View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketch Thread - June 29-July 5

Paula Ford
06-29-2009, 10:16 AM
Hello Artists! :wave:

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

06-29-2009, 09:46 PM
I look forward to your critiques on these two.

More experiments with impasto and layering with transparent gels. #1 is done with Golden's Heavy Gel (Gloss). I put it on only the pear shape. It dried both quickly and nicely transparent. But the glossiness caused trouble. I had to add a layer of clear Colourfix primer to get any hold at all, which obscured the transparency. Live and learn! (This gel comes in a matte version. Must try.) It's about 6-1/2" x 8" on Japanese print paper that I glued to a piece of cardboard. I like the raggedy edges. I know that it's "bad" for the stem to touch the top edge of the support like that. but what the heck.


#2 is done with Talens' Heavy Gel Medium Matt, applied to the pear shapes and to the tabletop area. It dried quickly too and semi-transparent and only needed a coat of fixative in order for it to hold pigment. This medium is a 'keeper'! It's 8" x 10" on a piece of peachy-toned illustration board, sealed with clear Colourfix primer.

Both of these were done with about 90% panpastels and about 10% with very soft sticks. (The more I use the pans the more I look forward to the dark set that is coming.) First I laid in the big shapes with soft pastel sticks. Then I palette-knifed on the gel, on top of that first layer, which picked up and spread the pigment.

Then the pans, a few layers. Last I put the final touches on with the soft sticks, just flitting over the tops of the textured surface. Interesting effect.

I look forward to your critiques on these two. I must confess I am enjoying all the goopiness!


Paula Ford
06-29-2009, 10:23 PM
Critique? No way! They are both fabulous!

WC Lee
06-30-2009, 03:11 AM
wonderful sketches Jan :)


A quick study of Mary Casset's "Child in Straw Hat" from the portrait forum monthly challenge, done on foam board coated with Colourfix, 9 x 7.5


Paula Ford
06-30-2009, 11:16 AM
Very nice WC!!

06-30-2009, 04:03 PM
Jan- Great experiments. You seem to be getting so much texture. I have to start using my pans again. Not enough time in the day.

WC- What? No landscapes? :evil: :D Nice little sketch. It has a very soft feel to it. She seems to have a quizzical look on her face.

Well, I have been getting encouragement (or is that a kick in the butt?:eek: ) from some artists to do some plein air painting. I did this in my back yard. I am starting small. Learning to walk before I run.

I have to tell you the story about my quiet experience. First, it was 14 degrees C (59 F), but that kept the mosquitos away. So there I was, getting into the right brain zen mode, and all of a sudden this pit bull (or something like it)and smaller dog come running up from behind me, and scare the **** out of me! They do a loop of my yard and go running back to the front yard. I got up out of my chair and went out front and there was some guy calling his dog. So, being the nice neighbour that I am, I yell at him, "KEEP YOUR ( insert your own words) DOG ON A LEASH OR IN YOUR YARD!" I then went back and finished my painting.

So, between dogs and frostbite, I think it turned out okay.:lol:

12 x 9 white Wallis. It toook about an hour(counting yelling time).

Thanks for looking.


Of course, the only time the sun came out is when I was taking the photo.


06-30-2009, 06:06 PM
Doug, :lol: "the only time the sun came out...." :lol: That is plein air for you! Looking very nice, and I bet you learned something (besides an expanded vocabulary).

Jan, they're gorgeous!

WC, so lovely! Much younger than your usual 'broads'.

As it has been 30 C degrees (Doug, I bet I'm farther north than you), I've gone out to paint. Not even real PA paintings, but more like 'colour note taking'.

This is about real size, an A6, which is about 4x6. Low-key, with a few bright spots. It is a rhododendron where the flowers are almost over. Across the pond I saw a decidedly orange vibration in the light, and going back to the car I passed the house on the other side, and saw the rusty coloured dried bits of flowers. Aha!

