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View Full Version : How does Bec Winnel do this?


LisaDoodleHead
09-22-2010, 02:20 AM
Hi all! I am very enamored by the work that this artist turns out. Here is her website: www.becwinnel.com. Can anyone tell me how they obtain such blending? I have written the artist, but there is no response. I don't blame her. If she has a technique that is "secret" that she does not want to share, I understand. This is how she makes her bread and butter. I am open to any help on blending and layering sent my way. Thanks! - Lisa

ray7
09-22-2010, 06:36 AM
Have just looked at her site and in `available artworks` all are listed as pencil and pastel. From this I would guess, and thats all it is a guess, that she is 1 useing coloured pencil for the fine detail and pastels for the misty effects or 2 useing very sharp pastel pencils for the detail and soft pastels for the misty effects.

Ray

allydoodle
09-22-2010, 09:57 AM
This definitely can be done with pastels, probably either harder ones, or ones like Giraults, which are thinner and easier to use for fine detail. It looks to me like she uses pastel pencils for the details too, most probably. I don't think colored pencils work really well with pastels, at least in my opinion. It also looks like she also has a very soft touch, which can give this type of look. I have done stuff like this in portraits, with pastel pencils (kept very sharp), on very fine sandpaper. You'd be surprised what you can do with it, given the patience. I prefer to work looser, but I do admire what this artist has achieved.

BTW, the blending looks like it is done with the pencils, not fingers. I could be wrong, but that is how it looks to me. Blending with the pencils is very effective.

Remember, this is just my opinion, and what I can try to figure out by looking at the computer screen. I could be completely wrong!:eek:

DAK723
09-22-2010, 10:31 AM
How does she do it? Lots of practice and a very soft touch with the pastels and the pencils, in all likelihood! Good luck!

Don

Kathryn Wilson
09-22-2010, 11:32 AM
Could possibly be a very soft paper too - blending can be done with the soft pastels, then adding the fine details with colored pencil. This is only her first soft pastels - wow!

chuas2
09-22-2010, 12:37 PM
...I have written the artist, but there is no response. I don't blame her. If she has a technique that is "secret" that she does not want to share, I understand. ...

Her artwork is nice, but I don't get this. If Terry Ludwig can pick up his phone and take orders, Ms. Winnel can respond to her fans (w/o divulging "secrets" if she chooses). I wrote to Chris Rush and he wrote me back right away...

Me being grouchy...
Chuas
;)

Ok, this on her blog:
"My work is created by blending and fixing multiple layers of pencil and pastel, graphite, black ink and white China Graph. The multiple layering of materials allows me to achieve a smooth, dreamy and ’smokey’ like appearance.”

So in other words, what Don suggested. Practice, practice, practice....

allydoodle
09-22-2010, 01:08 PM
Her artwork is nice, but I don't get this. If Terry Ludwig can pick up his phone and take orders, Ms. Winnel can respond to her fans (w/o divulging "secrets" if she chooses). I wrote to Chris Rush and he wrote me back right away...

Me being grouchy...
Chuas
;)

Ok, this on her blog:
"My work is created by blending and fixing multiple layers of pencil and pastel, graphite, black ink and white China Graph. The multiple layering of materials allows me to achieve a smooth, dreamy and ’smokey’ like appearance.”

So in other words, what Don suggested. Practice, practice, practice....

Not at all grouchy, Chuas, just accurate, IMHO.

I must have missed that piece about pencil,pastel, graphite, black ink and white china graph. Not sure what some of that is (white china graph?), but obviously she has a method that works for her, and she's not willing to share :lol: ! Ok by me, as I'd rather work with my own methods, and none of hers interest me right now.

Don is right, practice, practice, practice!, and then maybe come up with your own way!:D

ray7
09-22-2010, 01:22 PM
Not sure what some of that is (white china graph?),

China graph is a very soft pencil used in my past for marking routes on map overlays but does have other uses.

Ray

Ruthie57
09-22-2010, 01:41 PM
I'm a bit bemused because the link in the first post takes me to a site which seems full of adverts and links to other sites...nothing to do with art or pastels. Don't know if it's just me.......

ray7
09-22-2010, 01:46 PM
I'm a bit bemused because the link in the first post takes me to a site which seems full of adverts and links to other sites...nothing to do with art or pastels. Don't know if it's just me.......

