you need some white or lighter pink on the sunny side of your round and need to trim off right side of the chocolate candy passed the line.


Deirdre you could also use some lightness on that same sunny side.

Every one else just keep going as you are and I and don't worry about keeping up...I will be here for a while. :lol:

Cheers, Dianna

03-09-2007, 09:44 PM
Mellow Yellow.......



The same as previously on the pink round……the dark lemon yellow is the base to which the cadmium and the light lemon supply lighter and darker value. Although I did blend the beginning yellow and white the rest remain just as they are applied.


The dark yellow is a Unison Y 2. Rather a dirty yellow.

The lavender is applied thinly then worked into the paper so that the dark yellow can be applied over top to form more texture.



So who is cooking supper for me tonight?? Oh well......I'll go do it myself she says as she drags her blankie across the foor.......

03-09-2007, 10:34 PM
My latest update,
the coconut ones I find hard to do.
Having a great time here, I am finding I am getting lots of pleasure and satisfaction from the lessons.

03-09-2007, 11:50 PM
Hello Dave - I think the probem you're experiencing with the round ones is that your making your bumps too small. You need to really push that pastel into the paper and wiggle it around a little. Not really moving it from where it's positioned but almost like you want to get the most out of the contact you've made. However you accomplish it...they need to be larger and keep thinking of a cylinder with the sun on the side...brightest at the side but fading very gradually around into the shadow. As you get closer to the shadow area change to shade that is darker but not as deep as the shadow side.
I noticed that the blue reflection of the white layer in this chocolate candy needs to extend out further so that it is in line with what it is reflecting so I added a little to it here.


Cheers, Dianna :)

03-09-2007, 11:51 PM
Update: added white to the pink coconut candy and the faintest black line under the candies that have the reflections. That sure seems to help my eye distinguish which is the candy and which is the reflection. Then I painted two more yellow round candies. The one closer to us is a bit squished but I'm sure they're not all perfect out of the bag? Having fun!



03-09-2007, 11:58 PM
Okay lets go for broke here. :clap:




It simplifies things if we switch now and leave the white out until we have finished the pink candy then come back with that pencil as easy as pie.







Cheers, Dianna

03-10-2007, 12:41 AM
Well lets put these guys to bed!!



And there you have them. http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Mar-2007/34523-2thumbsup.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Mar-2007/34523-dance.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Mar-2007/34523-53443-0_cheerleader.gif

Now I know everyone is just dying to fill in the rest of the plate but please DO NOT go right to the edge of the plate with the black or you will find it difficult to do the tablecloth.



The area shown above is better worked with colours that have already been introduced to your painting. If you wish it to be green you must go back into your candies and find at leas two other areas where you can make the the green work for you.



This is where I use my black Koss, Mungio or SMI stick. If you have one you will find that it will match your pencil quite well and if you gently smooth the two together where they meet its quite hard to see the seam. Use the stick on its side.

When pastelling a large area, it's easiest to work on a flat surface rather than on your easel. This way you need not fill it in quite so fully as there will be lots of excess that will end up laying on the surface. This can be worked into the paper with your fingers. This excess would otherwise be wasted if you worked upright. Now, it is possible to apply too much and end up with shiny areas so only use as much as necessary but fill the paper completely.

Turn your painting and work on it upside down whenever it seems easier to do so.

03-10-2007, 12:45 AM
EP you are really picking up speed here. :thumbsup: Thank goodness I got my post in on time :lol: Wouldn't want you to find yourself with nothing to do. :( ...and I LOVE hearing the 'I'm having fun' part. :smug:

Well I have been on this computer for 13 hours today and I am going to be AND don't get me up early. :wink2:

Cheers, Dianna

03-10-2007, 03:28 AM
Dianna...I've just got up...and I see you were going to go to bed two hours ago!!! Get up them stairs now, young lady! Go to bed now, or you won't get any more stars from us!!:mad: :lol: :wave: night night Dianna!! :lol:

Ruth Grinstead
03-10-2007, 06:12 AM
Thank you, Dianna, for yesterday's suggestions. I think I have implemented most of them, but now that I have it on screen I can see some other areas for attention.


