View Full Version : WEEKLY PASTEL SKETCH THREAD July 23-29

07-23-2007, 01:01 PM
The last few weeks have been great, its so great to see so many who not only get one sketch done, but several!

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, it’s up to you. It's a good idea to time your sketch, keeping it within 60 minutes. You know how time flies when you’re 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!

07-23-2007, 01:11 PM
Yeaaaahhhh - it's this week now!!!!
Been on a bit of a roll today, what with trying to get some more of my scavenger hunt drawings done.
So here it is.
Time taken around 3 mins. Very cheap nasty pastels on cheap, but not quite as nasty paper (using all the old nasty stuff up for practice etc). Fixed with W&N fixative.
I was using it as an example of how to draw some bluebells quickly and easily, using three different blues to a child. Then spoilt it by putting a rather awful plant pot (yes, that's what it is) in the scene, mainly to balance the thing up a bit.
Anyway, it's posted.

Pat Isaac
07-23-2007, 04:16 PM
Love those bluebells, Paul. Nice and bright. You could always crop out the pot.


07-23-2007, 07:42 PM
Pabs, Great bluebells and only 3 min!


07-23-2007, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the comments on my sketch in the previous thread, Pat, Annie, and Lacey,

Thanks for hosting the thread again, chewie,

Thank you for the info on aspic de escabeche. Marinated seafood, right? Well, both aspic de escabeche and gallantine sounds very nice. But agar is a kind of seeweed (or shoud I say sea vegetables?), mmm.. maybe still difficult to find the exact one in the US...

Lacey and Pubs,
HMB came as news to me. A freezer full of pumpkins since last year... :eek: amazed.

3 minutes!? What a quick drawing. The combination of the bluebell and a pot is interesting. It looks as the bluebell trying to proceed to the pot to be settled... :)

Well, I have sketched a Furoshiki yesterday as I posted:

Here's the thing inside —a watermelon (food again...;) ). Yes, it's already summer. 45 minutes.

07-23-2007, 10:06 PM
Oh! Here's the new thread. I just posted some comments and thank yous in last week's thread.

Pabs - nice bluebells

Yuskuke - I knew there'd be food in your Furoshiki! Haha! Next will you slice open the melon and sketch a slice of juicy pink?


07-24-2007, 06:00 AM
Thanks everyone. Pat, you're so right, I could always crop it out. Daft though it seems, It's something I never really think of doing - cropping.
Yusuke - what an amazing drawing of - oooh - food!! That pumpkin is just awesome. Having absolutely no idea what a Furoshiki is, I thought it was some kind of small delicacy, maybe like a pastry or something? Imagine my shock when it was opened up and it turned out to be the size of a pumpkin!!!
Think I have to agree with eyepaint - my money is on a selection of slices of pumpkin, maybe with a couple of plates, some cutlery, then maybe a soup bowl as the week passes on and the pumpkin gets down to its last remains.

Pat Isaac
07-24-2007, 07:42 AM
I'm not surprised there was food inside...:lol: That is a wonderful watermelon, nice skin texture and color. Looks like the small ones we have here. I agree, slice it and paint a slice or maybe it is already gone!


07-24-2007, 03:02 PM
I've run out of fruit and vegetables and need to go to the store. Meanwhile, what can I make from these items? :)

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



The second one needs work. Any suggestions? Add black/dark to the bg so the light colours pop forward?


07-24-2007, 03:39 PM
off and running, eh gang? super!

love the blue bells, and i think the pot would be better if it weren't so thin on pigment.

how fun, to see what was inside the bag yusuke! you do a melon proud!

nice color variations ep, and yes, i do have a suggestion for you to try --instead of making back and forth, linear background colors, take a pastel, either rub hard or shave, to get a small pile of 'dust'. then take your finger and , put in dust, rub on paper in circular motion. use a soft touch! it can make a really neat soft effect for backgrounds, esp using a few diff. colors, or even just diff. tones/shades of one hue. i think using a diff. type stroke for background vs. subject, it will make the subject pop more, cuz you'd have more strong strokes in the subject, making it come forward. and variation is interesting to the eye. have i made one lick of sense?! your form of objects is coming out very well!

07-24-2007, 03:56 PM
Yusuke, you never cease to amaze me with your talent. I love your watermelon. Those small melons are delicious. The markets here have started advertising them as individual watermelons, although they are a bit much for one person.

EP - my favorite is the first one. The colors speak to me. Is the second one a Rorschach test in color? Because I see a nice squash, two bananas and a quail. Hmmmm, wonder what it means. :-)


07-24-2007, 05:51 PM
chewie - you make total sense. It's like in painting - drybrushing/softness makes things recede and thick textural strokes make things pop forward.
binkie - lol!! I nearly spit coffee on the monitor :)

Ok so in light of chewie's suggestions, here is an update on both:


Grr this second one is still ugly. Time to try it again.

