View Full Version : WEEKLY PASTEL SKETCH THREAD July 16-22nd

07-16-2007, 09:32 AM
Time for another round of sketching! Last week went super, let's give it another go-round! For those who may be new, here's the deal.....

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. I have personally found it useful to use a kitchen timer. You can even use your cell phone timer!

You can sketch for 5 minutes, or up to an hour, its up to you. It's a good idea to time your sketch, keeping it within 60 minutes. You know how time flies when youre 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!

07-16-2007, 11:24 AM
Hi all,:wave:

Thank you for hosting the thread again, chewie,

I have posted the replies and comments on the previous week's thread.

Am I the first in this thread? Now my newest sketch is an empty bottle. OPs. 35 minutes.

07-16-2007, 11:48 AM
Yusuke up and running right away, and yet another classic "Yusuke Work" that is up to her usual very high standards. I love the shape (especially the bottle top) and the white highlights.
Good stuff Yusuke!!

Pat Isaac
07-16-2007, 05:58 PM
Excellent bottle, Yusuke. You have really captured the feeling of glass. I like the red lettering...what does it say?


07-16-2007, 09:55 PM
Hi again,

Last week I moved so no pastel sketches. Inspired by Yusuke's sketches of everyday objects here are two I did this afternoon. They are also items on the current Scavenger Hunt list :)

soft pastels on manila paper

glass vase

cord for my camera charger


07-16-2007, 10:19 PM
Yusuke: Nice job on the bottle. You described the transparency very well - I especially like how you can see the lettering through the bottle (on the side facing away from the viewer - or maybe I'm seeing the shadow of the front lettering on the other side). Either way it's tricky stuff and you handled it quite well. Like Pat, I'm really curious about what the lettering says.

EP: Nice sketches. I like the color of the vase, but my favorite of the two is the cord. The color is great and I especially like the way you've done the blue highlighting. The part that connects to the camera is done well too, and the loose handling of the plug is great.

Pat Isaac
07-17-2007, 08:48 AM
Nice sketches and good use of color, ep. I especially like the cord, and how it winds around with all that color.


07-17-2007, 09:32 AM
This is on CMT, bright orange colour, approx 12"x10" using a variety of cheap softies and Derwent hard sketching pastels. It's not been fixed.
It would appear that this is my sort of "comfort zone" work. I have taken the idea of Monet's (?) Haystack theme that I tried previously, but this time I've tried to use some swirls and curves to supplement the short jabbing straight strokes. These I've tried to us in the clouds, trees and hedge, plus on the track.
It's the first time I've "underpainted" anything, which I did with subtle base colours for each area, and tried to use the orange to help portray a bright summer's day a couple of hundred yards from where I live, where it's all open fields full of various crops. At various times of the year we can enjoy Oil Seed Rape and Linseed, which if we are lucky enought to see combined is a special sight!! Next time I see those together I'm getting my pastels out!!! Rest of the time it's wheat, barley oats etc plus lots of red beet and some potato's.
Honest appraisals please - oh, it took me 40 mins to complete.

07-17-2007, 12:20 PM
Pabs, this is delightful! I love the stylized approach--it's a joy to behold, and a very peaceful scene!

Eyepaint, your color choices in your sketch are a lot of fun--bringing a lot of color and interest to mundane objects.

Yusuke, your bottle is superbly rendered, as usual--excellent transparency and handling of the writing! I hope your were not badly impacted by the earthquakes!!! I don't know my Japanese geography, but it sounds like the damage in the affected areas was pretty bad...


07-17-2007, 04:33 PM
Yusuke, hope you are okay after that earthquake. Your bottle is simply wonderful.

EP, Great can and cord. I love all the colors.

Pabs,Very nice landscape! The orange really makes it pop. I am no expert and perhaps someone may want to disagree, but when I gaze at your painting my eye is led off the page by the curved rows. Anyone else who knows more than I want to jump in here?

I just started a dog portrait for my neice and it will be this week's sketch. She lost her little furbaby and has been devastated so I said I would do a painting for her. I am having a terrible time with it because the pic of the dog she sent me is soooooooooooo small (not even 1" high). I've tried enlarging the photo but lose the details. I don't want to ask her to send another photo since she told me that the one she sent was the only one she could part with. (even though she'd get it back) Anyway, all I've done so far is block in the colors which took about 45 minutes. I'm working with a magnifying glass. Any other suggestions sure would be appreciated! The photo is attached to the board so you can see how small it is in comparison to the 9x12 painting.


07-17-2007, 05:27 PM
The path leads the eyes to the right but the clouds are too "solid" and take too much from the overall "structure" ;the clouds spoil what should be a harmony of colours.
Kind regards,

07-17-2007, 07:27 PM
AnnieA, Pat, Libby (bogbeast), binkie - thank you :)

I tried to sketch almonds this afternoon but it didn't turn out well.

Here's the sketch:

Here's a photo of the setup:

They look like they are patterns on the plate rather than 3D objects sitting on the plate. I'll try again, this time with the plate closer to eye level, and maybe have only one almond on it. Maybe I should also add a light rather than using the ambient light of outdoors.


lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 02:48 AM
yusuke, I like the colored paper for this one! Great transparency.

EP, I love that cord! The easiest lighting setup for me is to put a strong desk lamp to one side, and dim all other lights. Also good for pictures you want to draw from (use a tripod and no flash). This makes the shadows more simple, and gives you easier reflected light. It's fun to draw the same object, and keep changing where the light is. Another setup I use a lot is natural light from my window as the main light source.

Pabs, I like your peaceful scene! I think the underpainting worked well. The one thing I would say, (since you ask) is that the color is the same in the forground and in the background. Usually the colors which are closer to you are warmer, and the ones which are further away are cooler. This has to do with atmospheric perspective. It's a weird thing to learn, helps to look for it in work by painters you like, or in photos. Once you get that going on, your paintings will take on new depth! (This is assuming you are going for a realist approach. If your aim was folk art or simplification, then well done! I do a lot of intentional flattening myself!)