03-10-2007, 07:56 AM
Yes momma "D" http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Mar-2007/34523-crack_the_whip.gif :lol: Couldn't sleep so I'm popping in here and lookee see here is Ruth!

Hi Ruth :wave: If this were a rally check-on you'ld be currently in first place! :D I do think that you will have to tone down your reflections and I'll talk about that in a minute but first I want to address the bottom licorice. The flat side really isn't visible so if we want to put it in, it needs to be ever so subtle. Because of the small size of your painting, it may well be too difficult to accomplish so you should just omit it. Try first just toning it down more and more and if it should disappear don't worry about it. :p


Toning down the reflection

You have the black laid in all around this area and you've looked it over and decided that it needs be a lot darker. The simplest method of accomplishing this is to drag the surrounding black over the colour, blend it gently, then once you’re certain it’s dark enough, go back in with your pencil and re-define the edges but not too clearly because we want this a little blurry here.

That is the method I used on mine.

If that isn’t working for you then apply the black by laying your pencil on the side and apply a soft layer that way.

Don’t be overly concerned about preserving the integrity of this area. I can’t stress enough that its importance to the painting is in showing to what degree the surface is reflective. You can’t really get it too dark and the actual shapes themselves need only mimic the candy to some degree so if they go wildly awry …don’t sweat it.

03-10-2007, 10:52 AM
Does that mean that CP us work Joe? :p This is why I tell everyone they're the chocolate of the painting mediums....it's like playing rather than work. Dessert rather than meat and potatoes. :lol:

I will not go on record as saying cp is work (I love the subtle color blends and detail cp allows)...but nothing provides the seemingly instantaneous gratification of pastel. I now totally understand your "chocolate of the painting mediums"!! :)

Off to put my licorice in perspective!:D

03-10-2007, 10:58 AM
Hi Dianna - I've been working away quietly in the background in order to catch up and oh boy I have enjoyed your tuition once again. Especially my favourite subject of Allsorts!! Thought it time to post my work so far in case it needs any alterations prior to the cloth. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join in this class; I love getting mucky but at least it is not the red of the apple and pear study with the red velvet background!! Do you remember the state of my face???

03-10-2007, 11:05 AM
Slight alterations and perhaps a better image!!


03-10-2007, 11:11 AM
Here's my update. As you can see I'm still very far behind.


03-10-2007, 11:13 AM
You beat me to it by minutes!:p
Ah well...here's mine. not satisfied with it yet, haven't got those magic fingers!:( Not sure why it's not right yet..

03-10-2007, 11:38 AM
Deirdre suggested I take the image in natural light!


Piper Ballou
03-10-2007, 12:06 PM
I hope to do some major catching up today...I did finish candies 5 and 6. The black licorice was much easier then I thought. I did not care for the yellow one at all, maybe because that would not be my favorite to eat either.
Hope to update more again soon.

03-10-2007, 12:10 PM
I didn't realise that each and every one of us is entitled to vote on how good this thread is - by clicking on the rate thread at the top of the page.

marilyn h
03-10-2007, 12:17 PM
I am not a good follower or obeying the rules. You will notice I did most of this free hand after the first few pieces..

The first photo is all pastel. What a messy medium, opps. Opinion.
The second is with added colored pencil to get the effects I wanted.

Thank you so much for your endurance with us followers. I really admire you for your talent and patience. Your work is excellent in my opinion. I think I will stick to my colored pencils so I don't have to clean up messes on me, the floor the dust that lands on everything. Of course that just mixes with the normal dust I have. At least it is colorful.

Thank you again. It is a pleasure to have watched your creativity.


03-10-2007, 12:40 PM
Hi everyone! :wave:

I'm still having a lot of fun here.:) I wanted to post an update before I really go into the black. But first I have a couple of totally unrelated questions.

I am extremely new to art - like I started drawing less then five months ago. I still don't quite understand compostion and colour theory so my first question is - when you spread the allsorts on the plate did you just lay them randomly or did you take care to blance out the colours? Basically what I am asking is - is it all right to just copy nature or should there always be artistic intervention.

