View Full Version : WEEKLY PASTEL SKETCH THREAD July 30-Aug 5

07-30-2007, 01:56 PM
oh no, here it is almost noon, I ain't got the sketch thread going yet! for shame! late, but here it is....

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!

07-31-2007, 09:40 AM

This week I am the first one who posts the picture!

I have joined a small drawing competition in Hong Kong with this picture (which is really not a sketch - I would like to apologize). The theme of the competition is about a village in Hong Kong. Most of the entries are watercolours. But I prefer to use Oil Pastels.

Thank you for your looking.

Eric (Hong Kong)


07-31-2007, 10:03 AM
Nice subject Eric - portrays well the public image of a crowded waterfront on a steep hill behind it. Nice colours and a good water effect.
Hope you do well in your show with it.

Pat Isaac
07-31-2007, 10:18 AM
Great painting, Eric. Good feeling of a crowded waterfront and nice rich color.

Good luck.


maggie latham
07-31-2007, 10:53 AM
Hello everyone,
I usually end up posting a finished painting, but this week thought I would show an underpainting ‘sketch’ for one of my seascapes that I have just started. Ten mins, white colorfix primer on gatorboard, 16x20 using large soft Sennies (and water)



maggie latham
07-31-2007, 11:30 AM
What a fascinating subject for your painting. Good luck with the competition......it is a very nice painting. My husband spent several years of his childhood in Hong Kong, and has fond memories.

07-31-2007, 01:07 PM
Wow, Eric - this is just wonderful! I love the dark moody feel to it, which is so different from your usual light-filled landscapes. Best of luck in the competition.

Maggie: interesting that you use water. Are those drips I see in the lower left?

Pat Isaac
07-31-2007, 04:41 PM
I really like the feel of this, Maggie. You really capture the sultry landscape.


maggie latham
07-31-2007, 06:06 PM
Thanks Pat and Annie….
Yes drips! It’s where the water and pastel have run. Sometime I leave them if I like them…but mostly everything you see in this very beginning stage will be covered up with more layers of pastel. This one is totally intuitive in color and composition…so I have no pre conceived idea how it will turn out. When it looks good to me, I’ll finish. If I complete it in the next few days, I’ll post the finished painting.

lacey sprocket
07-31-2007, 10:37 PM
Eric, it so nice and colorful! Great reflections. Good luck on the competition!

Maggie, how nice to see your process! Water? Really?

Here's another one I plan to enter in the animal themed show. Same ol' oil pastels on 11x14 white paper. This one is called "Nobody Here but Us Clowns".:lol:

07-31-2007, 10:39 PM

Thank you for all the warm comments and encouragement.

The competition is quite small. The total number of entries for the adult group should be well within 20.

Besides, I find that the previous post is really too dark because I simply use the web cam to capture the image. I repost it once again. Now it should be slighlty better and more closer to the original one. Sorry for such an annoyance.

P.S.: The village is in the island called Lama Island in which a number of foreigners from UK and US living over there.

Best regards,

Eric (Hong Kong)


maggie latham
08-01-2007, 06:49 AM
Nice one! Lots of color, good luck with your show.
Sometimes I use gamsol (good quality low odor turps) for an under painting, But this time I used water…just to get a stain really, and to block in a loose idea of light direction etc.

08-01-2007, 10:18 AM
Lacey, I LOVE the colours in this.

Pat Isaac
08-01-2007, 10:30 AM
Great piece, Lacey and I love the expression on the cockatiel(sp?).
I do like the lighter version, Eric.


