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DAK723
05-31-2011, 10:58 PM
Welcome artists! :wave:

Here is a quick recap of what The Spotlight is all about!

The Spotlight is an activity thread for pastel artists of all experience levels working from photos chosen by a monthly host. Most months, the host will choose photos from only one subject, putting that subject into “the spotlight,” so to speak! For example, one month the subject will be painting water, another month will spotlight flowers, etc.

Some months, rather than spotlight a subject, the focus will be on a challenge of some sort. In those cases, we might have a wider variety of photo references, but “the spotlight” will be on the challenge itself.

Since this is a group activity, we can pool our knowledge and resources, and grow as artists in a fun, “no-pressure” atmosphere. And no critiques unless specifically asked for. The intent is to have fun, try new things, experiment, and perhaps most of all, to see what our friends and colleagues are painting from the same reference material!

Please note: The photos this month are taken by me. You have permission to use the photos as reference to create your artwork and to sell them and/or exhibit them. The actual photos still retain the copyright of the photographer. So you cannot copy the photo to your blog, for example, without the permission of the photographer, or digitally alter or reproduce the photo for any purpose other than for your personal use, with the exception of crops, digital alterations and posts of these photos within "The Spotlight" thread.

This month, “The Spotlight” is on...Birds and Water!

If you are like me, as the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, you might be heading for the beach or a mountain lake! And on those beaches and lakes, you might encounter some ducks, swans, herons or other birds on the water! So let's get out those pastels, papers and sketch pads and paint some birds and water!

The references:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-2ducks-small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-landscape-w-heron-small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-heron-small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-seagulls-small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-swans-small.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-May-2011/82335-geese-small.jpg

For larger versions:

Two ducks:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130297&size=big&cat=3261 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130297&size=big&cat=3261)

Landscape with Heron:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130299&size=big&cat (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130299&size=big&cat)=

Heron at the shore:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130298&size=big (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130298&size=big)

Seagulls:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130300&size=big&cat=3315 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130300&size=big&cat=3315)

Swans:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130302&size=big&cat=3260 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130302&size=big&cat=3260)

Geese in a fall landscape:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130304&size=big&cat=3320 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/../RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=130304&size=big&cat=3320)

Please post your paintings in this thread! Enjoy!


Don

Ruthie57
06-01-2011, 03:18 AM
Great Spotlght challenge Don :clap: Thanks for hosting again and for supplying such great photos. I will have to do the Swan and cygnets :heart:

ncgirl
06-01-2011, 12:56 PM
I'm in! Don, photos are wonderful, thanks! Love the heron, I may try that one first.

Vivien Maloney
06-01-2011, 02:27 PM
Beautiful photos Don! I've saved them all, and don't know which one to do first. Thank you for hosting Don. These "Spotlights" are a great idea.

tvandeb
06-01-2011, 02:40 PM
Gorgeous photos!:clap: I hope I can get a few in this month. Thanks!!!:clap:

robertsloan2
06-01-2011, 03:16 PM
Don, thank you! These are all wonderful references. I know I'll have fun this month, definitely putting the Spotlight on my June Goals list!

CM Neidhofer
06-01-2011, 03:36 PM
Great references! Hopefully, I'm in again! :crossfingers:

robertsloan2
06-01-2011, 11:08 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/01-Jun-2011/70184-6-01-2011-Blue-Heron-Spotlight.jpg
Heron
5" x 7"
Carb-Othello Pastel Pencils
Aquabee Co-Mo Sketch Pad white multimedia paper.

Yay, I did it! First off the mark, first tick on my goals too. I like too many of these not to come back for more too.

mij
06-02-2011, 04:52 PM
Nice one Robert and the same as I chose/printed out to do as well.
I like the crop also.
jim

tvandeb
06-02-2011, 10:20 PM
Robert: Beautiful painting, very simple but with really great details!:clap: Those pencils you used; I just got some, they are great, they have alot of pigment, I was impressed!:thumbsup:

DAK723
06-02-2011, 10:55 PM
Robert, Thanks for getting us started! You've caught the pose perfectly and showed us that one doesn't need a lot of layers and pastel buildup to create a painting. You've let the light paper color work as your lights and it unifies the entire work! Nice gradation of the water color as it fades to light at the top.

Thanks everyone for the nice comments about the ref photos!

Don

Vivien Maloney
06-02-2011, 11:54 PM
Robert - Congrats in being first for this Spotlight and what a lovely interpretation it is! I've never tried those pencils but you've done such wonderful work with them. The Heron looks so real, I'm waiting for him to move, and lift his other leg out of the water!

tvandeb
06-03-2011, 03:50 PM
Here's my version of the heron or egret in the distance. I changed the colors a bit, hope that was ok. 10" x 8" on sienna pastelmat with various soft and semi-hard pastels. :)

mij
06-03-2011, 04:35 PM
Nice one Tammy and it must be the most popular. I have chosen that one as well.
jim

mij
06-03-2011, 05:30 PM
I chose the heron on the foreshore as well. It's obviously a popular image.
jim
PS Oops again. forgot to say this is 14" X 8" on colourfix 'cool haze' primed paper using Derwent pastel pencils.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Jun-2011/69634-heron_on_foreshore.jpg

ncgirl
06-03-2011, 11:01 PM
Tammy and Jim - wonderful paintings! I think we're all on the same page, I'm working on the heron too. Must be those legs... Jim, phenomenal work with the detail on that feathered fellow, haven't tried pastel pencils, but your precision work is inspiring. Tammy, I like your original interpretation, to put him in the distance and include more of the water - nicely done!

Judibelle
06-04-2011, 07:19 AM
WOW...The heron is really popular! Beautiful renditions, Robert, tammy and Jim...You guys do such great work with the pastel pencils! I have some, but nothing seems to turn out quite right using them...

I'm hoping to get to do a couple of the pics this month. Off to a slow start, due to 'life' intervening....but am gonna try the heron, also...

DAK723
06-04-2011, 09:47 AM
Tammy, Nice job on the heron in the landscape! Of course it is OK to change the colors!

Jim, Very nicely done! You've caught the entire scene perfectly!

The Heron definitely is popular! Maybe we'll do an upcoming Spotlight on Herons only!!

Don

robertsloan2
06-04-2011, 10:54 AM
Tammy, perfectly okay to change the colors from the photo. I like the distance you got pushing the mountains back, your painting has plenty of depth.

Jim, beautiful heron in the foreshore! Love how you handled the light on his neck and his gorgeous proportions.

Don, I think you're right - you could theme an entire Spotlight on herons and egrets. It'd be wonderful! Or maybe theme one on Swamp Paintings with gators, herons and egrets among mangroves?