Same here now but this morning it went to a very good artists site.

Ray

DAK723
09-22-2010, 02:31 PM
A chinagraph pencil is also known as a grease pencil or wax pencil. It might play a big part in her technique based on how light in value these paintings are.

Don

allydoodle
09-22-2010, 04:03 PM
A chinagraph pencil is also known as a grease pencil or wax pencil. It might play a big part in her technique based on how light in value these paintings are.

Don

Sounds like you might be right Don. I wonder how it's used with pastels if it's wax? She uses graphite too, which is also not something usually used with pastels. Definitely 'out of the box', and her work is impressive. She's definitely got some things figured out!

BTW, I cannot get on the site again either. This morning was fine, now it goes to something else - weird.

Paula Ford
09-22-2010, 08:28 PM
The link isn't working for me either.

LisaDoodleHead
09-23-2010, 12:36 AM
Hi all. I missed that blurb. I looked up the chinagraph pencil. Very interesting. Also been doing some reading on papers. I don't like the use of sandpaper, so I am buying watercolor to use my pastels on. Instead of buying brushed from Jerrysartarama, where I get most of my supplies, I noticed that Walmart has quite a number of excellent makeup brushes for professional use. They are high quality fibers, natural and synthetic ones. Since I am in college, I think this is a great way to stay within my budget. So, the Girault pastels are really soft, eh? Guess I will go look them up. I have some Faber-Castell. I plan on doing some mouth and eye studies with them. I'll post results.

Tisiphone
09-23-2010, 03:18 AM
Thanks, LDH! I would never have seen her work had you not started this post. It's interesting the combination of materials she uses to achieve that dreamy look. She must have the golden touch!

ray7
09-23-2010, 05:07 AM
The link is going to the correct site again.

Ray

chewie
09-23-2010, 10:39 PM
having her values so very close give the effect. what she uses to get to her desired finish is almost irrelevant, to me. you could do this with many materials.

in this case, i think using colored pencil over a pastel 'wash' and maybe more pastel or that white pencil thingie, for her frosty finish. possibly using a liquid to make it smoother too.

certainly an interesting way to work. very unique, and has a real feeling to it.

BecWinnel
09-23-2010, 11:55 PM
Hello Lisa!

So so sorry for not replying to your email. I'm so behind with emails. Because I work full time I only get a few hours each night to draw and the last few months have been crazy busy with getting ready for two exhibitions. I'm only catching up on my emails now, from January :(

I'm self taught, so I don't really know what I'm doing... or feel I have a technique worked out, except for my earlier pencil only pieces. Even those girls were lots of trial and error and after a few years I felt I had something down pack as a 'technique'.

The newer pastel pieces I'm working on at the moment are lots of trial and error, getting used to a new medium. I'm pretty much using whatever works at the moment until I get a feel for it :)

I'm not very good at explaining things, but I'll give it a go, hopefully it will be of some help :) On my website, I've posted a couple of animated gifs to try and show how I work.

For the pencil pieces, I find a combo of Epson Archival Matte Paper and Faber Castel pencils work best. The Epson paper I discovered by accident one day. Desperate to do a drawing, it was the only paper I had on hand. I fell in love with it! It has a super fine, velvet like finish. I guess any other brand of matte photographic paper would have a similar surface. Only problem with it is, you can't use an eraser, it only makes a disgusting dirty smudge! The Faber Castel pencils have the best consistency I found... Primsma colours gripped to quickly yet I use the black in this brand because it is so pigmented. Great for getting really deep black in the eyes :) The Fabers are not too waxy.

I start by gently laying down a very thin layer of pencil, so it is still kind of floating on the surface, and then I use a tissue to blend it in. Do this a few times and then 'fix' it on the paper and repeat the process, so you are building up lots and lots of thin layers :) Hope this makes sense. I use a white china graph pencil at the end, to finish off the highlights. I found this to have the most pigment and density of all white pencils I've tried from the art shop! Sometimes, I'll use a little bit of white acrylic in the highlights too.