I need to upgrade to better paper. This is just not taking the layers (I've heard pastellists say this and now I can see it myself :) )


Pat Isaac
07-24-2007, 05:58 PM
I like the improvements and I really like the first one. It may be the lack of values on the second one that is bothering you and it is true about the layers, even in OPs.


07-24-2007, 08:02 PM
Pat - you're probably right. That's what I get for trying to paint/draw something white-ish :)

Since I need lots of practice, here are two more:

garlic cloves, 8x10, 20 min


Do I need more shadows between the cloves? Or under the arc of the clove on the right?

pad of post-it notes, approx 8x10, 25 min


I can see where my perspective is wonky. More drawing practice needed - in graphite :)


Pat Isaac
07-24-2007, 08:14 PM
Nice color ep. Yes, I'd put more shadows under the objects themselves and maybe you could mix in a little red or blue in the black shadow to make it richer. You are really on a roll...


maggie latham
07-24-2007, 08:54 PM
Hello everyone,
A drive this morning in the sizzling heat and humidity inspired me to paint this. Really quick painting …about 45 mins…a bit too much yellow (I think it should have been a softer paler yellow) in the sky, but I am going to leave it as is.
8x8 soft pastels on colorfix primer. Didn’t put it on the scanner, so there is some shadowing from the light and flash from the camera.
Pabs, I can’t believe it was only three mins!
Yusuke, I always love what you post.....
Eyepaint, fantastic colors.....I love that magenta (or is it hot pink) around the garlic cloves.


07-24-2007, 11:06 PM
Pabs,,,,learning and having fun is what this thread is all about,..I think you are a success!

Ysuke....I come from S.E.USA. where watermelons are a magor crop.....I know mellons,,,,,and this is a melon if I have ever seen one...lol

EP...you are amazing with your unbridled use of color.

Marggie ...I don't think I can stand in the heat for 45 min....my PA has to wait til fall,,,Touche' for you!!!!!

I needed to paint but not get to involved so I did a 55 min. 9" x 12" quickie on wallis


07-25-2007, 04:15 AM
Hi once again, good to see all the little summer fruits and things...plus the lightning 3 minute sketches Pabs!

Yusuke ... love the effects you get with the oil pastels

eyepaint lots of good practice there

Maggie, good colour combination and atmosphere with that sea scene!

Preston, I like the rich painterly look... is Wallis like the Art Spectrum paper?

I may get to try pastels again for a life sketch tonight... but there's a chance it may be cancelled so here's a little pumpkin done when trying out the primer on fresh watercolour paper 12 x 9 and about 30 mins.


07-25-2007, 06:56 AM
Hi everyone - there's some really good stuff going on here already!!!
Yusuke - firstly I must apologise to you; I have just been re-reading through the thread and noticed I've called your watermelon a pumpkin!!!!!!
Shock, horror!!!!
I am so sorry - please will you continue to be one of my friends?????

Eyepaint - some good colours and shapes here, and some invaluable practice. Would you just know that there would be advice here to help you? You've taken it and it's done you proud; these are good - can't wait till you get back from the store - keep it going!!

Maggie - really very atmospheric this, and I don't belive that you have used too much of whichever yellow you referred to. There are plenty of sunrises and sunsets which just screem out the most outrageous colours, and you've been there to see and capture them.

Preston - I agree entirely with the first part of your opening line - it is fun and we sure are learning. As for me being a success - I'd tend to return to your opening line and say "I am having fun and learning". But I appreciate your comment! The group you have put togehter is an excellent one, and the completed work entirely a success. It has everything; shape, colour, tone, shading, background, etc. Wondeful stuff.

Mac - pumpkin - got this one right!! Nice colours and shape. I admire the way you have included the reddy/pink (colour names are not my forte) on the underneath. I really like that kind of base you have for your work.

To everyone - as for my 3min sketch, perhaps it fails the standards as laid down in the rules, as it has taken under the 5min!!!!
Honestly though, it was so quick and easy; 2 greens for the stems and grass as a dark and a light side; 3 blues for the bells, in no particular shade, just to show the child how to quickly draw the shape without getting bogged down; then a little black (agghh) on the underneath as a bit of shadow. That's it.

maggie latham
07-25-2007, 08:00 AM
Hello Everyone,
Preston…I didn’t stand in the heat…only for five mins to make a quick thumbnail and some color notes! The rest was painted in my air-conditioned studio!!
I rarely complete anything outside, as I find the vastness of the landscape too distracting, Every time I go back to the UK for a family visit, I have one place I always spend a couple of days at painting ‘PA’ but always in watercolor for ease of transportation. I think my pastels would melt in this heat!!!
Preston, love your little sketch. It is so painterly, did you use Schmincke?
Mac, great post…can’t wait to see sketches from your life class.
Pabs, thank you for your complimentary words.