My second question as I said is totally unrelated. Do pastels give you dry skin? My hands feel like I've been working in the fields for days! :D

Oh, yes... the update before I forget... I should get an A in this if only for colour mixing! :lol:


03-10-2007, 01:13 PM
Rose, My hands are dry too, must be the pastels.
Are we supposed to do the rest of the candies? I'm afraid :(! I am totally enthralled with this project. I've been working on it since 9am, and here it is past 1pm, time sure flies when your having fun. I must confess that I want to do these candies, probably my own pic, with acrylics after this, just to compare. I've never painted food before, except fruit. It's very hard to make them look good enough to eat, LOL, unless your name is Dianna!!!!
Thanks again Dianna, for graciously offering this class!!!! I'll post a pic after I clean up.

03-10-2007, 01:33 PM
Here we go - plate done, awaiting tablecloth. Yay!


(You can see my register marks on the paper!)


frieda L
03-10-2007, 01:39 PM
a little update un yesterdays progress...did it after dark, I hope it does not show, it seems harder to do with artificial lighting.
it's exciting to get closer to have a full plate... always willing to make corrections, though...

03-10-2007, 01:54 PM
Hi Everyone! Jackie, I haven't come out of my cupboard all day. I'm worried about myself! Too late now to take a progress photo but I'm so enjoying everyone's posts, I had to say so. My husband keeps stopping by and looking and saying, 'They're good enough to eat but I don't like allsorts. Can you do a hamburger'. LOL
Dianne, I've lost count of the days I've been working on this. You did say you would normally do a piece like this in 4 hours, didn't you?!

Piper Ballou
03-10-2007, 01:58 PM
Robin, Looks like you are going to be addicted to pastels soon....I having been painting most of the day so far...love days like this.

Here is my update on the shadows...I really liked painting them. In real life the colors are a little brighter, I will have to take a photo outside in better light later...right now I have more painting to do...LOL

03-10-2007, 02:04 PM
Of course you know, anything this much fun is going to be banned soon!

03-10-2007, 02:40 PM
Here's where I'm at. I somehow missed the page to do the other candies. I'll do them tomorrow morning.
Dianna, did I darken the yellow candy enough? I have no browns in my pastel box, which has 136 colors, can you believe it..no brown, so I had to mix rust, burgundy AND black. I know I have to darken the reflections, just read your post on that. What should I concentrate on fixing?
I only ate 4 candies so far, not too bad. The bag I bought only has the square ones, I'll keep searching !

03-10-2007, 02:43 PM
Final update till the next lesson:


03-10-2007, 02:44 PM
Hi Robyn, I'm glad I'm not alone in getting lost in this project :)! I could have a hamburger too, make it a cheeseburger!
Rose , your's is looking great!

03-10-2007, 03:03 PM
This is my first posting. I got a late start and still need to catch up. Not using prescribed pastels or paper but I will try it again at a later date with proper tools. Paper is Artagain and pastels are Nupastel (36), Rembrandt (36) and Gioconda (48). Just received the CarbOthellos today.
Need C&C, thanks.

Piper Ballou
03-10-2007, 03:45 PM
Okay...I need to take a break and go for a walk and get some lunch now, funny how time flies when you are so involved in something you love doing.

Dianna, a note to you, I noticed that my number 2 candy was too squared where the bottom meets the plate, didn't notice it until after I scanned it, I think you mentioned that some where that a few were having problems with that....I did fix it, just not on this scan


03-10-2007, 04:03 PM
I have been working along with all of you but stayed in background since pastels give me such a fit. Well it hasnt changed. :rolleyes: I am doing the 9 x 12 size but am finding it so small , How do u all see what you are doing? I also didnt get the twisted candy right. Tried 3 times. And going into the ones on the bottom I probably wont do much better. I will say even though it sounds like I am not liking this I really am .. I just have to get the kinks out. And learn how to NOT make such a mess on the paper. :(

Just curious does anyone else keep breaking their sticks to get sharp edges for the tight spots? I have 3 more sheets this size and want to try something else after this lesson. I think!!!!