08-01-2007, 11:13 AM
Yet another priceless piece of work from you Lacey - I just love them!!!!!
I remember when I was little (a long time ago before swimming was invented), constantly having knocked into my head the phrase "We do not draw things with black lines round them. Nothing has a black line round it!"
Well, lots of your work has lines (of differing colour, it must be said) round it, and I think it makes the work look brilliant, colourful, bright and full of character - oh, and the artist isn't bad either!!!!!!
Is this the cheeky little chappie you told me about earlier????

lacey sprocket
08-01-2007, 12:32 PM
Eric, I do like the lighter one. I think a small competition means that your work will stand out even more than if there were hundreds of paintings! Good for you!:clap:

Purpleheather, thanks! Hey you're new! It's nice to meet you, I hope we'll be seeing some of your work here! :) :wave:

Pabs, yup! That's my cheeky little friend Chip, who follows me about the house all day! He is a master of silly expressions.
I remember the "people don't have outlines" lesson! ;) I actually used to draw quite realisticly when I was in college, but then I moved on, as it is rather more fun to break all the rules than to learn them! "lol" I think my style has a lot to do with my job as a graphic designer, I've gotten to be very particular about color, as most prints I do for T-shirts have less than 6 colors (as we have a 6 color press), and I've come to appriciate line drawing, double outlines and blocks of flat color.

08-01-2007, 01:19 PM
Maggie: If you do post the finished piece, could you also post a detail shot? I suspect there's a lot of texture in your work that doesn't come through when the scale is reduced for posting at WC.

Lacey: I love this painting! The vibrant color sings and like Pabs, I really like the bright blue outlines, which give the piece additional punch and tie everything together. The outline style, with blocks of flat color, wasn't always a no-no; it's typical of Japanese woodcuts of the 19th century, which was emulated by Lautrec and other Western artists of the era. You probably already know this, eh? And you probably aren't trying to emulate Japanese woodcuts, or Lautrec. :lol: Anyway, your modern version is terrific. :) When do you hear about the competition? Are the entries going to be exhibited?

Eric: The second image does look a lot more like your signature style and I like it too. I especially like the reflections in the water and the buildings and signs are well done. It looks like an interesting place - I can see why it appeals to foreigners. I'm wondering though, if this image is a little light. Eric, do you have a good image editing program? You can get them free on the web and they can be helpful for adjusting brightness and contrast, so the image looks more like the original painting (although I've found, even using them, it's never possible to match the painting as it is IRL). I'm also curious about when you'll hear about your competition results. Will there be an exhibit?

Welcome to WC, purpleheather! :wave: Do you work in pastels? Which type, soft pastels or oil pastels?

08-01-2007, 02:28 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm going to catch up on comments from last week's thread:
AnnieA - thanks for the hints for using Canson. Hmm I'll need to do another banana (or a whole bunch, lol) to see if I can achieve a non-pearly look.
binkie - thanks. Great detective :)
Lacey - thanks :) I like the blues and greens in the hair
mac - yup - I'm going for the practice of doing lots of practice
Preston - thank you
Julie - Thank you. I like your camera and the photo of your pastel box :)
Pabs - thanks - I eat a banana every day... and sometimes more than one when they're getting old. Thanks for the photo of the mill. Is it powered by wind? Water? Something else?
Eric - I like all the colours in the hair in your portrait
Yusuke - Great sandals. You draw more than just food? Or are these edible? They look shiny in some places and matte in others
Dayle Ann - do you have a larger photo of your easel?


08-01-2007, 02:31 PM
Comments on this week's thread:

eric - great landscape. What size is this?
Maggie - mmm I like the drips.
Lacey - Hello Chip! Nice to see you again! I'm missing some of your background pattern in the lower right corner :(
purpleheather - hello!


08-01-2007, 02:38 PM
Several people commented that my banana last week was levitating. While indeed I've been working on some spells and magical powers, it was not my intent to render this talent on WC! :) I've worked a bit on the shadows of the banana. Does this help? Or are we still levitating?


And next we have a still life. I set this up as part of a challenge from this past weekend's WDE. Here's my pastel version:


Here's a photo of the setup:

Any hints on how to render the shiny metal?
Should I darken the can? The apple? Do it again from scratch? :)

Here's a link to the graphite version I did:


08-01-2007, 03:21 PM
Aaahhh - the good old "black line lesson" is universal then. I don't feel so bad or isolated now. Although I love my pastels, I also do a bit in pen and ink (as some have seen) and acrylics, to which many of my works have outlines round them. (I can break rules too, Lacey.) I have done a series of works in both pastels and acrylics, mainly of poppies, which all have lines round them, and, I think they look pretty damn good too!! Ho hey for being individual, that's what I say.

