View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketch Thread May 14 - 20

Paula Ford
05-14-2007, 12:24 PM
Hello Artists :wave:

The Weekly Pastel Sketch thread is for ALL pastelists who use soft pastels, hard pastels, oil pastels, or pastel pencils. This thread is for ALL skill levels.

The idea is to fit some sketching time into your week by completing a sketch in one hour or less. You can sketch anything, whether it be from life or photos.

You can sketch for 5 minutes, or up to an hour, itís up to you. It's a good idea to time your sketch, keeping it within 60 minutes. You know how time flies when youíre creating! So, get your pastels out, set a timer, and when your time is up, please post your sketches here and share your efforts with us!!

Please click here to see last week's fabulous sketches .... http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=419721

Please visit the Image Library to see hundreds of great photos! http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/ (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/)

05-14-2007, 06:17 PM
Hey Paula,,,,,,this is a 1 hour 9" x 12" fast and loose work I did to warm up after being away from the easil for a few days.


Pat Isaac
05-14-2007, 06:22 PM
Great, Preston, so nice, loose and juicy. Very painterly. I am so far behind with this, must get one done this week....


05-14-2007, 06:24 PM
Preston, very very nice. I too love the painterly feel.

05-14-2007, 07:01 PM
Preston: I really like it, too, especially the painterly quality and quality of the light! You make it look so easy!

Pat, Your step-by-step demo of an OP painting is so good, and so thourough, that all of us OP folks more than understand why you may not be posting each week. It must be taking a lot of time to prepare the lessons and all the detailed photos.

(For anyone else who want's to take a look at Pat's excellent demo, here's the link: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=418638)

Paula Ford
05-14-2007, 07:30 PM
Preston, Your work is always fabulous and painterly...love it!


05-15-2007, 10:31 AM
Hi All! Hope everyone is having a good week. Here is a pansey from my garden done over the weekend. My final grades are due today then I'm free for the summer! (Well not really free but not teaching!)
#28!!!!!!!!!!! :angel:

Pat Isaac
05-15-2007, 10:36 AM
Very nice, Lindsay and I like the gradation of color. Almost free....whoopie..


05-15-2007, 01:06 PM
I tried, I really tried to get a sketch this week! Sat down with my 4 year old and started to talk while I worked and explained to her how you start and base colors and stems....stopped at an hour. Then she made me put it on the refrigerator...then I took it down and started to tweak it..big mistake. Always take a picture at the hour mark.:o It turned into more of a painting than a sketch. so I'll try and take a picture of it and post it someplace so you guys can see it. I think this will tend to happen to me again in the future but at least I'm painting :D

Paula Ford
05-15-2007, 01:16 PM
Lindsay, Your pansy is beautiful!!!

LOL Pete


Pat Isaac
05-15-2007, 01:56 PM
You should still post it, Pete. Mine often run a little over an hour.


lacey sprocket
05-15-2007, 05:47 PM
Here's one I just finished, it took about an hour. (It's #14 in my sketchbook.) Also, just for fun, here's a collaboration I did with my friend Shirine, who I saw when I went up to Humboldt to see my friend Lara's graduation this last weekend. It's called: "Shirine is Thinking of Cupcakes"!

Pat Isaac
05-15-2007, 05:57 PM
I really love your colorful expressive portraits. They remind me of a lesson that I had my HS seniors do when I was teaching. Great stuff and I had them do very large ones with oil sticks.


lacey sprocket
05-15-2007, 06:12 PM
Thanks Pat! I want to do some really big ones (when I work in oil paints, I work large), but I haven't shelled out for the big sticks yet. But I did just buy 10 of the huge sennies for my best friend's graduation present, and since we do a lot of collaboration, I'm sure I'll get to play with them some. I do a lot of drawings, and I go through boxes so quickly, I'm a little afraid of the expense of big ones. But sooner or later... Sure wish I would've had a cool teacher like you in HS!

