View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketch Thread - May 25 - 31

Paula Ford
05-25-2009, 09:19 PM
Hello Artists! :wave: I'm headed to IAPS this week, so you guys post lots of sketches and I'll see you next week.

The weekly pastel sketch thread is for pastelists of all 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 are creating. So get your pastels out, set your timer, and when your time is up, please post your sketches here and share your efforts with us.

For inspiration, please visit our Image Library here

05-26-2009, 12:31 AM
Thought I would join in here, haven't done to many pastels as of late.
16x12 on canson smooth side assorted pastels


05-26-2009, 07:11 AM
Paula, have great fun!

Scott, way cool and mystical sketch, love the colour combo!

I've made another "plein backyard", took me 45 minutes to one hour, on Colourfix, and size is 24x18 cm, about9,5x7".

My lilac bushes in full bloom:

And the "plein backyard":

C&C most welcome!


Donna T
05-26-2009, 09:26 AM
Scotty, Wow! That is really nice! "Mystical" was the word that came to my mind too. You do the neatest things with trees.

Charlie, I love your lilacs! Your painting is so much more lively than the photo and I find it so interesting that your style carries over so easily to plein air. Someone in the PA forum recently said that a good plein air painting is so much more than a mere description of the scene - it is visual poetry. I think you are a good poet!


Paula Ford
05-26-2009, 09:41 AM
Hey there's ScottyKahn!! Terrific sketch Scotty!

Hi Charlie, Lovely backyard and a beautiful, colorful sketch!

05-26-2009, 11:42 AM
Hi Guys, thanks!

Truly, I'm not as innovative with interpretation and colour as it seems, the camera sees very differently from my eyes. I've tested on my husband, and he says my paintings are more like reality than the photos are.

Here's another P backyard (we've had two really sunny and nice days). I actually did the 'skeleton drawing' the other day. However, clouds sailed up. (I'm convinced clouds are iconoclasts!) Today I got to paint this too busy scene, looking over the fence towards my neighbour's backyard.

It was striking how the photo flattened the depth of the scene, which is about 30 meters (near enough in yards also). Eyes saw depth, but camera didn't.

About 1 hour, Colourfix, and again 24x18 (9,5x7"):


Yellows and yellowgreens look a tad too acid (imagine the more muted colours of Rembrandts).

Here's how the camera sees it:


I edited out the fence. What really didn't work were the mass of sunlit ivy growing on the neighbours ground, right behind the bit of bedrock sticking up. I saw it as a very light pink with dark bits, but nothing I tried worked.

Anyhow, this is a million times better than my first PAs last year. :smug:

Though, I do know I'm lightyears from becoming a PA artist. My aim, and I'm nearly there, is to be able to jot down a colour-and-light sketch that can be used as a ref together with a photo.


05-26-2009, 01:31 PM
This was a test of Della's Spectrafix. Lots of layers on Canson MT smooth side with spectrafix whenever the tooth filled. Windsor Newton with some Unison. The original is a bit more warmer (yellow cast) than shown here.



05-26-2009, 03:28 PM
Tried this sketch as an exercize to simplify and loosen up. Used the smooth side of Canson, which I really don't like working on, but have to use up somehow. Worked with Great American pastels.


05-26-2009, 09:26 PM
Lovely sketches by everyone! I don't like the Canson at all either but it is easier to use soft pastels on it rather than the hard ones I think.

Lynne Vokatis
05-27-2009, 12:10 AM
hi paula!I hope you have great time at IAPS!!im hoping ill be able to pop in say "hey" at old forge too.im heading up to maine this weekend for my"paint out". i cant wait!!!. i havent done anything in weeks:evil: bad bad. im just about over the bronchitis and im just going to tape up my ankle and suck it up.lol.along w/some advil and wine too lol....should have interesting sketches next week:cool:
scotty- i love your cool sketch. kinda eerie and ghostly...its different ....like it:)
charlie-i love your plein airs.i love the way you interpret color.those lilacs are massive!!i like your "acid"greens...theyre springy...i like to use that one yellowy green schminke its really acidy lol.i like your avatar picture too!:wink2:
Hi donna- i like your comment about charlies visual poetry...ill have to remember that this weekend as i am moving into a bigger theater than the backyard:( i hope i dont get overwhelmed....i did get a viewfinder to help .and my hat!!!:cat: i dont look tooo dorky.its a tilley lol. ill make sure i get a pic in it.:o
Hi Luana- i love your sky...really nice sketch.
nanaj-i like your sketch, nice and loose and a nice composition.
everyone has been so busy...im really lagging behind.but ill have sketches for sure next week!!!but i enjoyed looking at everyones here this week!
c ya guys next week lynne

05-27-2009, 12:33 AM
Thanks Charlie you know me always playing around with the colors, I really like your pleine aire painting, you have such a wonderful way with colors.