Pat Isaac
07-25-2007, 08:07 AM
Maggie, another lovely sunlit landscape. Not too hot for me. I like the heat.

Preston, I like your strokes and painterly feel. Nice use of reflected color.

Mac, that is definitely a pumpkin. Nice shape and color.


07-25-2007, 08:35 AM
Pat, can you please give me some guidance as to where all you Americans live? I get so confused with MA etc. Is there a quick idiot guide (the one I prefer) on all of this???
Simple living Pabs

Pat Isaac
07-25-2007, 09:13 AM
Paul, MA is the abbreviation for Massachusetts on the northeast coast of the United States. Here is a link to all of them.


07-25-2007, 09:32 AM
Cheers Pat - that's one really interesting and very helpful site.
I always thought that the MA where you live was sort of Miami area.
Silly Boy!!
Thanks again.

lacey sprocket
07-25-2007, 11:28 AM
Pabs, good quickie drawing! Was it for a grand child?
CA is California, I live in the south bay area about 1 hour south of San Francisco (depending on traffic). :)

Yusuke, I love the folds of the furoshiki, lovely depth, and contrast to the smooth watermelon.

EP, you're growing in leaps and bounds! I really like the individual cloves of garlic.

Maggie, nice to see your work in here again! It does feel like a hot piece.

Preston, very painterly, and I love the color and shape of the apple!

Mac, I like how you suggested the texture of the pumpkin!

I've nothing to show yet, but I've been messing about with my oil paints again, which feels pretty good. Also, my friend who moved to Hawaii gave me 54 tubes of acrylic paint (19 of which are metalic), so I expect to be messing about with those, too. Horray! I will still try to get in at least one op drawing sometime late in the week, though.

07-25-2007, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the comments, EP, Pabs, Pat, chewie, binkie, Maggie, Preston, Mac and Lacey,

Nice colorful pieces. It is also nice to see the difference of strokes for the backgrounds. You did another style of yours in the updated versions. Garlic cloves on the pink table are very nice.

Simple colors but really impressive. Nice effect!

Ah, delicious fruits!:)

Strong pastel strokes are very effective to express the textures of the pumpkin surfaces. I like the color selection as well.

:lol: Hahaha, no problem at all (I thought there were no watermelon in Axholme!). You're my good pastelist friend.:thumbsup: Furoshiki is a cloth which is used for wrapping watermelon. Once you are used to use furoshikis, it is quite useful.

Well, the watermelon is not very small. Yes, I know there was no scale in my sketch and then it was impossible to know the size. Actually the diameter is 24 centimeters.
Now there were many request to cut it to sketch :) :) So I did it. OPs, took 60 minutes. Thanks for looking.

07-25-2007, 01:32 PM
This group makes me smile :)

Pat - thank you
Maggie - oooh such softness
Preston - thank you - wonderful shine on those grapes
Mac - thanks. Great pumpkin. Fingers crossed you had/have a life drawing session
Pabs - thanks for your encouragement. :)
Lacey - thank you :)
Yusuke - thank you :) Your watermelon looks so juicy. Please mail me a slice here to Canada?

Hopefully I'll do more pastel sketching later today.


Pat Isaac
07-25-2007, 01:42 PM
Thank, Yusukew, looks wonderful and juicy. Great inner color.


07-25-2007, 03:13 PM
apple, 30 min, 8x8 soft pastels on "pastel paper" - might be Canson, I have no idea, I bought it years ago


The surface is bumpy and the blue was showing through so I blended it in (or tried to) at one point.


07-25-2007, 03:37 PM
Hey - EP - now we are getting somewhere!!!!
You are definately on a roll, and these just get better and better as you go along and gain confidence and master these pesky fruits.
Very well done, and please keep it up.

07-25-2007, 04:44 PM
EP...you are on a roll,,,,,,ride it out and continue haveing fun and learning!

Mac.....Wallis is similar in that it is a sanded surface. Art Spectrum is my second choice of supports....particularly the black.

Maggie.....No , there are no Schminkes ,,,,,my pallete is composed mostly of Mt, Vision.......it is large enough for me to hold and can stand my heavy handedness.

07-25-2007, 05:04 PM
EP, I like all the colors in the clove. Your apple looks great.

Maggie, such a lovely painting. Florida is too hot for me!

Preston, as always I love your work and the colors you used.

