View Full Version : Pastel Strokes - The Merry Merry Month of May

Tracy Lang
04-30-2009, 10:34 PM
May is a tweener month that has a little something for everyone...so, here goes the Merry, Merry month of May Pastel Strokes!

Those who have participated in previous months already know the guidelines. For all newbies to this monthly challenge, they are as follows:

* Interested participants create a painting from the photo(s) and upload it to this thread for viewing and discussion.

* The image may be cropped, rearranged, and interpreted in any manner! Use different effects in your software program and try painting something different, tweak the color, add or subtract things.

Celebrate our creativity!!!
Let's Paint!!!

(All photos were taken by me and are copyright free for you to use)

Hi-Res versions:http://www.pbase.com/tiare/may_pastel_riot

So, lets get to it:

Big Sur Succulents

Hatteras Evening

Tracy Lang
04-30-2009, 10:40 PM
The Merry Merry Month of May...continued

Tracy Lang
04-30-2009, 10:49 PM



05-01-2009, 01:48 AM
Newbie here. Looks like fun and am looking forward to participating.

05-01-2009, 06:37 AM
Tracy, thank you for hosting! Gorgeous selection, from flamboyant to delicate!


05-01-2009, 09:58 AM
Tracy, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your photos. This is going to be awesome!

Tracy Lang
05-01-2009, 11:11 AM
Welcome Sue, I'm glad you will be joining us!
Thanks, Charlie. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with :)
I'm glad you like the photos, Marcia!


Paula Ford
05-01-2009, 11:15 AM
Great photos Tracy!!

Winny Kerr
05-01-2009, 12:17 PM
Oh these are beautiful photo's, thank you Tracy. I hope to give one, maybe two a go this month. Oh by the way, that adorable Pembroke, I'll take it home any day, what a cute dog. I had a few Pembrokes once upon a time, great little BIG dogs and so smart. Winny

05-01-2009, 03:47 PM

Thanks Tracy!
One of my May goals is to paint at least one of the "Strokes" photos!
Wonderful choices!:clap:

05-01-2009, 07:02 PM
Great selection, Tracy. I can hardly wait to get started, but it can't be until next Tuesday. May is off to a very merry start!

Tracy Lang
05-01-2009, 08:22 PM
Thanks, Paula... I hope you see something that inspires one of your beautiful paintings!
Hi Winny, The pups name is Peter and he belongs to one of my friends. You really nailed his personality! I'm looking forward to seeing your paintings!
Elsie, Maybe even more than one :)
Hi Nahant, I'm so glad you like the selection...jump in any time!!!


05-02-2009, 10:59 AM
Ok, I guess I'm the first....that's a scary thought! This is 12 X 15 La Carte pastel card using a little bit of everything that I have.


Tracy Lang
05-02-2009, 11:11 AM
Hi Marcia...what a wonderful way to start off...beautiful painting!!!
I love all the colors in the sand and the way you captured the warm, late afternoon light on the sand and grasses. The contrast with the water really makes it pop. Thanks for getting us off to a great start :)


05-02-2009, 11:15 AM
Marcia, gorgeous!


05-02-2009, 01:09 PM
Tracy and Charlie thanks so much for the comments. Here's another one. (nothing to do last night and passing time today before I leave for a concert) This one is about 8 1/2 X 12 1/2 on black Colourfix using mostly Senneliers.


05-02-2009, 01:12 PM
Marcia, that is just beautiful! I love the colors you used.

I hope to do at least one of these photos this month. We shall see.


05-02-2009, 06:15 PM
Marcia, both pieces you submitted are simply beautiful! I am really trying to find the time to try at least one this month.

Tracy you have made it difficult to choose, they are some beauties!

05-02-2009, 07:18 PM
Beautiful paintings Marcia...especially the beach scene.

05-02-2009, 08:16 PM
Wonderful photos Tracy! It will be a hard decision to choose one.
Marcia - your paintings are great. I particularly like the beach one. That sand is marvelous!

Terry Wynn
05-02-2009, 10:07 PM
Tracy, what great photos, a hard selection to be sure.

Marcia, both of your paintings are great. I especially like the warm light across the sand in your first, but then the radishes and stalks are very well painted.


