View Full Version : Weekly Pastel Sketches Feb. 17 - 23

02-17-2003, 07:18 AM
In the Oil Painting and Colored Pencil Forum, they have been starting a thread every week to post sketches. The Oil Painting thread stems from a book entitled 60 Minutes to Better Painting, by Craig Nelson.

Exerts from the book:

How does one become a better painter? This is perhaps the most commonly asked question by students of all levels.The answer is just paint or brush mileage. In our case...pastel stroke mileage:D As simplistic as it sounds, it's the truth. Studying basic principles and methods are helpful, but there is nothing like experiencing the feel of it. Granted, there must be study and careful perception, but the old line "Practice makes perfect" carries a lot of weight here.

Craig recommends Quick Studies...quick studies allow for no over-working, or overthinking, but utilize basic studied knowledge and begin to bring this to a more intuitive state. By painting quick studies you will:
Break inhibitions.
Not be afraid of mistakes.
Learn the differences between line and mass
Understand how to see
Get started when procrastinating on what to do, how big, etc., do a study
Learn, explore and enjoy!

Basic time frames: Craig recommends 3 basic time frames. 25-30 minutes, 40-45 minutes, and 60 minutes. Small sizes, 8x10, 9x12..whatever you feel would justify your subject and time frame...USE A TIMER...when it goes off...put the pastels down...chuckle..chuckle..that can be very hard to do:D

The main idea is to practice without the pressure of producing a precious finished piece. Subject matter can be as simple as objects like a can full of brushes, a couple of onions, a couple of books, a flower from your garden, or a photo....lanscape, still life. portrait...The pressure of not doing a finished painting is the best part of this learning experience.

If we keep all of our sketches in a weekly thread..it won't take up much room in the posts...there is a full week to squeeze in 1 or 2, or as many as you want to do..share your sketch..your reference..if you want to...the time spent and anything you learned from this adventure...encouragement for continued sketching is definitly welcomed...critiques only if you ask..so don't be nervous about posting something that's quick...your sketch may be a prelude to a finished piece of work...or just plain fun...

For this week each of us do our own thing...if you want we could suggest for next week a certain composition, or color scheme, or a pic for reference...I know the ideas will be plentiful...

Hope you participate....and share:D

02-17-2003, 07:29 AM
I'm so excited about doing these...in the oil painting forum we are learning sooo much...I got up early this morning and sketched this piece...For me what I am trying to learn is how to use the pastels without blending...so that's the goal I pushing for...plus to understand the beauty of this medium better...

9x12, Ingres, color; light blue..sketched from life...25 minutes...if you use the timer..the first couple of times you do this..at least I found myself always sneaking a peek at that timer....and feeling the pressure of that!...but you do get used to it...it challenges you...

I didn't blend anything!!!!..with my fingers that is..I miixed the pastels into each other...palette..blues and burnt sienna...purple and yellow...Art Spectrum Pastels


:) Looking forward to your sketches!!!

02-17-2003, 08:30 AM
Robin, what a beautiful picture ~ did you really achieve this in only 25 minutes? I'm only just starting out with pastel, so having a colour scheme or a reference photo as a guide for the weekly sketches would be very helpful, as I would be able to compare my attempts with those of the experienced pastellists here and get an insight into how to approach the subject, what kind of strokes to use, and so on.

Can I ask what colour you used for the shadows on the left-hand side of this piece? I can't tell if the image has just scanned or photographed very dark, or if you've used a dark green or blue there.

02-17-2003, 09:15 AM
E-J...oh it would be such a great learning experience....I wanted to get a feel for the interest for this thread...I could supply a few pics...In the oil painting forum you could get some ideas...a simple onion, I painted a glass of milk and an egg....you could just sketch an egg...something simple to start with...try a couple of things on your own for this week...then if anyone needs a reference..i could supply some...if you really need something to start with...I'll do it this week...painting from life is the best...be adventurous...see what you can find...the main thing is don't feel pressure...relax and don't worry about the result...have fun with the process...

The dark color actually is a deep purple with a dark blue on top...

I have faith in ya...hope you participate:)

02-17-2003, 09:20 AM
Sunny, what a wonderful start! Methinks you've set a very high bar, but I'm going to give it a try....hopefully today if I get to stop shoveling long enough!

I chuckled when you said the part about the timer and putting down the pastels. You and I haven't been too good about that part over in the oils forum, have we? LOL......

If anybody wants to check out the sketches thread in the oils forum too, here's the link:


02-17-2003, 09:34 AM
Hi Sunny ....... Im wiv ya on this one :D ..... sitting here on my lunchbreak at home lol ..... I think this will be an EXCELLENT continual thread .... well done you and Jamie :clap:

I too am with E-J ..... think it would be excellent for the newer people hee hee ..... erm thats including moi ... if there is some sort of direction .... suggested things to paint ... or colour schemes... something like that....... I tried a still life lol other night.... took me 3 hours to set anything up :(( hee heee

... Im amazed at your pastel (well I always am of your work) .... but have a question .... I dont really understand the time frame thing...... what is it that you are trying to do ..... Im not sure where'd I put my energies..... in getting it finished... or choosing the setup ..... depicting the right angle or elipse .... help!!

.... had a thought ..... could have a set up to practise from .... use it again and again... first for speed... then improvements on colour ..... composition ..... could post your improvements...... sorry lol Im thinking to myself here :D

Ok Im off back to work..... someone please give me some direction lol ..... Im coming back in tonight :)

02-17-2003, 10:01 AM
Count me in Sunny, this will be an excellent way to practise, gives one a motivation too, as how many of us just sit and stare at the paper and not attempt to practise, but go ahead with trying to produce that elusive masterpiece, then get a little frustrated and down when things go wrong after hours and hours of painting? :)

So all power to the elbow so to speak, and what a marvellous start you have made, I've seen what has been achieved on the oil forum too and how you all encourage and help each other.
I think its a grand idea and thanks for doing this for us.


02-17-2003, 10:27 AM
You are right Jamie....but we are disciplined artists now aren't we...hee:D

Dark Shades, the reason for the timer...which you don't have to use....it is just a reminder that you are limiting your time.

Quote: " A painting limited to 25 to 60 minutes will force the painter to make important decisions quickly. This shorter time frame alters the finished mental approach to painting, and gives way to a more abbreviated mental approach. It makes your paintings more relaxed and fluid. Suddenly the responsibility of being perfect or finished is relieved." from Craig Nelson.

Just like Mo is saying...staring at the paper waiting for the masterpiece..in essence..or like you are saying,,,not knowing what to paint.

Thats why I think it would be defeating in this thread to post reference material....doing this sketching will help you find things to paint...the ordinary becomes a subject..the composition or the colors...etc...becomes your painting..I think it will help enormously with the question..what can I paint..It will cut down that time frame of setting up the perfect still life...or finding the perfect landscape..because not only will you be practicing with your medium...you will be discovering the beautiful paintings in what is around you....

Maybe another type of thread could be started on lessons...where there is a reference pic posted....where you could work out the questions surrounding that particular piece....I don't think I am qualified to do that....lets try this first..see what happens....maybe someone with a little more technical knowledge would want to start the other kind of thread..?

02-17-2003, 11:54 AM
Just a few comments to add here....

These quick sketches are such a good opportunity to paint an object from life. I think much, much less is to be learned from using a photo reference, which already does so much of the work and interpretation for you. By starting with a photo, you limit your ability to use the quick sketches as an opportunity to learn to draw from life. Paint one orange on a plate, or an apple on a dishrag. Remember the colorful peppers that everybody was painting in this forum not too long ago? These would all be excellent short sketches to learn from.

One of the things I've enjoyed the most about these sketches in the oils forum is that on the days when I don't have time to work on a major piece, I can do a sketch and still feel like I've accomplished something productive. Finding that balance between a sketch and a major work is tough! My last two sketches proved to be too much material for sketches, and they took too long to fill my goal of something quick and easy with a single goal in mind....which brings me to your point, Dawn.

Picking a single element for improvement or accomplishment is a wonderful idea. My first one was a study in the complements of blue and orange, using only cobalt blue and cadmium orange (and white) for the sketch. My second was purple and yellow, again using two colors. My third was a limited palette of earth tones. Those were really fun, and stopped me from spending too much time trying to pick my colors too!

Dawn, regarding composition.....When I first started to do still lifes, it would take me two days to select a composition. No kidding. With practice it does go faster! I still love to play around with all the options though!

Have fun!


02-17-2003, 11:56 AM
Well, that was incredibly stressful!!! Of course it could have been the 3 phone calls I got interrupting by concentration. Then having to stop the timer and.................................

But, anyway, 30 min. , no drawing, just scribble placement. Set-up with light. 9x12 violet canson. Whew!!!!!!

02-17-2003, 12:04 PM
no image. I certainly won't go through this again. Will post it at a later time. Thank you.

02-17-2003, 12:14 PM
:( Feel your stress gmc....looking forward to seeing your sketch..I lose patience sometimes to when the image doesn't post...any fun sneak into that stress?

It does become fun..i promise..:)

02-17-2003, 01:43 PM
try again

02-17-2003, 02:00 PM
Many thanks Sunny and Jamie..... I am looking forward to this alot... been thinking about it at work hee hee .. wish had day light hours to work in .. :( .... Ive been peeking in on that oil forum thread Jamie.... its brilliant .. all your works have truly taken on a different level lately and am really enjoying viewing your works.... yes I think thats where Im getting stuck .... sort of ... hmmm its got to be something special to paint! ..... and then I see something like Sunny has done.... a simple jug .... and it looks beautiful .... Ok Im off :) .... bbl

Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 02:18 PM
I saw this idea while lurking in the colored pencil forum. It both intrigues and terrifies me...I'm such a pokey pete! I love the idea of just challenging ourselves to "do it, darn it". Count me in! I have to go get a timer...

02-17-2003, 02:25 PM
Yahoo! Sounds like a great way to get over that staring at the blank canvas phenomenon. I'm in and will try to get back by the end of the day with a post. Dare me and it may work faster.

Now if I can get David to tolerate the timer going off in the background without tossing out of the window... I'll be all set.


