View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketch Thread - Sept. 8 - 14

Paula Ford
09-08-2008, 01:13 PM
Hello Artists :wave:

This week's sketch thread is a bit different. How about we do sketches of Grass.

If you don't want to do grass, that's ok too!! Please feel free to join in with anything you have sketched that was done in less than 1 hour.

The weekly pastel sketch thread is for ALL pastelists of all skill levels who use soft pastels, hard pastels, or pastel pencils.

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.

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!!

WOW! We had a great week last week...check out last week's (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=515991) thread.

For inspiration, please visit the Image Library (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/)

Paula Ford
09-10-2008, 06:35 AM
Helloooooooooooooo...anybody around?

09-10-2008, 06:28 PM
Hi Paula

I started a sketch yesterday but it is turning into a painting. I started with some trees and I ended up painting for 45 minutes and I wasn't anywhere near the grass. It is looking good (for me) so hopefully I can continue it in the next few days and post it in the gallery.

I tried doing a grass sketch today but my back is killing me and I just can't paint when it is this bad. Hopefully I will be able to paint tomorrow. I bet my back will feel better if my pastel order from Dakota ever arrives.:D

I hope you are feeling better Paula.


Paula Ford
09-10-2008, 07:51 PM
Doug, You can post anything that you paint within the 1 hour+/-.

Looking forward to seeing your painting!

Thank you. I am feeling much better. I hope you feel better also!!

What did you get at Dakota??

I just received my order from Blick today. I got a full set of FC Pitt Pastel Pencils, 2 color shapers, and some sketching pencils. :D

09-10-2008, 08:15 PM
Well Paula, as you know, we pastelists only order what we need.:angel: So, I needed the 50 stick Mount Vision Landscape Set. I also needed a few green Unisons and a couple 6 packs of Art Spectrum including the Moody Blues set. I also wanted, I mean needed, some hard pastels so I ordered the 24 Polychromo set.

My wife says I'm spoiled.:angel: I agree, but I haven't ordered anything in a long time and she knows I'm hooked. :heart:

Have fun with your new treats. Are we going to see a sketch with those Pitts?


09-10-2008, 09:30 PM
These pastels are addictive and expensive. I ordered the Terry Ludwig Landscape set...oh and I also ordered Giraults...like the TL much better though. I'm kind of waiting to see what someone else does for grass...then I will do some and post.

WC Lee
09-11-2008, 03:49 AM
hehe whatever you do, don't do what I did .. brought a ton of pastels and then decided to switch to oils :D ....Anyhow, here is my tiny grass study on wallis, 2.5 x 3


09-11-2008, 03:53 AM
Paula: I posted this in the daily painting thread today. Does it count for trees AND grass?


09-11-2008, 03:55 AM
Oops, sorry. This was an hour and a half. Forgot the rules.

Paula Ford
09-11-2008, 06:57 AM
Doug, I hope to do a sketch with them soon. Did you ever have one of those weeks that work and then having to do something after work every night happens? Well, that's my week so far. But, Friday is almost here!!

WC, I really like your grasses and flowers!

Hi Jan, Lovely piece!! Yup, it counts as both.

09-11-2008, 10:28 AM
WC- No chance. I am hooked. Nice mini. I like how the light colours on the left contrast with the tall grass.

Jan- Very nice painting. Love the oranges. Good job.:thumbsup:

Paula- I've had those weeks. Not enough hours in the days and not enough days in the week.


09-11-2008, 10:44 AM
You can post anything that you paint within the 1 hour+/-.

Oh, didn't know that, sure opens up new possibilities!

W.C., am impressed, beautifull grass in tiny format.

Jan, simply beautiful!

Just to chime in on *need*: I really need a full set, the whole 'chabang', of Unisons, don't you agree?! :D And most of TLs too.

09-11-2008, 02:28 PM
I jbought 4 dark Unisons, and 2 of them were broken on arrival. They are so soft....I'm not sure I like them that much. But for real dark, they are good.
Here is a grass study I did today...just about an hour...the very dark green is Unison. On Canson paper (smooth side) and the rest a combination of soft and semi-hard brands of pastels...http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Sep-2008/103700-scan0001.jpg_grasses.jpg
Jancee, your colors are gorgeous.
WC....yours is great, as usual...love the additon of the flower heads...

09-11-2008, 06:42 PM
JB- Very nice. Good depth and I really like the colour of your grass. You might like the Unisons when you get used to them. They are way softer than the Rembrandts and others.