Tracy Lang
05-03-2009, 12:29 AM
Marcia, what kind of concert?
Your radish reds really glow...nice work!!!
Sara, Pam and Kym ...glad you like the pics...jump in anytime...the water is warm...it's a merry month long adventure to celebrate our creativity!!!
Hi Terry:wave:


05-03-2009, 12:39 AM

I'm not painting in Soft Pastels at the moment but have been concentrating on my watercolours, the idea being that if I can improve my watercolours, then maybe I can improve my Soft Pastels by using watercolour underpaintings. Mind you I haven't tied using watercolour on ColourFix as yet.

Anyway, the question is, can I use your pics you have here for use with my watercolours?

To everyone here, I'll check back through the month as it progresses to see how everyone is doing.:wink2: Picksbugs, I love your Beach one, and although I tend not to do still lifes, you've done a great job, love the radishes.

Love Carolynn :):):heart::heart::thumbsup::wave:

Tracy Lang
05-03-2009, 01:03 AM
Hi Carolynn,
Thank you for asking...Yes...these pics are free for any Wet Canvas artist to use. Hopefully, we will be able to contribute to the RIL again, someday...soon! What an awesome resource that is, and has been for all of us. In the meantime, I've posted them here and if anyone needs anything else they can PM me.
Please feel free to post your paintings and explorations here...we are all seekers.


05-03-2009, 09:43 AM
Beautiful work Marcia - I especially love the beach scene. Much nicer than the actual photograph. I was thinking of doing that one, and I can only hope to do it even half as well as your rendition. The sand is scary for me.

Merethe T
05-03-2009, 10:03 AM
Wonderful photo's Tracy, thank you for hosting!

Marcia - you're really dusting up a storm, lovely paintings! Beautiful beach scene, I like the sense of light. And the still life is really candy for the eyes with the gorgeous reds and greens!

Look forward to see what others come up with! :)


05-03-2009, 10:48 AM
Thank-you everyone for your positive comments. Hope to see some of your work soon.

Tracy- Went to see the Dead last night in Philly. Yes I am an aging Deadhead and proud of it! Had an awesome time at truely one of the best concerts ever. I am still reeling from it. If anyone is a fan and they are playing anywhere near you GO...you won't be disappointed. And now I'll get back to painting :)

05-04-2009, 01:40 PM
After seeing Marcia's beautiful paintings, I thought I'd just tippy-toe in and scoot this one into a corner.


Tracy, thanks for the great photos. I might try another.

05-04-2009, 01:56 PM
Jenny, your painting is very nice. I like it alot!

Merethe T
05-04-2009, 08:37 PM
Jenny, very nice work, makes me wish for summer! Warm and inviting scene...


05-05-2009, 07:25 AM
Jenny, it is delightful, with a focus on the foreground that gives great depth!


05-05-2009, 07:28 AM
Marcia, it looks delicious! Love your clear colours!


Tracy Lang
05-05-2009, 10:54 PM
Marcia, the Dead keep living... I love their music!!!
Jenny, WOW...love those glowing sand colors and your whispy grasses...beautiful painting!!!


05-06-2009, 07:17 PM
Peter the Pembroke 12 x 15 La Carte Pastel Card Various hard & soft pastels


05-06-2009, 09:04 PM
Awwwwwww! Beautiful !!!

Mette Rörström
05-07-2009, 10:39 AM
Hi! Great work!:clap:
Here is what l have done so far.
Rembrandt soft pastel.
painted on Ingres paper. 21 x 29 cm.



05-07-2009, 12:05 PM
Well done Mette! The first one scares me a little to try but you've done a good job. And the 2nd looks good enough to eat!

05-07-2009, 12:07 PM
Marcia, that is really beautiful.

05-07-2009, 12:08 PM
oh I just saw all of the others! I love seeing all of these and sharing our work.

05-07-2009, 12:09 PM

05-07-2009, 12:12 PM
sorry I didn't know where to add this in my picture post:
8x10 on Wallis, mostly harder pastels, a few soft
oh and C&C much appreciated

Mette Rörström
05-07-2009, 12:51 PM
Marcia... Thank you! Yes the first one is scary, l did not want to do it because l didn't think l could. . . . . .
That gave me a reason to do it.. . . :)

05-07-2009, 01:45 PM
Very nicely done Sue. My only criticism would be that maybe a little more definition between the radishes on the left. They look like they are melting into one another a little bit.But it may be my monitor which isn't the best.

