View Full Version : Demonstration: Swan and cygnets in vibrant colours

06-10-2002, 03:20 PM
What a great concept for an article, Sandra. I'm sure this will prove useful to many out there, and is a great example of how to use the resources here at WC! :)



06-10-2002, 05:03 PM
Thanks, Scott. :)

06-10-2002, 05:35 PM
Thank you Sandra! What a great demo! The photos are wonderful and the text very clear. And the painting is beautiful.

I've printed the whole thing out and am going to start trying this out. I never heard about using hard pastels to blend soft before. I'm eager to try all this out. Thanks for a superb demo. You are an absolute gem to have done this for us. :clap: :clap: :clap:

06-10-2002, 06:27 PM
Sandra...what a fabulous demonstration!! Your photos and text were superb and have given me a whole new process to try! Thank you so much!

06-10-2002, 07:51 PM
What a wonderful demo.
Great to see how different people work with pastel.

;) ;)

06-10-2002, 10:54 PM
Fantastic demo, just what I and probably many others have been waiting for, very detailed and very easy to follow, wonderfull work. THANKS SANDRA!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

06-11-2002, 07:39 AM
Glad you're enjoying it. :D

AriadneArts - it you try it, I hope you will post your results! :)

Carolyn Kaitz
06-11-2002, 10:47 AM
Thank you for the wonderful lesson. And thank you for not making a complicated drawing!

06-11-2002, 11:00 AM
THANK YOU VERY MUCH SANDRA. I would also like to try this.
:) :) :)

06-11-2002, 12:33 PM
Sandra, This demo is great. Even though I don't do pastels I did get a lot out of this when you explained the colors you used and why. Thanks a lot :D Sandy

06-11-2002, 02:37 PM
Excellent demo. Thanks for the close-up images that show stroke and texture details. Very easy to follow. It seems obvious now, but it hadn't occurred to me to use the Posterize function in Photoshop....I already have a photo in mind to try!


06-11-2002, 03:05 PM
I just wish to say THANKS. I have only been painting for a short while and always have trouble determining the tone values. What you have shown here is the best method for learning I have seen in all the reading I have done.
Thanks again

06-11-2002, 09:22 PM
Fabulous demo, Sandra. You make it look so easy! Interesting approach starting with the shadows and highlights. The final painting is stunning. You really pulled some nice color combinations together.

06-12-2002, 09:25 AM
Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together, Sandra. This is exactly what I have been looking everywhere for! How to get from start to finish with these dusty little sticks on a subject that is not overly complicated such as a portrait or a bazillion flowers in a huge still life. :D Thank you! And not only that, but your results are so beautiful! And thank you to Miss Mouse for sharing the photo so that the rest of us can try it, too.

06-12-2002, 03:48 PM
Well I just went out a bought a small set of soft pastels today and Hey Presto you provide a wonderful demo for me to try.
Thank you so much, you explained it all so clearly.

06-12-2002, 07:35 PM
Thank you, Carolyn Kaitz, Patricia, Sandy, Tina, aussiesutton, Anne, mmdm and Jakeally, for your positive comments about my demo. I am glad you're finding it interesting. I do hope that those of you that try it will post your results. :)

Rick R
06-15-2002, 01:07 PM

Thank you very much for posting this example! It's excellent, and I plan on using it.

I have a few questions I'm hoping you can answer for me.

Did you use the smooth or rough side of the paper?

How did you decide on how many tones to limit yourself to?

How do you match the colors to a tone? Some of the colors seem easily matched, but with most of them I have no clue how you matched them.

I'm clueless about anything about color theory outside mixing, I'm afraid.

Thanks again!

- Rick

06-15-2002, 02:09 PM
Hi Rick!

Originally posted by Rick R
Did you use the smooth or rough side of the paper?
I used the smooth side. The rough side, with the 'orange peel' texture is the back.

Originally posted by Rick R
How did you decide on how many tones to limit yourself to?

How do you match the colors to a tone? Some of the colors seem easily matched, but with most of them I have no clue how you matched them.
Areas of the painting were roughly divided into five tonal values - that's what the five tonal value swatches were for. Colours were chosen which fitted with the tonal value of the area in question. I find it difficult to judge the tonal value of colours sometimes so you will see all the trial marks around the colour swatches and elsewhere:

Let us know how you get on. :)

Rick R
06-15-2002, 02:31 PM

Thanks for your reply!

Do you always go for five tones, or was that simply a decision you made for this painting?

- Rick

06-16-2002, 07:02 AM
Mostly 5 tones. Sometimes, I choose 4 or 6 depending on how the image looks when I posterize it. Sometimes fewer tones give a clearer plan to work from. More than 6 tones is too confusing to work from. Five generally works out best, though. :)

06-16-2002, 10:54 PM
Excellent Sandra :D Thanks for sharing this with us. :clap: :clap: I adore the swans head and colours. Also the reflections. :cat:

Roni Anderson
07-07-2002, 11:14 PM

Thanks so much for the demo - very clear and lots of useful info. Just getting into the online pastel pc project this has given me some great insight. You are a jewel for sharing!

And I second the thanks to Mararkey for sharing the photo...I'll be checking out the rest of her resourse photos soon too!

07-08-2002, 07:31 AM
Thank you, TeAnne and Roni Anderson, for your comments.

Roni, it was actually MissMouse that supplied the photo. You can check out the rest of her contributions here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/index.pl?cat=500&user=3452&thumb=1). :)

01-06-2003, 06:06 PM
Great demo.
Interesting use of Photoshop to estrablish tonal values - will try this out. Blending of soft pastel with hard also something I will try.

Many thanks:) :clap:

Have had a quick view of your web site - looks most interesting - heading back for good look after posting this.

01-06-2003, 07:14 PM
Thanks for your feedback, Dave.t. :D

Mikki Petersen
01-07-2003, 02:37 AM
Sandra, thank you for the excellent demo. someone shared the posterizing trick with me to help me figure out the light and dark values. Works way better than squinting! Now, thanks to your demo I have seen how to take that tool to the next level.

The painting is beautiful.

01-07-2003, 02:37 PM
Thanks, 1mpete! :)

01-07-2003, 10:10 PM
Is it okay if I do the same swan photo as a learning experience using your technique?? Please?

01-08-2003, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the link. It was a great tutorial. I must say I love your paintings! I like the ones without the brushes being used. If I had the cashola, I'd buy one in a second. Really cool stuff!


01-08-2003, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Brooke
Is it okay if I do the same swan photo as a learning experience using your technique?? Please?
Sure. It's actually not my photo - it's courtesy of Miss Mouse. She's kindly put it in the photo library so anyone can use it. :D

And thanks, Kelly, for your kind comments! Much appreciated. :D

05-10-2003, 04:44 PM
Thank you Sandra for this demo. Had I read your article 3 months ago when I first bought my pastels, I'd have known that hard pastels are useful for blending and mixing soft pastels; that I should exploit the capabilities of my image editing programme to make a ref photo easier to 'see'; that it's helpful to try to match each colour to a tone/value; and that the relative warmth and coolness of a colour is important too... I have learnt all these things over the past 3 months on the forums but here you sum them all up very neatly in one demo. I think this will help to make pastels seem more friendly to many beginners :)

05-10-2003, 07:16 PM
Thanks for your comments, E-J. Glad you found it useful! :)