02-17-2003, 02:27 PM
I dare you, Barb! :evil:


02-17-2003, 02:53 PM
double dare ya Barb:evil: :evil:

Jamie, thanks for explaining better than I...you have a way with words as well as with the brush...:)

gmc...I'm sending you good posting energy..4th times the charm...;)

Mikki...Dark Shades...Mo...Barb...Jamie.....E-J......tick, tick, tick, tick....:evil:

02-17-2003, 03:53 PM
8 x10....45 minutes....Dark Shades..how do you do such beautiful paintings on ivory paper?....Thats what took up most of the time...the ivory was showing thru the deep blue....had a reason for selecting the ivory....but for the life of me..can't remember why....
Complimantary colors...blues..burnt sienna...orange...yellow ochre and purple....

SHHHH...I blended:rolleyes:




E-J, Dark Shades....I photgraphed some of the stages....onions, napkin, cloth....simple subjects....don't know yet if I like the composition....but if you want to see some of the process..I'll post in a seperate thread....

02-17-2003, 04:04 PM

#1 - disaster - don't ask


#2 - 30 minutes - a bit too tight


#3 20 minutes - looser but accurate?

Thanks for the Dares and double dares!!!!


02-17-2003, 04:11 PM
3 hrs. later 3rd try.

02-17-2003, 04:13 PM
Oooh Sunny, love your choice of pallette, glad those onions are still in their skins, or my eyes would be watering here, they are so good! :)

Barb you have done so well in 30 mins...... like your flowers, the first one is it a cloth of sorts?
Better go and raid the pantry see what I can come up with. Haven't got a timer, so I'll use the alarm clock instead. :D


Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 04:20 PM
Sunny, those onions are beauties. Can't believe it was done in such a short time.

Barb, I like both versions of the flowers. I don't think you lost any accuracy in the looser version, it just looks more painterly.

I feel so bad for you, gmc. Are you using the uploader? I quit even trying to attach pics to posts. It seems to fail more often than it works. The uploader is a much more reliable method plus you can post multiple pics in one message.

02-17-2003, 04:26 PM
Sunny, love the colors in both pieces and especially the serenity feel in the mug. It was a great thing to wake up to and inspire me today. You are quick!!!

Mo, Yes the first one is a pair of jeans.

Hey Mikki I thought I was going to be slower than you in getting my own timer but I guess not.

I think I'll make this a regular practice. In my oil painting class we have to take a 16 x 20" canvas and divide it up and do 4 of these studies for 45 minutes each. They are great practice.


02-17-2003, 04:28 PM
Barb:clap: ...I love all three!!!....there really isn't any right or wrong way....loose or tight....depends on how you feel...even what you called your disaster....at least pastel was getting down on paper....and thats one of the keys to this.

How did you feel about the time element? Did you do quick sketches before?...I never really did...I kinda jump right in to a finished piece...i find this to be so freeing in a way...unless I was doing a plein aire piece...where as Carly is so proficient in her work...her sketch usually is her finished piece...where mine would be my sketch for a larger work back in the studio. Sometimes finishing the sketch in the studio or starting a new piece from the sketch....

I really feel this practice is going to benefit my work...in many ways...

By the way, nice to have you back home...and sharing your spirit with us...:)

02-17-2003, 04:43 PM

Well, Sunny, you said no help/critiques unless asked for...so I'm begging....Anybody!!! I think maybe pastels don't like me. This is 5X7 on Mi Tientes, Rembrandt and my new Unison pastels. Took waaaaay too long---45 minutes. I thought I was gonna throw up more than once. LOL.... Groan.... Somebody please give me some advice!

Of course, Sunny, when I came to this thread and saw you did onions too, and how totally exquisite yours are, I almost lost my courage to post this! But it's a learning experience, right?

All I can say is....doing a 5X7 with pastels is like painting a three inch canvas with a four inch wide brush. Here's my effort:



02-17-2003, 04:48 PM
Barb, I really like your flowers! You're right that daring you works well. After all, you were double dared, and we got three out of you! So fast too.

I wanted to do flowers....but they looked so hard. Couldn't figure out how I'd do them with those big fat pastels sticks. Then I tried the onion with a printed dishtowel. Still looked too hard. Finally I settled on just the onion. Maybe I should have done a ghost in a snowstorm! Or a black cat at night!


02-17-2003, 05:11 PM
:clap: Great job Jamie!!!!

At least we did it - right?

I think you are far to critical on your work. Your onion is great and I could only hope to complete that in 45 minutes time.

I personally found the time to go by slower than I had hoped it would. Perhaps I wasn't "in the moment" all the time which can impact my art I've found.

With oil painting class tonight, I think I'll do a few more of these in oil.

PS: Don't tell Sunny but mine were done on 8 x 10" paper.


02-17-2003, 05:26 PM
Jamie, Sunny,
I guess I have a lot more free time on my hands since I don't have to go shovel snow. Yikes are you guys getting a good storm.

May the winds blow it away fast.


02-17-2003, 05:41 PM
.... there always has to be one rotten apple eh :( ..... well here I am..... ..... was going to give myself.... an hour.... or 30mins ... ... then saw how it was going ... sooooo after 25!!! I stopped ...... thought ..... whats the point :p .... this is total rubbish!!... did I learn anything... yeah... I cant paint..... cant paint quicker than I need to go.... if you dont know any better all you are doing is practising doing it wrong.... and getting there quicker at it!!!


... what do I do now..... the same thing again? ... for longer? .... just go to bed?.......


only you could make Onions so beautiful Sunny lol ...... love yours as well Jamie.... Barb love both your flowers

02-17-2003, 05:42 PM

Don't feel badly. This happened before in bad weather.

I am enjoying seeing what the rest of you are posting.

"I am enjoying the process!!!!!!!!":D :D


02-17-2003, 05:45 PM
... do you use those boxes to set things up with.... most of the time? .... and what lighting do you use Sunny .... yours always have such a warm glow to them

02-17-2003, 05:47 PM
Barb is right Jamie..you are far to critical of yourself...Your onion is perfect....take a whif....lovely essence...that otta help with that upset tummy of yours...;)

The only suggestion I have is to add to your shadow...I tryed to put into words my suggestion..but it's easier for me to show you...hope you don't mind...


I added value of your green from the onion, plus some of the brownish reds...to the shadow...than added from a lighter shade on the onion..over the back light blue....it just gives some warmth to the shadows and pulls the piece together more...of course it will look better when you do it..because you have the right colors...just a suggestion...

SHHHH..Barb I hear some whispering going on.....what did you say?:rolleyes: ;)

02-17-2003, 06:08 PM
Hey Dawn - you still awake???? Get up out of that bed and do another drawing.

Don't get discouraged. If I quit after my first one it wouldn't have been posted. Look at that thing.

So... be encouraged and take it easy and keep working on them a little at a time. I really think Sunny and Jamie have something here in doing this regularly.

By the way - I also found that I quit before the timer went off.


PS - Sunny I just dug out 6"x8" canvas boards to practice on. I'll post those on the oil forum if I get up the guts.

I also want to know about the box set up and lighting.

02-17-2003, 06:14 PM
Dark Shades...the banana peels and the egg shell are rubbish....not your sketch.
You better keep this sketch..because you are going to get this....and keep improving...I know it...there is nothing wrong with this... You want to be more realistic...and you will....your egg looks good..love the colors in the cloth....

You have to remember you are fairly new to the color of paper and some of the pastels you are using...just relax...big breath...you also are too hard on yourself.

I use the still life box when I am viewing the set up at eye level, From my reference pic..you can see my point of view is looking down on the setup like yours....For both views I use a regular 60 watt light bulb...it does cast a yellow glow..I like it because it seems to me that it adds additional colors to my shadows and highlights...some may not like that...

Drawing from life takes some getting used to....but it is the best way to learn...
In Craig Nelsons book he brings up an interesting point..Musicians must constantly practice scales and difficult passages to improve their skill level and to keep them sharp. Top opera singers perform vocal exercises daily...a basketball player may shoot 2 or 3 hundred shots a day for the sake of practice.

if you look at it that way..artists need that practice too.....

I hope you keep doing this Dark Shades....tomorrow..just do the egg on a cloth...don't try and get too detailed...

I know you're going to laugh at me..but I love the abstract nature of your sketch...it's lovely jubbely:D

02-17-2003, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by bnoonan

I also want to know about the box set up and lighting.


Barb, those guts are in you..hee hee...hope you join us..the still life box is really great...

02-17-2003, 06:27 PM
Thanks Sunny but I'm afraid David is going to blow a gasket if I bring yet another box and stuff into this room. You have to understand my "studio" is 1/3 of the bedroom. You know - the part that isn't covered by the bed and the furniture? Just what we need - a huge box to set up. Ok, he's out of the apartment right now. If I go find a small box, maybe there's a chance he won't notice it. hmmm... wish me luck.


02-17-2003, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Dark_Shades
[Bwas going to give myself.... an hour.... or 30mins ... ... then saw how it was going ... sooooo after 25!!! I stopped ...... thought ..... whats the point :p .... this is total rubbish................ what do I do now..... the same thing again? ... for longer? .... just go to bed?........[/B]

Oh, Dawn, don't you go and get discouraged now! I think you picked a real challenge to take on several objects in a fast sketch. It's very interesting for me to see this piece at this stage because all my pieces, especially portraits, go through what I call the "Ugly Duckling Stage". I find that when I think it's so ugly it can't get any worse, it starts to get better. My suggestion, if you don't want to have a go at the same one again, would be not to overburden yourself. Pick one item---just a banana, or some single object and just do that---on a plain white cloth. I think if I'd taken on any more than just the single onion, I'd be hospitalized by now.


02-17-2003, 06:50 PM
This isn't a sketch..but I though I would lighten the mood a little....

We got so much snow..I made a castle out of my deck...I don't need a moat for my castle though..because the guard artist is on duty...:D


Lots of snow:eek: :D


02-17-2003, 07:19 PM
ok ..... I tried again...... this time sat with it on my lap :p :D .... actually did a ROUGH sketch ..... and took 45mins appx ..... which has knocked off aroun 3 hours at least of normal times lolol - hope there is some improvement in my 'orange' hee heee - thanks Jamie, Barb and Sunny for your encouragements ..... will try not to be so whingey tomorrow lolol .... wont bore you with anymore tonight..... its 11.30pm and Im off to bed


.... will probably get indigestion with all this fruit...... well at least it wasnt an apple lol ..... Thanks Jamie..... tomorrow its gonna be an egg on a cloth :) ...... ohhhhh by the way are you meant to work on these after the time is up ...... thought just throw them away ;) ..... you are right sunny ...... got loads of new things going on here.... easel.... pastels.... trying so hard to get realistic and now working the other way lol

02-17-2003, 07:31 PM
Dawn, there you go! 'Getting better already! :D Looking forward to the egg and cloth.