Talley
06-04-2011, 01:01 PM
These heron works are very inspiring. Robert I love the liveliness of yours - it's very fresh and you really have captured his delicate stance. And the colors in yours, Jim are beautiful. And tammy very nice, I like how you made it your own.

I kept meaning to come back to last month's spotlight but I'm still confused about where the month of May disappeared to.

I'm gearing up to challenge myself to one of these. My first thought was oh, no I can't do birds!

Talley
06-05-2011, 12:29 PM
I decided to give the gulls a go. Doing three was hard because I did them one at a time and couldn't remember what I did to the first one for the second one and then third one.


And I really have to take more photos throughout so I'm not so shocked when I see it in the photo versus what I thinking I'm seeing. I really need to get a hand mirror.


anyway it was good just to do it and get over my anxiety about it.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jun-2011/151814-gulls.jpg

robertsloan2
06-05-2011, 01:28 PM
Kate, your seagulls look great. I love the loose way you did the sand. Gorgeous, well-rounded, painterly birds.

spirothet
06-05-2011, 02:33 PM
My version of the heron. I had too many interruptions while out on my porch. Once again, not keen on what I did.

ncgirl
06-05-2011, 02:50 PM
Kate - nice job with the seagulls - I like your coloring of the birds and your use of the support to warm up the whole painting. They are quite social birds and I think you've captured that.

spirothet, I like your version of the heron too! You really did a nice job on the water reflection and his coloring is excellent.

spirothet
06-05-2011, 03:19 PM
Robert, you're the one that started it all with the Heron. You made it look so easy and that's why I gave it a try. Not as easy as it looks though. . Now on to something else. Tally, your pigeons look great. I have a feeling we all tend to be anxious when doing something that is out of our comfort zone.Good job all, work looks great! Cali

mij
06-05-2011, 04:21 PM
Nice one Cali specially as you had a lot of interuptions. You had decent weather to paint out doors? It's been raining off and on all day here.

I like the seagulls Kate and agree with Robert on the looseness of the sand.
jim

DAK723
06-05-2011, 09:04 PM
Kate, you've done a very nice job with the gulls! One would never know that you did them one at a time as they seem to have the same color scheme! One tiny suggestion - bring the shadows right up to and connect with the gulls' feet. If there is a space between something and its shadow, it makes it look like the object is floating above the ground.

spirothet, Nice job on the heron! You've caught the posture and the gracefulness of the bird very well!

Don

tvandeb
06-05-2011, 10:45 PM
mij:Beautiful painting of the heron. Talley: Very nice painting of the seagulls.
Thanks for the comments on mine, but on mine its actually the egret or heron in the middle of the water but I chose to not make him so far away and bring him closer, but still dark . And change the water color a bit.


This one is not as good,:( I really need to get used to pastel pencils, whew, tough after getting used to soft or semihard pastels. I did the seagulls on a scrap of white pastelmat 3" x 4 " with carb-Othello pencils. :o

mij
06-06-2011, 01:59 AM
They are waiting for their (fishing) boat to come in :) They are so funny, and predictable...
Good one
jim

Talley
06-06-2011, 10:04 AM
Nice delicate heron, spirothet. And very cute gulls, Tammy. You really captured that puffed up look of the middle guy.

One tiny suggestion - bring the shadows right up to and connect with the gulls' feet.

Thanks, Don. I admit the shadows on the reference confused me because they didn't seem to touch the object and I didn't know whether to follow the reference slavishly or adjust it.

The same thing with that middle guy's missing leg, which just bothers me because I can't even see where he might have it tucked up under him.

ncgirl
06-06-2011, 12:41 PM
Tammy what cute gulls! I too like the middle guy - he's waiting for a meal!

robertsloan2
06-06-2011, 03:23 PM
Spirothet, I like your heron. It has a simple elegance and the reflection is perfect, just defined enough without being overdefined. The rocks and water are great too.

Tammy, love those seagulls. They're gorgeous. I think you did just fine with the pastel pencils. I can see the middle gull's leg tucked up, that bit of foot you have showing between the feathers is perfect. Keep going!

Right now I'm working on a pair of mallards, almost done - background, rock and female mallard are finished. Just the bright, dramatic male to finish now!

Here he is - all finished with my mallard pair!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jun-2011/70184-6-6-2011-Mallard-Pair-Rocks-Water.jpg
Mallard Pair
8" x 10"
Winsor & Newton pastels
Gray Canson Mi-Tientes pastel paper, smooth side
Photo reference by DAK723 for June 2011 Pastel Spotlight

spirothet
06-06-2011, 06:10 PM
Robert, Love your Mallards. It took me a little minute to realize that you had done the mirror image of photo posted. Love how you painted the feathers as well as the rocks and water. The up closeness of the mallards gives the painting a very vibrant look to them. I was going to try the gulls next, but you've just tempted me to do the mallards. Cali

mij
06-07-2011, 06:05 AM
Those are lovely mallards Robert, well done. I'd like another go at this month's challenges but have still some outstanding work here to do.
jim

Talley
06-07-2011, 07:46 AM
Very nice mallards, Robert. Great feathers and I like how you did the rock as well.

robertsloan2
06-07-2011, 12:01 PM
Thank you! I might be tweaking their feet since I got some critique when I posted this in the Studio. I'm really having fun with this month's challenges. Might do another one too if I've got time around other projects.

DAK723
06-07-2011, 12:12 PM
Tammy, very nice version of the gulls!

Kate, Yes, those legs are so thin they make the thinnest of shadows - barely visible!

Robert, Great job on the ducks! Very vivid colors and I like the way you used the darker and lighter parts of the water to contrast with the lighter or darker parts of the ducks to create areas of emphasis.

Don

tvandeb
06-07-2011, 12:34 PM
Wow, Robert, beautiful work on the mallards, the colors are vivid, and wonderful details!:clap:

ncgirl
06-07-2011, 02:06 PM
Robert, let me add my compliments to the others - excellent job! They look ready to jump in the water for a swim. Nice detailing on the feathers too!

spirothet
06-08-2011, 01:55 PM
Hi all,

Here is my attempt at painting the Swans. This took me about two hours. Its size is about 6" x 8." Hope you like it. Cali

mij
06-08-2011, 02:51 PM
Yes I do like this. You have done a fine job and conveyed the softness and downeyness (is that a word?) of the baby swans really well.
jim

robertsloan2
06-09-2011, 10:17 AM
Your swan and cygnets came out beautiful. One thing I love in this is how much shading you've done on these soft white animals - white isn't really white, you successfully reserved it for only the brightest highlights. Paradoxically that makes them look whiter and more real!

spirothet
06-09-2011, 10:58 AM
Mij and Robert, thank you so much for your comments. Everyone's critiques mean so much to me. I feel it is helping me to become a better painter. I'm also excited about choosing my next image to work on. It's been a long time since I got this excited about wanting to paint. Thank you so much.