Tracy Lang
05-07-2009, 02:52 PM
Marcia, you did a great job on Peter! I love all the colors in his ears, the depth in his fur and those cute little teeth :)

Hi Mette, I'm glad you tackled the succulents, you really captured the feel of the distant water and the radishes look good enough to eat! I really like the variety of the greens in both your paintings.

Hi Sue, love the loose painterly feel of your radishes and the beautiful reds really pop against the purples in the background!


Mette Rörström
05-07-2009, 03:43 PM
Thank you, Tracy!
now of to paint some more...I am working on the dog. (Peter).

05-07-2009, 04:02 PM
Thank you Tracy. His ears are showing really orangy but not so much in RL.

05-07-2009, 04:25 PM
Thank you. I realized something after painting this. There is a real difference between cherry red, radish red, tomato red, raspberry red, strawberry red... They're all different. A lot different.

05-07-2009, 04:26 PM
and yes, they blend too much on the left. I don't like this painting at all. It's too bland. I like the other painting of the radishes that someone posted (sorry, forgot who). They are bright!

Gerri Mc
05-08-2009, 12:47 PM
OOOh some beautiful work and great reference photos. :clap:
I love thoes beach scenes. I might try to have a go at the sunset - hope I can capture the tones.

05-08-2009, 02:16 PM

Tried another one! Of course, it is not what I really had in mind, but it is okay. My mechanics of using pastels must be improving because this one is on Canson Mi-Teintes, and the several layers of pastels behaved beautifully ... or I got lucky and don't know how.

8"x10", Canson Mi-Teintes.

Tracy, thanks again for the great photos.

Mette Rörström
05-08-2009, 04:46 PM
Jenny....beautiful painting!

Merethe T
05-09-2009, 11:56 AM
Oooh, lovely work all! I'm sorry I don't have time to comment much today, I've got just a few minutes online as I'm not at home. Will be back tomorrow when I have more time...love all the reds, gotta love the reds! :D

Just a little reminder for all of you: we need hosts for the Pastel Strokes in the upcoming months - please pm me if you'd like to host a month! Tell me when you can host, and send me the photo's you'd like to use. I hope someone is up for it, it's lots of fun! :)


05-09-2009, 01:03 PM
Jenny, very goodlooking reflections in the water! You're improving rapidly.


Mette Rörström
05-09-2009, 07:44 PM
Here is the dog.....
painted on ingres paper.22 x 33 cm.


05-10-2009, 12:17 AM
Awwwwww!!! May I pet him? :lol:

Thanks, everyone, for your words of encouragement on my tries.

Tracy Lang
05-11-2009, 10:15 PM
Jenny, Beautiful painting...the reflection in the lake is wonderful!
Mette, Great job on little Peter...his eyes look so alive :)


05-12-2009, 12:26 AM
Worth the visit, will come again, thanks

Mette Rörström
05-12-2009, 02:56 AM
Thank you,Tracy! :)

Merethe T
05-14-2009, 02:59 PM
Had to come back and take a closer look at your paintings!

Marcia - Peter the Pembroke is so cute! Nice job on the fur, and his eyes is great. Looks like a friendly little guy.

Mette - wow, you're really painting up a storm here, great work! I love the succulents, looks like a fun piece to do. And the little dog is so sweet!

Sue - lovely still life, love the loose strokes. I wish I could loosen up like that...

Jenny - nice work! The reflections in the water is beautiful!

Hi Les, glad you enjoyed it! Feel free to join us.... :)


Mette Rörström
05-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Thank you,Merethe! :)

05-15-2009, 10:41 AM
Very nice photos here, Tracy. Thank you. Tracy, do you accept works done in General's pastel chalk pencils in this section, please?

Kathryn Wilson
05-15-2009, 04:29 PM
Sandra, I am not familiar with these pencils. Could you take a photo of one of them, with the writing on the side.

05-15-2009, 09:07 PM
Kathryn, this is what they look like at Blick (http://www.dickblick.com/products/generals-pastel-chalk-pencils/). And this is a piece (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-May-2009/86669-pastel_stokes2_orig.JPG) I did entirely with pastel chalk and also this one too (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-May-2009/86669-stokes1a.JPG) following Marianne Stokes work. It is flaky and could be dusty like soft pastel but encased in wood and slightly harder. It is not oil based so it's not oil pastel or oil pencil. It doesn't fit the colored pencil section nor oil pastel section. :D

I ask only because while I have soft pastel, I can't afford the paper with tooth and so I use whatever I have. If it is a go, then I could visit this section more often.