Barb, I use a box setup too....but last night I needed a second setup and I did something that might work well for you too! I'll try to take a pic for you later or tomorrow. I used the top of a cabinet in my studio, put a box on the top to raise the height, then a board on top of that. Then I opened up an empty pizza box and set it on its side so that it formed two right angle walls. Draped cloth over the top. Used an incandescent lamp pointed at it at a 45 degree angle. Worked like a charm. I will post a pic soon. I viewed the onion in the still life box though because I can't yet change the cabinet-top setup, so I removed the other setup that was in the box.

Sunny, wow, I hear you guys in Pennsylvania are the hardest hit so far! But we can't be far behind. Here's the scene from my window as of two hours plus ago. We've had plenty more snow since then! Fortunately we're having a heat wave and the temp has risen to about 20 degrees F (lol), so there's a lot more open water for the duckies than there was yesterday.


Oh---and I love your sign!


02-17-2003, 07:33 PM
DS, your fruits are ace ~ I thought the first one was good anyway, but full marks for going back to the drawing board! :) The colours in the cloth really make it a lively image.

Here's my 25-minute egg... Apologies for the colour, which is a bit reddish as it was after 11pm when I finished and I only had the artificial light in the little room where I do my art to take the photo by. It looks slightly better in real life ~ honest!

I'm pleased with it as this is the first object I've ever done in pastel.


02-17-2003, 07:39 PM
Well gang I'm hanging my head in shame here, looking at all these great efforts, I ashamed to say I chickened, and went and wtched TV instead. :crying: :p . I've never painted a still life in my life before, does it have to be a still life? Can I paint my dog, bird, or worse still hubby? He might just take on the appearance of an onion who knows? :D

Dawn you are so courageous, I think you will go from strength to strength, you've done great girl.:clap:

Jamie I love your onion, it's making me cry with grief 'cos I can't paint one that good.

Sunny shall I nip over there and help clear the snow, :D Better do something to redeem myself, and poor Geri, still on the outside looking in, :) Well there's always tomorrow, .... that's a song isn't it? :D

I will I promise do something tomorrow. Love that box affair, got to get one.


02-17-2003, 07:40 PM
Sunny, thank you so much for helping me out with the shadows. That shadow was driving me bonkers. It's much better the way you've shown it.

EJ, way to go with your first pastel! Congratulations! The onion is #4 for me, so I'm thrilled to see another Newbie here.


02-17-2003, 07:46 PM
E-J Many thanks for the encouragements .... and from you to Mo .... lol I thought you was still munching your way through the larder hee hee ..... no ya gotta do a still life..... and hubby watching tv doesnt count .. ok ;) .... come on .... its a challenge :D

.... hey guys .... love the pics of the snow....... am sooooo jealous

E-J I think your egg is brilliant....... and only 25 mins .... well done.... I like the colour it appears on the screen too .... it has shape and form and depth ....... good one ..... what you doing for tomorrow ? :)

..... Im going off to bed now...... honest :evil: .... its midnight

02-17-2003, 08:00 PM
:clap: :clap: Way to go dawn...!!!don't throw them away...work on them more if you want..There are no rules...;) :D

can't wait to see your egg....until tomorrow..

02-17-2003, 08:17 PM
Gee I was in the middle of posting to Dawn..got a phone call, came back...and look at all these posts!

E-J......what can I say....EXCELLENT!!! or should I say EGGSELLENT...quess I'm getting a little punchy...you should be pleased with it..nice soft edges, beautiful reflective shadow in the table...your colors work very well...like I said in your other thread...you are going to do wonders with this medium...

Mo, you can sketch whatever you feel most comfortable with....working from life is the best....still lifes seem to work quite well for me...cause we have a wee bit of a weather problem for plein aire..portraits good too...see ya tomorrow:)

proud of ya Dawn:) Night...

Jamie, didn't realize that was #4....very impressive...
thats' a pretty scene from your window....we got 23 inches so far....and we are snowed in...Have a mile dirt lane.....so glad I went to the market yesterday...I now have plenty of friut and veggies to paint!

Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 08:26 PM
ROFLMAO, Sunny...That must be the truest mark of an artist! When closed in by a blizzard, is grateful for the recent trip to market, not for food and supplies but to be sure there is plenty of fruit and veggies to paint! I cracked up reading that! Even though I sit here in CA where we are seldom bothered by such concerns, I remember all the hard winters in North Dakota and in Massachusetts. Only miss the snow at Christmas.

Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 09:12 PM
Okay you speed freaks...here is what I can produce in 30 minutes. Not much! It is a tipped urn on my front porch. 6x8 inches done with pastel pencils on sketch paper.
My goals for participating in the weekly sketches will be to learn to keep my fingers out of the pigment (probably hopeless, I even get my fingers into it with acrylics) and to learn to capture an image faster so I can spend a little more time fine tuning.

Mikki Petersen
02-17-2003, 09:15 PM
That brown staining on the edges of the image are from my scanner. don't know if the light is burning out or what. Also this was done en plein aire, my first, and in the thrity minutes I was working on it the darned sun set! Also I managed to create a shadow where none was intended. Oh well, it's a first.

02-17-2003, 09:45 PM
Mikki, nice job on the perspective. I like the way you worked so many colors in. Nice choices. Working for speed is a worthy goal!

Barb, here's that other still life setup I rigged up. I'll be able to use larger objects with this one than the enclosed box. I had nothing to clip the light to, so I brought in an extra music stand I had and clipped the light to the top! Hope you can see how this was done---I tried to get pics from a view that would show everything:



And here's my still life box setup (This is what I used for the onion):

Barb, please do post your oil sketches in the oils forum thread!


02-17-2003, 09:47 PM
Well, I'm very impressed with your sketches and think this is a wonderful idea. I'll try to participate whenever I can. Right now I have to get over being mad at my pastels for the lame job they did on my last painting! But that won't last.

02-17-2003, 11:49 PM
Just wanted to tell everyone how much I've enjoyed this thread! The quick sketches are what I call pochades (small quick sketches painted plein air or from life as you've done) Sometimes I do one to warm up before painting on a new site. I'll focus in on a small spot and work quickly to catch the light and the shadows...then I'll begin on my larger work. The colors will already be handy and it gives me a sense of being there more than just viewing the scene.

I was going to paint some eggs...my husband buys the brown kind...but there were none in the fridge! LOL....so I'll find something tomorrow to work on...it's getting late. Time for my glass of wine and warm blankets!


02-18-2003, 02:21 AM
You people are incredible! This thread definitely wasn't here last night when I went to bed after 2 hours of WC-obsessing, and here I get home from work and you've all been posting and painting and building still-life boxes and lighting set-ups and photographing the snow (you sure got buried there in PA, but it's still minus 30 degrees here so you're not the only ones suffering) and painting and posting and getting discouraged and trying again....!!! You're all nuts, and I want to be in on it! Starting first thing in the morning - oops, it's already morning here, and I'm not nearly finished obsessing yet - starting as soon as I can squeeze in 4 or 5 hours sleep.:evil:

02-18-2003, 04:00 AM
Jamie thanks for sharing and showing your set ups .... they are very helpful....... lol loved your idea with the pizza box :) .... and that light .... yeah I think I have something similiar ..... Ok tonight its gonna be an egg ..... family can eat pizza while I paint hee hee

02-18-2003, 11:00 AM
What's special about 2-23-03?


Drapier asked me to share. :D

02-18-2003, 01:22 PM
Mikki...speed freaks....I am so pokey..kind of feels good lumped together with speed freaks...good goal you set for yourself...its difficult to do....we will be slapping those fingers:D along with mine...your first sketch...looks great!! Did you enjoy working from life?...

angecald...NUTS? did you say nuts...hummm....can add those to my next still life....glad you are joining us:)

Carly..never heard that word pochades..and thats used for still life sketches also?
You're always teaching us something new...the glass of wine and warm blankets sounds might fine...so someone was nibbling on those eggs....brown eggs...can't wait...I know its going to be brilliant...

jamie...you have lots going on in that studio...looks grand...like the musical clamp light stand...artists are so creative...and resourceful...Like the pizza box idea too...

Well Dawn....I feel like I'm egging you on....:D hope you are having fun:) :)

Mikki Petersen
02-18-2003, 01:43 PM
Sunny, it was a novelty sitting on the porch drawing. Haven't done that since I was a kid. The frustrating thing was having the sun go down while I was working! I mean, could I have timed that any more poorly? I plan on getting into plein aire painting this year. I have seen clearly the difference it makes in the artistic eye. Now I just have to drag my lazy butt out the door...

02-18-2003, 05:18 PM
.... well I had an accident :) ..... I was merrily working away and I dropped the painting.... and smudged it on my lap, I had been working on it for about 25mins or so when disaster struck lol ... so spent another 20mins trying to work the mess :P ... so just started playing around with the colours on the napkin ..... I did rather enjoy doing this one ..... and will do another at some time :)


02-18-2003, 05:23 PM
Dawn, this is wonderful! Feel better now? I love your blues and purples, and that egg looks ready for my frying pan.


02-18-2003, 05:33 PM
thanks Jamie ... yup lol...... Im quite liking the idea of doing (relative for me :) ) quick ones ..... and the simple ideas ...... its rather enjoyable :D ..... lol but I still keep thinking, IF I had more time.... I perhaps could do it better :) - the sun was shining so brightly when I came home lunchtime... I quickly set up a couple of still lifes ..... the photos came out quite good so will try those out too ...... its always dark time I come home from work at night :(

02-18-2003, 05:58 PM
Well I promisied Dawn I'd do an egg, put one egg on the cloth, but it looked lonely, so I had to make things harder didn't I. Anyhoooo, here they are took 30 mins, no accuracy at all here, it's smudgy and messy, but it's done, guess they are pretty hard boiled by now! :D


Be easy on me please! :D

forgot to add .... it,s so small too 8x10 inches, that's tiny for me. :D


02-18-2003, 06:05 PM
Mikki love your pot, I think that's the way to go with these quick ones using pastel pencils, well for me anyway, see my messy egg.:D

Dawn your egg is lovely, you've done a good job on that, glad you are enjoying the experience, but next time you gotta be quicker. :D Just joking.


02-18-2003, 06:08 PM
Mo, 30 minutes including the background? That background cloth alone would take me hours! Nice sketch! :D


02-18-2003, 06:09 PM
I spare no mercies ...... and take nooooo prisoners :evil: :D ... I think you did really good Mo, especially in the time .... love the cloth actually some wonderful colours in there and lights - you going to work on it some more? - and what you going to do for tomorrow?