Binkie, I love the expression that is coming across already! Don't strain your eyes!

07-18-2007, 06:34 AM
Hi all, and thanks for your comments which I very much appreciate and will be trying to learn from, I can assure you.
Bogbeast - I like to get the impression (no pun intended) that it is a peaceful scene, one where you can hear the Skylarks singing way overhead. In trying to develop your own style, it's very difficult as I suppose it's all been done before, but this seems to be something I can relate to and hopefully work on and develop.
Binkie - I take your point as being a very valid one, regarding the track leading off to the right. Roads, I understand, are supposed to lead the eye into a picture, not out of it??? Mistake there then! Glad the colour scheme makes it sort of "pop" into your face for you though. The tiny picture you have is not the best source in the world to work from, but I think you're doing a grand job so far. Keep at it and you'll get there. I'm sure your neice will treasure it when it's done.
Eggy - looking at it now, I can see and understand what you are saying. Perhaps I was thinking that the heavy clouds were compensating for the hedge and track on the right, but if it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. Fair enough. Thinking about what you suggest has made me think about taking up the pastels again and having another, lighter, smaller go, just to see what happens. Thanks for the comments.
Eyepaint - I think you've made a good attempt at this, you've done a good job on those almonds, put the texture and those rows on them, it's just the elipse that you've struggled with, but don't we all, including myself!!!
Ah, my becoming a good friend, Lacey. Why do I keep humming the Davey Crocket tune in my head, singing the words "Lacey Sprocket, Queen of the oil pasteliers" instead? Perhaps the dust has gotten to me!!!
I'm not going to blame the photo because I can see valid faults in what everyone has said so far, and that's what learning is all about. I think that once you've posted a picture, it takes on a whole new perspective. I suppose it's similar to the squinting practice to highlight blocks of colour etc. The fields contain three "yellows". After the green of the edge of the track, there is a mixture of greens and yellows, trying to suggest stubble with grass growing through it. Next is a bright yellow with a touch of white, hoping to suggest a bit of standing corn; in the distance is a mixture of creams with white and a touch of light yellow in to suggest plain stubble.
Looking at it from a distance and with hindsight, I can honestly see that it does not work as well as I'd hoped. I have put a slight "fluffyness" to the egde of part of the clouds, but it's not there! Neither is the creamy yellow that I put into the clouds to try and give them shape. Instead, they have just come out plain and heavy as previously mentioned. There is actually a light grey hue behind the distant trees to suggest going on into a far greater distance, but again, where is it???? I really need to work on some finesse here!!!
Once again, thanks for all the help. Sorry if this seems a bit long.

Miss Kim
07-18-2007, 10:12 AM
One hour, timer went off and this is what I have. Was going to place the magnolia on a blue tablecloth, thought the contrast would be nice, but I am out of time. I may finish it yet, but I rather like the idea of just letting it sit as is for now. That will give me something a little different to work on when I need a break from another more involved piece. Haven't done much with pastels, but I do like their flexibility.

Chalk pastel on rough watercolor paper. :o


lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 11:54 AM
Pabs, I get a theme song? Awesome! It's fun making friend across the globe! I would say your drawing was a compleate sucess, since you seem to have learned so much from it! Onward and upward! As for style, for a long time I wanted to develop my own style, then, I ended up just drawing what I felt like, and lo and behold, a few years went by, I looked back at my work and I seem to have developed my own thing. What I'm saying is, it'll happen on it's own, so don't stress! Yup, those dusties will get to you, you should switch to oilies, hee hee!

Miss Kim, pretty! I didn't know magnolias came in pink! They only have the white ones here, and I'm told they just don't grow as well here. Good bend on the stick.

07-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Nice one Miss Kim, I think this piece has a very nice feel to it, and it will be interesting to see it in all its glory when you complete it. Please put it up for us to see when it's done.
Lacey - You know, I think your right. This is the first time I have ever sat down and really thought about a piece of work; you know, planned it all out etc. I'm not claiming a complete success by any means, as there are faults in it, and I accept that. But, it has made me think so much more about my work, and I've come to realise that there is just as much work off the surface as there is on it!!!
I love making friends around the world - it's just awesome. Who would have thought it only a few years ago. Technology can be a wonderful thing. Me? Stress? Nah - I had the lowest heart-rate during medical tests carried out on our station, so I do not do stress!
Oilies - yep, I did try them when I first started all this some 18 months or so ago, but really hated them. To be very fair, they were like my first pastels, cheap and nasty, I suppose no better than wax crayons, I couldn't blend anything. As far as the softies went I moved on to better quaility ones and papers. Perhaps I should do the same with some oilies, give them another go?? So what brands would "Queen of the Oil Pasteliers" recommend, and surfaces?????

lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 01:55 PM
hee hee! Gosh, I'm hardly the queen! Just another fan of smushing pastels, that's all. I have played with some of the cheep OPs and they are awful! I don't blame you for being frustrated. As far as an inexpensive starter set, I'd recommend the cray-pas expressionist series. My favorite brand so far is Sennelier, they are super smushy! The also come in jumbo sized sticks as big around as my thumb, and about 4-5 inches long! They go on like butter, and you can let them set up overnight, and add more layers, and you can scratch back down, too. As for surfaces, I think I've heard the most love for the wallis and colorfix papers. I'm working on gessoed bristol right now, but then, I'm on a budget. I want to expand to the nicer papers sooner or later...

Any recomendations on the softies, if I decide to give them a second shot? I have a set of nupastels, so I guess I would want to compliment that with some softer ones. Have you played with the unison ones? They look tempting, even for chalk!