05-16-2009, 01:54 PM
I have some of those General's that I use often. They were sold with the other pastel pencils at Michael's so I assumed that's what they were.

05-18-2009, 01:38 PM
gorgeous photos! what a banquet to work from!

05-18-2009, 05:16 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-May-2009/141077-Hatteras_evening_sun.jpg I've been working on this one for days. I really wanted to try it, but I have no clue how to do the sand in the foreground. All those dents and shadows have had me tearing my hair out. I've erased it three times and started again, but I would be glad of any C & C that would give me some insight into how it should be done.

Now that I have put it up here, I can see that the distant sand slopes away to the left. I'll have to fix that.

05-18-2009, 07:11 PM
Looks good to me. I didn't know what I was doing either but somehow it turned out pretty good.

05-20-2009, 04:56 AM
Hi Ashli, welcome to Wetcanvas and to the pastel forum!


Merethe T
05-20-2009, 12:14 PM
Hi Ashli, welcome to the Pastel forum! I hope you'll join in and paint with us, there's plenty of room! :)

Carol, nice work!! The foreground reads as sand to me, maybe you don't need to paint the dents and shadows? My eyes wanders between the grasses and the water, and I like what I see!


Tracy Lang
05-22-2009, 01:14 AM
gakinme, post away...looking forward to seeing your paintings!
ashli,welcome...glad you like the pics...get dusty!!!
Carol, your painting is beautiful...I love your grasses and you really captured the light...as for the foreground...don't tear out your hair...think shapes of the shadows...then shapes of the light...you are so very close...don't give up!


05-24-2009, 08:31 AM
I haven't posted anything here in ages...haven't used pastels in ages. I have discovered though that I prefer the harder ones compared to the real soft ones...this is done with Rembrandt on Sennelier LaCarte.


Tracy Lang
05-25-2009, 02:20 AM
Hi Linn,
So glad you got dusty again!!! Your painting glows...I love the contrast of the warm and cool colors...really portrays that lovely, late afternoon light.


Merethe T
05-25-2009, 01:04 PM
Beautiful work, Linn! Gorgeous colors, it has a wonderful, summery feel! Very nice...


05-25-2009, 08:24 PM
Thank you! I am trying to get used to the pastels...sometimes I think I try too hard or paint the wrong thing but I love beach scenes.

05-27-2009, 11:24 AM
Frantastic work, everyone!

Linn, very nice to see you again! (I too prefer the harder pastels, mostly using the supersofties on top of things when the harder ones won't stick to what's already there.)

There is still a bit of month left, so here I rush in with a little sketch of one hour of Hatteras. I sort of lit the light a bit... 7x9,5" 18x24cm, Colourfix:


Tried footprint stuff... :( :lol:

C&C welcome.


05-27-2009, 10:58 PM
Great colors Charlie! I also really like your ocean.

Tracy Lang
05-29-2009, 10:20 PM
Hi Charlie,
I'm glad you got a chance to join in! Love the way you "lit the light" ...it really glows. I also like the shadow areas with the bits of deep turquoise and purple.


05-29-2009, 11:33 PM
Hi to everyone. Didn't know if I would make it this month. End of school, little league baseball in full swing, etc,etc... This is 5 x7 canson. Fairly quickly painted. I wanted to do more but you know how it is sometimes! Great job to everyone else and their paintings!


Tracy Lang
05-30-2009, 12:46 AM
Hi Ron,
Your painting is absolutely wonderful...just love the composition, strokes and reflections. I really think that sometimes the quickies turn out best...no time to second guess or overthink...just paint...love it!!!


05-30-2009, 11:32 PM
In the Philippines we call this flower gumamela. the reference picture looks so beautiful. I thought it was easy, miscalculated my skills in handling pastels took so long to check, erase, repaint . Just beat the end of the month to finish it .



Tracy Lang
05-31-2009, 08:52 PM
Hi Lit,
Your gumamela painting is so swirly and beautiful!!! I love the vibrant colors and the way you captured the different petal shapes with hard and soft edges.
Glad you could join in and I look forward to seeing more of your work :)