Nice work Mikki..... thats a very unusual pot and angle to boot.... well done

02-18-2003, 06:15 PM
Dawn's egg is lovely, so smooth-looking. I do love black backgrounds ~ the pastels look supervibrant against the black paper.

Mo, I really like the way the light's shining off the folds of the cloth. It's helpful for me to see just how fresh pastels can look when not every mark has been blended to death ~ I'm finding it hard to keep my fingers off the paper!

02-18-2003, 06:17 PM
WOW Dawn...great sketch!!! Egg looks nice and safe and cradled in the safety of the napkin...:DNice shadows...did you use purple for the shadow of the egg? I'm excited for ya!!...I know you're going to love doing this....:clap:

Mo..go over easy on ya??? Nothing to say but GOOD STUFF!!!,,that cloth is sooo nice..love the lighting...

I'm finding that some of the simplest objects are making beautiful paintings..instead of searching for the perfect still life..the still lifes are finding me...they are right under my nose all the time..;)

02-18-2003, 06:26 PM
Jamie, you are far too kind. I guess I cheated a little because I sketched it all out in charcoal first, putting in all the shadows, then a quick fix and plunged in grabbing whatever pastel that looked right, must be honest I found it difficult to work out the colours in the shadows, I've not worked under a spotlight before, so it threw me a little. I like these quick sketches though really frees you up. :)

Originally posted by Dark_Shades
I spare no mercies ...... and take nooooo prisoners :evil: :D ... I think you did really good Mo, especially in the time .... love the cloth actually some wonderful colours in there and lights - you going to work on it some more? - and what you going to do for tomorrow?

Nice work Mikki..... thats a very unusual pot and angle to boot.... well done

Thanks Dawn.... You mean I have to do another one tomorrow? Oh noooooo! LOL! No won't work on it anymore, Ebay maybe? :evil: :p :D

Sunny; It really looks better for the downsizing :D I went looking for a big box today, but no luck, so try again tomorrow. Like that idea of the box set up.


02-18-2003, 06:28 PM
Thanks E-J ..... no picture from you tonight :( ... the black is lovely isnt it :) ..... colours stand alone

yup Sunny.... some purples.. blues and greys in shadow at back of egg :) .... and you are so right about...... looking for the perfect still life setting ...... lost all weekend hunting for the right thing ..... and such simple items are turning out so wonderfully .... hey just put my pastel on the mantlepiece out of harms way hee hee .... and from other side of the room....... it looks rather nice :D ... get rid of some of those blues at bottom

...... Sunny/Jamie..... no pics for you guys tonight :eek: :crying:

02-18-2003, 06:28 PM
Sorry E-J forgot to thank you too, I did some blending, but given the time I found if I continued I wouldn't finish, so good in that respect, stopped me over blending. :)

02-18-2003, 06:36 PM
Yes .... Mo..... It means you HAVE to do something tomorrow too ...... and that INCLUDES E-J .... she is getting away with it 2 nights running ;)

..... please someone suggest something for us to do - thanks :) or Mo will skiv off and watch TV :eek: :D

02-18-2003, 06:38 PM
Dawn...:crying: I actually went a day without painting....can't believe it...I tryed to get to my oil skeching today...but too busy digging out from all of the snow....
now I'll be dreaming paintings all night...:)

Charles Perera
02-18-2003, 06:38 PM
I like many of the paintings here. Those of Sunny are very attractive. Names of other artists, I cannot remember now.These Pseudo names are so complicated. I hope they are more simpler. Bnoonan, I remember , her painting too was good, I liked it...


02-18-2003, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by sunny
Dawn...:crying: I actually went a day without painting....can't believe it...I tryed to get to my oil skeching today...but too busy digging out from all of the snow....
now I'll be dreaming paintings all night...:)

:eek: ... feels Sunny's forehead...... takes temperature ... checks for pulse ;) ..... you have a bad case of being 'snow bound' :D

02-18-2003, 06:49 PM
Dawn, I did my sketch tonight ~ a 30-minute sketch of a coffee mug. Although I'm not thrilled with how it turned out, I've definitely learnt a few things from it. Apart from needing to resist the temptation to blend everything in sight, it might help me to use a lighter touch with the first applications ~ I'm too heavy-handed. It's tricky to get a decent photo of it in this artificial light, so I'll take it in the morning when I can catch the natural light and don't have to use a flash ~ however I won't have time to upload it before work, so what I'll do is wait a couple of days until I have two or three more pictures and take some pics of them to post up at the same time. It's just easier!

Your sketches, and Mo's, and the still lifes in Jackie's "Workbook" which I've started reading, are inspiring me that it is possible to make pastel pictures that have that fresh, 'untouched' look. Left only to the evidence of my own attempts, like tonight's, I would be a little discouraged and would probably have given up already, like I did years ago when the smudgy brown mess I kept repeatedly making convinced me that pastels were not a medium I could do much with.

02-18-2003, 06:57 PM
E-J ..... understand what you are saying...... working this way is TOTALLY new to me ..... and ALIEN as well lol - its literally the first time Ive tried anything like this ........ if you look at any of my threads, you will see what a departure it is for me .... and LOL why Im struggling so much ;) ..... yup know what you mean about light and work too :p ... time you get home its dark ..... well will look forward to seeing your work when you have time...... and from the two of yours Ive seen you are going to do really well - alot can be learned from just viewing and reading the threads

.... wishing you well :)

02-18-2003, 07:11 PM
I took a quick look at some of your threads, Dawn... you are prolific!!! There's one picture of fruits in a bowl which has really beautiful colours in it ~ and another of a wine glass which is very well rendered. I see that the black paper is a favourite with you. I started experimenting a while back with drawings on black paper ~ crayons, and white conté ~ I might just have to try a black background for my pastel sketch tomorrow :)

02-18-2003, 07:15 PM
Wow! Great Thread, Sunny! And Great Sketches too.

I hardly have any time to visit this forum let alone paint! But I've been INSPIRED by you all.

Here's my attempt. :( Not too good but I enjoyed it!!

[EDIT - the image didn't upload. :confused: Will try again]

02-18-2003, 07:21 PM
Fingers crossed..

02-18-2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by E-J
I took a quick look at some of your threads, Dawn... you are prolific!!! There's one picture of fruits in a bowl which has really beautiful colours in it ~ and another of a wine glass which is very well rendered. I see that the black paper is a favourite with you. I started experimenting a while back with drawings on black paper ~ crayons, and white conté ~ I might just have to try a black background for my pastel sketch tomorrow :)

.... well the truth be known E-J .... had seen the black paper in here and loved it so much..... ordered some from Dick Blick .... when it came it had all stickers on one side.... someone suggested that I complained ..... I just emailed them and told them about the stickers..... they replaced the order free of charge and allowed me to keep the other .... so I have a bulk buy on it now...... dont worry only 3945 sheets left (lol only teasing)

02-18-2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by melaleuca
Fingers crossed..

Welcome aboard Melaleuca...... well Im glad you had time to paint this ..... I think the glass is wonderful .... you did a great job - how long did you spend on this one .... see I suppose this is the beauty of it ...... you give yourself a limit time..... so you always manage to get something painted ..... hope you will do more now :)

... especially love the thickness of the blue glass....... especially with the delicate look of the clear

02-18-2003, 08:45 PM
Greetings from the warm and sunny left coast of the U.S. Ok - I had to rub it in!

Dawn, Mo, Love those eggs. More importantly I'm impressed how you were able to paint the folds in the fabric. That is more challenging than anything for me.

Jamie, Thanks for the photos on the boxes. I'll set one up here pretty soon. I did a small one and found that the opening of the box let too much light in. Hmmm... (by the way the oil sketches were a disaster)

Melaleuca, Great bottles and good colors in there.

Did I forget someone ? Like Sunny and the sketch of her shoveling snow???

Ah Mikki - nice pot. You did mention you were painting outdoors in the sunshine didn't you?

Well I'm off to class tonight and if there is time, I think I'll just put pastel to paper and dash off a few sketches to warm me up.



Mikki Petersen
02-18-2003, 09:26 PM
Barb, you are a cruel woman...reminding our snowbound friends that we are enjoying sun and 60's...but we are and , yes, I sat on my front porch to do my sketch.

Is this a daily exercise or a weekly one?

02-18-2003, 10:45 PM
Sunny, I have been following the forum. My book arrived in 2 days from Amazon. "60 minutes to Better Painting " by Craig Nelson is so informative.

02-19-2003, 03:04 AM
Well, I dutifully painted my quick study this morning, as promised, about 8" x 10" on the smooth side of Canson paper, 25 minutes on the timer and then about 15 cheater-minutes trying to make it look better.

The lemon is on a blue woven place mat, not that you could tell that from the picture. The highlight is a little more visible in real life but isn't it surprising how you DON'T get dimples on Canson paper just when you would like to have them?

I feel very outclassed by everybody else's studies. Even you, Mo, who say you've never done a still life before, did a lovely egg. I'm not ready for eggs. Tomorrow I'm doing the onion.


02-19-2003, 03:31 AM
what a wonderful colour of the lemon you got there angecald - and the texture to the mat ...... will look forward to seeing your onion

Mikki....... think its up to you ....... either daily or weekly ...... believe Sunny is going to start a new thread each week

02-19-2003, 07:26 AM
Mikki...you are going to love plein aire...looking forward to seeing your work:) As long as there is interest we can continue this thread on a weekly basis....You can do as many as you like..I'm going try to make this a daily practice...

Charles..thank you:)

Melaleuca..so happy you are joining us...a powerful sketch!!! These quick sketches are satisfying if you don't have too much time to paint..don't you think? Hope you share some more!

PCool...can you believe those a quick sketches? Incredible and beautiful aren't they...and the idea can be applied to any medium, with great results...like we have the pleasure to enjoy in this thread...hope you join us..:)

Angecald...too honest with the cheating time..chuckle:D Don't feel outclassed at all...you did a superb sketch...one of the ideas of having these sketches in its own thread..is that we all feel comfy about posting our sketches...and to encourage each other to continue...can't wait to see your onion...:)

Barb..I'm not speaking with you...:mad: :D ..just kidding...you wouldn't be able to capture a picture of me shoveling...all you could see was white stuff...glad you and Mikki are enjoying warm weather...ours is just around the corner!! This snow is so beautiful..the silence was so loud...peaceful..didn't mind shoveling at all..