EP - you into spells? Scarey! The mill was an old windmill, but I will have to delve into the local history books to give you many details. My mind is not what it used to be you know. What I can remember is that it was built in the 1700's as a result of the following: a landowner could lawfully and legally charge for grinding corn if the wind was deemed to blow across his land (even if it was not his mill); to get round this, people who got together and subscribed to build and own a sort of, co-operative mill could not be charged, as an individual owner could not be identified. Make sense? This mill also had a rather wonderful verse inscribed into one of its foundation stones, which I will have to find as it's so wonderful. The sails came off in a storm in the early 1900's, and the mill is actually used as private residence now, though only, I believe, as a reatreat. I'm pretty sure it was bought last year for around £85,000. There are several old mills within a very shgort distance of us, and I've often wondered about doing a series if them.

Yes, the levitating banana does now look more down to earth (sorry, couldn't resisit that one). I think the apple corkscrew and glass look rather fine, I reckon it's the angles on the crushed can that are the problem, and I've no answer to give you on that one. Just as a side step, and it's not a negative - the corkscrew and glass look like they are viewed through one of those thermal imaging cameras - unintentional or not. But, your works doin' just fine!


08-01-2007, 04:13 PM
..I'll need to do another banana (or a whole bunch, lol) to see if I can achieve a non-pearly look.

Oh nooooo, EP! I like the pearliness! It was a compliment, not a criticism!

08-01-2007, 07:24 PM
Pabs - I was kidding about being into spells :) Thanks for the interesting history of the mill. We don't have buildings that old around here. Thanks for your comment on my still life.
AnnieA - okay - phew - thanks :)

I did these sketches for the Scavenger Hunt and am x-posting them here:
3 items in a wonky container - soft pastels on Canson paper, approx. 10x10, approx. 25 min

self portrait - soft pastels on Canson paper, approx. 10x12, approx. 35 min

It's only my second or third time trying to do flesh tones with these five colours, and this is getting a bit closer to what I want. It's my first time trying to do a portrait in pastels.


08-01-2007, 08:09 PM
EP: the shadows on the banana look good, although I don't recall thinking there was a problem with the earlier version. I think to more acurately render the metal in your second sketch you might want to more closely match the values of the metal areas (e.g. go lighter than what you've got where the metal is light, and darker where the metal is dark) - maybe even fill in the textured holes of the paper. Since metal is smooth, you wouldn't see any other color in the surface of it; you're fighting that Canson texure to try to represent it. Good for you for trying a portrait - they're scary to attempt, especially for the first time. What you're doing with your use of color reminds me just a little of Margaret Dyer's work. She says that if you use the right value, it doesn't really matter what color you put down. She has frequently used colors like blue and green and magenta to represent skin (although I notice that much of the work on her site has now taken another turn, and she seems to be using color a little more conservatively now). Take a look: http://www.margaretdyer.com/gallery.html

lacey sprocket
08-01-2007, 09:56 PM
Annie, thanks! I'm actually a huge fan of Japanese printmaking and Latrec, as well as Mateise, I've certainly been influenced by them! As far as I understand, everyone will be accepted into the show, it's a one day show, which happens on the 11th. I won't even be able to go to the show, as I'll be doing a live mural painting at the San Jose Jazz Festival with PAC (Pacific Art Collective) that day. There are awards, but I never hold my breath for awards. (They say awards are like hemmeroids. Sooner or later every a**hole gets one!) The show is being put on by Heart of Chaos, which is a local artist collective that is geared toward helping people break into the art world. They also have art programs at the juvinal hall. I've only recently become aware of them, I picked up a card at University Art, and was delighted! They have a chalk art festival coming up, and I'm going to be face painting.