Pat Isaac
05-15-2007, 06:17 PM
Thanks, Lacey. Yeah I had a great time teaching HS and many of students went on to further their art education. Those big one are expensive, but we used the student ones in HS and they worked fine.


05-15-2007, 08:08 PM
Annie, checked out your cup from last week. It's looking real good!

Preston, I love all your work! This sketch is no exception.

Lindsay, Beautiful pansy! Your colors just sing. What size is it?

Lacey, I really like your use of bright, bold colors. Very nice.

Pete, I'm waiting to see your work. That's great that your daughter insisted you put it up on the frig.:)

Was playing around with color and a fun interpretation this week (9x12 Canson [wish I didn't feel the need to use up the Canson but I do]) and below is the result:


Pat Isaac
05-15-2007, 08:12 PM
This is great, binkie. I love everything about it. Makes me smile, sondering what he is up to.


Paula Ford
05-15-2007, 08:40 PM
Wow Lacey! Such colorful portraits. Really wonderful!

Binkie, Now that is a bird with character! LOVE it!! Definately makes me smile too.


lacey sprocket
05-15-2007, 08:56 PM
Binki, that's so cool! I think the dark blue really sets it off. I'm grinning!

05-15-2007, 09:49 PM
Lacey and Binkie! What a wonderful surprise today. I LOVE both of t hese. Lacey, your portraits have such great structure and the colors are really punchy.
Binkie, you have out done your self with humor and color. This guy looks like he';s about to say something funny.

05-16-2007, 01:31 AM
Lindsay: Wow - your pansy painting has a great sense of depth to it! Very nicely done. I love pansys. :heart: "Free for the summer"...that sounds so good! :)

Pete: I hope you'll post the painting here, or if you post it elsewhere that you'll provide a link for us here in the sketch thread. :)

Lacy: I love those portraits! So colorful and whimsical! I like the patterns that you've applied in the bg and on the clothing in the first one. They both do look like they're meant to be big. You clearly have a lot of talent!

binkie: Thanks for your comment on my espresso cup. :) And I love your bird!!! He made me smile too. :) It's the expression! Very nice, binkie!

05-16-2007, 11:30 AM

All the postings in this week are very lovely and at high standards. This really makes me re-think whether I should post mine to this thread.

Nowadays, it is very hot in Hong Kong.

The one below is very sketchy. I did it in my lunch time in a small garden. I spent about 20 minutes to do this one. The weather was too hot and I really could not continue.

This is very sketchy. Could you discern there are 3 women? Anyway, thank you for your looking.

As usual, I did it using OPs on a small sketch book.



Pat Isaac
05-16-2007, 11:34 AM
Yes, Eric, I can discern the 3 women chatting on the bench. Your slices of life and use of your time are just great, so please continue to post.


05-16-2007, 03:18 PM
Eric, I adore your quick sketches! They are so lively and I get to see a slice of the world I'd never get to see!!!One of the things I love best about this thread is that we can post really sketchy quick stuff with more time considered stuff. Sometimes, I like the sketches even better than a finished work. I can see the artist's thinking. It is the variety I love in here!!

Thanks Pat, Annie and Paula for your kind words.

05-16-2007, 10:44 PM
Thank you for Pat's and Lindsay's warm remarks.

A supplement about the question:"Could you discern there are 3 women?" My wife cannot see such a thing. She said that it is too messy for her to get that. But my son can.


05-16-2007, 11:02 PM
Wow, fun to see the sketches this week! Love the juicy apple and the great flower. Lacey's sketches are so expressive and bold. Binkie's bird made me laugh right out loud. What a great viewpoint. As usual I admire Eric's "slice of life" sketches.

I have a few sketches from art class tonight. We didn't do a long pose as we usually do. Instead Alex had us do a series of really fast sketches, 5 and 10 minute poses only. Gosh it's *hard* to try to get something in only 5 or 10 minutes. But here are three of my sketches - the first two were 5 minutes, the third was 10 minutes so I got bolder and threw in more color! (warning - nudes!)