Mac, your pumpkin has a marvelous shape and I love the looseness of your style.

Yusuke, Please pass me a slice of watermelon. It looks absolutely delicious!

:o I'm a little embarressed to post my messes this week but we're all friends and I needed to play. The two below are each 10 min quickies and look it too. Please forgive the smudges.

The first one is my Boston terrier Ricky having a purple day under the red banana tree. The second one is of my vacuum (yes, it is actually purple).:D


lacey sprocket
07-25-2007, 05:59 PM
Yusuke, the color and juicyness are so nice!

EP, teriffic! Keep it up!

Binkie, cute dog! I like the expressive colors.

07-25-2007, 06:12 PM
the work keeps rolling in!

eyepaint, I think the touches of blue make for a more interesting colour

Yusuke, what size are these oil pastel pics... you've probably mentioned before but I must have missed

binkie... California must be a purple place!;)

last nights pastel effort, A2 paper 40 mins
I was struggling to get the colours in this... I think the little still life studies are going to be really helpful in finding that control!


Pat Isaac
07-25-2007, 06:54 PM
ep - nice color on the apple.

Mac - I am amazed that you get so much down in a short time, Nice mood and gesture.


07-25-2007, 08:55 PM
Mac, your portraits are great!


07-25-2007, 09:16 PM
Binkie...I love the vacuum cleaner...I did one several years ago in a dare......its great

Mac....I am amazed at you abilities......I am not a portraitist, but I can say I love the yellow-orange/purple blue complimentary combo,,.....magnificent!

07-26-2007, 01:36 AM
Pabs: Those bluebells look nice and you probably could bring your sketch up to something you liked a lot more if you spent more time on it. I think you probably win the prize for quickest pastel sketch in Sketch Thread history! :lol: Did your little friend like your demo?

Yusuke: I think I maybe got carried away with food descriptions. I was primarily trying to say that the two may be somewhat similar - they both are vinegared jellied things (the escabeche is just what you put into the aspic). Nice shading on the watermelon surprise in the furoshiki. Like Pat, I kinda knew it was gonna be food! :lol: Are you going to do the slices? Aaah, I see you did! Beautiful! The color is terrific and it looks 'good enough to eat.' :) I just love your loose style in these food sketches.

EP: Marvelous color again on that first sketch especially. It almost looks pearly. Nice use of values to describe the form. The second one looks like it could use some more of the same treatment as the first, to indicate the source of the light and the shadows a little better. Chewie's idea for the background was a good one and it looks like you caught on quick - I like these more with the blended backgrounds, and the second one does pop more. What about carrying the magenta color through it a little more - or some light yellows?

EP (continued) I love the garlic cloves (they sort of look like red bananas too) on the red background. Your color use is really exciting! the second sketch looks good too. The perspective doesn't look very "wonky"on the pad - or it doesn't bother me. Really nice color and contrasts, and some nice lost edges. The later apple does look like it's on Canson - that texture is very recognizable. You seemed to do a good job on it though. Your sketch looks fresh - hard to achieve on Canson, imo. Nice job on the values.

Maggie: Nice little painting - you really captured the shimmering heat with those yellows.

Preston: Just beautiful. I love the loose pastel application and the color, as usual. It's amazing that you get results like this while "painting but not getting involved." What happens when you do get involved???

Mac: Nice little squash sketch - so loose! I like the shadow especially. Hope the life class worked out.

Lacey: Enjoy those oils. Will you do all-metallic paintings with the acrylics? Could be interesting...

binkie: You don't need to apologize for the dog and vacumn sketches. I like them. They work well against the black background and they both have a really interesting quality to them. I like the light quality. The dog is amusing and I like the color and texture of the banana tree.

Mac: Wow! It's just gorgeous. Your struggles with color must have paid off because the color in it is really beautiful! I'm really impressed! I just can't imagine doing something like this in only 40 minutes! Well done!

I haven't got anything going yet this week...yet! :p

07-26-2007, 06:28 AM
Binkie - never be embarrased about your work. It's yours; it's what you have done; it's how you see things; and, you have the ability to put medium to surface and the confidence to submit it. There are many, many people who would not even dare to submit anything. That, therefore, makes you a winner!

Plus the good people on this site only support and encourage - you will never get ridiculed or put down. Remember that!!!

The dog is in a great pose, I had a small terrier for 16 1/2 years, lost him 3 years ago, and I know and love the things they get up to, and the positions they get themselves in. As fom the vacuum, well, we have a bright green one! Is yours one of those Dyson things? Ours is. I like the upright stance on it and the wheels, and I think you have done the perspex "bag" justice there. Well done. I think it's actually a great subject, maybe we should all submit a work of our own vacuums. Could be fun!!