Dianna , its truely wonderful when someone with your experience to stop and take the time to teach others in here .. Thank you so much.



03-10-2007, 04:06 PM
I hope I've improved my reflections...unfortunately had to use flash..
Will try daylight tomorrow:wink2:

03-10-2007, 04:09 PM
Caught up at last-- but still haven't reevaluated the reflections etc. or tweaked much of anything else. Time for a break though so can return with fresh eyes.



03-10-2007, 05:35 PM
G'day, I have only just joined this forum so it's a bit late for me to get in on this class. Rats! I would like to try it nevertheless at a later time. I've already committed myself to the Monthly March Pastel. Not sure if I can get those type of sweets here. Is there a link still available for the drawing? Gosh I wish I became a member sooner!

03-10-2007, 05:58 PM
RooGal-the Classes are always open! Join in when you can.:thumbsup:

And Welcome to WC!:clap:

03-10-2007, 06:03 PM
Hi Roo! Welcome to the forum! It's not too late...you can join in anytime...and all you need to do this is right here in the thread! The point of this class is to be shown how Dianna Ponting achieves her fabulous style, which the vast majority of pastelists envy! Dianna has kindly offered to take us through it step by step, offering tips and tweaks along the way. ....So, prepare for a good read, and check your inventory...and just join in!:D

03-10-2007, 06:07 PM
Roo, I found these candies after going to a few stores. I'm sure you'll find them as the pkg. stated made in Australia!

frieda L
03-10-2007, 07:00 PM
Here is my offering for today... to the gods of candy and pastels, my humble dish filled with allsorts!

The spots I like the least are the shadows on the yellow ones...they look dirty. I do not have a beautiful dark lavender, so used gray with a bit of blue... makes them look like they fell in the dust!
looking forward to the finish!

Piper Ballou
03-10-2007, 07:25 PM
WoW, everyone's painting is looking grand.....
welcome Roo, you will love pastels...

I am all caught up for the moment, I need to find my blacker black for the plate and have a few little touch ups here and there.


03-10-2007, 07:58 PM
Here is my latest update
Thanks for the tips, I started putting the white in a little more aggressively looks better, I believe :)
I have to take a short break my 3yr old grandson staying over today and tonight :) It is great to have him over but not really compatible with pastels :rolleyes:

03-10-2007, 08:11 PM
Roogal, I am hip deep in drawing debt with the forum and I am trying to catch up--I will be starting late as well so maybe I will see you there!

Hi Roo! Welcome to the forum! It's not too late...you can join in anytime...and all you need to do this is right here in the thread! The point of this class is to be shown how Dianna Ponting achieves her fabulous style, which the vast majority of pastelists envy! Dianna has kindly offered to take us through it step by step, offering tips and tweaks along the way. ....So, prepare for a good read, and check your inventory...and just join in!

Let me elaborate on what Dee just said while I am here. We try to recruit, coax, beg some some the best artistw around--anywhere--to come and show us their skills. The object of the classes is to encourage diversity of skills and to help round you out as an artist. When I say we try to bring in the best, I am not kidding--Dianna is not only ONE of the best internationally, many consider her to be THE best--Her international reputation is unquestionable so when you get the chance jump in, follow her directions to the letter and learn--willingness to learn is always the hallmark of any top flight artist. Have fun!!!

03-10-2007, 08:14 PM
Everyones paintings are beautiful and the colors in this drawing are so wonderful!:clap: :clap:

Finally got started this evening. I have a lil trouble w/ the color identification-so I am just doing the best I can with a lil practice swatch on the side and looking at the ref. I have a small set of NuPastels but so far just have used the Carb Othello pencils. Looks like I have some more work in a few spots here too. Never see it till on the monitor.:rolleyes: :D

03-10-2007, 09:58 PM
:eek: OH MY GOSH :eek: Look what happens when you have to leave the house....I will be up 'til 4am catching up here. :lol: Where's that coffee Deirdre?