05-17-2007, 12:50 AM
Pat, Paula, Lacey, Lindsay, Annie, Thanks so much for commenting on my bird.

Eric, I like your sketches, and I really like this one too. Maybe you can sketch looking out a window until it cools down. My husband and I don't always like the same things. Wet Canvas is here for you to display your art to like-minded people. We love seeing it!

Wow, Debbie! Those are great sketches, and for such a short period of time. I could never do that. It takes me that long to just think about getting started.


05-17-2007, 01:25 AM
Eric: I like your sketch, too! People have such different tastes in art - maybe your wife prefers a more traditional style of painting - but here at WC you have, as binkie said, a place to show your work to others who appreciate it. And I should add that I could see the three ladies on the bench too. :)

Debbie: Your life drawings are terrific! It's amazing to me that you are able to produce such good work so quickly. The last one is especially good - the color really helps show the play of light across the form, which you rendered quite nicely. Well done, Debbie!

05-17-2007, 01:41 PM
???:confused: ???
Oh, I had posted in the previous week's thread... :eek: I'll paste what I posted there,

Well, now I'm doing some packing for my small trip to Tokyo from tomorrow. This is a packed stuff using furoshiki (see the Wiki if you like). Oil pastels. Took 35 minutes.



Well, happy that I can see many wonderful works this week, too! But please give me time to comment to all the nice sketches here 'cause I'm travelling out... thanks.

05-17-2007, 04:14 PM
Lovely figures scal0way! Very flowing lines
Yusuke, I found the link describing what the wrapping is. Great idea! My big mission lately has been to NOT use plastic bags and try to remember to bring a cloth bag when ever I'm shopping. A Furoshiki takes up even less room in my purse and I'd never forget to bring it along!
Lovely drawing too!


lacey sprocket
05-17-2007, 06:48 PM
Debbie, those figure drawings are awesome! I like your colors on that last one. I love life drawing, it was the class where I learned the most, simply because I got so much practice.
Yusuke I love the Furoshiki! My best friend and I are also trying to cut down on plastic waste. I'm going to try the Furoshiki, too.

Pat Isaac
05-17-2007, 06:57 PM
Somehow, I missed these. Great geature figures, Debbie. I especially like the colors in the last figure.


05-17-2007, 07:39 PM
Ok, Here it is. Canson 8x10, Rembrant,Nupastels and pastel pencils.
about 1.5 hours. Thanks for letting me slide this time next time Ill do Better.:o The name "dandy flowers" that's what my daughter calls them
Sorry it's sideways:) oh yea and the leaf slits are going the wrong way:( I guess I posted it on the wrong week too....not a good day for me sorry.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-May-2007/103550-126_2424.JPG

05-17-2007, 07:46 PM
Thank you everyone for you comments they are very inspiring!
I guess I posted this on the wrong week originally and everyone found it and is still talking to me:lol: . Your Sketches are all so loose and free and
painterly:thumbsup: :thumbsup: . They look great.
I'll be watching this thread...it's fun!

Paula Ford
05-17-2007, 08:03 PM
Yes, Eric, I can discern the 3 women chatting on the bench. Your slices of life and use of your time are just great, so please continue to post.


I agree! I knew exactly what it was and saw the women as soon as I saw it. Thank you for posting Eric!


Paula Ford
05-17-2007, 08:04 PM
Pete, Your sketch is beautiful!!! Wonderful work!


05-17-2007, 09:38 PM
Thanks! This is a 3 day trip. I'll sketch something after getting back. :)
I'm watching your demo in the oil pastels forum. So informative!

I like your loose but accurate painting style.

You captured the texture of the pansy. Great!
Thanks for the comment on my furoshiki sketch. Yes, it is so useful.