Mac - wonderful work on the still life again, as usual. How good are you going to be when you finish the course????

Lacey - no it was not for a grandchild, it was for a girl in our art group who was struggling to draw flowers and had got herslef into a right state. I showed her how to quickly approach the subject with pastels, then she promptly went off and did it in watercolours!!!!

AnnieA - didn't know there was a prize, otherwise I could do one a little quicker!!!!!! I think the girl (Eve) enjoyed it, but see Lacey's above!!

Best get on and have a go at something else - how much time have I got .....


maggie latham
07-26-2007, 09:02 AM
Hello everyone,
Thank you for your comments. Pat, do you really like the heat? Mac, lovely portrait…what paper and ground did you use? I love the brownish background.

maggie latham
07-26-2007, 09:53 AM
Hello everyone,
I was browsing through some plein air watercolor studies of the marsh in my hometown in England from a trip last year, to create some momentum for a series of landscapes of that area in pastel. This quick (25min) pastel painting was painted after looking at those studies. Tiny….4x6 on canvas coated liberally with colorfix primer and sealed with several coats of acrylic varnish.
C&C always welcome.



lacey sprocket
07-26-2007, 11:33 AM
Mac, just lovely. Shows real skill with your medium.

I'm with you Pat, bring on the heat!

Maggie, I like the glassy effect of the water. It's amazing how you can get such a great mood with your limited palettes! You seem to pick just the right colors every time.

07-26-2007, 12:01 PM
Pabs, Preson, binkie, Lacey, Mac, AnnieA - thank you :)

binkie - love the dog sketch and the vacuum sketch :)
Mac - I'm blown away by your work. Clearly I need lots more practice :)
AnnieA - is the idea with Canson to blend into the dimples in the paper? Or only where you feel it's needed?
Maggie - I love the softness of your strokes


07-26-2007, 04:46 PM
Lacey, Thanks! I like to use non-traditional colors sometimes.

Mac, California's so warm, sunny and bright that I'd call it lavender rather than purple.:D

Preston, Thanks! I hadn't put the vacuum away when I sat down to sketch, so I thought, why not?

Annie, Thanks so much for your comments! The red banana tree is one of my favorites in the yard, but hey all the plants are my favorites. I've always liked to work in the yard and have filled it with any plant that caught my eye.

Pabs, you are too sweet, thanks! Yup, the vacuum is a Dyson Animal Ball. I was skeptical that the vacuum could really do what the commercials profess. But WOW! It really does clean! Never realized I was such a slob before. I have 5 furkids and the vacuum has been great. Your furkid had a long life. You must miss him. I work with Boston terrier rescue and everyone of my babies are very special to me. I call this pose "frog legs."

Maggie, very nice painting. With the lovely dark purple it looks like it was painted plein air right after a storm.


Pat Isaac
07-26-2007, 05:05 PM
Binkie, I missed this somehow. Love the whimsy of your purple dog, and I recognize that vac!
Maggie wonderful quick landscape study.
Preston, like Barb's portrait for your avatar.


07-26-2007, 06:03 PM
Another on the Canson paper, approx. 10x7, approx. 20 min, soft pastels, 5 colours


I keep raiding the crisper drawer in the fridge for still-life objects :)


07-26-2007, 06:05 PM
EP...that carrot look delish!

Thanks Pat....for those who don't know, Barbara Noonan painted my portrait,,,,she's a whiz at portraits

lacey sprocket
07-26-2007, 08:36 PM
Binkie, I remember the frog legs position well! My little maltese used to sit like that, with half her tounge hanging out. She lived to be 16.5 years old, but it was still hard to let her go.

EP, mmmm, carroty. You will have to draw the whole salad sometime! :lol:

07-27-2007, 05:01 AM
It's late, so I'm just gonna post my sketch for the week and then come back tomorrow and comment on the new work.

Sketch #36
5x4 on Colorfix primed board
OPs, about an hour and a half


I just never seem to learn that I need to work larger. I had this little scrap of colorfix-primed board and I thought it would be good for a real quick one, but instead, it was so small that I had to keep trying to re-establish the lines...a real pain that wound up taking lots longer than a larger piece would have. So the edge of the plate and the fork are goofy, and some of the shadows, too. Oh well. It sure tasted good though - rhubarb!

I have a new appreciation for your pastry pieces, Yusuke! What size to you generally do them?

07-27-2007, 05:43 AM
EP - that is a very good attempt with the carrot, and only with five colours!! I like the way you have shown the shape of it by having light come underneath the object, giving it a twist and a lift. Excellent.

Binkie - it wiped me out when I lost Pups, as I called him (his real name was Butch.) He was a Lakeland/Border cross. Sad, sad times.