DAK723
06-09-2011, 12:14 PM
Cali, Vey nice job on the swans! As Robert mentioned, you avoided the usual trap of making white things too white! The entire composition is very nicely unified on the page!

Don

ncgirl
06-09-2011, 03:55 PM
Cali what a wonderful rendition of the swans - love the little guy at the back! Charming, soft, a pleasure to look at!

adigal
06-10-2011, 12:14 AM
Hi,
This is a quick sketch on watercolor paper with Rembrandts, Unisons and Senneliers. I am new to pastels, still trying to figure them out! I have very far to go.

Thanks! This was fun,
Nancyhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jun-2011/369901-photo-27.jpg

adigal
06-10-2011, 12:16 AM
Robert,
Gorgeous mallards!!

And beautiful swans.

You are all so talented!
Nancy

ncgirl
06-10-2011, 08:43 AM
Nancy-welcome to the pastel world! I'm pretty new at it too, so you have company in your journey. You've done well on the sketch, I like the bright colors and the composition. I see you've started off with quality pastels too - good choice! My first set was really cheesy and chalky, very frustrating. Well done! Look forward to seeing more from you!

spirothet
06-10-2011, 09:00 AM
Hi Nancy,
I really like the colors in your sketch. As a newbie to pastels, you'll find that you have lots of company in this thread. There is a lot of talent here willing to help and guide you along on your journey. Welcome!

tvandeb
06-10-2011, 11:03 AM
spirothet: Beautiful swans! adigal: good going on the ducks and landscape! Keep on painting!:clap: :clap:

I did the swans, I just love this ref, they are really cute! Done 0n 5" x 4" sienna pastelmat with carb othello pencils; did a bit better this time. I may have time for one more this afternoon, but next week I have summer art camp, so no art except with the kiddos, have fun all!:wave:

adigal
06-10-2011, 11:39 AM
Tammy,
Nice!! Love the water,

Thanks everyone, for your nice comments and welcome!
Nancy

ncgirl
06-10-2011, 12:54 PM
Tammy, very nicely done! Those little eyes on the baby swans (what are they called-not ducklings?) are adorable. I like the treatment of the water too, nice reflection on mother swan's eye.

mij
06-10-2011, 12:57 PM
I had another go at the spotlight. This time the Canada geese on the lake/whatever.
On Art Sectrum fresh grey primed paper 1/4 imperial I think 9" x 12"
Pastels were Daler Rowney, Inscribe and Art Spectrum. Some Derwent pastel pencils used for the geese and to match the water blue.
Now I have it on screen I realise I haven't done the foreground reeds/grasses (but I did remember the support and medium :wink2: - this time)
jim


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Jun-2011/69634-canada_geese.jpg

robertsloan2
06-10-2011, 02:39 PM
Nancy, good start with your new pastels on watercolor paper. They're a lot of fun. I can tell immediately that you're cut out for pastels - your colors are glorious. Love the foliage on the trees and the geese. You have some really good pastels there.

If you've never tried sanded paper, get some clear Colourfix primer or Golden Pumice Gel and try priming watercolor paper with two or three thin layers. All three of your good pastels brands work great on sanded papers. Colourfix is my favorite so I haven't tried the Golden product yet, but some friends of mine swear by it.

Tammy, cool painting of the swan and cygnets! I like your water texture and the cygnets are so fluffy and cute. Well done!

Jim, love your version of the Canada geese landscape. That's gorgeous. I don't think it needs the foreground rushes and reeds. Beautiful water and good rendering on those geese. I love the reflections on the water.

mij
06-10-2011, 04:13 PM
Hi there Nancy you have made a good start in this with those Canada geese.. It is a very forgiving medium and lots of peeps here to help.
Hi Tammy, yes they strike a lovely image. Little balls of fluff rushing around after mummy. You have managed to convey that softness that the babies exude - well done.
jim

ncgirl
06-10-2011, 04:15 PM
Jim - excellent, excellent work! :clap: the reflections on the water really pull the viewer into the scene and the trees in the backgroun are so nicely done, realistic without being too "tight". there's a real sense of space here.

Robert - thanks - they're called cygnets. never would have guessed that one... :confused: :)

DAK723
06-10-2011, 08:35 PM
Nancy, Very colorful! Glad you are having fun - that's how it should be!

Tammy, Nice job on the swan and cygnets!

Jim, Very nice landscape with geese! You've really captured the colorful reflection!

Don

adigal
06-10-2011, 11:40 PM
Thanks for the help and encouragement!
Nancy

mij
06-11-2011, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the kind comments NCgirl, Robert and Don. I'm getting used to pastels in my hand in-as-much-as I'm tempted to try another before the month is out.
jim

Judibelle
06-11-2011, 10:38 AM
beautiful seagulls, Kate and Tammy! (your swans are gorgeous, too.)
Nancy & Jim...nice job on the geese. Jim, I especially like the background trees! well done. Hope I didnt miss anybody...

I finished the 2 ducks, but not too happy with it.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jun-2011/103700-scan0002.jpg__2_ducks_spotlight.jpg

May try the heron...

mij
06-11-2011, 11:47 AM
I like your ducks judi, reminds of that old song we used to sing many years ago. There was probably a name for the songs that alway counted down from ten - but I never new it.
It is a matter of practise - just keep on drawing.
I'll look forward to seeing your heron then.
jim

tvandeb
06-11-2011, 12:42 PM
jim: Great painting of the landscape and the canadian geese. I really like the water and reflection, but what I really liked was the way you captured the lights and darks in the trees. I still have to learn how to do that!
Judi: Beautiful painting of the mallards, really like the texturing on the rocks. Can't wait to see what you do with the heron!
:clap: :clap:

mij
06-11-2011, 04:01 PM
Thanks Tammy, that's a first in getting those trees right - well at least looking like trees anyway from a distance :lol:
jim

robertsloan2
06-11-2011, 04:47 PM
beautiful seagulls, Kate and Tammy! (your swans are gorgeous, too.)
Nancy & Jim...nice job on the geese. Jim, I especially like the background trees! well done. Hope I didnt miss anybody...

I finished the 2 ducks, but not too happy with it.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Jun-2011/103700-scan0002.jpg__2_ducks_spotlight.jpg

May try the heron...

Judi, I like your two mallards. What don't you like about it? I especially love the female mallard, she's utterly beautiful. The male looks pretty good too.

Judibelle
06-11-2011, 06:35 PM
thanks, Jim, Tammy, & Robert....
Rob, it's actually the male that I'm not happy with ...too 'contrived', I think,and I didnt get that 'natural' look for him..

Have started a black&white sketch of the heron...will try to work on it tomorrow. It DOES feel good to be painting again!