Dawn...get that thermometer back out...misdiagnosis.....I think I have painting fever:D 3945 paintings....wanna see them all....:clap:

Mikki Petersen
02-19-2003, 12:32 PM
Well Sunny, God got even with me for bragging. Today we are having a very cold rain, cold being a relative thing. I so remember the awesome quiet of a snowfall. It insulates so beautifully from all the annoying sounds of day to day living. Fog, I find has a similar impact, but is not nearly so attractive.

02-19-2003, 12:38 PM
Ok, I'm sorry:( :( :(

I guess I was reprimanded for my gloating and rewarded in kind with.... rain... cold weather... and my cold is kicking in again full force.

Angecad - nice lemon - it really does "glow".

Off to take some cold meds and sit in the corner with my face to the wall.

Hee hee - think I'll bring a pastel board with me when I do....


02-19-2003, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by Dark_Shades


anyone got any advise, help, tips, tricks on how to improve.... or what Im missing ...... anything :cat:

02-20-2003, 12:42 PM
I'm finally back after catching up with the rest of my life. Dawn this looks especially good for such a short time painting it. I can't think of anything to comment on other than I really like the colors you have added to the folds. I've had much more difficulty painting cloth than almost anything I've worked at.

I guess the only thing I can comment on is why not try another and then another and see if you can wear out that timer while painting all those short pieces.

I've decided I need to do that so perhaps we can dare each other this day.


02-20-2003, 01:41 PM
To prove to Dawn that I haven't been skiving off ;) here are my sketches from the past two days.

On Tuesday I did a 30-minute coffee cup, which I don't think is too bad:

On Wednesday I spent an hour trying to capture a mug, a lemon & a blue cloth. Don't laugh:


The result wasn't really what I was hoping for :( but being positive about it [and following Sunny's original idea to post thoughts on what we're learning from this exercise]... I was trying out a new paper with a stronger tooth; I was more adventurous with the colours I managed to get into this one; and I resisted the temptation to blend every mark, so the surface of my picture wasn't so dull this time.

I'm finding pastels fun yet difficult! I like the discipline of these short studies ~ just getting on with it, even though I may not have the whole evening to spare. One thing I've learnt is not to wear contact lenses when I'm using pastels ~ the dust really dries them out and I practically have to scrape them off my eyeballs.

I do wonder how on earth the rest of you get those beautiful clean, sharp lines ~ the light shaping the shiny handle or rim of a mug, for example. I can't always get the pastel to go where I want it to, and my line tends to go wonky as I'm too busy trying to prevent my hand and arm from smudging the marks I've already made! That's the way the pastel crumbles, I suppose. :)

Mikki Petersen
02-20-2003, 02:11 PM
Dawn, your egg is lovely. Such a beautiful nest.

E-J, those coffee cups are a good start. Pastel, like any other medium is a matter of learning the tricks. You obviously have the painting and drawing skills so now it's just practice, practice, practice. I would say these quick studies are the absolute best thing you could be doing right now to learn the medium.

By guys! I'm off to the ocean for a week of plein aire painting!

02-20-2003, 04:38 PM
Thanks Mikki :) ..... looking forward to what you are going to post from your trip

E-J love the look of your mug ... lolol *given myself the giggles there :) ..... I really like the effect and look you got, excellent and for such a short time too.... Yup I remembered the first time I used a different textured paper.... I was soooo shocked lol, how differently you have to work it .... Ive just rec'd my order of the sample Meow mentioned from Dakota Pastels .... about 17 diff papers.... so many textures that Ive only heard about - never seen let alone touched.... they really are like sandpaper to feel ... gawd knows what mess I will make of using them hee hee

.. Keep going E-J ... you are doing really good

02-20-2003, 04:46 PM
... dont forget E-J .... you can always go back and work on them some more after with bits you arent pleased with ... as for the clean lines .... not sure what the others are using etc... but after you could always get those paint/colour shapers... look like a paintbrush but with a rubber tip ... varying sizes and angles .... works the pastel in more... especially for the more textured paper

02-20-2003, 05:57 PM
hey Dawn ~ I got some of those colour shapers a few years ago to use with acrylics ~ might dig them out and see what they'll do with pastel.

Here's tonight's offering... a repeat of yesterday's subject, only this time I used the blue Ingres paper I'm more comfortable with. This colour background was quite pleasant to use. This time I made a conscious effort to work from dark to light, and to avoid sticking my fingers in all over the place, though I did use a torchon to blend some of the red/bluey purple areas. I'm almost happy with the cloth this time!! and with the shape of the mug [it really is that round sort of shape] as my drawing is a little bit more accurate than yesterday's. The orange reflection from the lemon looks scribbly here, but that's just the digital photo ~ it looks more blended in real life. Anyway, I'm really glad I tackled this again :)


Won't be pastelling tomorrow as my mother-in-law is coming to visit for a few days and will be using our spare bedroom, which is where I had my art stuff set up. She enjoys doing watercolours, though, so who knows? We might get a bit of painting in this weekend!

EDIT: Forgot to say: this took an hour [with 10 mins' fiddling afterwards] :D

02-20-2003, 06:06 PM
.... I also forgot to mention something I learnt from this evening's exercise about using pastels: I found if I did very soft strokes, the pastel smudged into the colour below it and ended up looking muddy ~ if I made the strokes a bit firmer, it didn't pick up the colour underneath and I could 'mix' colours by laying one over another. This is probably no revelation to most of you but I really feel I'm learning something! :D

02-20-2003, 06:39 PM
Good for you E-J ..... can see the improvements ....you have covered the paper better and the cloth is looking really good....well done.... havent had a chance myself last couple of nights :crying: wahhh ... but Im always in here lurking some where lol ..... and hey thanks for the tips about the strokes ;) .... hope you have a great weekend ... hoping to get some things done over the weekend ....... see how much you have learnt and improved over a matter of days

...... Barb..... come on...... dare ya ta do somefink :D ..... not much painting posting going on in here..... only few days left to this weeks one

02-20-2003, 07:52 PM
E-J you've been so busy! :D
You've done marvellously well, I can see really good improvements, do try those colour shapers too, they are great for blending and getting sharp lines.

Great stuff!


02-20-2003, 09:03 PM
Dawn, thanks for the dare but I've spent the entire day stooped over the dining room table framing up pieces of my work for some shows coming up. I have a private show at a local coffee shop March 1-31 and then an art fair date on March 8th. I will tell you that the 30 minute sketch of the orchids I did for this weekly project is already in a frame and now I have to set the price.

Perhaps I'll dig in again tomorrow morning instead.


02-21-2003, 03:28 AM
Hey Barb ....... at least share with us then...... take some pics and let us look....... I would love to see ........ wish you luck with the coffee shop and fair ..... am sure you will do well...... dont forget to tell us how you got on

02-21-2003, 04:44 AM
Hello everyone-
I have lurked around WC for about a year now. I hope to get alittle more involved. I have just started in pastels and love them. Now about quick sketch - I did my first one at a charity art show. Now talk about stress! But I figured, OH WHAT THE HECK - and I couldn't believe what I learned. The reason we are all artist's is that it is suppose to be fun. And that quick draw was fun. Put out of your mind what the end result will be, but for 30 minutes, return back to your childhood, to when we weren't inhibited and our creative juices ran wild. Besides, being a kid for 30 minutes can be relaxing and can get you going for a whole day of creativity.
Any takers now?

02-21-2003, 07:25 AM
Hello Jen. I'm really enjoying this challenge. Look forward to seeing your 30-minute pastel!! :)

02-21-2003, 12:32 PM
9x12..35 minutes...light green Ingres..

Don't like it...but fun anyway..tryed using just red and green..with a little orange.....had to add some yellow..No blending with fingers though:D


02-21-2003, 12:42 PM
E-J...you really are turning out some nice sketches...
Jen...I consider this sketching to be my playtime...so I quess I do return to my childhood...LOL..slip there quite easily...:D
Barb..luck with the show..
Dawn...i don't think your missing anything...like your egg just as is...folds are lovely....we want to see more!!!:D

02-21-2003, 12:48 PM
Bit late in the day, but this seems to keep on going. It's a great thread, wonderful works, everyone, I am really impressed with all your determination and effort. I wish, when I had students, that they had had half of your commitment and perseverance. So many would come to a weekly class, but never touch a pencil or brush in between classes, even tho I used to set homework, and tell them all the time how important it was to "set to" on a regular basis.

A great subject for quick sketches, for those who like the idea of something other than still life and hanker after landscape - is simply to look out of the window and tackle a sky, provided it has some clouds and interest. I guess this is probably seasonal, but it really is a worthwhile exercise. Just a thought for you. You HAVE to work fast - clouds change so quickly! It sure gets the adrenalin flowing.

Another thing - if you don't have room to make a box for your still life, don't worry - you really do not need one. All you need is a clear surface, even quite a small space, with a lamp (or in daylight, a window) to one side. If you look down on your subject, you don't even need a backdrop. The lamp should give you some nice side lighting, for form and interest. However, if you want a backdrop, you can stand up a large book, and drape some fabric over it. Or, stand some coloured wrapping paper up against the book.
It is sometimes hard to get started -you look around your room, and it all looks too familiar and somehow unpaintable. Some people, particularly beginners, need suggestions. So If anyone is stuck for ideas, just drop me a pm and I will give you a list of possible subjects for quick sketches.

02-21-2003, 01:16 PM
... coming out to play Jen :)

Sunny..... I just love all you do!... the simplest of things you make look so wonderful .......

Jackie I really like your ideas..... many thanks for sharing

02-21-2003, 05:41 PM
This is the textured sized of Canson .... 8.5 x 11" ..... Im definately now thinking .... :D ..... these are small to work on hee heee ... Nupastels ...... time was around an hour..... but then I started to work in the details etc..... but thought would show ... as I started getting too engrossed :D


.. Im going to finish this off with more layers etc

02-21-2003, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure if this "counts" because it's not from life or even original, but it was done in around 30 minutes altogether, interrupted many times by effervescent grade sixes in Friday-afternoon mode. I just got out a dusty box of cheapo Alphacolor pastels from the storeroom, an even cheaper piece of faded grey construction paper, an old Walter Foster book on still life, and dabbled away in the midst of chaos.
I didn't finish because I had to leave earlier than usual to take hubby to the airport (poor thing, the college sent him off to Cuba for 2 weeks!), so I just cropped it.
I don't think that apple makes sense there, but I just copied what was there and while attempting to keep a classful of 11-year-olds from starting their weekend early. (They liked the painting, though!:))

02-21-2003, 06:43 PM
Very impressive - the two of you.