Don't worry about the time! Your dandy dandelion was fascinating! :)

Your works are strong. Strong portraits with bold colors and beautiful forms. Nicely designed. I prefer the first one.
Happy to hear that you're interested in furoshikis. ;)

Humorous seagull (or albatross?). Nice contrast with the background.

I can guess it is hot there in Hong Kong, from the atmosphere of your sketch. I can see there're 3 chatting ladies. Nice work!
I really agree with Pat and Paula. Wonderful slices of the daily life.

Great life drawings. 5-10 minutes drawing must be a good exercise. You successfully captured the body mass in the 10 minutes colored one. I also like the first torso work.

05-18-2007, 02:37 AM
Yusuke, Your furoshiki is wonderful. That warm, rich reddish-brown seems to be your signature color. Great folds and knot rendering.

Pete, your painting is beautiful. I hope you cross posted it in the soft pastel studio forum so more folks can see it.

Yusuke, thanks for the comment on my "seagull."


05-18-2007, 06:59 AM
I guess I keep clicking on the Go button instead of the Post button, because I wrote a long post yesterday, right after Debbie's great sketches, and it....... isn't there. Rats.
(So Pete, you're not the only one who didn't have a good day yesterday!)
I had all individual comments but no time today to repeat them now. Wonderful sketches, everyone!
So far this week I have half a plein air.:( Working late, tired, got 700 kids with spring fever and cooped up inside all week because of horrid weather, so even my lunch hour is taken up with detentions,blagh.)
But the long weekend is coming up! Happy Birthday, Queen Victoria, wherever you are, and thanks for the day off!

Pat Isaac
05-18-2007, 08:40 AM
Thanks, Yusuke. No sketch this week either.:eek: Going away for the weekend so see you all next week.


05-18-2007, 09:34 AM
Pat, I hope you have a great trip.
Wendy, sorry you are too busy to paint! Do you have the summers off? I just handed in my final grades and have only ONE more meeting than I'm free till September.
Annie, thanks for your nice words about my pansey. I have a whole flat of flowers to plant soon!

Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 11:07 AM
Hey, where is everybody?

H E L L O ?


05-20-2007, 12:57 PM
I'm cross posting here from the op fourm. This one really is a sketch that took about 1 1/2 hours. I needed it to dry out overnight after the res-n-gel layer.

It's been so quiet here over the weekend!!!! Every one must be out enjoying the sunny weather. Rainy here today....:( I was going to go visit the Chicago River and take pix but i"ll wait for more light. OOps...should have cropped a bit more.

Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 01:14 PM
Hi Lindsay,

WOW, what a great punch of color! Beautiful sketch, very painterly!


05-20-2007, 01:21 PM
Thanks Paula. How is your studio coming along? I know you just moved. Are you all settled in? Like your new house???

Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 03:09 PM
Hi Lindsay,

My studio is mostly set up. There are boxes in the room that I'm still unpacking, but the studio is ready to go. I'm in a huge artistic slump right now. I really want to paint, but when I sit in front of my paper surrounded in gorgeous pastels, nothing happens. Hopefully the spark will come back soon.

We are loving our new home. It's a log home in the forest and it's really peaceful and quiet.

Thanks for asking!

05-20-2007, 05:23 PM
Hi Paula & co

I'm trying to fit in a pastel sketch each weekend. My latest is in Caran d'Ache oil pastel & wax pastel in a 9x6" Daler-Ingres pastel pad. This is a humongous great brick of chocolate button marble cake from my local market.

As I was drawing it (out on a sketching trip with some fellow artists in Ely), a middle-aged woman marched up to peer over my shoulder, and went "Oh" rather contemptuously on discovering that my sights weren't set on majestic Ely cathedral, but on the chocolate cake in front of me. An American gentleman later ambled over and exclaimed, "You're drawing food!" :rolleyes: I sketched until both the cake and my oil pastels started to melt.


This may be one of those subjects you can't really identify unless you were there!

05-20-2007, 05:51 PM
Paula, sounds idyllic! Peace and quiet.
So sorry about your slump. I've felt that way too at times. I hope you can do something really nice for yourself. Moving is stressful even if it is to a wonderful home. Let us all know if we can help!!