Thanks Donna :)

Paula you so cute, scottykahn

Nice Luana, I like the wispyness to the sky, and the indication of the tree to the left

Very nice nanaj

Thanks pastelyn

05-27-2009, 09:06 AM
Thank you pastelyn and Scotty for your comments.
Scotty- I like your work. Your scene has a "dreamlike" quality.
Charlie-a beautiful backyard, but your sketches are much more colorful and lovely.
Luana-love your colors, especially the sky.
Would love to do some plein aire, but we've been inside all week in the NC mountains with rain and fog.


Donna T
05-27-2009, 09:38 AM
Charlie, I like your second sketch too. Isn't it hard deciding what to leave out? It's too easy to put everything in!

Luana, Beautiful sky! If that new fixative works I might try Canson again. Did you find that if affected your colors at all?

Joyce, I love that little house and the way one side is being lit by the sun. Totally charming! Nothing but rain here too ... like we needed it, LOL.

Lynne, Have a great trip and a great time at the paint-out!


05-27-2009, 02:09 PM
Well, I haven't touched my pastels in about 4 years and it's been bugging me. So I guess this was the time to change that. I've always wished that I had some talent for this sort of thing. *sigh*

From a photo of a place near my home... I'd previously done a little oil painting of this same river/bay area.

Anyway, as I was saying, I haven't touched my pastels for years. And I wasn't exactly equipped for it. This was done on 9x12 drawing paper, no fixative or anything. The total time to completion might have been near 2 hours but the actual painting time was about an hour... t I had to leave my art about three times to go do other things.

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to express myself.

05-27-2009, 02:27 PM
Donna T, no the fixative did not affect the colors after it dried. I was able to layer over it nicely. It did stretch the paper a bit so I advise only taping the corners - that way, you can readjust while the fixative is still wet. Dried flat for me using this approach. Have fun.


Donna T
05-27-2009, 02:58 PM
Hi Pagani and welcome back to pastels! This is such a nice sketch -and on drawing paper! It looks like you have plenty of talent for this sort of thing. I hope you'll keep going and maybe try some of the papers made for pastels so you can layer to your heart's delight. Thanks for sharing this!


05-31-2009, 11:26 AM
Just made it! Last day of May! (Whoa, that went fast, eh?)

This is about 6" x 8" on nubbly Japanese print paper that I found yesterday, rummaging around on/in my desk. Deckles on all four sides. Sweet.

I first did an underpainting with watercolors and gouache in compliments of the final layer. A bright golden green for the wall in back, strong Ultramarine blue for the pear, and a dark quin magenta for the tabletop. The paper really sucked in the pigment. It was bright and lush. (Should have immortalized that with a pic. Oh well.) Then I covered it all with one thin coat of Clear Colourfix primer. Then I whaled away with the pastels, all soft. There are three layers of pastels-plus-fixative. (I am very into the Creevy mode (http://books.google.com/books?id=xu71tfuJcKcC&printsec=frontcover&dq=creevy+pastels) of layer upon layer, with fixative in between. I am using Latour now but have ordered that new stuff with caesin, SpectraFix, and am looking forward to seeing how that works.)

RE: Mount Visions: Is it my imagination, or are these every so slightly grittier and grainier that the other "softs"? It seems that, on occasion, they abrade the surface instead of leaving pigment. Maybe I'm just imagining that.



No6 Brush
05-31-2009, 09:22 PM
Just a quick doodle 11 x 8 after Aubrey Phillips style ... My 2nd proper pastel...



05-31-2009, 09:39 PM
Some very nice work here this week! Tony...when you say your 2nd proper pastel does that mean you are new to pastels? Great job on the landscape.

Since I am getting back into trying out pastels I will be posting some this next week.

No6 Brush
05-31-2009, 09:46 PM
Tony...when you say your 2nd proper pastel does that mean you are new to pastels? Great job on the landscape.

New to pastels ... very much so... did some pears months ago .. that's it !

Mainly into watercolours and oils with the odd acrylic so this is new
territory for me :eek:


06-01-2009, 12:09 AM
Wow...you are doing fantastic Tony. I am new to pastels also but not as new as you...I did quite a few late last summer...up until about last October. I too did watercolors and started out in oils. You're painting is fantastic!!

06-01-2009, 09:39 AM
Nice one pagani, love the water and distant trees
Love the colors Jan, very nice
Hey tony, and very well done for just a quick doddle, I like the distant mountians and the sky is beautiful

Shirl Parker
06-02-2009, 04:27 PM
A painting buddy and friend of mine, Ruth Freeman, has this on her easel. I think it is quite beautiful and she gave me permission to show it to the forum. She says "I have everything in my studio and will start working on this painting soon. The unfinished tree on the right, the red flowers, an ornamental tree on the lower right, and shade of a tree on the lower left. Then clean up a few areas....you know me,. I should have it finished before long...", which means sometime in the next 6 months. Ruth is very precise with her details.


06-02-2009, 10:25 PM
Beautiful Shirl!