07-18-2007, 02:41 PM
Lacey - just having fun my dear. Strangely enough, my preferred mail order catalogue only sells Sennelier's, at around $48 (23.75p) for a 24 box set (landscape, portrait, still life etc), so I may give them a go. How does the price compare to yours? They do not sell them locally, so it will have to be mail order. Bristol board, not sure what that is - is it another name for what you call masonite? I have gessoed some hardboard (that's what we call masonite) for some acrylic painting, and found it to be OK.
As for recommending softies, I have only used Winsor & Newton since I upgraded from my cheapies - again they are sold locally as I like to have a good look at something myself before I buy. Since then I have bought some mail order. They are nice, soft, creamy and cover and blend very well. I have found though that a fair few of them crumble as you take the wrappers off, but the pieces are all useable, so don't worry. Surfaces have all been Canson MT, but I use the soft side instead of the honeycombed one. As for Colourfix, well, you are aware of that story. Sounds interesting to use oils on that.
Hope that's enough for now, as we are out to dinner with freinds foe a birthday.

07-18-2007, 02:51 PM
Pabs: the landscape is nice - the texture you've got going is wonderful. The stroke techniques you're developing seem to be really working for you. I think the painting would be improved through the use of atmospheric perspective. To achieve the look of atmospheric perspective, you could make the line of distant dark trees a little lighter and the yellow orange band of field just below them a little duller. You don't need to fix it if you will be framing it under glass (or storing it). I especially like the look of the orange support under the blue sky and white clouds in this; it's a lively sky that results. (I see you've analyzed this yourself in a later post - good for you!) I think you'll enjoy those Sennie OPs if you decide to get them.

binkie: Nice of you to do the dog portrait for your niece. It looks like you've already got a good handle on it. Maybe looking in the RIL for other similar dogs might locate a photo that would let you interpret the details to apply to your portrait. Or maybe there are chihuahua sites on the net that would have a lot of photos. On the other hand, you could just do a much looser, less detailed painting. Either way, it sure looks like you're doing great even without the photo. I'm sure your niece will treasure your photo.

EP: I think Lacey gave you great advice about the lighting, which is why the almond sketch seems a bit flat. The looseness of the pastel application is really nice in your almond sketch.

Miss Kim: Welcome to the Pastel Sketch thread! (and to pastels!) :wave: Very nice start on your magnolia bloom. The muted colors are interesting. I hope you'll continue posting here. :)

Lacey: Did you know that you can work on Bristol vellum without gessoing? I've done a few paintings on it and it works well. You can sometimes see a little oil seepage on the back, but since it's an inert oil that's in OPs, it won't cause deterioration.

07-18-2007, 03:06 PM
Lacey - thank you :) Thanks for the feedback on lighting. I was working outside on the patio in ambient light so there were no strong shadows. I also want to bring it close to eye level.

Pabs - thank you :) Yup those darn ellipses get me every time.

Miss Kim - welcome :) Nice magnolia

AnnieA - thank you :) I'll try again.


lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 03:09 PM
Pabs, that price seems about right. Thats $2 per stick. When I get them at my local store, the have them individually, for about $2.25. Sounds like a deal! Bristol is paper that is thick like caard stock, and has a smoothish surface. Works pretty well for my style. I do have some masonite, I was going to play with either pastels or oil paints on them. Have fun at dinner!

annieA, really? That's great! I am new to this idea of gessoing paper, and I must say I find it to be a pain. I don't like having to prep paper a day in advance. I've been mostly concerned with making work of a quality that will be acceptable to galleries, as I would like to start approaching them soon, after I have a few more juried shows under my belt. I'm finding some conflicting opinions on the gessoing thing, and I'm just not sure what is the correct approach, since as far as I know there is no standard with ops. Any advice is always appriciated!

07-18-2007, 03:48 PM
Here's my next version. I started over, used a lamp, placed the almonds closer to eye level (raised them up and lowered my easel and used a chair).

soft pastels on manila paper, approx. 30 min, approx. 8x10


Do they look a wee bit more 3D?


07-18-2007, 03:59 PM
Lacey: There is a bit of controversy about the issue, but I believe there are people in the OP forum who have researched the issue pretty thoroughly. The consensus there seems to be that if you were using oil sticks, un-gessoed paper would be a no-no, because the oil in them (as in oil paints) is drying oil (such as linseed, poppy and walnut oil), which is what causes the deterioration of paper and some other supports because of the oil's acid content. The oil in OPs is mineral oil, an inert, non-drying oil without acid content, so it won't cause problems. At least that's how I understand it. Some of the controversy may be because in the not-so-distant past, it appears that people didn't distinguish between oil sticks and oil pastels, and so their advice may have been given to cover the worst-case scenario.

Now, whether you are willing or able to convince gallery owners of all that may be a different thing entirely. It may be easier (and wiser) to just keep on gessoing. :D You might find it helpful to gesso several sheets at a time, so there's always one ready.

EP: An improvement! I think even a tiny bit more highlight on the almonds might be good, but they really do look much more 3-D now. The shadows do the trick.

Edited to add: On the other hand, here's one article that suggests that OPs do have a bit of linseed oil in them: http://www.artistsmagazine.com/article.asp?id=1468. The author himself may not be distinguishing between OPs and oil sticks though, and I don't know when the article was written. His opinions appear to have evolved since then: http://www.artistsmagazine.com/article.asp?id=2960. There really does need to be a standard to define exactly what is an oil pastel.

lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 04:41 PM
EP, looks a lot better! They look like happy dancing almonds. It's fun drawing close ups of small things!

Annie, that's for the info! Yup, I was thinking of gessoing several sheets at a time, although I only have one board, so I have to wait for the sheet to dry before I can remove it. I'm used to drawing straight from a pad, and sometimes doing many drawing at a time. All this prep is kind of messing with my spontinaity. I suppose I'll get used to it!