Well, they're here!!!:clap: So as soon as I unwrapped my new babies I had to try them out. I put down an underpainting with the Polychromos and used Mount Visions and green Unisons for the rest. I know it doesn't look that good but I am experimenting.:evil:

I love the MVs and Unis. The MVs are HUGE!:thumbsup: The Polys are going to be great for bold underpaintings. I included a photo of my new stash.:D I have to go try some more things. I also have to break them before my wife gets home. She just doesn't get it. :lol:




Paula Ford
09-11-2008, 08:24 PM
Hi Charlie, Yup, the sketch thread has always been for anything you want to sketch. Only this last couple of weeks have we been picking a theme, but you can still post anything.

JB, Very nice sketch. I love the soft colors. It shows nice depth.

Doug, Good for you! Those are 2 of what I use all the time...Mt. Visions and Polychromos...my favorites! Beautiful grass sketch!!

09-11-2008, 11:28 PM
Here is mine...I am trying to use pastels alot more...will probably do another one before the week is over.


09-12-2008, 01:17 AM
All- love the grass :clap:

Doug - I love my MV too.

You are going to have to wait to see my grass. I did it on Tuesday and went on a business trip on Wed and was going to post on Sat. But because of Ike, I'm staying in Calinfornia until Tues. Just don't feel like flying into Austin at 11pm on Friday.

Now to make matter worse - I just got my Terry Ludwig Intense Darks on Monday and really miss 'em.:crying: When I get home I'm going to try a night scene with my TL True Lights and the Intensce Dark only....:cat:

09-12-2008, 01:17 PM
This is a study sketch for a larger painting that I want to do. Actually, this will be my first serious attempt at a lanscape painting. So far my experience has been limited to experimenting on a small scale, mostly sketches.

I under painted with gouache. It worked in most places except for the trees. They were a pain and I realize that I need more cool greens. Desperately.

Also, could anyone tell me how to do thumbnails?



09-12-2008, 01:23 PM
Linn- keep using your pastels! Love he trees in the back. Great depth.

Here's mine from last night. I set up some lights in my studio and thought this sketch was bright. I looked at it this morning .:eek: Lesson learned. I tried to lighten it up this morning. Oh well. Live and learn.

Oh, I used my new toys and it took about an hour. 9 x 12 Wallis.

Thanks for looking



09-12-2008, 01:30 PM
Ooooh nice colors, Doug! I decided I need to splurge a bit too, and will order some Mt Vision open stock stuff. Got my colors picked out, but havent ordered yet. Gotta wait and see if I 'need' any more. :)

Paula Ford
09-12-2008, 01:40 PM
Linn, Very nice sunny landscape sketch!

Roma, Very lovely piece. I really like the composition.

All a thumbnail is is a tiny version of the composition of the painting. Do a 3"x3", or a 2"x4", 5"x5" or other dimensions (square or rectangle...)and see which format you like and then cut your paper accordingly. You can work out the composition and colors. If it works for you then you can paint it on a larger scale.

Doug, I really like your grass, but remember, as things get closer, the darker they get. Right now your grass doesn't look like it's laying down, if you know what I mean. If you darken just a small portion in the very bottom, it will flatten out.

09-12-2008, 01:47 PM
Thank you Paula. I was worried if the composition would work. It is a view of a pristine lake that we go fishing at, accessed by pulling the boat through a creek and through a very large culvert. The view is always breathtaking.

By thumbnail, I meant I wondered how to attach
thumbnails to these posts rather than take up so much space with the full image.

Paula Ford
09-12-2008, 02:11 PM
It's better to not use thumbnails. Then people can view it right here without having to click on something separate.

09-12-2008, 06:59 PM
Doh! I looked at that sketch and I knew it looked flat. I KNOW you put darks in the front. I just don't remember all the time.:( Thanks Paula. I touched it up a bit. I added some darks and then scumbled with three shades of green with the darker in the front.

The other sketch took me a little longer than an hour. I was playing with the Polychromos over the soft pastel and seeing what happened. It's on 9 x 6 Wallis.

Thanks for looking.




09-12-2008, 09:27 PM
Wow Doug...you are going to town on this grass!! All are real good!

Paula Ford
09-12-2008, 11:09 PM
Much better Doug! Great job!

Well, I did a little one tonight on Ampersand Pastelbord, 5"x7". Grasses and tree.


09-12-2008, 11:21 PM
You caught the movement of a windy day beautifully, Paula! I really enjoy seeing a close up of how you did your grasses. I learn so much here!

Paula Ford
09-12-2008, 11:25 PM
Thanks Roma!

09-12-2008, 11:27 PM
Thanks Linn and Paula. I am trying different ways of painting grass and it's kinda fun.:D I know my new toys will keep me busy for a while.

This sketch took about 45 minutes. I blocked in colours and used a Softt spounge, used for Pan Pastels, to rub the pastel into the tooth of the white Wallis. I then did a rough painting with MV's and then pushed around the pastel with some Polychromos. This is what I came up with. I think I'll need a bigger set of Polys.:evil:

Thanks for looking.