Talley
06-12-2011, 08:58 AM
Judi, I like your mallards. you've captured that tucked in look of the female especially well. And nice work on the rocks as well.

Jim, I like your water, especially the reflections. Very peaceful looking.

DAK723
06-12-2011, 09:38 AM
Judi, I like the mallards, too! Nice colors throughout, including the water!

Don

mij
06-12-2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks Kate.
jim

CM Neidhofer
06-12-2011, 02:14 PM
Here's my contribution to the Spotlight. Not sure if I'll get to any of the others yet. Anyway, done again with the limited pallet of Daler Rowny pastels. 9 x 12 on LaCarte.

robertsloan2
06-12-2011, 03:10 PM
Christine, love your heron! That's spectacular. gorgeous values and textures. Beautiful curve on that long neck and wonderful anatomy.

mij
06-12-2011, 03:46 PM
Well done Christine, you have done well and as you say with a limited palette. I agree with Robert on the slender well curved neck an that's not so easy with cumbersome pastels as I'm finding out.
jim

spirothet
06-12-2011, 04:46 PM
Nicely done Christine. Love your colors, curve of the Heron's neck, and general softness of your composition. Cali

ncgirl
06-12-2011, 08:32 PM
Christine, well done! He's lovely!

ncgirl
06-12-2011, 08:48 PM
Here's my version of the heron - Rembrandts and NuPastel on Mi Tientes. Critique welcome - be tough - it's how I will learn. Onward to the ducks? swans? Hmmmm.

Thanks, Sandra
687322

robertsloan2
06-12-2011, 08:50 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Jun-2011/70184-6-12-2011-Geese-Pastel-Spotlight.jpg
Autumn Geese
6" x 9"
Mungyo Gallery soft squares pastels
Aquabee Bogus Recycled Rough sketch paper.
Photo reference by DAK723 for June 2011 Pastel Spotlight.

Had a go at the geese with some pastels a friend sent me. They're fun. Not up to the super artist grade ones but not bad for what they are. It was fun getting loose and sketchy with it rather than either blending them in or trying to detail anything. All blending is with the sticks.

wendyc1276
06-13-2011, 12:09 AM
Robert - I love both your mallards and your geese!! And such a different style for each.

I've used the Mungyo artist ones (the round ones) lately, I like the bright ones, but have yet to test them for fading. So I only use them in quick sketches or underdrawings. I see they now have handmade, I may have to check a few of them out.

Your mallard painting inspired me to try my first spotlight, so I am going to work on it, but I also love your geese. Now I feel I can get loose and sketchy too!

Wendy

robertsloan2
06-13-2011, 02:59 AM
Thank you! Yes, you can! Loose and sketchy is wonderful in pastels. I love a rich layered painterly painting but sometimes I like to just get loose on a colored ground and let it happen as fast as I can get it down.

Someone's going to have to independently test the Mungyo Gallery ones, all the different grades of them. If I lived somewhere sunny, I would.

mij
06-13-2011, 03:19 AM
I have a small 12 set of Mungyos here that I used to do the chimp a few weeks back. They are quite soft and I had forgotten them. Perhaps I should try them on something?
Was there a question about their lightfastness or was that an assumption based on their price?
jim

robertsloan2
06-13-2011, 03:58 AM
They claim lightfastness but no one's done independent testing on them that I know of. Their price would tend to lean against it, but on the other hand there are many modern cheap lightfast pigments. I know for darn sure that any fluorescent colors are fugitive, other than that I wouldn't know without testing.

I also know that some brands I really like a lot which cost more also have hues that aren't lightfast. Charlie pointed out in another thread that the red-violets in Art Spectrum aren't lightfast even though they're beautiful. Time will tell.

I tend to think though that if they make a point of claiming lightfastness or fadeproof there'd be a stronger chance they put some effort into choosing less fugitive colors to make the claim, after all, they don't want false advertising lawsuits. So they're in that common "they claim it" category for me along with many other pastels. I don't think they're too good to be true because I know that a lot of the modern hues are more lightfast than some historical pigments they replaced, as in, permanent alizarin crimson versus original alizarin crimson that still turns up in way too many paint sets.

I'd say go ahead and try them, at least in some sketches.

Judibelle
06-13-2011, 08:23 AM
Chris and Sandra...both so well done on the heron, and yet so different. really cool...
Robert...Love the looseness of your geese sketch....

I'm still working on the heron...maybe get some done today...

DAK723
06-13-2011, 12:29 PM
Christine, Sandra - Very nice paintings of the heron! Both of you have caught the pose of the heron very well!

Robert, Nice job on the geese. Lots of energy in this!

Don

Judibelle
06-13-2011, 02:44 PM
Just finished the heron.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jun-2011/103700-scan0003.jpg_heron_spotlight.jpg

still need a lot more practice drawing! But it was fun.

mij
06-13-2011, 03:16 PM
Wow these herons coming thick and fast, that is a nice one judi. Looks like you got the hang of these things.

I've had another go, the heron in midstream this time with the Mungios - well as far as a set of twelve 1/2 sticks would let me. I am unable to mix the colours on the paper effectively at this stage of learning. So I had to use the derwent pastel pencils for the heron and close leaves - also the grassy tufts. Almost used up the 1/2 stick of white doing the sky and water. The limited pallette also meant deciduous trees on the opposite bank - not having a variety of blue/greens. Ah well a good exercise.
La Carte Pastel, sort of mid grey colour, 12" X 15"
Jim


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Jun-2011/69634-heron_midstream.jpg

CM Neidhofer
06-13-2011, 03:25 PM
Thanks, everyone! I'm kind of getting used to my small pallete and how best to use them to create colors I need.

Robert, love your geese! Very dramatic!

Everyone's paintings are wonderful! I may get around to another yet this month. Thinking maybe the swan and babies but not sure yet.

Thanks for looking and commenting!

robertsloan2
06-13-2011, 04:25 PM
Judi, your heron is spectacular! I love it. That painting is glorious. You've beaten your best. The bird is perfect. The water texture is fantastic. The rocks are beautiful. I love the shapes of the rocks.

Jim, love your little distant heron! That has a sweet, vintage look to it - and the bird's proportions are elegant. Pretty impressive with a limited palette. It gets frustrating when the white wears down that fast on a limited palette.