I haven't gotten any sketching in yet, but I'm about to start an oil painting for the first time in months, so I'm excited about that. Maybe I'll post it over in oil painting land.

07-18-2007, 05:31 PM
AnnieA and Lacey - thank you

Next one - part of my lunch - I can't redraw it because it's been eaten :)

25 min soft pastels on manila paper, approx. 8x10


Pat Isaac
07-18-2007, 05:49 PM
I just got in here after a day and look at all that has happened. Paul and ep your sketches are very nice and I really like your banana, ep. It shows great spontaneity.
Personally, I would gesso the paper, especially if you aren't sure of it's archival quality. That way if it is for a gallery you would be sure.


07-18-2007, 06:08 PM
Pat - thanks :)

Since I'm already dusty, I worked on another one.
approx. 30 min, approx. 8x10, soft pastels on manila paper



Pat Isaac
07-18-2007, 06:17 PM
I'd recognize a red delicious anywhere. Great job.


lacey sprocket
07-18-2007, 09:10 PM
EP, apple and banana! You almost have a fruit salad!

07-18-2007, 09:16 PM
The highlights are nice on the apple, EP.

07-18-2007, 10:19 PM
No time to comment right now, but here's mine for the week:

Sketch #35
Incense Burner
OPs on Colorfix-primed board
An hour and 20 minutes


07-18-2007, 10:20 PM
EP Good effort on those first almonds. The second set rocks. I love the colors you used for the banana. I really like the apple. It has a great shine to it.

Kim, Very nice magnolia. It looks very delicate.

Lacey, EP, Pab, Annie, Thanks for the comments and suggestions!


07-18-2007, 10:31 PM
EP, after looking at the apple I headed for the fruit bowl and ate two !
I like that apple.

lacey sprocket
07-19-2007, 12:44 AM
Annie, it has a nice impressionistic quality. I like the warm greens-golds.

07-19-2007, 01:45 AM
Pat: I don't think Lacey was concerned so much with the archival qualities of the paper surface as with the OPs themselves. (Not certain of this. Lacey?) It does seem interesting that Mark Gottsegen, who initially was talking about OPs being made with linseed oil, now is stressing that they're made with an inert, non-drying oil. I really do think the controversy about the archival qualities of OPs really may be more about the evolving definition of what is an OP. Nonetheless, you're probably right about the desirability of gessoing for work to be displayed in galleries or otherwise for sale.

Lacey: It probably would be wise to follow Pat's advice. (Besides, it sounds so much more impressive to non-artists to say, "Gesso over Bristol Vellum" than just plain "Vellum." :D) An alternative to putting the paper on a board for gessoing: I have a big flat desk surface, and sometimes have laid out a few sheets all at the same time on top of the desk to put Colorfix on them (you can protect the desk's surface with newspaper). I typically just wait until the first layer is dry to the touch to put another layer on. It's when you're doing both sides that it really gets tricky, but with paper only coating both sides isn't necessary, is it? I think you work a lot larger than I do though, so maybe this idea wouldn't work for you as well. On the other hand, maybe you should consider pre-made Colorfix sheets.

EP, you're really on a roll! Wow - love the banana! The color is terrific and you really have some nice things going on in the shadows. Same thing but more so on the apple. I love the beautiful veils of scumbled color you've used throughout. The surface has that glossy look that an apple has. You did really well in describing the form with shadow and reflections. Very nice, EP!

Annie, it has a nice impressionistic quality. I like the warm greens-golds.

Thanks for your comments, Lacey. The green-golds are Senns in the 200 range. I love them. I was going for a really loose approach, but it's always a little difficult to know how others read it so I'm glad you liked it. I feel like I'm just beginning to paint the way I've been wanting to paint and the Sketch Thread has helped a lot in that!

07-19-2007, 05:07 AM
Hi pastel sketchers... there's a lot to look at here!
a very impressive empty bottle Yusuke!
eyepaint has been extremely busy!
Pabs colourful scene makes me think of a Van Gogh!
binkie, thats tough... trying to work from a photo that small!
MissKim.. that magnolia would be worth finishing,
Annie A... I agree with the impressionistic comment, very nice feel to that one... maybe oil pastels will be something else to try! :rolleyes:
I didn't get round to any still life's again... I did try a plein air...forgot to time it 30 or 40 mins at sunset and roughly 12 x 9

and I tried pastels again for this 35 min pose, A2 paper... the colour is a bit washed out here!


07-19-2007, 06:04 AM
Ep - almonds are a good improvement, but I agree with just a little more highlight. The banana is wonderful, great colours and flowing shape. The apple looks like it's of female form, coming down to slender hips!!! But, if that's how it was , then that's how it was. I say was because I presume you've eaten that too by now!!
Pat - thanks for your comments.
AnnieA - thanks for yours too. I really appreciate the "in depth" analysis, and am quite surprised as to how I am starting to understand it all; it's all beginning to make sense!!!
Some time in the future I will have to sift through my local landscape photo's and try to work on them that bit more thoughtfully, and try to incorporate the strokes I am working on.
As for the OP's - I think I may get a set later in the year when I've sorted some of my softy issues out, probably the landscape set, though I really admire the way Miss Lacey does her portraits.
Off to do some Scavenger sketches.

07-19-2007, 10:47 AM
Mac: Thanks for your comment on my incense burner sketch. Your sketches are both nicely done. I just love the sense of late afternoon slanting light that you got in the plein aire, especially as it hits the trees, and it's clear from the second one that you have a lot of skill in portraiture. They're both so nice and loose! And I really am amazed at how quickly you work!

lacey sprocket
07-19-2007, 11:19 AM
Mac, I like your style! Loose and painterly, yet really catching what's there.
Those trees look awsome.