AnnieA - that's a real nice piece of desert you have there. The shap of the shadow, including the fork is very good. OK, so the fork is wonky, but the layers of pastry etc that you have put together is brilliant. But the best bit is that you managed to eat the evidence!!!!!


07-27-2007, 05:49 AM
My second for the week.
It is a sketch of a scene in real life that is around 800yds from our bungalow (in a direct line). This is the first attempt at the scene, which I would really like to develop into something grander one day. We really do enjoy some stunningly awesome sunsets at times here, and trying to capture one of them incorporating one of the old mills has become something of a quest.

Due to the adverse feedback from my first post in this thread, I refuse to say how long it took me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
However, I may post the second version of this work later.

lacey sprocket
07-27-2007, 12:10 PM
AnnieA, Mmmmmm...evidence! I've never tried rubarb, but you sure make it look tasty!

Pabs, great prep sketch! Looks like you have a nice little spot, there.

I finally got to doing another pastel drawing, this is #70 in my pad of 11x14paper, and I only have 4 more sheets, so I guess I won't make it to 100 of this size. I have 107 drawings that are 8x10 from the previous pad started early this year. I guess you can see why the cost of paper is an issue for me! On to my pad of 19x24 bristol!


07-27-2007, 01:10 PM
Preston - thanks
Lacey - sure - after I draw each item individually first for practice, lol. I love the colours and the shapes in all your drawings :) This girl looks pensive; I like the twisty curls and the suggestion of a cityscape in the background. 19x24 sounds like fun - I'm eagerly awaiting your first one at that size.
AnneiA - oh yum! I love the soft flaky layers and the swirl of strokes in the background ... but I'm bummed that there isn't enough to share :(
Pabs - thank you. An interesting set of shapes in the foreground of your landscape. Do you have photo(s) of the area to share? I like that tall shape - almost like a beehive burner on a diet (http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/epd/air/images/bhb.gif)

Might as well try all those food items on this Canson paper:

banana, approx. 8x12, approx. 20 min, soft pastels



07-27-2007, 02:52 PM
It was too late last night when I posted my sketch to comment on all the new work, so here I am again...

Pabs: At only three minutes for the bluebells, I don't think you need to worry about doing any quicker sketches! You win the (imaginary) Sketch Thread speed contest, hands down! :lol:

Binkie (and other Sketch Thread dog lovers): I had a poodle when I was a kid that liked to stretch out like that too. It probably helps them cool down, but the position does look really funny! :) Your garden sounds lovely - it's too cold to grow banana trees here in the NW, but I love the look of them.

Maggie: I like the English marsh painting. The silhouetted trees and reflections on the water are very effective. I like the simplified color scheme too - those yellows and violets really work. Did you coat the canvas with varnish before painting with pastel or did you seal the painting itself with varnish, and why?

EP: I don't think there's necessarily any right way to use Canson, but do think that if you tried to blend down into the little "dimples" (good term for them, EP) that you'd make things harder for yourself. Canson is reknown as not taking many layers of pastel, and so being very difficult to work on. That's why I'm impressed that you seem to be using it quite effectively. Your carrot is great! Nice rich color and good modeling of the form. The banana again has that slightly pearly look to it that some of your other pieces have. Very nice. It looks like for you, working with only 5 pastels was an inspired idea.

Preston: Barbara Noonan really did a terrific job on that portrait of you. I remember the thread on it in the SP forum about a month ago.

Pabs (again): Thanks for your comments on my pastry. Yeah, the fork is wonky. I had already started to "eat the evidence" when I remembered to take the picture! :lol: I like the use of silhouette in your latest sketch. I think the sky might be more effective if you blended more, either by physically blending with your fingers, or by layering on more pastels.

Lacey: Thanks for the comment on my sketch. It was indeed very tasty. :) I really like your sketch of the girl. Again, it just fascinates me that you manage to combine a very graphic look (well done in itself) to your pieces, while still, each figure you paint is clearly an individual. Nice capturing of the pose and mood here. Very nicely done.

07-27-2007, 04:29 PM
Maggie.....your limited palette and loose style are create interesting mood pictures......

maggie latham
07-27-2007, 04:59 PM
Great work everyone! Can't stop as I'm on my way out...Preston, thanks for your kind words...I would like to start a series of these.

07-27-2007, 05:07 PM
Maggie - where's the area of marsh that you originate from?
Ours is the Isle of Axholme in North Lincs, between Doncaster, Gainsborough and S****horpe, down the side of the Trent.
Just interested.

07-27-2007, 06:00 PM
EP, Nice carrot. I also like the light from underneath.