EP, Thanks! I'd actually left the bottom corner patternless intentionally... Does it look wierd? Lovely banana and cork remover! I think it would be pretty hard to do a can with only 5 colors!

08-01-2007, 10:49 PM
oh, this is super! i have been terribly busy, so please please forgive my lack of comments!

EP--doing great, with those limited colors! you know, it may wind up being a positive for you, you may find a style that is unique. your nanner is much less floaty, and the other sketches are showing growth for sure! i think its great that you take on subjects that aren't simple!

eric- glad you did repost, i couldn't see it well enough, and its nice! good color and has a nice solid feel to it. your reflections are working too, not easy!

lacey--boy, you never let me down! fantastic work, love the graphic-y feel to it, such happy vibrant colors! i'm happy you 'break the rules' with those outlines, they work well for you. and that birdy face, sooo cute!

08-01-2007, 11:33 PM

by the way, it's my version of Lautrec's portrait of Van gogh. You can find the original here:


if anyone has any comments, a second version is likely since I muddied up the jacket (see my thread)

for a higher resolution image,


it is just on strathmore drawing medium, 18x24. It's my first pastel drawing, so feel free to be honest. I won't be offended. I used soft pastels from girault, art spectrum, and faber castell polychromos.

p.s. the flash made his face look whiter than it is, don't know why.


I don't know exactly how long it took, but I outlined it last night before bed, and started on the jacket. I sat down just now and finished it up. In total, I probably went a little over an hour, but I don't think by very much

08-02-2007, 12:22 AM
Some nice variety here already

Eri c... a busy little scene

Maggie... looks very abstract like that!

Lacey, strong colours, composition and impact

EP, I especially like the still life combination,Should I darken the can? The apple? Do it again from scratch? I'd suggest lightening the background and darkening the can and apple.

GMGen... that does look like Van Gogh

a little plein air 12 x 9 and a still life about 9 x 6, I didn't time them... but not very long




lacey sprocket
08-02-2007, 12:57 AM
GMGen, I'd recognize that guy anywhere! I think you're of to a great start with pastels! I love your bold colors.

Mac, interesting plein air, the clouds look so 3D with minimal effort. I love Figi apples! (or is it Gala?)

08-03-2007, 10:46 AM
GMGen - really nice work.

Mac - great stuff as usual!!!!


08-03-2007, 02:39 PM
AnnieA - good idea to fill in the holes in the paper for the metal, and to try harder to match the values. When I give that a go I'll post an update here. Thank you for the link to Margaret Dyer's work - her work is inspiring!
Lacey - thank you. For your painting, I was expecting a pattern in that corner so, given that, to me it looks a wee bit weird. But it's a lovely green and the painting is fine as is :)
Chewie - thank you. I think I have more fun with fewer colours and might get paralyzed by too many to choose from.
GMGen - I like your version much better than the original, or at least the version at the first link you posted. I recognized the face right away :) The only thing that could be a bit off is the size/lenth of his arm. It appears a wee bit smaller than it should be if we use the head as a base measurement.
Mac - thank you for the suggestion about lightening or darkening the bg. When I give that a go I'll post an update here. I like your field painting - I like the jagged edges like the painting burst forth from the paper.

This sketch is from this weekend's WDE. This fox was a perfect candidate for my new non-student OPs (Sennelier!). I bought a limited number - two reds, two blues, two yellows and used them for Mr. Fox.

9x12 OPs on some kind of (non-bright blue!) pastel paper that I bought years ago, around 45 min



08-04-2007, 12:39 AM
Another self portrait, approx. 9x12, approx. 90 min in my new sennies. In this sketch I'm about to eat a big bunch of cotton candy from the fair today. I drew it for the Scavenger Hunt item asking for something that reminds you of your grandparent. My grandmother had her first cotton candy at a fair when she was 76. She didn't like it. We have a photo of her with a sour expression trying to get the floss off her fingers without smudging her lipstick.