07-19-2007, 12:44 PM
Hi everybody,

Thanks for the compliments. I've got no time right now I'll write comments later. Let me post my sketch now.

This is Tokoroten, a Japanese snack. Maybe nobody here knows what it is... I googled and found a webpage giving some explanations. I hope you read this if you are interested in tokoroten. Here's the link:

I put them in the glass container to sketch (and eat after sketching:) ). It took 50 minutes.

07-19-2007, 02:01 PM
Annie, your incense burner looks really great! Those green golds and highlights are perfectly fabulous.

Mac, fantastic what you can accomplish in such a short period of time! Love your style, especially with the man! It's something I've been trying to work towards.


Yusuke, Haven't looked up what it is in the glass dish yet, but you've done an incredible job on it.

07-19-2007, 02:04 PM
Pat, Lacey, Mr. King, binkie, Eggy, AnnieA, Mac, Pabs - thank you :) The apple was large - much larger on top and smaller on the bottom. That made it more interesting to sketch rather than an almost-perfectly-spherical shape. And yes, that particular apples is gone too. I had a hard time keeping those three almonds out on the plate overnight - someone here kept wanting to snack on them :)

Mr. King - let me know if you get a hold of the Wallis or Colorfix papers. I don't see them for sale in Opus or Loomis here. Maybe we'll need to order them online?

AnnieA - so cool! It looks like an oil painting! Love the bg

Mac - what are those animals in your landscape? They wouldn't be kangaroos would they? Fantastic portrait! I've read all about your Sunday market setups sketching faces for $5 or $10 and would really like to do something similar myself. First a bit more practice though :)

Yusuke - great snack sketch! Thanks for the link about Tokoroten - I would have thought it was like a chocolate brownie. And since you're sketching and posting on WC I guess you weren't too affected by the earthquake?


07-19-2007, 02:08 PM
I ran out of fruit yesterday so I pulled out a giant green pepper. I don't know what they are putting in the soil for produce these days because these are all so large.

This one wasn't quite as groovy as the banana and the apple. I've had some comments/compliments over my choice of colours so I'll mention that I'm have only 5 colours in these Rembrandt soft pastels... so there is a lot of colour mixing going on here. (Want to darken the red? Add green! Wait - that means apply the blue then yellow on top then more blue, then more yellow ....)

Approx. 25 min, approx. 8x10



07-19-2007, 04:17 PM
AnnieA - I love that incense burner, it's got so much going for it, but in a very easy to look at, almost laid-back way. Very impressionistic and very good indeed.
Mac - your landscape is very good indeed, but your portraits are just bewildering, they are what, I suspect, a lot of people on here aspire to achieve (including one Pabs). The economy of stroke (here I am getting all new-found technical again) is a joy to look at. You seem at have a great skill to do so much with so little.
Oh Yusuke - it's great to have you back on again, many of us worried about the earthquakes etc, and there's you, drawing food again!!! I will click on the link, as I have never heard of this before, and am quite intrigued. Nice sketch as usual. Reflections of glass containers seem to be a favourite of yours!!

Pat Isaac
07-19-2007, 05:31 PM
Great landscape, Mac and you are able to get so much down on the portrait in a short time. Mood and gesture.
Yusuke, more tempting deights. Nice glass and I like the hint of reflected color. Thanks for the llink as I had never heard of that snack.
5 colors...ep...you are doing an amazing job.


07-19-2007, 06:32 PM
Great work this week, artists...its fun to watch everyone growing artistically .

.I just did this flower for the sketch thread,,,,55 min......9" x 12" on Wallis.

A friend brought these flowers and the old blue medicine bottle was found when an archeologist friend of mine and I went scavanging after the 2 months wild fires this spring.


Pat Isaac
07-19-2007, 06:41 PM
Ah, the blue medicine bottles.....i had a friend who went rock hunting and came back with some of these blue bottles. Great sketch, Preston, loose and nice color.


07-19-2007, 06:48 PM
binkie, EP, Pabs: Thanks for your compliments on my incense burner. I enjoyed doing it, so I'm glad people liked it.

Mac: I have one thing to add about your plein aire. The reflections on the lake are really nice too and you've captured that beautiful glassy look that happens toward the end of day. I should have said that earlier. You're able to get a lot said in a short period of time. Nice job.

Yusuke: It's an interesting sketch - the reflections are quite nice - and it's an interesting link too. I also had not heard of tokoroten. It sounds like our own jello a little bit, although not sweet and made with different ingredients. Thanks for showing us a glimpse of Japanese culture. :)

EP: I'm absolutely floored that you've been working with only 5 pastels! What a terrific way to learn about painting in pastel. It's a lovely pepper sketch! The color of the pepper is really rich again. You're doing a great job of using those 5 to great effect. I hope you'll be able to find the colorfix paper - I think you'll really like it. If you don't find the paper, you might look for the liquid Colorfix primer that is painted on the support. The surface that's produced is a little bit different, but still quite nice to use with pastel (both soft and oil).

Preston: I almost missed yours! It's gorgeous - the color is so vibrant! You're another one who says a lot with a minimum of effort (I'm impressed with the work of those who can do that). I have an old brown bottle that would form a matching set with yours. The blue is more beautiful though and you've used it well in your sketch.

07-19-2007, 06:54 PM
Yusuke, you certainly have got the knack of transparency I like the Tokoroten study, but... Conclusion Agar and vinegar are essential for the health of robot people, I guess. :confused:;)

eyepaint, Yes, I do quick pencil portraits in the Craft Markets in the local Mall on Sundays in the warmer weather. The minimal price is so that I can get a lot of practice and cover my art expenses, I'm looking for ways to progress from the brown pencil that I've taken to using, which is one reason for exploring pastels. The little creatures are supposed to be (it was a quick sketch :rolleyes: )local waterhens probably the dusky moorhen, although there are other birds at that lagoon including black swans.