Christine, thank you!

mij
06-13-2011, 04:55 PM
Thanks for commenting Robert. Yes I was surprised at the rate the white dissapeared - this La Carte eats pastels alive. I have some of the W&N pastel pad that doesn't have as much tooth. Perhaps it'd fare better on that. Perhaps there is time to do another before the month is out. It's only the 13th today.
jim

mij
06-14-2011, 02:56 PM
Ok did another today but there is only two cygnets. I reckon the fox got the other four :lol:
Oh the details piece of mount card painted with leaf green colourfix and this scanner size12" x 8.5" also Art Spectrum pastels.
jim

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Jun-2011/69634-swan_june_spotlight.jpg

spirothet
06-14-2011, 06:37 PM
Hi All,

I finally got the two mallards finished. They were painted using PanPastel and pastel pencils on Pastelboard 5 X 7. As I look at it posted, I see the eyes needed to be a bit more pronounced. I couldn't see them very clearly on the picture I had. I will try and fix them later. Thanks, Cali

mij
06-14-2011, 07:19 PM
The eyes can hardly be seen in most of the birds cali. These look fine but I know you'll probably have to 'fiddle' as we all do. You have made them look particularly colourful.
jim

tvandeb
06-14-2011, 07:25 PM
Christine: Beautiful painting of the herons, I like the purple in there! Sandra: Beautiful painting on the heron, really like the variations of blues. Robert: Gorgeous colors on the autumn geese! What color ground did you use? really gives the paper nice effects! Judibibelle: Beautiful, vivid colors on your heron! Jim: beautiful soft colors on the heron landscape, and you did it again on the trees, cool! Gorgeous variations in colors on your swan and babies!
Spirothet: beautiful painterly effect on the mallards!:clap: :clap: :clap:

And about mungyos, I have a set of 72, and a bunch of various colors of the samplers from dakota pastels, and to be honest I don't see that much of a difference between them. But I know there is a difference between the Artist Mungyos, and the "gallery" ones less pigment. Not the thread for it. thought I'd chirp in about it.
Still at art camp, and did a couple of the challenges last couple of days, while the kids worked on collage.
Office had a scanner so, here it is the mallards, and the heron up close version
pastelmat with carb othello, not my best as my time is limited here.

mij
06-14-2011, 07:39 PM
You have done a lovely job on the ducks and the heron TVandeb. Most colourful and detailed. Thanks for the input on the artist grade and the gallery sticks - I'll remember that.
jim

robertsloan2
06-14-2011, 09:48 PM
Jim, sweet look on your swan and cygnets. Love the luminosity on the mother's feathers, she seems to glow. Cygnets are cute. Must be a happy fox!

Cali, love your version of the mallards. I'm not sure you need to define the eyes more or not. They were hard to see on the reference and they're pretty hard to see in life sometimes. Wonderful color and accuracy on the male's head, on both of them really, also I love your rocks. That's a great combination, Pans and pastel pencils. I should try that sometime.

Tammy, great job on the heron and the ducks! I love your rounded, well formed rocks, they are so cool. Plenty of depth. Beautiful accurate waterfowl, all three of them. I also really like the graceful shape of those two branches coming up out of the grass, they're almost identical and not quite, dancing around mirroring each other and not. Love the shadow on the water showing the brown water too, and the water plants you added. Very cool.

DAK723
06-14-2011, 10:27 PM
Great work everybody!

Judi - Very nice job on the heron!
Jim - You've been busy! Nice work with the landscape and the swans!
Cali - Wonderful job on the mallards!
Tammy - Nice work on both of yours!

Don

Ruthie57
06-15-2011, 03:23 AM
Sorry I haven't been around this week. Been so busy and any spare time I've made has been used painting the Swan spotlight one! Not finished yet and I doubt I'll finish today. But I'll be back from my next trip on the 24th so should be able to post it before the end of the month.
Great work from everyone! The Herons are very popular. Shame I won't have time to do more than the one but, fingers crossed, it's going very well. A real challenge to produce something better than Don's lovely photo!
Happy painting folks. See you soon!

mij
06-19-2011, 05:57 PM
Robert I omitted commenting on your geese, I think thoughts of the Mungios pushed them outta mind. So that is being loose? I have yet to try being loose - and make it look anything resembling the reference, you'll have to let me in on your secret. It takes for ever for me to get realistic most times. Yet you seem to manage it well. These really look like geese and you have flipped them and brought them closer as well.

Thanks Robert and Don for your comments on my swan and cygnets. Yes the fox ate well that night. :evil:

I have to take 'H' to the physio's tomorrow but may try another before this month is out.
jim

robertsloan2
06-19-2011, 06:42 PM
Wow, thank you! Jim, when I work looser I still try to be accurate. I just don't put as much detail. Part of my loosening up is understanding what details are important and which ones aren't. I didn't try to get the water shapes exact to the photo, I just interpreted the general type of shapes and softened them by blending to make the geese stand out more.

Loved your swan and cygnets. hee hee, you'll have to do the happy fox sometime!

robertsloan2
06-19-2011, 09:24 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Jun-2011/70184-6-19-2011-Spotlight-Seagulls.jpg
Seagulls
4 5/8" x 6 5/8"
Carb-Othello Pastel Pencils
Derwent Soft Cover Journal
Photo reference DAK723 for Pastel Spotlight June 2011

Decided to go for another one tonight. I love this month's theme!

mij
06-20-2011, 09:13 AM
Well only great minds think alike Robert, I was in the middle of doing the same scene. I've given the amputee a prosthetic leg and foot though :wink2:

I like your interpretation. Nice and light. That makes it more like a watercolour to me.

Oh nearly forgot the details .... Art Spectrum sand coloured primed paper, Derwent pastel pencils, old and new.
jim
PS Scanner size then cropped so 11" X 8"
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Jun-2011/69634-seagulls_june_spotlight_mine.jpg

ncgirl
06-20-2011, 11:09 AM
Robert and Jim - fantastic work on the gulls! Love them both! I've been popping in when I can to see all these fantastic paintings, Judi, Cali and Tammy, you guys are amazing!

DBfarmgirl
06-20-2011, 12:29 PM
Robert, MIJ Love the gulls too.

mij
06-20-2011, 12:40 PM
Thanks Ncgirl and Sharon for popping in. Your comments are very welcomed. I have only recently started in pastels and am getting to really like them.
jim

Talley
06-20-2011, 12:41 PM
Nice gulls, guys.

Robert like how you handled that tucked up foot and I agree there is a watercolor feel to yours - in that great fresh way.

Jim, each of yours has a definite personality, which I like. the one on the right is especially well done.

robertsloan2
06-20-2011, 12:51 PM
Great gulls, Jim! You did a much broader composition. I like how you balanced it out throwing the group more to the left and adding those little light and dark stones here and there in the sand. Cool progression of color in the sand too. You might just have started on pastels but you're a natural for them.

Thanks for all the comments on my gulls! Awesome that you're comparing it to watercolor. If I could paint like that in watercolor I'd be doing great!

DAK723
06-20-2011, 09:13 PM
Robert, Very nice job on the gulls! I am always impressed with your ability to combine a linear sketchy style with full-bodied tones!