Dawn - love the colors you have chosen - you can actually sip the orange juice in that glass. You have got to be pleased. I love the egg cup too and all the reflections. Beautiful.

Sundiver you have really done a fine job considering those pastels and the paper. Wow! If i hadn't read the materials I would have been totally impressed apart from them.

I like the apple. Sometimes having something half off the page adds a bit of tension to the piece.

Great job and I'm sure those anxious kids enjoyed it.


02-21-2003, 06:51 PM
:D :D :D


This is my 20 minute visit to the easel. Hmmm....


02-21-2003, 07:32 PM
Hey Dawn, Sundiver and Barb, you have all got the bug for these quickies. :D
Dawn, :clap: Whoohoo, this is a beauty, I love how you have used a limited pallette there, that's so good, what's on the plate? Is it soldiers? ;) The glass is brill, but you are so good at doing glass, and that egg is making me feel hungry. I love this one :clap: You must post again ewhen finished, it's definitely worth working on. :)

Sundiver, Love what you've done. :clap: so quickly and under such difficult conditions :) , those colours in the jug are beautiful.

Barb, Guess it pays to dare you, this is great, love the subject choice, 20 mins? Phew.
I've done nowt today again :( Been doing other boring things.

But hey the weekend is here, lots of time to paint I hope! :)

02-21-2003, 07:52 PM
Wow, you are all doing such wonderful sketches, and so fast, and so many! I can't keep up with even reading all the posts!

Sunny, you speed freak you....Way, way too good for the time involved. Shame on you! I just love your work. Excellent dish towel! I've always been afraid of striped fabrics and weaves like that, but I think if I see one or two more of yours, I'll give it a go! Almost did so yesterday. Like those colors in the raddish leaves.

Dawn, well for somebody who seemed to feel she was getting off to a not-so-good start with these sketches, you're really rocking! Love those colors. Looking forward to seeing this as a finished piece on its own thread.

Jackie, I would just LOVE to have a list of quickie sketch items from you. I've been meaning to put one into a page in my sketchbook for ages and ages. Perhaps we could all brainstorm and come up with a great list for those times we lack inspiration. I'm so sick of bottles and fruit! I like your cloud idea.

Wendy, WOW on those colors! Which Walter Foster book was it? I wonder if it's one I have....haven't gone through those for quite some time, but there are some nice things in there. Love what you did here.

Barb, 20 minutes! You rock! Did that include brushing your teeth? I would love to see how you're framing things up for your show. Are you putting the sketches into ready-made frames? Can we see pics of pieces all ready to go? Good luck with this and let us know how it goes. And please post your oils sketches! We're not doin' too well over there.


02-21-2003, 07:54 PM
This is great! Everybody's doing wonderful work. Working from life is such a different experience - and a much better one, IMO.

I haven't been able to post for a while, the digicam is away, the scanner is tiny and most of what I've been doing is my portrait class, where I usually fill up a Canson sheet.

Anyhow, here's my attempt - it's the Valentine's flowers I bought for myself (pathetic? yes!). Worked about 30 minutes, sprayed it and went at it for another 10.
(To hubby's defense: he got me a bunch of tulips today... they might show up in the next one)


02-21-2003, 08:02 PM
Gunilla, this is lovely. My hubby bought me a bouquet of flowers and the thought of even attempting them all, plus the vase, in under an hour, is enough to give me a panic attack! Thanks for showing me that it can be done! I'll have to give this a go soon.


02-21-2003, 08:16 PM
Gunilla those are beautiful flowers. I really like the shadowed lavender color and how the flowers feel so weighted into the vase. Excellent job and it's not pathetic to buy your own flowers. IN fact, you always get what you want when you do it yourself!!!

Tell me what you think about this - I just did another 30 minute pastel to see what it would look like as a composition for a future piece. It's from a photograph when I realize isn't exactly part of the process but hey.



02-21-2003, 08:16 PM
Gunilla. Pathetic ? No. It's full of lovely colour and movement. My valentine flowers are still surviving too, but the thought of painting them in 30 mins is rather daunting! Okay if theyare still alive tomorrow I'll have a go. :D

02-21-2003, 08:23 PM
You guys set really high standards!!

Finally able to get back to this thread - hate my job- it keeps me away from the fun stuff in life.

Sunny, Dawn, Barb & all - thanks for the encouragement.

Dawn - don't known when I'd be brave enough to attmpt an egg.

E-J- I did like your coffee mug & lemon. I'd like to try something like that soon.

Barb - nice simple set up. Jackie's tight when she says there are sooo many good things arounc us that we simply don't think of.

LOVE this thread for the ideas.

Sundiver - great colours there.

Gunilla- your flowers are great. would have taken me hours to do that - they'd have wilted long before. Looking forward to the tulips.

Sunny - can't image WHY you don't like the radishes - would kill to to be able to be as good as you are.

I'm having such fun :clap:

02-21-2003, 08:28 PM
I totally forgot to comment on those delicious and crisp radishes you had. I hope you do something with this. Your choice of color for the plate is tremendous in contrast to the red of the radishes.

EJ - First off - great mugs. How many different styles do you have your house. So far I've seen three and I like the shape of all of them. YOu were too hard on yourself over the first lemon but I'm so glad you went for it again!!!

I have to agree with what you learned about not blending but layering the colors. It seems to be something I go in and out of doing and yet love it when I do so.

Jamie - I'll try to post an image of my framed piece for you but I don't want to clog up this thread too much. All that said... I'm proud of it and do want to share!


02-21-2003, 08:28 PM
Here's my second one - Mi Tientes smooth side- purple-grey paper (must remember to NOTE the shade & number of these papers).

Took about 40 mins. Realised I was fiddling so I stopped. The handle on the jug is all WRONG. And the white looks too chalky for my liking.

02-21-2003, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by sunny
9x12..35 minutes...light green Ingres..

Don't like it...but fun anyway..tryed using just red and green..with a little orange.....had to add some yellow..No blending with fingers though:D


What do you mean you don't like it? How do you produce such beautiful work in such a short time?
Super stuff!


02-21-2003, 08:33 PM
Barb, I'm intrigued with your painting, is this to be part of the compostion you are planning? looks like she's dancing? Tell us more.

melaleuca, great colour combinations, you've done great, don't worry about mistakes the whole idea is to loosen up, get the feel and flow, you can always go back later and correct. What you have done in such a short time is Excellent.


02-21-2003, 09:03 PM
HI Mo,

She's a dancing alright! I think I had to do something in sympathy and recognition of those lost today in the Rhode Island fire. I may add some dazzling lights to the black background and/or turn it into a deep blue and see what that does.


02-21-2003, 09:35 PM
Here's my night's effort. Sunny, I did the dishtowel after all! It was sooooo hard not to let myself blend, but I somehow managed to keep from doing that. It's a little larger than 5X7, smooth side of Mi Tientes paper, Conte, Rembrandt, and Unison pastels. 45 minutes. Comments and critiques more than welcome! I think this is only Pastel #5 for me, so I can use all the help I can get.



02-22-2003, 04:10 AM
Wow, so many posts to this thread since last night and I'm pushed for time, want to comment on them quickly though:

Dawn ~ eggs are definitely your subject, once again you've done them beautifully

Sunny ~ don't see what's not to like about your radishes, if I could sketch like that I would immediately chuck in my day job

Jackie ~ thanks for your helpful offer, and I think brainstorming [Jamie's idea?] for things to sketch is a very good idea

Wendy ~ great colours you've got there, very nice

Barb ~ that glass is super, I'm amazed at what you managed in only 20 minutes,

Gunilla ~ your picture has a really cheerful feel to it: I particularly like the shading on the purple flowers

Jamie ~ the colours on that pot give a really good impression of warm light / cool shadows. I don't think I've got the nerve to tackle a patterned dishtowel just yet!

Mo ~ many thanks for your encouragement.

Malaleuca ~ I especially like the little yellow cup with its delicate pattern here.

I hope that's everyone. This is a great thread. I am itching to get out my pastels but have a mother-in-law to entertain!!

02-22-2003, 05:51 AM
wow so many posts overnight :clap: ... great works everyone.

Sundiver...... love your colours in your jug...... beautiful

Barb ..... I was thinking of doing toothpaste and a brush .... but we have those pump bottle ones.... and didnt think it would look so good ..... hey think we have the same toothbrush lolol ..... love your glass .... love that green around the edge ...... Ooooooo and as to your dancer :crying: ...... lovely thought...... so evocative .... so sad .... you will have to show us

Mel ..... if you can do all those wonderful glass bottles and relfections...... you can surely do ONE egg ;) .... and I dare ya :D hee hee ..... love your second one too .. the jugs ... I think its hard to get everything right in such a short time..... and see you can see where you would improve on things for the next one ... it becomes a mental note.... I like the effect you got and you choose a hard one with two sets of patterns.... I think you did great...... so an egg will be a piece of cake hee hee

Gred ..... love the colours of your flowers.. and all what you have used ..... will you work on this some more? ..... look forward to the tulips

02-22-2003, 06:18 AM
..... :D

Jamie ...... love your composition ..... this is what I love about the thread ...... I wouldnt of thought of putting those things together ..... and its turned out such a wonderful painting .... great work! .... as you have asked for comments... the only thing perhaps, is may be just add a bit to the cloth behind the pot.... maybe slightly darker or hint of colour from pot to it.... other than that I really like it alot ..... you have the cloth really well ... the folds..... texture of the pot and glass... good un ..... Jamie you are doing soooooo well with all your mediums...... you leave me standing

E-J .... no excuses now lol .... show your MIL this thread ....... hello E-j's Mil :clap: <<<<<< Im waving... you will let her have 30mins this weekend to try something out wont you .... she's using you as an excuse ;) :D

Hope I haven't left anyone out ....... many thanks to you all for your kind comments

Lol Mo ...... yep there were more soldiers lol, but I eat 'em hee hee.... this is only the second ever glass Ive done..... you all saw the other.... the wine glass.... come to that lol its only my second egg too hee hee (Im sooooo new lol)..... so no!! excuses for you either Mo...... if flowers have died... you will just have to make a trip to the shops and get some more..... expect to see some flowers here by end of Sunday

Love this idea of the thread..... Dont Forget a New one will be started each week... so a new one will be on the 24th

love your brainstorming idea Jamie ...... it would help me alot and any other newbies.... I liked your idea you suggested of my egg in a napkin ..... so please post more ideas ...... and we can carry them over into the new thread..... and anybody else who has any ideas too ... please feel free to post

Hats off to all those who've posted :clap: .. great bunch

02-22-2003, 07:14 AM
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I'm clapping for everyone too Dawn...I think everyone should be very proud of themselves....fine sketches..lots of ideas...and the pastel is getting down on the paper!!!....i know I am learning..and everyone is inspriring me...thanks!:)

Jamie..i agree with dawn..the shadow behind the dishtowel needs to be a little darker...the right corner..under the dishtowel..could use almost the same shadow value as on your pot....but otherwise for 45 minutes and #5..OUTSTANDING girl...:D

melaleuca...love the colors you used...very nice:clap:

Gunilla...beautiful!! Flowers and i don't get along too well..you handled them so brilliantly..more, more:D

Barb...keep clogging up the thread....enjoying everything you are doing!!and that bubbley sense of humor...well it just makes me chuckle everytime...:D

Sundiver...simply stunning!! an artist creative nature...working at its best!:D

dawn....you really are working wonders:clap: love the whole setup....and your knife....brilliant...keep it up:clap:

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my radishes....i know these are sketches...have to keep reminding myself...they look unfinished to me....but the time element and the pure joy of sketching....wins over the more finished look...Isn't it a blast?:)

02-22-2003, 07:35 AM
As long as there is interest...another thread will be started on Monday....Dawn is going to start the thread next week...