Pabs, its going to take me a while to get control of pastels ... they are a bit bewildering to me!

Preston... nice warm and painterly still life!

thanks for the comments


lacey sprocket
07-19-2007, 07:04 PM
Yusuke, that actually sounds pretty good. You and your snacks!

EP, you don't wanna know. Buy organic! Nice use of complimentary colors.

Preston, lovely warm tones!

Miss Kim
07-20-2007, 09:33 AM
Thanks all for comments! Have been in and out to read/see thread. There are so many examples here to learn from. I will finish it at some point because I never sleep. I will get out of the bed if there is something that I can't lay to rest for the evening. I won't be able to sleep any other way.

Painting and drawing is a great way to communicate with my three and five year old boys. And they like to stay up late with me. 3 easels, one for each of us. Only way to get anything done. ANYWAY, This is why colors are muted, my 3 year old helped with color picking. Yall Should see the apple tree he painted. (Great idea for a new thread??)

Thanks again for comments, I am learning so much here!

Lacey, they have a slight pink hue, I overindulged with the red and blended to try and hide it. I have a huge magnolia tree in my yard, it was only a matter of time before it became a subject.

07-20-2007, 10:36 AM
OK - I KNOW, I KNOW it's not a piece of work I've done, it's just for Lacey as I now she adores "red beet".

Here's a photo I took for you today of some of our fresh, very locally grown red beet.
Hope you enjoy it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lacey sprocket
07-20-2007, 11:48 AM

Here's something I did last night. I was a little unsure of how I would like sanded paper, so I drew on a bit of 250 grit sandpaper I had in my room. It was black, which was different for me, I've been using white for a long time, although I have used colored papers on the past. It did take the pastel well, I can see how it would be nice for layering, although my oillies got pretty messy by picking up the other colors. I was sad that I couldn't skratch back down to my first layers. I think I may stick with smoother paper for now, althoug I do have some 600 grit to try also. (I know the sandpaper isn't archival, but it's good for testing:) )

Pat Isaac
07-20-2007, 05:42 PM
The color and design of your work is always a delight, Lacey.


07-20-2007, 07:14 PM
wow! i am feeling guilty at not being around much to comment, glad you are all doing fine without me!

mac--the portrait is fantastic! the looseness is just what many aspire to!

yusuke--i checked that link, gotta say i doubt that'd go over well at my place! but your drawing of it does it proud! nice glistening effect, and the glass jar is done very well.

ep--5 colors??:eek: amazing job! i like that you got the shape as wonky as peppers usually really are!

anniea.--the burner is super. i use those things alot, love that smell, and you got the surface look right on!

preston--your edges are wonderful! the flowers and leaves have such good harmonious colors to them.

and here's my sketch. its not much, we've been dreadfully busy the last few days, so its only about 6x6 on some canson, the icky side, as the first sketch i was trying to do was horrible, but on the 'good' side! :rolleyes: i am studying the work of kim casebeer, i find her painting style simple but intriguing and am trying to understand the 'whys and hows' of her work. so this little tree is done as an experiment. and why i did it kitty-wompus has no answer, just did it that way! its taped onto my studio wall, hence the barn board. (walls are made of an old barn that BIL tore down for someone)

if i have forgottn to comment about someones' sketch, please please don't take it personally, this thread is just moving so fast i am having troubles keeping up!

lacey sprocket
07-20-2007, 08:06 PM
Pat, thanks! :)

Chewie, I like it kitty-wompus! Nice colors.

07-20-2007, 08:31 PM
oh no, i forgot lacey, how on earth did i forget lacey?!

thanks for your comments, and girl, i just love yer stuff!

07-21-2007, 08:54 AM
Lacey - as you know I LOVE your stuff, so bright, colourful and often very original, and always filled with FUN!!!!!
Can I ask, is this latest one based loosely on yourself (as some of your work is), and is the bright green hair the latest craze?????
Chewie - nice to have you back!! That angled piece almost looks like it's a decorative "hole" cut in the wood, with your tree a distant hilly landmark. I love it.

Pat Isaac
07-21-2007, 09:30 AM
Great color in this piece, Chewie and it does almost look framed.


07-21-2007, 12:29 PM

Pabs, I couldn't let that marvelous box of beets go by-- so here's my quick sketch of it for you! My easel is tied up, so I taped a piece of sage Tiziano to plywood, propped in my lap with newspaper to catch the dust, and drew directly from the screen. My screen goes blank every 10 minutes, so I know it took me a bit over 30 minutes to do. Trimmed out at 15x20 cm (about 6x8in).

This is the first decent day we've had in weeks! All week I've been getting on, perusing and posting quickly , and getting off again as another storm moved in. Some really wonderful stuff. Will comment later-- first lunch. I am supposed to be outside catching up on chores, my lawn is a foot long, and so are the weeds in my poor garden!

Dayle Ann

07-21-2007, 12:50 PM
Hi all,:wave:

Thanks a lot for the compliments for my sketches, everybody.

As you know, there was a big earthquake in Niigata, Japan. My place is not affected by the earthquake and I am okay, but the damage in the affected area was overwhelming. I'm worried about the nuclear power plant, that the Japanese media seem they limit what to report... Thanks for your concern, Libby, binkie, EP and Pabs.

Pat and Annie,
The red lettering on the glass bottle says "Hida Gyuunyuu (Hida milk)" the name of the brand of the milk.

Feel flattered to hear that my sketches inspired you. Your glass vase and cord look as they're shining. Nice color usage. I agree that the object closer to the eye level is hard to capture. Your manila paper is colored? I like the background colors inside the fruits and vegetables.
Tokoroten is far from brownie. I know it's very hard to imagine. They are not sweet.