Jim, Nice job, too! I also like the color progression in the sand. Creates a nice sense of depth!

Don

mij
06-21-2011, 04:58 AM
Thanks Robert and Don. Your comments are much appreciated here. I do like the pastels. The more I try them the more I seem to like them.
jim

Judibelle
06-21-2011, 09:00 AM
Love your gulls, Robert and Jim....both so different but so well-done!
I think I will try the gulls also...there's still a little time left this month...

mij
06-21-2011, 10:27 AM
Thanks Judi - yes there is time but we'll be away. See you when we get back.

robertsloan2
06-23-2011, 10:25 PM
Yay Judi! Looking forward to seeing your gulls!

Ruthie57
06-25-2011, 12:40 PM
Hi, I'm back :wave:
I've started on page 7 'cos I can't go through them all and comment!
Robert, I love your Gulls. Excellent lines and very realistic. Love the typical Gull "attitude" of the front one!
Jim, Great Gulls too. I particularly like the way you've done the sand/mud!
Today I finished my swan and Cygnets. What a joy that was to paint :clap:

I flipped the photo because it just looked better somehow. I am pleased with this but note that the values of the Cygnets heads are not quite dark enough. Do you think I should go back and darken? I'll have to think about that for a day or two. also my not so accurate drawing has inadvertently made a few position changes etc:o

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Jun-2011/189061-Swan_and_cygnets.jpg

robertsloan2
06-25-2011, 06:33 PM
Ruthie, they are spectacular exactly as they are. I love this. The color sings and the composition's glorious. The reflections make a lead-in and the ripples are so sweet, the birds are so gorgeous - and they read as white or grey despite the fantastic rainbow.

The water lays flat so beautifully too! Fantastic painting!

spirothet
06-25-2011, 10:18 PM
RUTHIE,

Your Swan and Cygnets are just beautiful I love the colors you used and the ripples that form a circle. You are very talented.

I am hoping you will share your photos of Greece. You might consider using some as a spotlight for July. I am of Greek decent and have lived there, so painting photos from there would be exciting to me.

I look forward to seeing more of your work!! Cali

DAK723
06-26-2011, 09:39 AM
Ruth, Fantastic job on the swan and cygnets! I wouldn't change anything! Wonderfully colorful!

Don

robertsloan2
06-26-2011, 10:31 AM
Ruthie, I'm with Cali on this. Please do share your Greece photos in a Spotlight! I'd love to see them and try creating something cool from them. Vitally important to my future career plans too since I'm going to be doing "landmarks in a tourist destination" in only a few more weeks. I want to develop a good quick sketch style in pastels that I can do on the spot, something appealing to tourists and powerful - yet concise and fast enough that I can produce a great lot of it while putting more time in on the gallery paintings (and price them accordingly.)

Ruthie57
06-26-2011, 11:56 AM
Thanks for your comments about my Swan painting! I do think I will just darken areas of the cygnets heads a little though. A tip for how to decide on using colour in subjects like these....I just increase the saturation of the ref photo, print it off, then I can see those colours and I exaggerate them a little more in the painting.

I'd be happy to share some photos from Greece. Don, what do you think about having Spotlight on the Dodecanese? If I can work it out I may put some in the RIL anyway....I bet there are some in there already.

Cali. Ooh, where in Greece did you live? On an Island or the mainland?

spirothet
06-26-2011, 12:13 PM
Ruthie,

Back in the day, and I'm talking the early 70's, I lived in Athens for about three and a half years. I was a travel agent then and got a chance to see a lot of Greece. I've been to Meteora, the Peloponnesus, Corfu, and as far down as Monemvasia (not sure of the spelling) which is the southern tip of Mani. I've also been to Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, and some small Islands off Athens like Aegina and Hydra. We didn't have digital cameras then so most of my photos are slides. One day I'll get around to converting some of them. I've also been on some of the cruise ships that went to Turkey. They were great times then. Too bad the passion to paint wasn't there then. I was too busy socializing and having a good time. Not complaining, at least the passion finally showed up. Ciao for now, Cali

Ruthie57
06-26-2011, 12:18 PM
Interesting Cali. I bet you had a great time! We have Athens and Crete in common (and Turkey but don't tell anyone will you). We went to Kos, Kalymnos, Telhendros, Leros, Archangelos, Patmos and Lipsi....may have missed a small one or two out.

spirothet
06-26-2011, 12:31 PM
I think I've been to Kalymnos as well. My best friend has a house there. It's been so long though. I don't know if I think I was or actually was there because they always talked about it. Oh well!!

wendyc1276
06-26-2011, 12:54 PM
Ruthie - I love your swan and cygnets painting! You really captured the fluffy texture of the cygnets and I love all the colors - I wouldn't change a thing.

Looking forward to seeing pictures from Greece.

Wendy

wendyc1276
06-26-2011, 12:58 PM
I finally got one of the challenges done...I'd hoped to do the geese too, but getting caught up in a lot of work lately. At least I have one tick for my June goal post done :http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jun-2011/201691-JuneDucks.jpg

ncgirl
06-26-2011, 02:38 PM
wendyc these are wonderful! The color on the drake's head especially - bravo! :clap: I couldn't get that value right to save my life!

ruthie your swan and cygnets are stunning!

As I suspected I probably won't finish my last painting in time to post - struggling with the ducks - started, tossed out, started again, tossed out. When my new pastels arrive I'll try try again - unless I quack up from all the effort.

Somebody had to do a duck joke.... :wink2:

mij
06-27-2011, 12:17 PM
Ah we got back last night from the drawing break.
Switched on here to find a lot has been happening.
Lovely swan and cygnets Ruth, a good example in shade and light for us newbies to see and take in.

Good ducks there Wendy, and yes I guess somebody had to do a duck joke :lol:. I agree on the head colour - it is a lovely black/green blend.

I find that drawing and sketching is very tiring. I'm yawning already and it's
only early evening here-abouts.
jim

robertsloan2
06-27-2011, 02:03 PM
I finally got one of the challenges done...I'd hoped to do the geese too, but getting caught up in a lot of work lately. At least I have one tick for my June goal post done :http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jun-2011/201691-JuneDucks.jpg

Great ducks, Wendy! I love the male mallard's shimmering head. You captured the color and shine so perfectly on this. Love it!

DAK723
06-27-2011, 03:16 PM
Wendy, great job on the mallards!

Even though we usually prepare the Spotlight months in advance :D ...due to popular demand, we will be Spotlighting Greece next month! :clap:

Don

spirothet
06-27-2011, 07:40 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: Hay!!!!!

I am super excited! Can't wait to see what you post Ruthie!