Lacey and Pabs, I understand all too well how difficult it is to have to let them go. They bring such unconditional love and joy that I'd be lost without one. There are a lot of precious furbabies looking for someone to love and to love them in exchange, and our lives are so enriched by them. Okay, I'll stop. It's just that dogs are my passion.

Annie, Yum! Yum! My hubby calls my garden the jungle.

Pabs, I really like this painting. You should continue to develop it.

Lacey, Another super job with great colors and an interesting mood.

EP, That is one wild banana! I love all the colors, and I like the way you have handled the shading.

Pat and EP - Thanks!

Here's my Double O three and one secret agent using the latest in high tech equipment: (Actually, he's a study from the Frost book)


lacey sprocket
07-27-2007, 07:12 PM
EP, looks like that banana is still a bit green, that's how I like 'em!

Binkie, what a funny guy! I like him.

Thanks for all the nice comments!

07-27-2007, 07:31 PM
this is turning into another great variety

Maggie, nice mood and some interesting effects there, I started to experiment with sealing over pastel... but not successfully!
Annie, rhubarb pie is not often seen in a drawing... that I can recall, it is hard to get details in a small work.
pabs, sunsets don't give you much time to work... definitely worth pursuing this for some more finished works
Lacey, I guess that must be oil pastel, the colours and composition work very well... is that just white bristol paper?
EP, binkie... keeping up the flow!
Pabs said
wonderful work on the still life again, as usual. How good are you going to be when you finish the course????the course was only a few evenings and finished in June, this is now my course!
Maggie said
what paper and ground did you use?I'm using Colourfix Primer, Burnt Umber.... on various types of paper.

speaking of little dogs, we finally had to do something about our little dog this week, she was between 20-22 years old, and will be missed particularly by my wife... but not all the work and problems she was starting to cause.


07-27-2007, 09:09 PM
I meant to say the man is my 003 1/2 secret agent. He's looking through binoculars.


07-27-2007, 11:34 PM
Yusuke.....you have a mouthwatering painting here!!!!!

Annie....Your pastery glistenes with decadant sweet satisfaction.....

Pab...the complimentary palette is the IMHO the strength of this work

Lacey....Your style is so delighful and fun....they make me happy when I see them

EP...You are growing right before my eyes.....I believe that fast works such one's those in The Sketch Thread accelerates ones growth, regardless of you level of experience

07-28-2007, 02:09 AM
Hi all...this took about an hour. Crosspost from the scavenger hunt. My first try at soft pastels in about 3 years. The subject is my dad's old Canonet 35mm camera which, unfortunately, no longer works.

Pastels are cheapo's from Walmart on 9x12 colorfix primed strathmore paper. I can't seem to do anything with my Rembrandts.

I see now that the perspective is slightly wonky. Any other comments or suggestions welcome.

07-28-2007, 05:47 AM
Lacey - I just love your so "free and easy" girl sketches. They all have this ability to show people really enjoying themselves and life, which is a great thing. It's how things should be in any day and age. You portray it so well.
If I lived a lot closer I would love a Lacey original. I think your life and style come through in your work. Great stuff.

EP - I love your banana, it's one of the things that I eat at least one of every day! This looks like another fine specimin, though could I suggest you put some shading along most of the sketch, as it looks as though the banana is hovering!!!! If you (or anyone) wants a ref photo of one of the old windmills I'm working on, then - hey presto!!!!!!!


The mill is on a very small ridge; this pic is from slightly below on one side where a footpath runs behind it, the silhouette I'm working on is from the road on the other side of the mill.

Binkie - nice "secret agent" - though he's not secret anymore as we can all see who he is!!! (Silly Pabs.) I think you have done a grand job optically on those bins, and have also done a great job in using the grey and other colours to merge into one nice jacket and background.

Preston - you know my friend, I reckon you're right!

Wabbitt - that's a very nice camera, and there's one very similar to it on the scavenger hunt thread I've just come off!!!! The camera is very good, and I think the hand is great. It has a nice range of colours giving good effects of skin tone and shading.

Well, here's my next stage of the windmill, done on pastel board (I will never use that again - horrible stuff), and using up some of my older pastels. This one, for any timekeepers out there, took me around 40mins.
Colours are a little lighter in the original.

07-28-2007, 08:37 AM

I haven't posted in this thread for a long time.

Here is a portrait done by me using Oil Pastels. Thank you for your looking.

Best regards,,

Eric (from Hong Kong)


07-28-2007, 11:05 AM
I've been following this thread, as always, but unable most of the last couple of weeks to be online for long, because of interminable thunderstorms. I haven't been doing my little pastel sketches, because I finally tackled doing a larger work that I worked on ("struggled through") a bit at a time for a couple of weeks, so my easel was tied up, and I don't like doing pastels at my table. So in the evening to relax, I've been doing little ink and watercolor sketches instead. I'll try to get something done in pastel this weekend.