I'm sharing a part of my life with you this morning not for sympathy or sadness...but for encouragement, inspiration and gratitude...I won't be on the threads for awhile....My husband is a terminal cancer patient....15 months ago he suffered a massive stroke which left him unable to speak, and paralized on his right side...he was an artist also...Dennis has been under hospice care since then...I am his primary caregiver...His journey in this life is almost over...

He has been such an inspiration to me...and even thru this has continued to encourage me to paint....WC has been a life line to me...and an inspiration. You will never know how much you have all helped me...I have learned so much thru this....some of the main things are the power of the human spirit to triumph..to find joy in the simplest things in life...to hug constantly...to cry easily...to remember each moment is so very precious...to be passionate about your creativity....not to ever, ever take your talent or your life for granted..it can be swept away in an instant...to love and be loved is our most valuable gift..to keep your humor. There is PURE joy combined with sadness in this stage of someones life....yet the choice to concentrate on the blessings is within all of us

When I come back I hope to see more inspiring work....I'll keep egging you all on in my thoughts...:) Pray Dennis finds the peace he now needs..

My gratitude for all my friends I have gained here....and thanks for being some of the glue that helped my strength.

02-22-2003, 08:45 AM
Sunny .... you ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATIONAL AND AWESOME WOMAN :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: ..... you nearly leave me speechless ;)

.. I applaud you for the beauty of who you are... for your talent, compassion and courage and strength of character

.... peace be with you

02-22-2003, 08:57 AM
~~~(you know I like this poem Sunny) .....

When we feel we have nothing left to give
And we are sure that the song has ended,
When our day seems over and the shadows fall
And the darkness of night has descended,

Where can we go to find the strength
To valiantly keep on trying?
Where can we find the hand that will dry
The tears that the heart is crying?

There's but one place to go and that is to God,
And dropping all pretence and pride,
We can pour out our problems without restraint
And gain strength with Him at our side.

And together we stand at life's cross roads
And view what we think is the end,
But God has a much bigger vision,
And He tells us it's only a bend.

For the road goes on and is smoother,
And the pause in the song is a rest,
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
Is the sweetest and richest and best.

So rest and relax and grow stronger
Let go and let God share your load.
Your work is not finished or ended
You've just come to a bend in the road.

~~~ Helen Steiner Rice ~~~

02-22-2003, 10:22 AM
Dear Sunny, Dawn is so right, you are such an inspiring lady and awesome too. I won't offer you sympathy as you say you don't want it, but you cannot stop me feeling a great sadness for you and your dear husband who as you told me before has encouraged you so much with your art.
Just know that we will always be here for you, this is one big pot of glue that will never dry out.
I have tears in my eyes after reading your post and that beautiful poem that Dawn has posted, it says it all.

I pray for the peace that Dennis now needs, I pray that you will find the all the strength and courage that you will need to carry on, one thing is for sure you have the love and support from us all.

Love and peace,

02-22-2003, 12:52 PM
Oh Sunny, I too am in tears. Dawn thanks for posting that. It's hard to imagine you can become so close to someone through threads and artwork - but it really is a special link we share. I treasure it and these messages.

May you close your eyes periodically each day with Dennis at your side and envision another beautiful scenery or moment to capture in paint in the future. May each of his breaths give you air in your sails to go forth and be strong. But, when it comes time to gain perspective on occasion, go outside and walk, and admire the beauty around you. It's always worked for me when I faced this so closely with others. Somehow that air just cools the face and brightens the eyes and gives you relief and energy.

Sunny, thanks for sharing all of this with us and more importantly sharing your art. I'll never forget your dares to put pastel to paper and reminding thoughts to use the talent you've been given. May Dennis truly find the rest and peace he needs.

Much love,


PS: I'm sure there is lots of art in heaven because I'm in heaven when I'm doing my art!

02-22-2003, 01:56 PM
Sunny, I don't feel like reply open forum, so have sent you a little pm.

Dawn - beautiful poem, have kept it. Thank you for posting that, I am sure it was appreciated.

Jamie - back to basics, I am afraid! You asked for comments on your little pot. I think you did brilliantly, seeing as it is only pastel No. 5, and in such a short time, too! Those glass bottles are EXCELLENT. Anyway, here you go - a comment, which I hope you will understand.

You have used linear strokes "around" your little pot, which does rather give the impression that the pot is spinning, if you know what I mean. It often works rather well to use strokes which don't always follow the form all the time. To explain these words, here are two pics. The first is yours, with an arrow to show what I mean about the impression of rotation.

This one is a quickie I did of an imaginary pot, and I used the SIDES of my pastels, in the directions of the arrows, to "carve out" the form, without getting that sensation of rotation.
The only marks which went "around" the pot, are the small strokes on the rim of the pot.

People often paint tree trunks with vertical marks, which give the feeling that the tree is rushing up out of the ground. Some strokes which wrap AROUND the tree help to stop that sensation.
Form can be suggested in a number of ways, and it is good to try them all. Hope you don't mind.

02-22-2003, 02:03 PM
Jackie - great tutorial.

Jamie, Nice job on the dishcloth and the bottles and the whole piece. Isn't it amazing what we can accomplish in such short order?


02-22-2003, 02:57 PM
Dawn your poem is very special...as are you..thanks for sharing it.
Mo and Barb...how lovely and beautiful your sentiments are....
Thank you for everyone who PM'd me....Dennis and I feel your prayers....

Jackie thanks for getting this thread back on track....good lesson.....thats exactly what Dennis would have everyone do....he would say it's the weekend, extra time to paint..where's all the new sketches? Only today and tomorrow left for this weeks sketches....get crackin':)

Charles Perera
02-22-2003, 07:22 PM

Please know I join others to send you mental waves of compassion, to give you courage in this sad moment . I hope your presense and the love that you hold forth to your husband will ease the burden of pain, find solace and comfort to carry on ...may he be well, may he be able to free himself of pain, and may you be a ray of light to brighten his difficult passage through time...


02-22-2003, 08:01 PM
Sweet Sunny.....I have sent you a PM. You know I've been thinking of you and Dennis.

Originally posted by jackiesimmonds
.........Jamie - back to basics, I am afraid! , ..........

You have used linear strokes "around" your little pot, which does rather give the impression that the pot is spinning, if you know what I mean. It often works rather well to use strokes which don't always follow the form all the time. To explain these words, here are two pics.

Jackie...."back to basics"....Yes, by all means! :D Thank you so, so much for this great lesson. I have two questions about this:

1. Can I brush off the pastel from my pot with a bristle brush, spray with workable fix, and have another go on the same piece? I read that in this forum recently somewhere. Or am I better off just doing a different one instead? I definitely want to use my next few sketches to work on this concept.

2. I've found that if I put strokes in different directions, the pastel just rubs off the layers underneath. Right? So I need to work in just one direction, and that should be the "carving" direction only, except for the rim. Is that right? I'm so excited to try this....like a puppy with a new toy! :D

I told my hubby what you said and he laughted so hard....said that you are right and my pot looks like it's right off the potter's wheel, you know....with all those lines going around it! LOL.... Part of me doesn't want to fix it because now it makes me laugh...my spinning pot!

Thank you too, Dawn and Sunny, for your helpful comments about my shadows.


02-23-2003, 03:15 AM
Jamie -
Yes, you can brush off your marks with a small stiff brush, spray with a little fixative, and go again.

If your marks are smudging the underneath marks, then perhaps you are pressing too hard. Try varying your pressure. If you are using good quality soft pastels, you should be able to vary the direction of your marks without disturbing underneath ones too much, although of course there may be a little pick-up. Start with light touches, and gradually work up to firmer strokes. (I pressed really hard for the last marks - the highlights) Good to practice on another sheet of paper rather than on yur pot - practice first, pot after, whenyou have got the hang of it..

Also another time try, if you have them, working first with hard pastels to get the shape of an object, and then switch to soft pastels for the finished effect. This really isn't necessary, but it's fun to try everything.

Glad you liked the idea!

ps Dawn .... yesterday my hubby met a neighbour whose husband died without warning on Wednesday. Poor soul was bereft. We visited her last evening, and I took her your poem as a little gift. Thanks very much for that.


02-23-2003, 05:50 AM
((((((((((Sunny))))))))))))), you certainly will be in my thoughts and prayers and of course so will Dennis.

I too follow the sketches and hope to "get with the program" soon. It's such a good thing to work, learn and grow together with our art as well as other things.

02-23-2003, 08:14 AM
To prove [again!! Dawn is such a hard taskmaster!!] that I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs while husband's mum is staying with us, attached is today's pastel, not from life but from tessp's beautiful photo in the image reference library:


Time taken ~ a couple of hours. I do feel, after a week, that I'm starting to get to grips with these funny little chalk sticks :)

And here is the version my mother-in-law did while I was busy pastelling ~ I don't know if I'll get ticked off for posting an acrylic painting on the pastel forum but I have yet to convert m.i.l. to this medium... :D


02-23-2003, 09:17 AM
EJ, how cool to have a MIL who paints! (And of course it does not bother me to see her acrylic here.)