09-12-2008, 11:31 PM
Like I said Doug...going to town...good one!

09-12-2008, 11:32 PM
Paula- Beautiful fiery grass and nice bushy tree. I don't know how you look at a photo and come up with those colours. :thumbsup:


Paula Ford
09-12-2008, 11:35 PM
I have a wild imagination :D

09-12-2008, 11:39 PM
Paula...love your colors and textures!

09-13-2008, 04:22 PM
Well, here's my sketch for today. I used MV's for the whole sketch. It was quite interesting using those big sticks on such a small surface. It took me an hour and is on 9 x 6 Wallis. Oh, I listened to "The Boss" while I painted. I am thinking of painting this as a 12 x 18. Maybe I could call it "Glory Days."

Thanks for looking.



09-13-2008, 05:08 PM
Wow, Doug...you are doing great! Love this last one, the MVs 'make my mouth water'. Cant wait to order some!
Paula...your latest has such beautiful color and movement...I can almost feel the wind...
blooming...I really like the way you did the composition. Nice job!
I havent had a chance to draw at all today....too busy figuring out what I want to order and from whom....

09-13-2008, 05:24 PM
Lucious colors in your grass and water in this one! Guess "The Boss" put you in the mood and led you right along!

09-13-2008, 07:26 PM
The Learning Curve is STEEP! (This pastel stuff is hard!) This is on a 6"x9" piece of 'Belgian Mist' Wallis paper (nice color!) and done entirely with Nupastels. I got somewhat mesmerized by the cross hatching of the background and forgot about the pear sort of. Why does the pear look like it's floating? Thinking of going back and cross hatching on the pear.

Critiques welcomed!! Thank you in advance.


09-13-2008, 07:39 PM
Hi Jan. Good job on the pear. Nice colours in it. I think if you put a shadow on the bottom of the pear it would settle it down. Have fun with your pastels.


Paula Ford
09-13-2008, 07:46 PM
Hi All, Thank you very much for your kind comments on my little sketch!

Hey Doug, I love your painting! My kind of scene with pine trees and water, wonderful.

I hope you don't mind, but I've done some things to it for you to think about when making it larger. First, pay attention to the direction the grasses are going, as shown. Also, I've darkened up the water and also put horrizontal strokes in it to lay it down on the far side.

I have always told you guys that as the scene gets closer, the colors get darker, correct? Well, in this scene, it is just the opposite on the upper right side of the water. See what I mean?


Paula Ford
09-13-2008, 07:48 PM
Jan, Your pear is terrific! I love the colors!

09-13-2008, 08:15 PM
Doug, your MV's look luscious!

JB, thanks for the thumbs up! I think that making the decision of what to order is soooo hard when it comes to pastels. There are so many choices and no matter what a person does get, it seems like you never have that right color when it comes to a crucial moment! *chuckle* But boy are they fun when they finally arrive!

Paula, great suggestions on Doug's grass and water!

09-13-2008, 08:28 PM
Jan, there are many good things going on with your pear! You are right that the learning curve is steep, but I think that by the looks of it, you will master it in no time!

09-13-2008, 08:49 PM
Thanks for your comments JB, Linn and Blooming. I love my MV's! I was telling my wife that they go on the paper the way I had imagined pastels to. I just feel like they are THE pastel for me. I know what I'm getting for Christmas.:D :D :D

Thank you Paula!!! I knew the sketch felt flat but I couldn't figure out why. You can play with any of my sketches/painting any time you want. I am a very visual person so you couldn't have explained it any better. As soon as I saw your alterations I said "Yes!! That's what I wanted!"

The water started out with horizontal strokes but ended up not being horizontal.:o I knew it too.

Thanks for the demo. I am sure it helped others as well.


09-13-2008, 09:35 PM
After seeing the wonderful landscapes and grass I had to give it a try! This is from a photo I took while hiking in the Sheyenne Natl. Grasslands a few weeks ago. The colors are so faded in the picture and lack the depth I vaguely remember. Between being sick with a cold and the rotten weather we are having I have not been able to get out doors and sketch. :crying:
9x12 on white Mi-Teintes, done in less than an hour.

Great work all,

09-13-2008, 10:04 PM
Jan...you are so right...the learning curve is very steep! Great job with the pear though.

Shellee...beautiful grasses and trees!

Paula Ford
09-13-2008, 10:51 PM
Really beautiful sketch Shellee!! I hope you're feeling better soon.

Paula Ford
09-13-2008, 11:10 PM
Here is a quicky I did tonight. 1 hour, 5"x7" on Ampersand Pastelbord. It's a scene from one of the pictures I took a couple of weeks ago from the area I live.