EJ! You are making me salavate. Between you and Yusuke, I'm going to gain cyber weight in addition to real weight:lol: Bah Humbug on the snotty woman! What does she know anyway about the luxury of chocolate cake and oil pastels. Great texture here.

I've bought a few of the C-A oil pastels and I really like some of their dark neutrals. They blend well with my Holbines too.

Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 07:48 PM
LOL Lindsay!!

Also, thank you. I just don't know what to do about this slump. It almost feels permanent which makes me so sad.

I certainly love seeing all of your sketches... slump or no slump!


David Patterson
05-20-2007, 08:00 PM
I really want to paint, but when I sit in front of my paper surrounded in gorgeous pastels, nothing happens. Hopefully the spark will come back soon.

Hmmmm...why don't you pick out one of your photo references, and try some sketches, and an underpainting. I read how to do that somewhere in here!:rolleyes:


Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 08:10 PM
Hmmmm...why don't you pick out one of your photo references, and try some sketches, and an underpainting. I read how to do that somewhere in here!:rolleyes:


Thank you David :D

05-20-2007, 10:51 PM
Here I am, the last one to post as usual...:o

Yusuke: I love the furoshiki sketch. The detail is just perfect and I love how you did the folds and the pattern on the fabric. I would like to get a furoshiki. I hope you are enjoying your weekend trip.

Lindsay: Aren't furoshikis cool? I want one too. Here's another link: http://www.furoshiki.com It tells how to tie them. At least we can recycle plastic bags now so we don't have to feel quite so guilty.

Lacey: I can understand why you like life drawing - you're very good at it!

Pete: I commented on your lovely sketch in the other thread. I hope you will be posting more of them. :)

Wendy: I can't imagine trying to deal with 7 kids all at once, let alone 700! :eek: No wonder you didn't have time to paint! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Pat: I hope your weekend trip is going well too. :)

Lindsay: I just love those pears. The richness and depth of color is terrific. I asked once before but maybe you didn't see it, or maybe I missed it somehow: Is Res N Gel glossy or matte?

Paula: Sorry to hear about the slump but I bet you're just worn out from moving. The spark will return soon I'm sure - you just need time to recover.

E-J: Ooooh, Chocolate! What a terrific sketch and it looks so yummy and chocolate-y. I love it that you showed the crumbs too!

Here's mine for the week. It's of a pot of thyme that sits on the railing to the deck in back. Beyond are trees. There are flaws that I can see, but I was really trying to work fast. Even so, I went over the hour by 30 minutes or so. It took a while to build up the color on this - it's really a semi-painting rather than a sketch.

Sketch #26
Thyme in Clay Pot
OPs on 9x12 newsprint


Paula Ford
05-20-2007, 11:19 PM
Annie, This is really really beautiful!!


05-20-2007, 11:57 PM
Thanks, Paula! :) I should have added that I'd appreciate C&C on it, if anyone has ideas.

Also, have you ever tried painting to music, Paula? Not painting anything in particular, just putting down random marks, as the music moves you? It's a great way to overcome a slump.

Paula Ford
05-21-2007, 06:45 AM
No, haven't listened to music in my studio in a long time. I usually have the tv on softly.

Thanks Annie, I'll try that.


05-21-2007, 09:32 AM
Annie, so sorry I missed your question!! Res N Gel is goopie stuff that you use to mush colors around for an under painting. It's hard to say weather or not its matte or glossy. I usually end up covering my entire under painting. I think I'd have to say its matte....or dries close to the hardened type surface of ops. I use a folded up paper towel to mush it around. Lately, since we have neither heat or air conditioning, my basement studio is so damp that it takes forever to dry up! I have to take my paintings to the living level of the house for them to dry. I've been using terps for my underpaintings too.
Also, I've been working with Acrylic washes as an underpainting. Lovely surface!!! and I can set up the values first to see if things are working.