Very bright striking combinations of colors in your landscape painting! Good to hear that you are interested in OPs. I recommend Senneliers and Holbeins. Why don't you try them to sketch your red beet? ;)

Seems so hard to paint portrait from such a small reference photo but your primary sketch tells the dog's character. Light source seems from front... mmm.. seems very difficult.

Miss Kim,
Welcome! Nice restrained colors of the magnolia.

You have many interesting things. Incense burner looks it is from somewhere in Asia. I like the background. Very nice.
Yes, tokoroten is like jello but not sweet. We usually chill them to eat and it is nice to have in summer.:cool:

Nice loose plein aire landscape and figure. I like your fast strokes.
Robot people... :lol:

Very impressive flower. It seemed like you were very careful to select colors as usual.

Ah, nice cat...:cat: I too love your stuff.

Nice small piece. Interesting try. I feel like I'm looking through an peephole.

Dayle Ann,
You have done fine fast work of the red beets! The colors are of yours.

07-21-2007, 12:54 PM
Here's my latest sketch. A pumpkin. I put this on the table edge and set the light source from left. Oil pastels as always. It took 40-45 minutes.Thanks for looking.


07-21-2007, 01:43 PM
Preston - I like your flower/vase combination very much, and like some other people, the blue medicine bottle brought back so many memories. NO, I am not old enough to remember them, but when younger I used to have a metal detector and go bottle hunting on an old Victorian dump site. Nothing of financial value, but priceless to a young lad deeply interested in history, who could touch, hold, and appreciate old things.
Snowbound - thanks for the beet drawing, glad it was of some assistance!
Yusuke - nice rendition of yet more food (do you dream food when alseep?). I will give some oilies a go later on, thanks fore the recommendations, I will keep then along with Lacey's. But please remember that it will be some time before you all see an oliy done by me.

Pat Isaac
07-21-2007, 04:28 PM
Yusuke, what a wonderful "pumpkin"...the texture and shape are perfect. Over here they are call buttercup squash. We often grown them in our vegetable garden.
Dayle Ann, those beets positively glow.....the ones in my garden are about a foot high now. I grabbed that pic too and will have a go at it when I get settled.


07-21-2007, 09:16 PM
Thanks, Pat. Those beets begged to be painted, wish I could really do them justice. I was kinda surprised at how well they turned out given how quickly I did them. I am pleased you feel they glow! Now I am looking forward to seeing yours.

Oh, my, this week has been a feast. Even when I could only have my puter on for a few minutes, I'd head for this thread to see what was new.

Yusuke, I am really glad you were not in the earthquake area, but feel so sad for all those who were. And how frightening it must be knowing the nuclear reactor is damaged, no matter where you are. We also have nuclear reactors in earthquake zones, and at least one right on a fault. Unnerving.

It tickles me that you and I both seem to always be posting food-related sketches! All your sketches appeal to me, but I was drawn to the milk bottle. I wanted to let you know that when I lived on the west coast, I ate Japanese food a lot, and I love totoroten, though I did not know that is it's proper name.

Eyepaint, wow, I love the way you use your five colors! It's a great way to learn both color and technique and you are so creative in how you are doing it! What a great pepper! I especially love the banana and the apple, but the cord is cool!

Pabs, I really like your landscape, imperfections aside. It has a joyful quality to it that really pulls me in. I am landscape phobic when it comes to working with pastels, so I admire the fact that you did such a lovely one straight off.

Binkie, you managed to capture so much of that sweet dog from such a tiny photo. Is your friend ready yet to let you use a larger photo to paint from?

Miss Kim, you did a beautiful job of not only capturing the essence of this flower, but gave it a lovely composition to rest in. I am passionate about magnolias, and like this one very much. Do you have plans to make it into a finished painting?

Annie-- I like the way your informal strokes end up giving a soft formal feel to your icense burner. Colors are rich and luscious. The "sketch" has a finished feel, with a sense of velvet.

Mac, geez, I am so chicken about attempting landscapes in pastel and look what you did in less than an hour, at sunset, no less. It's lovely. And that portrait is amazing. The loose style really gives a sense of character to your subject. Who is it?

Preston, I really like the composition and the unusual color palette of your still life. I am studying it.

Lacey, geez, that's so cat! Can I have it? About using sanded paper-- not using oil pastels much, I'm wondering what benefit a sanded surface would provide. Softies use the tooth to hold the dust, but doesn't the oil in oil pastels serve that purpose? I'd stick with regular paper, too-- especially for your delightfully whimsical style!

Chewie, isn't a quick sketch the whole point here? I have to keep reminding myself I'm not supposed to be trying for a finished piece! Your peep sketch of a tree in a meadow is perfect. Oddly, the "off" side of Canson seems to work for this particular sketch-- don't know why.

Well, I think for a change I got around to everyone. Don't often, as I usually come in late (as I did this week), and there are so many. But I always enjoy so much seeing what people come up with, and get so many ideas from this weekly thread, that it's only fair I let you all know at least once in a while!

Dayle Ann

(now look, someone else will have posted while I was doing this!)

07-22-2007, 02:24 AM
Snowbound wrote
The loose style really gives a sense of character to your subject. Who is it? Grahame is one of our regular models, who likes turn turn up for our clothed group sessions in some kind of an outfit.
There are some more drawings of him in this week's Figure (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5869920#post5869920)
and a slightly more finished portrait on my blog

Love that pumpkin Yusuke!


07-22-2007, 12:50 PM
Thank you for the comments, Pabs, Pat, Dayle Ann and Mac,

Pat, thanks for the name of the pumpkin. We only call them as "kabocha" in Japanese. I heard they were known as "kabocha squash" or "Japanese pumpkin". It looks they are very similar to buttercup squash.