08-04-2007, 08:45 PM
Lacey: Well, good luck on the competition - keep us posted. You really are involved in the arts! Sounds like all of your activities are lots of fun, and terrific that they help others too. An entry to the animal-themed show...a mural at the Jazz Festival...face painting...Whew! You make me dizzy! I hope you'll post some painted faces. :)

GMGen: Welcome to the Weekly Pastel Sketch thread and to WC!!! :wave: I recognized Vincent immediately, even though I don't think I had seen the original piece previously (thanks for posting the link to it). You did a great job on this. It's a really nice piece anyway, but just terrific for a first outing in pastel. Did you enjoy painting in pastel? (It looks like you did.) I hope we'll see more from you!

Mac: Really nice sketches. I like the landscape particularly; color/value are really well done and the loose quality is very nice.

EP: I'm glad you thought my comments were helpful, and that you enjoyed Dyer's work. If you can get your hands on it, there was a cover story on Dyer in the old Pastel Artist International (now defunct). I pull it out every so often just to drool over the images of her paintings. I like the fox sketch; the linear application of the pastel worked really well to describe the fur. The portrait is amusing - and the story that goes along with it!

As is so often the case, I'm posting rather late to the thread. I did this same painting earlier in oils, which you can see here:

I think I prefer the OP version, but then I have a lot more experience in OPs at this point. Here it is:
Sketch #38
OPs on 5x7 gesso-primed cardboard
One hour
Those horizontal striations that you may see are because this was painted on a piece of gesso-primed cardboard, and the pressure of applying the OP made the marks more pronounced. They also made it much more difficult to paint - clean lines were really hard to achieve - so I don't recommend trying this yourself.

Because I have such a hard time getting a good photo anytime I use Senn blues, I'm also posting a closeup this time. The shadow really is a little darker, but this gives a fairly good representation of the orange itself. I think I like the closeup the best - maybe I should have used that composition, instead of showing the whole orange.:

lacey sprocket
08-05-2007, 12:06 PM
EP, nice fox! You're doing great with your self portraits, too!

Annie, I've really only just recently started getting so involved, but I'm pretty excited about it! The website for PAC is www.pacificartcollective.com if you'd like to see what they're all about. www.heartofchaos.com is the other group I've only just found out about. I'm pretty lucky, because San Jose has a bit of an art scene growing (and San Francisco is only an hour away).
I like your orange! nice use of compliments. It's fun trying the same thing in different mediums.

08-05-2007, 12:21 PM
What a week!!!! In prep for framing this week, I packed up my dusty softies. Last night I had to paint something , so below you see what I did while watching tv......the grapes were taped to my board as a ref ..I included the photo to show how I tend to work.....

oil pastels on Canson.....1 hour



08-05-2007, 01:32 PM
Hello pastelists,:wave:
I am back, but it seems that it was a bit too late to join the weekly sketch thread...:(

First of all, thanks a lot for the comments on my watermelon and shoes sketches last week, EP, Pat, binkie, Lacey, Mac, Annie, Dayle Ann and Julie (I hope I didn't miss anyone).

Well, now I can't give a comment on each nice works posted in these two weeks, but I'm happy to see all these fine sketches!

Glad to see you're back here again with your wonderful landscape of Hong Kong. I hope you do well in the competition.

I love your "human-animal bond" series. Animal themed show? Good luck!


Sorry the sandals are not edible :). I like the shadows in your sketches. Looks much improved in the expression and you have keen eyes on the shadows.

Nice to see you. Ah, Vincent van Gogh. You turned the Lautrec's stroke into yours.

I always like your style. Loose but partly sharp. You painted figures, landscapes, and still lives... what's next?

You work in oils and oil pastels... so do I :). It is very interesting to see your try on the same subject. I agree that it is hard to take a photograph of Sennelier colors.
I also like your pie last week. :):)

You work on such a small Canson... are these grapes not very large? Nice shines on the grapes.

I'll post my works in the next post.:)

08-05-2007, 01:39 PM
Well, let me post what I have sketched this week. There are three. Foodie Yusuke is back here. :D

Tomatoes. 50 minutes. OP.