Thanks, Cali

tuscanni
06-27-2011, 09:32 PM
hi everyone! fellow pastelists
I havent posted in the monthly challenge in 10 months because I have been busy, but wanted to start again. I was out of town for the past week and just now finished my piece for the challenge this month. I had originally had the water way too blue, so I erased most of the water and tried again. I pieced together two different photos to make this one piece (thankyou Johannes). I am not experienced in pastels, so I am still learning to work with the materials. I find it extremely difficult to achieve the right color that I want.
Here is my entry...9 x 12, nupastels, faber castel pastel pencils on strathmore pastel paper
any critiques and comments are very welcome...I can use all the help that I can get with this medium
ANN
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2011/187535-pastel_monthly_challenge-june_2011-heron.jpg

spirothet
06-27-2011, 10:11 PM
Hi Ann,

To my inexperienced eye, I think you did a great job. You captured the Heron's stance, water looks great with reflections and sense of movement, and lastly, your rock are well done. Thanks for sharing and look forward to more of your work! Cali

mij
06-28-2011, 01:09 AM
Hello Ann
I go along with what Cali has said. I've only been here a short while as well so still learning to get the colours right. You have got them ok in this.
jim

ncgirl
06-28-2011, 11:54 AM
Hi Ann! Same as you and a few others, I'm new at pastels. I like your painting, I think you've got the colors done right. What impresses me the most is you captured the heron's shadow in the water. Nice work on the rocks too - they are difficult to do!

DAK723
06-28-2011, 12:31 PM
Hi Ann, Thnks for posting! Your Heron looks really good! Getting the right color that you want...well, that's why most pastel painters have hundreds (if not thousands) of sticks! Or you can be like me and not really worry about the exact color, but just go for something close!

Don

Ruthie57
06-28-2011, 04:47 PM
Wendy, Great Ducks! I too love the colours you have achieved on the Drake's head.

Ann, The Heron really stands out from his surroundings and looks 3D. The BG colours are fine IMO and I love the rocks!

Hey, I'm going to my art group tomorrow. Maybe I could print off a Heron and do a quickie there.

wendyc1276
06-28-2011, 06:17 PM
Ann - I love your heron! I think you got everything right, from the texture of the feathers, the rocks, and great reflections in the water. I think the color looks great too.

I have found that if I try to match a photograph's color exactly in pastel, it looks dull in the end. It works for oil, but not pastel - so I try to up the color intensity a little anyway, and not worry about matching exactly. I think you did a fabulous job here.

NYKIWI
06-28-2011, 09:51 PM
Never posted in the spotlight before. Actually I don't think I have ever posted in the pastel forums before but it is actually the medium I paint in. Im a bit of a lurker and trying to get myself to do more painting so I thought I would give the spotlight a try. Various pastels on Mi-tientes (I think thats how you spell it) 9x 12http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2011/54376-junebird.jpg

tuscanni
06-28-2011, 10:25 PM
thanks everyone, cali, jim, wendy and ncgirl for the responses to my heron painting.

ruthie...thanks for the comment about my heron. I am very impressed by your work. I dont know how you achieve what you do with pastels.

don.....I wish that I could afford a thousand sticks, but alas, its not in my budget. However, I do have all the pastel pencil colors that fabel castell and stabillo carbothello makes, which is about 60 from each company.
I have a super difficult time blending pastels to achieve the correct color, I think that I must be doing something wrong.
I have been watching some of colin bradleys videos because I like his work in pastel pencils and I hope to learn some techniques from him.

here is my last challenge piece for this month, since we are running out of time.
faber castell pastel pencils on 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 art trading card.....I want to start doing more miniatures, hopefully collectors can afford.
ANN

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2011/187535-pastel_monthly_challenge-june_2011-mallard_ducks.jpg

tuscanni
06-28-2011, 10:28 PM
NYKIWI.....your heron is gorgeous...such detail in a somewhat small canvas size. I liked my heron until I saw yours. Your heron is more colorful and vibrant.
ANN




Never posted in the spotlight before. Actually I don't think I have ever posted in the pastel forums before but it is actually the medium I paint in. Im a bit of a lurker and trying to get myself to do more painting so I thought I would give the spotlight a try. Various pastels on Mi-tientes (I think thats how you spell it) 9x 12http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2011/54376-junebird.jpg

DAK723
06-28-2011, 10:38 PM
I have a super difficult time blending pastels to achieve the correct color, I think that I must be doing something wrong.

ANN

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2011/187535-pastel_monthly_challenge-june_2011-mallard_ducks.jpg


Ann,

Pastels are a fairly opaque medium. They do not mix and become a new color like oils or watercolor, although it is possible to apply pastel colors and have them mix visually to a certain extent. But since they are opaque, mixing is difficult. Pastel pencils also have their limitations as they can not lay down the pastel dust with the kind of volume to create as brilliant and intense color as the softer brands of pastel sticks. The paper also matters in terms of how many layers it can take. All that being said, I think you are doing really well! But a certain number of sticks are needed - especially to get good colorful neutralized or grayed colors.

Very nice job on the mallards!

Don

DAK723
06-28-2011, 10:39 PM
NYKIWI, Thank you so much for joining us! You have done a superb job on the heron. Really excellent! I hope we see more of your pastels here in the Spotlight and also in our Studio and Gallery sub-forum!

Don

mij
06-29-2011, 02:47 AM
Ann well done with the mallards, and voicing your difficulties on colour matching with pastel pencils is helping me to realise their limitations as well.

NIKIWI well done on the heron. Lovely water, heron, rocks and grass.
jim

robertsloan2
06-29-2011, 09:38 PM
Ann, WOW! I love your heron. It's utterly spectacular. Congrats on applying Johannes's photo combination techniques! It helps so much.

My only critique is the green foreground plant on the lower left is a bit strong to be sitting in the No Fly Zone (border of the painting drawing attention to the edge for those who haven't taken Johannes Vloothuis classes). I'd mute that with some ochre and russet colors, just warm it up and mute it at the same time. Then soften it a bit. Experiment with different smudging tools for edge control on pastel pencils.

They are as easy to get soft edges with as the other pastels. Sometimes I've softened edges by blowing hard at the painting in the right direction, or barely touching it with a chamois or finger or Sofft sponge or Colour Shaper. You can make an improvised Colour Shaper by cutting a white vinyl eraser up - slice off a 1/8" thick piece across the eraser and shape one end of the slice into a chisel shape to use as a blender. Taper it to the width you want.

The weed on the right has a fantastic shape and perfect degree of softness like I was talking about for the left side one, just the other one's bigger and brighter and could be golden-russet bits in it for varying color and knocking it down.

Now that I've picked one very small nit on a spectacular painting with gorgeous light and color, perfect accuracy, splendid water, inspiring rocks, graceful form on the heron, stunning ripples... everything else on it is fantastic. Really. That is a small miss when everything else in the painting is hits.