09-14-2008, 02:52 AM
Shellee- Good job on this Shellee. You handled all the greens really well. Get better soon.

Paula- I like this one. Your eyes go right down into the valley. The back mountain gives this good depth. Good one teach.:)


09-14-2008, 09:03 AM
Love it Paula!!

09-14-2008, 09:38 AM
beautiful, Paula...I feel like I'm right there, walking down the field.
Love it!

Paula Ford
09-14-2008, 09:44 AM
Thanks you guys!

What do you all want as a theme next week? It doesn't have to be landscape stuff.

WC Lee
09-14-2008, 11:32 AM
nice sketches everyone :)

Paula, whatever the theme is .. I'm in and will do at least one sketch :D might have to bring out the other pastels though to supplement the 6 I have been using if it isn't landscape-related

09-14-2008, 12:18 PM
I would love to see some instuction and practice on rocks. Just my own preference...but I'll join whatever you decide...

09-14-2008, 12:34 PM
I'm in for whatever you decide Paula!

09-14-2008, 02:51 PM
Here's my last sketch with some touch ups. I want to do more but I can't seem to make too many more changes in such a small area. Thanks again Paula.

I am game for anything next week.



09-14-2008, 03:20 PM
The improvements really work, Doug! Wow!

09-14-2008, 03:31 PM
Great improvements Doug...the hill is gone.

Winny Kerr
09-14-2008, 04:06 PM
Am I too late for the GRASS sketches? I have had a really busy week and time just flew by. I know.....excuses....excuses

09-14-2008, 04:43 PM
Winny- You have the rest of today. Lots of time.:D

Thanks Blooming and Linn. It's amazing what stroke direction does. :o It's something I will now remember.


09-14-2008, 05:00 PM
Doug...:clap: :clap: :clap: !
way to go...

Winny Kerr
09-14-2008, 08:27 PM

Oh I made it... I did time myself and it took me exactly 2 hours..phew :wink2:
The actual grass is greener and I have more blue in the lichen on the rocks.
Any comments would be so appreciated. Oh is it 6" x 8", matboard with a coat of clear primer. This is a fun weekly challenge and it is MAKING me paint more....which is what I need. Thank you Paula. Winny

09-14-2008, 09:53 PM
Beautifully done Winny!

09-14-2008, 11:21 PM
Thanks JB. Isn't it funny (or is that frustrating:mad: ) when you look at something and you just know there is something wrong. As I said before, Paula's demo was fantastic. By the way, you are doing great with your trees. Paint, paint, paint!:D

Winny- I am glad you made it. These are nice rocks. You handled all the planes very well. The grass looks great too. Nice contrast between the hard rocks and soft grass. I hope you join us next week (starts tomorrow).

Paula- I am ok with rocks next week. I thought of something else I think we all can use practice on(well, me anyway:D ). Clouds!


09-14-2008, 11:36 PM
wow some really nice work everyone, its been awhile for me here in this thread.
I have been doing my tree studys and they take much longer than the 1 hour limit.
Paula I promise to post next week even if it's only one. so what will it be rocks or clouds lol have fun everyone.

Paula Ford
09-15-2008, 12:02 AM
Winny, This is absolutely beautiful!!

Hi Scotty, I'm going to hold you to your promise!

Ok you guys, let's do rocks. I am extremely cloud challenged, so we'll do them next week.

Paula Ford
09-15-2008, 12:03 AM
Doug, Go out and get a nice hard bristle paint brush, a small one. That way, if you fill up the tooth on your paper, you can just brush it off in spots.

09-15-2008, 01:04 AM
OK Paula, I will buy the brush tomorrow. Can you tell me to buy new pastels too and I'll tell my wife you said I had to.:evil:

Great demo in the Studio/Gallery. When you said you used water on the trees on the right, was that both trees? Is that how you get that soft look to some of your trees? Thanks for the tip with the feathering with the charcoal.



Paula Ford
09-15-2008, 06:39 AM

Thank you! No, the water is only to do an underpainting. I used the water to darken the area of both trees because I didn't want to add more dark pastels.

If you have a really dark area, apply a thin layer of black or whatever color you're using, take a bristle brush and some water, and scrub the area. It will be like using paint.

The softness comes from many layers of oranges. After a few layers, the pastels blend themselves.

09-15-2008, 09:30 AM
Hi Jan. Good job on the pear. Nice colours in it. I think if you put a shadow on the bottom of the pear it would settle it down. Have fun with your pastels. Doug
Yep! Yep! That worked! (http://jan777.blogspot.com/2008/09/by-george.html) :thumbsup: (Comes from painting a pear from memory instead of from life. Major brain cramp!!)

Thank you, Doug!!