I've been approaching the soft pastel pieces the same way. On the first piece however, I started doing some pencil work on the cheek, and then, when I went to put pastel over the pencil, it so didn't grip. Lesson learnt! Put pencil on at the very end! I'm finding it's good to start with the lighter colours first and leave the darks until the end because they are so hard to lighten if you make a mistake. On my first pastel piece, I used my fingers to smudge the pastels. Not so happy with how it turned out. I'm trying to apply the pastel with a tissue on my current piece. It's all still so much trial and error, but it's so much fun (and sometimes stressful) learning a new medium.

I pretty much have been trying to create the whole piece with soft pastels, and then using pastel pencils and coloured pencils to come in and do finer detail like in the eyes and mouth, at the end. Fixative is my best friend... I use it constantly once I have worked an area out.

Paper wise, for pastel work, I've used watercolour paper, a sandpaper like texture, and Canson paper. The watercolour paper, once worked on a bit, make lots of little fibres of the paper stick out. Half way through my first piece, I had to finely sand her!!! That was scary. Not sure what I think of the sandpaper paper... you can definitely build up layers easily, but getting superfine detail is difficult. So far, I think the Canson paper is the best. It's pretty smooth and strong.

So I guess my technique is trial and error!

I really hope this helps, feel free to ask me anything, if something is not clear and you would like clarification :)

:heart:xo

PS. My website was down because I forgot to pay the bill! It's back now. Sorry for any inconveniences! Still trying to organise and balance my crazy busy life.

Paula Ford
09-24-2010, 01:19 AM
Bec, Welcome to Wetcanvas and the Pastel Forum! Thank you so much for sharing all the information about your process and materials!!

BecWinnel
09-24-2010, 02:01 AM
Bec, Welcome to Wetcanvas and the Pastel Forum! Thank you so much for sharing all the information about your process and materials!!

Thank you Paula. My pleasure!

ray7
09-24-2010, 04:02 AM
Welcome Bec. A set technique or not what you are doing works. Your paintings look fantastic.

Ray

DAK723
09-24-2010, 01:50 PM
Welcome Bec and thanks for the information. As someone who has done lots of faces and figures, I am very impressed by your work. Very beautiful!

Don

Phil Bates
09-25-2010, 07:03 PM
I think a lot has to do with the smoothness of the paper. It could be Bristol. That would make for some very smooth blending. Of course, the tradeoff is almost no tooth for layering.

Phil

Potoma
09-26-2010, 12:26 PM
Congrats, Bec, on creating such beautiful work. I love when pastels become multimedia.

Phil Bates
09-26-2010, 09:43 PM
I think a lot has to do with the smoothness of the paper. It could be Bristol. That would make for some very smooth blending. Of course, the tradeoff is almost no tooth for layering.

Phil


um...guess I should have read the whole thread. Nice work!

Phil

BecWinnel
09-27-2010, 10:38 PM
um...guess I should have read the whole thread. Nice work!

Phil

Hehe, not to worry! I have not tried Bristol Paper yet, sounds nice, must give it a try soon :)

LisaDoodleHead
09-29-2010, 03:02 PM
OH! Hello, Ms. Winnel! I am so startled to see you on here; I just caught my breath! I never thought that I would be "taking" to you here. You are such an inspiration and your work is jaw dropping for me. I cannot thank you enough for sharing what you do to create such master pieces. I am in my first year of college and showed your work to a friend. Everyone is blown away with what you do. I am taking your work to our Professor to show him. Thank you for letting me ask you questions. I soooo appreciate you. Can we still buy prints of your work?

Kathryn Wilson
10-25-2010, 06:25 PM
Nope, you can have instant notifications sent when someone replies to your post.

Go to - Home
Go to - My WC
Go to - Edit Options
Scroll down to email options and pick what you want to happen

BecWinnel
10-26-2010, 06:58 PM
Nope, you can have instant notifications sent when someone replies to your post.

Go to - Home
Go to - My WC
Go to - Edit Options
Scroll down to email options and pick what you want to happen

Thank you Kathryn! Xo