I need a portable easel for plein air, anyway, so then I can set it up for pastel sketches.

Eric, wondered where you were-- welcome back. That's a really nice portrait sketch-- you've captured the red hair perfectly.

Pabs, wonderful sunset! I really like the composition and the way you've laid out the colors.

Lacey and Maggie, both of you produce such remarkable work, with such different styles! I would love to have work by either of you, and maybe someday I will.

Hey, a piece of rhubarb pie! Makes me hungry for rhubarb again, that slice looks too good. So the fork was bent-- a lot of mine are anyway.

Oh, so many posts, I want to comment on all of them, because they all are teaching me something, but just now the radio announced another thunderstorm on its way, so have to go off the computer-- and I still haven't posted my painting over in the studio. Better hurry, I can see the light changing outside. I'd say this is a weird weather year here in Vermont, but the truth is that every year is a weird weather year here.

Dayle Ann

07-28-2007, 12:50 PM
Hi all,

Sorry that I can't get a time to write replies and comments on your great sketches right now. I'll be away till Tuesday then I'll write next week. Let me just post my sketch here...

I sketched my wife's new sandals. Oil pastels, it took 35 minutes. Thanks for looking.

07-28-2007, 02:08 PM
Julie, great camera, and with the cheapies too!

Pabs, your painting is coming along beautifully! Nice strong colors. The lighthouse's shape adds a lot of interest. Thanks for posting the pic. Thanks for your remark on my secret agent.

Eric, Good to see you back! Very nice portrait. Great job on the highlights.

Yusuke, Wonderful rendering of the shoes. You have totally captured the texture.


07-28-2007, 07:31 PM
Yusuke, wonderful shoes!

Well, I cobbled together a makeshift little "easel" to do my little sketches on:

I was going to sketch some beets, but instead I sketched my mailbox right outside my window surrounded by flowers because the sun finally came out, and because I really like looking at my flowers. Can't see the path from this angle. (I'll sketch the beets tomorrow, if I remember before I cook them!)

About 11x11 cm (4.25x4.25 in) on Tiziano sand. About 40 minutes.

Dayle Ann

lacey sprocket
07-28-2007, 09:09 PM
Thanks for all the wonderful comments! I have been striving for simplification, and trying to get personality and expression with as few strokes as possible. It's nice to know that it's coming across well!

Mac, I'm so sorry about your dog! Mine died a year ago in May, and I still miss her a ton, although it's nice not spending all of my extra money on her medications. The sketch is on 65lb. recycled white canson sketch paper. I like a faily smooth surface, since I do a lot of graphic work.

Wabbitt, nice use of color on the hand!

Pab, nice siloettes, and the colors are looking great.

Pabs and Dayle Ann, perhaps sometime you would like to trade some artwork!

Eric, that's a very tender and expressive portrait. Nice colors!

Yusuke, the texture and shine on the sandels is wonderful!

Dayle Ann, what a lively little sketch!

07-28-2007, 11:36 PM
Hi all, I'm have a great weekend :) Managed another sketch, this time in OP's on the smooth side of 9x12 MiTientes. Smooth side works for me! Um this "oddball cactus" is my house plant. Xposted from scavenger hunt and #18 on the OP challenge.

07-29-2007, 12:09 AM
Pabs - you really are on a roll. Nice quickie on the bluebell flowers. Fantastic job on that onion. Love how you're using your limited pallette. Excellent sunsets.

Yusuke - wow, excellent job on that watermelon, both whole & cut. You are so prolific this week. I think you're getting faster too. Excellent job showing the shine in the black shoes.

eyepaint - I love how you're using your colors too on the garlic & post-it's. Well done! I like seeing the strokes in the apple & carrot. Wow you've got so many :) Your banana does seem to be levitating.

maggie - lovely landscape paintings, amazingly fast too

preston - fabulous still life

Mac - great job with that pumpkin, great colors. Ooo, that figure drawing is well done.

binkie - your dog sketch made me smile, great sketch of the vacuum

Annie - great job on that pastry & plate

lacey - great attitude you captured

eric - nice to see you again. Lovely portrait. I love how you did the hair

dayle anne - what a lovely sketch of your garden & mailbox

lacey sprocket
07-29-2007, 01:36 AM
Wabbitt, that's a pretty neat cactus!

Look familiar? I took another shot at this one, this time on white 11x14 sketch paper. I'm going to enter a local juried show with the theme of the animal-human bond. Not really my usual subject matter, but what the heck.