Your pastel is gorgeous. Definitely deserves a thread of its own. Go to the head of the class!

Jackie, thank you again. I will give it a go today. I do have soft and hard pastels, so will follow that suggestion too.


02-23-2003, 09:20 AM
Dedicated to Sunny!

I've been following the sketch threads and wasn't going to participate because I've been holding off painting because we're planning to move. I didn't want to add more paintings to the load. So, between Sunny inspiring me to get to work, and the fact that the grocery store only had brown eggs, here's my sketch. My digital camera is not great so I didn't photo the setup and scanned in my painting. After seeing it on the monitor it looks like the top of the egg cup could use some correction.

I spent about an hour on it and there were several interruptions, so it was probably more like 40 mins. My only goal was to see what level it would be at in a short amount of time.
It's approx. 8 x 10. and I ate them for breakfast. Oh, and it's on a med. green Canson paper.

02-23-2003, 01:38 PM
E-J Fantastic job. I personally like the pastel better. I like the colors you chose and how the tips of each yellow petal seem so wispy.

You don't need to tell your ML what I said.

Doe - scrumptious colors and work. I never would have known you did this on green paper till you mentioned it so I'm glad you did so. I hope this finds a place in your new "home" or wherever you are moving to. It's a good one!

Did I mention how much I like the lavender scumbled into the tabletop? Nicely done!

Happy painting and remember - if you missed this week, we have another one to look forward to....


02-23-2003, 01:50 PM
hey look at all these show offs in here lolol :D

E-J .... your piece is fantastic :clap: ..... love it - ok ya dont need any further encouragements from me... Ha! ya on ya own and flying..... love your Mils one too .... lovely - great to see the same pic in different mediums....... I bet this was the best weekend you two have had hee hee

Doe ...... I just absolutely LOVE what you have done :clap: .... aren't you glad you stopped by to do this one .... whats wrong with brown eggs? .... I havent been able to do much myself this weekend :crying: ...... we went looking at a possible new house :D

Great works you guys.... Sunny will be proud of you all

02-23-2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by E-J
To prove [again!! Dawn is such a hard taskmaster!!] that I haven't just been twiddling my thumbs while husband's mum is staying with us,

:eek: ... such crueeeeel harsh words :crying: wahhhhh :D

02-23-2003, 06:49 PM
Hey E-J Love your sunflowers,:clap: your MIL's too, :clap: but prefer yours but don't tell :)

There'll be no holding you back now. Go to it girl :)

Doe, perfect eggs, perfect setting, lovely colours :clap: Well done.
Good luck with your house move too.


02-23-2003, 08:20 PM
Hi everybody,

I've been lurking the last couple of weeks and have to tell you that I've been so inspired by all the work here, and I've been especially touched by the camaraderie!

I got out my easel too this week, Monday, and set up in a bedroom where I could close the door and keep things safe from the cats.

I paid attention to the dicussion early in the week about not blending so my third try on Monday, I didn't blend these ornaments.


Tuesday I spent an hour on these grapefruit. I'm still not used to really working in color, (I have enjoyed sketching with vine charcoal mostly in the past) and I was completely worn out after this session. Looks like my bowl is spinning a bit too, Jamie!


Wednesday was 'life drawing'. The mallards are back, mama probably wanting to lay her eggs in the shrubbery next to the swimming pool. Instead of shooing them away today, I painted them. Don't know how to do feathers...


Later, my little ex-wild kitten Sadie was in her cat perch and I was able to sketch her for 15 minutes in this pose. The next evening, she posed again, so I noodled for 20 more minutes. Don't quite know how to do fur either!


Thursday, attempted too much in a still life. I ended up cutting the picture up into separate little pictures. I liked this creamy look of this cup, though it seems like it's Grandma's "Flying" Saucer!!


Friday, back to 'life drawing'... ducks, 30 min. and Sadie, 30 min.



Saturday, uh oh... festive colors, but whoa baby!


Suggestions welcome!!!

Thank you all for letting me join you. Sorry to post so much all at once. Hopefully I can get the scanner working at home soon to post as I do them. I would love to continue to paint daily... that is my goal.

Erin J.
Plano, Texas
P.S. My heart aches thinking of you Sunny. God's peace be with you and your husband.

02-23-2003, 08:28 PM
welcome erinJ.... wonderful stuff you have posted.. wow you have been busy lol :) ... love the colours .. great stuff..... wonderful orange colours.... love your cats too ..... excellent..... be sure to join us on the new thread for 24th Feb - 2nd March (its now open ;) ) ...... look forward to seeing what you get up to in that week too ... dont lurk! - Post lol

02-23-2003, 08:38 PM
Erin, I'm so glad you were finally able to get these scanned and to join us! I've always thought you have a wonderful sense of color. 'Don't know where you come up with all your color ideas, but I love 'em. That last one on Saturday looks like a wild party--vibrant and creative! I like both of Sadie, but especially the second one---so much accomplished with so few strokes. And your contemporary cup and saucer---nice job! So make hubby a nice candlelit dinner, open a bottle of wine, and then ask for the scanner. :evil: Tell Dana it was my idea. LOL........

Oh---and PLEASE shoo those ducks out of the pool before you end up with an entire family to care for like last year!


02-23-2003, 08:43 PM
I love your choice of pallete!! How long have you been doing pastels for?


02-23-2003, 09:12 PM

I'm so glad you came and joined us. It's a great group of paintings you have and each one is so colorful. The purple you chose for Sadie's mouth/nose is especially endearing to me.

What most impresses me is the sense of movement you have achieved in such stationary items. It's something I'm always working towards.

Well done!!! See you next week i hope.


02-24-2003, 04:20 AM
Doreen, wonderful eggs ~ pastel seems to capture something of their delicacy better than any other medium, doesn't it?

Erin ~ your colours are unusual and very effective, these are lovely sketches.

02-25-2003, 03:24 AM
Well, things are still happening fast here, I see!

Sunny, don't know if you'll see this since it's posted so late in this thread, but my heart goes out to you and I will be praying for you and Dennis. I am astonished that you've been able to keep on painting and be so encouraging and sympathetic to everyone while living through this difficult crisis in your life. There is such intensity and joy in your still life paintings; they are a gift to the world.

Getting back to basics, as Jackie says, I would just like to announce that I have been doing my sketches (almost) every day.

I did the onion and it was quite respectable although not remarkable.

Then I did a blue willow cup and a spoon which was very wkward - the cup looks as if it's melting, and the spoon never came to form much as there wasn't really any time after struggling with the cup.

And I did a ginger jar full of paintbrushes which looks sort of okay, at least the jar part.

Tonight I did a little pottery cream pitcher I've had for 30 years and for some reason have never been able to paint, and I couldn't paint it tonight either. Afterwards I read Jackie's tip on not running the lines around the form. I'll try that next time.

No pictures because I haven't had time to take them and process them, but I'll put something in next week's thread. This has been a humbling experience. I know I'm rusty because I haven't done much for the past year, yet I thought I could do better than this. I find myself sneaking in little practice sessions, doing a study of the cup in pencil while I'm watching tv, etc., to try to make it easier when I do the official sketch. I suppose that's all to the good. I need the extra practice.

I wouldn't dream of displaying them except that everyone else has been brave enough to show their duds, so I'll show mine too.

I've also seen some charming things in this thread, lively little surprises. Can't list them individually because it is unbelievably late and I should have been asleep hours ago. The people at my day job have this expectation (unrealistic, in my opinion) that I should be awake while I'm there.

Good work, everybody.
:clap: :clap:

02-25-2003, 01:29 PM
Just want to say welcome Erin! Those are gorgeous, all of them! I'm so glad you started working in color, you seem to have a natural feel for it!

Roni Anderson
02-26-2003, 09:34 AM
I'd like you join you folks if you can find room for one more next week? I've had this lovely box of pastels and just tinkered with them on and off for a bit...just wishing I could get going. I've spent a while reading this whole thread as well as browsing around the pastel forum to find something to get me going. And you guys did it :clap: :clap: :clap: Hope there is room for one more...

What inspires me most is everyones commitment to try something every day and share...and what wonderful progress can be seen in your work from the beginning until now. Hope some will rub off on me too :rolleyes:

Dawn is there anything special I need to do to get on board for the next thread? Thanks!

02-26-2003, 09:47 AM
Hello Roni

I'm not sure where Dawn's lurking today but the last I heard of her, she was muttering some feeble excuse about not having another sketch to post just yet... Oops, hope she doesn't read this :)

The new weekly sketch thread is up, so my advice is to just jump in ~ that's what I did last week and I haven't looked back! For years I moped around wishing I could devote more time to painting and wondering how on earth artists disciplined themselves to draw and paint every day. Well, I feel a bit silly but incredibly excited to find out that in fact it is easy ~ all I had to do was pick an object, set my time limit and JUST DO IT! :D Everyone in this forum is very encouraging and helpful.

Look forward to seeing your sketches Roni.

02-26-2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by E-J
Hello Roni

I'm not sure where Dawn's lurking today but the last I heard of her, she was muttering some feeble excuse about not having another sketch to post just yet... Oops, hope she doesn't read this :)

I heard and read that lol :) .....

Welcome aboard Roni .... nope you dont need anything special.... only yourself and your input :) ..... always room for one more ..... look forward to seeing you on the threads .... there is the new weekly one already started.... 24th Feb - 2nd March .... so hope to see you post something soon :evil: :angel:

02-26-2003, 01:48 PM
Erin..great sketches!!:clap: ..all so fresh with color...love them

Agnes...thanks for your kind words...Dennis and I celebrate life...we love art...it is our passion...I didn't paint for a few days..and Dennis got upset with me...so I've set up my easel next to him...he sleeps a lot right now....but when he wakes up he wants to see progress...makes him smile...so back to painting...don't have room for the pastels...so I'm going to be working in oils....brought my computer down next to him too...showing him all of WC's work....he is enjoying all of it...looking forward to your posts!

Ilis...thank you:)

Roni always room for more...especially since Dawn is muttering those feeble excuses:D

Ciarrai...I've been working in pastels on and off for 20 some years...need 50 more to begin to understand it...:D

02-26-2003, 10:11 PM
Sunny, I love you and Dennis already. Dennis is certainly correct about you continuing. Most certainly, your "talents" have not been wasted. Hugs and kisses to the both of you and your family.