A single tomato. 40-45 minutes. OP.

A bottle of Spanish olive oil. 60 minutes. OP.

Thanks for looking.:)

08-05-2007, 05:08 PM
Lacey: Thanks for those links. I can see why the PAC appeals to you; it seems geared for young artists and looks really good. I wonder if other young artists here at WC would be interested. I'm not sure where the link could be posted though. I wasn't quite clear on the Heart of Chaos one as it seems to be a music-related site. Did I miss something? Thanks for your comments on my orange. It was interesting to do it in two media.

Preston: Your sketch is just beautiful - so loose and expressive! And on Canson!!! I love your color choices. You ought to do more OPs; you clearly know how to handle the medium very well.

Yusuke: You ought to change your screen name to "Foodie!" :lol: The tomatoes are beautiful - so plump and juicy looking. Lovely color. The olive oil bottle is incredible! What size is it? You did an amazing job on the reflections and the label. (I was tempted to do a quick painting of a lime, a chili pepper, an onion and a few cilantro leaves, so we could have salsa!) Thanks for the nice comment on my work. I can't really claim to work in both OPs and oils, as that was my first oil painting (in 20 years or so).

08-05-2007, 06:38 PM
AnnieA - thank you. I wonder if my library has a copy of that journal. Great use of bg colour for your orange. I like the sparkle on the top of the fruit. Thanks for the closeup too.
Lacey - thank you. Those art events sound like so much fun! I looked at some of the photos from the PAC - some sort of SF Magazine night - and there were some people who looked too dressed up to be the artists - instead they might have been artist groupies :)
Preston - I'm beginning to recognize a similar urge in myself "I have to paint/draw something" :) Your grapes look so good that I think you were watching the grapes and your paper and only listening to the TV.
Yusuke - you're welcome. Thank you for your compliments. Your tomatoes are just bursting with juicy red goodness. So plump! So shiny! Too big and too many to fit in the bowl!

BTW here is a little update on the fox - I added a dash of colour so that his eyes were not hollow.

(now he's a bit cross-eyed ... oh well)


08-05-2007, 07:54 PM
ah yusuke--more food! such juicy plump toms. love it! the oil bottle is wondeful as well.

preston--love the technique and color choices, maybe you should be framing this as well? i think so!

mac--like the landscape, but wow, love them apples!

GMG--great idea and no doubt of who the fella is!

EP--you're getting busy, good for you! the fox is my fav., such good color use! and i think i can eat my own weight in cotton candy, love that stuff!

sorry i've been sparse again, this is the last week of real busy things going on, here i am hosting, and didn't get one done! shame on me! i promise, next week i will!!

08-05-2007, 09:22 PM
Such great work this week that I cant begin to comment on them all:clap:

8"x 10" op on Canson......45 min.


08-06-2007, 09:26 AM
Hi everyone!

I am still here, though I will have to give this next week a big miss as my legs are not too good at all.
The only postings I will be able to do are the ones I managed to complete before the weekend for the Scavenger Hunt.
Sorry, but I just can't make it sat down at the old PC. I can't get my legs out in front of me and type happily away.

Eyepaint - I think your fox is just damn good. Please keep it up!
Lacey - I will contact you again when I can - I have not forgotten you!
To everyone else, great work, keep it all going, and give me plenty to look at when I start again in a few days time.

Until then,
Regards to all,

08-06-2007, 11:29 AM
Chewie - thank you
Preston - those fruit look fantastic. I particularly like the subtle colour variations in the bg just above the red apple
Pabs - thank you. Please rest up and get better quickly


lacey sprocket
08-06-2007, 11:50 AM
Yusuke, it's nice to have you back! Wonderful tomatos and bottle. It's organic! :)

Annie, oops! That would be because I gave the wrong address! It's www.heartofchaos.net

EP, nice improvement. It's great when you can see what a painting was missing when you let it alone for a bit.

Preston, I love that background!

Pabs, I hope you feel better soon! :(

See you all in the new thread!