I like this very much. My favorite part of this painting is that spray of branches gracefully trailing down in front. I wonder if a few more sprays of this type of effect might look good too. Maybe the sprays on the top too??? Just a thought. Its lovely

Paula, when I'm stuck, what I do is just hang out in my studio. Pay bills, read, pin up an image or two. My studio feels peaceful to me and the act of just hanging out there with NO EXPECTATION seems to help me feel better. If nothing else, you are surrounded by some yummy colors to feast your eyes on.....Maybe your "inner artist" has been operating too long on "must get this done" time for the move and needs you to slow down a bit????? Might be you are just REALLY tired from the move. When you feel more rested, things will fall into place. You are a creative person and eventually that part will bubble up and beg for attention!!! Its temporary!!! I've had this feeling too and it terrifies me when I'm in the middle of it. I'm always sure my art making is over. But it ALWAYS passes.

05-21-2007, 12:26 PM
I like this very much. My favorite part of this painting is that spray of branches gracefully trailing down in front. I wonder if a few more sprays of this type of effect might look good too. Maybe the sprays on the top too??? Just a thought. Its lovely

Thanks Lindsay: I'm planning to give this another go this afternoon, when the light is the same (or so I hope!) so I can correct the values. The light just changed too much from the time I started 'til I finally stopped for me to get it quite right. And it was raining off and on too, which affected things as well. The deck railing went from matte to shiny and the colors of the pot changed. Maybe I'll add a few sprays, but I'm a little hesitant, because I want the focus to be on the area with the sprays in the front of the pot and just a little above. I'm thinking too much detail elsewhere might not work. This is a Richard Schmid (the oil painter) technique, although inexpertly executed on my part. He uses an in-focus center of interest in his still lifes (my internal spell-checker - the one in my brain - wants to make that "still lives"! :lol:), with everything else a little out of focus. I'm also considering your technique to break up the greens, and may add a little deep red or orange into the green background, which needs to be a bit duller to make it recede. As I said, I know there are some flaws. Still, I'm pleased with this in many ways. I'm kind of disappointed now that I did it on newsprint.

Thanks also for the info on the Res-N-Gel. I'm curious if it could be used instead of liquin, and if areas where it's been employed could remain untouched by OP in the final painting without looking odd. With Liquin, one really needs to cover everything, or else the shiny texture looks peculiar next to the matte OPs.

Paula: I agree with Lindsay. I don't think you need to worry that the slump is permanent. You're probably just exhausted from your move. (Another good strategy for de-slumpifying might be the WDE.)

Would it be ok to repost in the new thread once I make the changes to this?

05-21-2007, 01:09 PM
Annie, sounds like you had some huge challenges with this piece!!! I love the idea of an in focus area and softly focus everything else. You would just make everything the same focus first then use your tool or finger to blur everything you don't want crisp. I'll look for this in the new thread!!!

Yes, I think you can use the Res n Gel bare in spots. I've never used Liquin but hear it is similar. Good luck!

Paula Ford
05-21-2007, 01:22 PM
Thanks so much you guys!!

Annie, Absolutely. Feel free to re-post in this week's thread.


Links Lady
05-21-2007, 06:49 PM
Just had success with a new student who completed his first painting in soft pastels. Go people! zNever say never. You can do it and touch up. No problem

05-21-2007, 10:50 PM
Links Lady, will we see you in next weeks thread?????

lacey sprocket
05-22-2007, 02:26 AM
Paula, here's another idea: When I'm in a slump, I collaborate with another artist. Just a random sketch, in which two artists are drawing simoltanously on the same bit of paper is a fun way to get that spark back. I also like to look at art by my favorite artists-that always gets me inspired! Or try switching to another medium for a bit. I'm actually on an oil paint slump-it's been months, but I've been crazy busy with my oil pastels. Sometimes, you just need a change. Good luck! And don't worry, once an artist, always an artist.