I'll be back shortly with some C & C. Thank you all for working so hard in my absence. I have to tell you that I will be gone most of the day tomorrow also so don't rush it. I get to rub shoulders with fellow juror Robert Genn for the day. For those of you who follow his letters I said that to impress you....:lol:

Cheers, Dianna :thumbsup:

03-10-2007, 10:36 PM
I don't know who Robert Glen is Dianna-but he must be important if he is hanging around with you. :angel: Dee-pass the apple please!:lol: :lol:
Still working on this tonight-it has been so long since I worked with any color-so this is really exciting! I think I have more blending/shaping and filling in to do all over-perhaps I should do that b4 I move on...this is sooo much fun! TY Dianna!

03-10-2007, 10:56 PM
For those interested ;-)


03-10-2007, 11:05 PM
Wow Rich! Thanks for filling us (at least me :o ) in on Robert Glenn!

03-10-2007, 11:37 PM
yes, I get his newsletter--he's very enlightening to read.

03-11-2007, 12:26 AM
Well forget the coffee. Here I am snuggled into my nightie are ready to work!!


Because I am so far behind, I’m going to concentrate here on just answering questions. If you have just popped in to comment or to say wonderful things about me, I will thank all of you from the bottom of my heart :heart: right here in one fell swoop. The smile you see above was put there by you….not the beer!

Diana – yummy – just a little darker at the top of that reflection and forget the reflected light on this licorice. It isn’t working for you so just darken down the right side and your ready to go.


Tammy – looking good - the same as above for reflection and take off the fourth bar on the right of same licorice twist. It isn’t needed.

Deirdre – I'll appologize right off for pointing fingers below but I needed an example. Now the bumps on your closest yellow candy are awesome. It’s the size of them that makes it work. Try to make the back one match. I want you to look at the dots ringing evenly around the circle of the right hand pink candy…marching neatly behind one another. Do something about that. The front licorice, where I added the darkest ultramarine, take your black pencil and tone that down. It should be almost invisible. I know, I know…so why did I make you put it in?


Since noticing Deirdre’s evenly spaced spots, (see above) I have seen the same on several other people's work as I scrolled down so I will just put out a blanket suggestion here that everyone check their spots to make sure they are random in both pattern and size.

Looking good Piper!! Is this closer to the real thing? There is your angle. Take off whatever is below the line.


Marily - welcome and hey that’s what rules are there for. How nice to see something totally individual. I especially love your wild licorice. I can see by your signature bar where you’re coming from. :thumbsup:

Yes Rose!! Doing fine!– The side of the first chocolate candy facing us also needs darkening.

EP – I can truly sense your enthusiasm and it makes me smile every time. Now let’s see......
Darker reflection, darken the bottom of the forward yellow baby. As she rolls under she has to get darker and cover up the outline at the top end of your licorice. It should just fade off to black. PS…you get a star for the register marks! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Mar-2007/34523-star.gif

Looking good Frieda – you could use larger bumps on those round babies if you want to get adventurous. I’ve given you some suggestions on shading the yellow one and both licorices…licori?


Yes Robyn…three or four hours. Banned??? You will have to pry them out of my cold dead hands. LOL

Jackie – darker reflections and I darkened the shadow in the yellow fellow and the right side of the licorice plus highlighted the sunny side a wee more. I’m presuming you wanted that white center in the pink candy. Stay away from the dish, back up slowly, do not……..


Hello Paintnut - looking good also. If you have the colours for it, you might want to darked the backside (our side) of candy #2 to a very deep pink. :)

Laurie you are doing just great so don’t be so down on yourself and take the last bar on the right off your licorice and it will look just fine. :p

Rich – yes darker reflection and tone down the licorice a little. See what kind of an end I fashioned for Frieda's licorice above. That line of pink along the edge of the plate…can you go darker on that. It’s a reflection from the darkest side of the pink candy so should be at least that dark.


G’day to you to Roogal….so glad you could join us, not just here but Wet Canvas as a whole. :wave:

All right! Looking good Dave. You could be a little more subtle in your transitions from light into shadow in some places but that will come with practice.


Jay, I wondered where you had gone…thought perhaps I frightened you away with my rigid approach. LOL

Judi you're doing just fantastic!! No comments needed. :thumbsup:

Cheers, Dianna