Oh, the person who knows tokoroten is here, Dayle Ann. Happy to hear that.:)

I have sketched Furoshiki, a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth before (see the link below).

I sketched it again today. What's inside? I'll sketch tomorrow. :D OPs as always, 25 minutes.

Pat Isaac
07-22-2007, 01:22 PM
This is a different shape than the other one, Yusuke. Great folds and color...looking forward to peeking inside..


07-22-2007, 03:12 PM
chewie, Yusuke, Dayle Ann: Thanks very much for your kind comments on my incense sketch. I agree that it's more of a painting and enjoyed doing it a lot! I think my graduation from newsprint to Colorfix is making a difference in my work.

Mac: It sure looks like you're doing great with pastels, even if you find them "bewildering." :) It sounds like your mall portraits are a great way to develop skills further.

Kim: The image I get of the three of you - you and your two boys - all together working at your easels is delightful. You're making happy memories for your boys.

Pabs: ...a beautiful beet photo.

Lacey: I've heard that 3M wet-dry sandpaper, extra-fine grit can sometimes work in a pinch - I bought some but haven't tried it yet. I don't think it's archival either though. I love your sketch with the cat - you got some really interesting colors/textures going for the cat's fur. Nice job!

chewie: I like your sketch, and that it's "kitty-wompus." There are some nice textures in the grass and foliage, and the lighting looks good. At first I thought the barn boards were something you had painted!

Dayle Ann: Nice sketch of the beets - I love the color scheme and textured look to it.

Yusuke: Thanks for the info on the red label on your bottle. I got to thinking more about your tokoroten and remembered there's a South American dish - I think it's called aspic de escabeche - that may somewhat similar (it's very tasty!). It's typically chicken (although other meats and poutry are used) and/or vegetables, marinated in a vinegar-based sauce in a jelly (the "aspic" part), and served cold. We here in the states had something that was popular a long time ago also called "aspic" (I don't know if it contained vinegar) that was probably quite similar, and the french have a "gallantine" which is more or less the same too; these are considered to be quite elegant. I think that aspic may be making somewhat of a comeback in foodie circles.

(Yusuke, continued): The pumpkin sketch is great - it's got a terrific range of values to express the lighting and form of the pumpkin, and the treatment of the wood grain of the table is quite well done too. Now you've got me really curious about what's in your furoshiki - it's another great sketch of it. I'm very happy to hear you were not in the earthquake area.

07-22-2007, 04:46 PM
Chewie, isn't a quick sketch the whole point here? I have to keep reminding myself I'm not supposed to be trying for a finished piece! Your peep sketch of a tree in a meadow is perfect. Oddly, the "off" side of Canson seems to work for this particular sketch-- don't know why.

Dayle Ann

haha, its so true, this is a sketch thread, nothing more! i also liked the effect of the off side of canson, i think because i used a dark pastel, rubbed it in, and used it as a wash somewhat. it is something i may try again sometime.

such vibrant beets, and a lovely pumpkin! the folds in the other one is also well done. good exercise that is, doing folds. i have a hard time staying the course doing folds, too impatient.

one more day this week, by morning we'll start a new thread. on yer mark....

lacey sprocket
07-22-2007, 08:18 PM
Thanks for all the sweet comments all! :)

Pabs, actually, this is one of my friends, Crystal and her cat Ariel. She doesn't really have green hair, but in my drawing she does! I do take a lot of liberties with the colors in my work as color relationship is fasinating to me!

Dayle Anne, I'm glad you like it! I would totally send it to you, but I've already given it to the girl in the picture as a going away present, since she (and Ariel the cat) are moving to Hawaii on Monday. Yaaay, beets! :)

Yusuke, another Furoshiki! Cool pumpkin, too. I did some sign painting and a mural for a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay (our pumpkin capital) last year, and I still have a freezer full of the pumpkin they gave me!

07-23-2007, 07:59 AM
Just a quick reminisce - Ahhhh, Half Moon Bay - never been but it's referred to in my fave band of all time - Mott The Hoople's track "Drivin' Sister".
Nice, pleasant surprise when something you knew about as a kid actually exists!!!
Ta Lacey.
Now back to working on some stuff for this next week's postsings.

lacey sprocket
07-23-2007, 12:07 PM
Pabs, I love HMB! It's only an hour away from me here, and I go up about 1-2 times per week to paint for an old western themed ranch. It's neat that you've heard of the place, it's a town of 12,500 people. (There are 980,000 in san jose, where I live.)

Miss Kim
07-23-2007, 07:37 PM
Thanks Dayle, I was afraid it looked wilty. You made me happy. (As one magnolia fan to another.)

Hey Annie, I hope my boys continue to enjoy working with me. It is nice to feel the connection with them. Someone told me years ago before I had children that boys communicate more honestly when their hands are busy. And it really is true!! Sometimes we talk about all kinds of stuff and other times it is just quiet. Very pleasent either way. I started a thread in Plein air called My Little Angels. I put up pics of them painting.

Thanks again to everyone!

07-23-2007, 10:03 PM
Pat - thanks
Preston - nice blue bottle
AnnieA - thanks. I'll keep an eye out for the fancy stuff while continuing my practice on my cheaper papers
Mac - ok so they are waterbirds :)
Lacey - no kidding! Fun sketch of the girl and her kitty. In HMB, how common are farms with horses? I knew a woman who moved up here from HMB and imported her horses too (such a procedure!!).
chewie - thank you :) I like your tree. What is kitty wompus? Does it mean crooked?
DayleAnn - Thank you :) Love the purples and blues in your beets sketch.
Yusuke - you're welcome and thank you. The manila paper is approximately cream coloured. I like your butternut squash - looks so bumpy and hard-shelled. I have an idea of what's inside your Furoshiki ... :)