It is actually NOT an abstract. :) It is light hitting waterlily pads, and some green 'grass' sticking up. Same size. The photo of the spot doesn't tell that the water was a deep rust, so I'd totally missed that if I'd used only the photo. The light for these two was unbelievably clear, with a fairly dark blue sky, and there are lots of high and very old trees around.

A bit of the Baltic sea (same size). Much more hi-key, as today was different from the other day when I sketched the top two. And location was different too. But, it didn't photo well, the greens are not as acid, the contrasts not so clear. Here I was out in the archipelago, and the sky was slightly hazy, with the thinnest veil of clouds basically making the sky a wee bit more turquoise. I didn't catch the slight grayed effect of the water, but as I've studied it, I know it was there.

Gee, getting "plein airs" is starting to be addictive.


Paula Ford
06-30-2009, 06:07 PM
:lol: :lol: Great story Doug!

Great sketch too! It turned out wonderful!

Paula Ford
06-30-2009, 06:09 PM
Wow Charlie! You've been busy with these wonderful little sketches!! Good for you!!

06-30-2009, 08:28 PM
Very good "Charlie colours", Charlie. Very good sketches and colour studies. I hope to start seeing more colours while outdoors.

It was so cold here this morning, my wife had to scrape ice off her windshield. It July 1st tomorrow! One of the best sayings around here is, "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes.":D


Paula Ford
06-30-2009, 10:00 PM
:eek: Ice?!?!? :lol:

06-30-2009, 11:44 PM
Doug...great job on your plein air!

07-01-2009, 01:11 AM
Thanks Linn. It's a start. And I would like to make a correction. It only took about 20-25 minutes actual painting time.


07-01-2009, 12:27 PM
Thank you!

Doug, ice? As in frozen water? In midsummer? My....


07-01-2009, 07:48 PM
Everyone's sketches are fantastic so far. Like those pears Jan. The textures give them life.
Your portrait is lovely WC
And Charlie...I always enjoy yours alive with color.

07-02-2009, 07:19 PM
I did this plein air sketch from the comfort of my studio. It is a small willow tree on the neighbour's sloped yard across the street. It took about 20-25 minutes and is on a 12 x 9 light brown AS Colourfix, using FC Polychromo and Mount Vision pastels.

I was looking through a window screen when I did this. I am looking at the tree from the living room right now and it looks alot clearer. No sticks allowed in hear though. Not yet.:evil:

Thanks for looking.



07-03-2009, 10:15 AM
Like the light hitting the side of the tree Doug.

07-03-2009, 01:37 PM
Hi Everyone. Part of my goal for July was to get off my lazy behind and do some pastel painting. Here is a quick 30 minute sketch that I did this morning. The reference picture was pretty bland. Midday, overcase, and washed out. This is also my first landscape in any medium. I usually do still life and portraits.

07-04-2009, 12:29 AM
Thanks Linn. It was just a quickie. I noticed how it was back lit when I went into my studio and figured I would give it a go,

Phil- I am the last person to be commenting on water, but for you first attempt I think you did a good job. The boat is in (not on) the water and the seas look rough.

I normally do still lifes as well. I want to learn how to do landscapes and the best advice I can give you is to keep at it. This is a great thread to practice and get feedback. There is usually more traffic here, but people might be away for the weekend. Hope to see more.


Donna T
07-04-2009, 09:45 AM
I just peeked in here to see what the sketchers have been up to this week. Wow, you all are doing some nice work!

Jan, those pears are awesome! I love what you're doing to get those textural effects.

WC, very nice Cassatt study!

Doug, Nice job on both of your plein airs! Things look clearer to me when I paint outdoors but I can't blame my window screens ... someone needs to wash her windows!

Charlie, I like your idea of colour note taking and not pressuring yourself to produce a complete painting. I keep hoping that even if I don't see it, my work is improving with each little study. Just feeling free enough to explore color and compositions outdoors must carry over to the studio.

Phil, That's quite an accomplishment for your first landscape! Looks like you caught all the essentials in 30 minutes.