Tip with pastel pencils, try layering to do combination colors. Even two or three layers will start creating interesting combinations and broken color creates optical mixing. Crosshatching does that too. Agree with Don - the more colors the better with pastel pencils, layering doesn't always work to the extent it does with sticks or even hard pastels so it helps to use more colors to have good two-color mixes.

One thing I've done is a mixing grid if I've got a small set - all my colors vertically in a row of as many swatches as I have colors. Then go over all the swatches again in rows starting with the top row colors over the side row ones. This results in a diagonal row of pure color for each pencil and two triangular areas that show each combo with one or the other color on top. Since they respond differently depending on which is on top, that mixing chart will give me a lot more hues with fewer pencils. I label the colors down the side and across the top so that I can tell at a glance which two pencils to use and which one to put down first.

I like those Colin Bradley videos too a lot - so that's where you get that spectacular pastel pencils realism style! They rock.

Cool mallards too.

NYKIWI, your heron is breathtaking in a completely different style. Both of them are very detailed and realistic, yours has different light and a different texture and feel - and wow, wow, wow. Between the two of you, you're embarrassing me about my little heron sketch. This is fantastic!

tvandeb
06-29-2011, 10:55 PM
Robert: Great job on the seaguls-alot of beautiful color combos on the birds-Nice! Jim: Beautiful details on your seagulls! Ruthie: Gorgeous swans just love the colors! Wendyc1276: Great job on the mallards very beautiful! tuscanni: Great colors colors and deatails on your heron and mallards! NYkiwi: Very beautiful heron; really like the depth in the rocks too.! Hopefully I didn't miss anyone, they are all very beautiful!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:

Finished with summer art camp, very tired, but relaxed today and finished the one I started prior to camp. The canadian geese in the autumn scene, a fun one to do. On 9" x5" sienna pastelmat with carb othello pastel pencils. Thanks for the great refs this month!!!!:thumbsup:

wendyc1276
06-29-2011, 11:14 PM
I've just been reviewing this entire thread and admiring everyone's work! I have learned a lot from all of you, and I can see I'm really going to enjoy this forum.

NYKIWI - It looks like you use the textured side of the Mi-Tientes paper. I have no idea how you got those colors so rich and smooth on that side, but your heron is beautiful. Whenever I try to use the textured side, I fight it the whole time and looks like I have 10 thumbs.

Tammy - I love these geese that you did, and the size dimensions really adds to the depth of the painting. The water and reflections are wonderful!

This has been so much fun, and I'm looking forward to the next challenge. Hopefully I will get to do more pieces.

Wendy

tuscanni
06-29-2011, 11:32 PM
don.....my biggest problem that I have with pastels is color. I know about complementary colors and the color wheel, but my problem with color is which color of pastel do I layer ontop of another to achieve the color that I want. I understand that pastels dont mix well, but its the layering of colors that I have a problem with. Which color of blue do I layer with which green to get the right color blue green that I need...thats my dilema.
I worked with oils for many many years and it was easier to get the color that I wanted to achieve realistic colors for portraits. I am trying to twist my brain around this layering colors in pastel thing.
Thanks for your comments, I appreciate it.
As long as I am able I am going to keep participating in the pastel monthly challenges. For me, I love interacting with other artists and I love challenging myself, plus the practice with pastels is a big plus.
ann

tuscanni
06-29-2011, 11:56 PM
robert....I am a big fan of yours from johannes class. Isnt he the best? He really makes us "get it" in plain simple terms. Frankenstein, soupbowl, melodic, hit n miss, LOL these are priceless.
Thanks for the critique and the help with my heron piece. I tried to remember the "no fly zone", also tried to remember values, hit n miss, focal point etc, but ITS HARD!! to remember them all. Do you have a hard time as well remembering all the principles Jo taught us, or is it just me LOL
Johannes once told me in a post in the wetcanvaslive forum, that using a packing peanut to smudge and blend would work. Guess what, it works great! I used a packing peanut to soften my rocks which had very hard lines and was competeing with the heron for a focal point. Since I am an online shipper, I have them laying around. You should give it a try, especially on larger areas.
I think that I will take your advise on changing the plant in the "no fly zone" and I love your idea about making a chart with two colors layered. You are a genius Robert :)
Now you know everyone LOVES your work and your sketches, we love your sketches in your notes from johannes class. Dont be embarrassed about your sketches compared to my work....cuz I think my work STINKS!!
One of my wishes is to do a piece good enough so Johannes will say that I am a talented artist, that I have potential to be a really good artist. He is tops in his field and I would like to held in high regard as well. Its just one of my wishes, that I can be as good an artist as others here on wetcanvas. Sometimes I am embarrassed to even post some of my work because I know its not as good as others here. I need to learn and improve, so I am hoping to get great creative critizism. (did I spell that right) LOL
I am one of those artists that takes her art seriously, its not just for fun for me. I would love to have my pieces in a gallery or several galleries, and they sell! I would love to enter more art competitions, but the jury fee kills me. The pastel journal is having their competition again and the jury fee is $20 per piece ACK! I have to come up with something good to enter, I can probably enter in one piece.
Anyways...thanks again for the critique.
ANN

Ann, WOW! I love your heron. It's utterly spectacular. Congrats on applying Johannes's photo combination techniques! It helps so much.

My only critique is the green foreground plant on the lower left is a bit strong to be sitting in the No Fly Zone (border of the painting drawing attention to the edge for those who haven't taken Johannes Vloothuis classes). I'd mute that with some ochre and russet colors, just warm it up and mute it at the same time. Then soften it a bit. Experiment with different smudging tools for edge control on pastel pencils.

They are as easy to get soft edges with as the other pastels. Sometimes I've softened edges by blowing hard at the painting in the right direction, or barely touching it with a chamois or finger or Sofft sponge or Colour Shaper. You can make an improvised Colour Shaper by cutting a white vinyl eraser up - slice off a 1/8" thick piece across the eraser and shape one end of the slice into a chisel shape to use as a blender. Taper it to the width you want.

The weed on the right has a fantastic shape and perfect degree of softness like I was talking about for the left side one, just the other one's bigger and brighter and could be golden-russet bits in it for varying color and knocking it down.

Now that I've picked one very small nit on a spectacular painting with gorgeous light and color, perfect accuracy, splendid water, inspiring rocks, graceful form on the heron, stunning ripples... everything else on it is fantastic. Really. That is a small miss when everything else in the painting is hits.

Tip with pastel pencils, try layering to do combination colors. Even two or three layers will start creating interesting combinations and broken color creates optical mixing. Crosshatching does that too. Agree with Don - the more colors the better with pastel pencils, layering doesn't always work to the extent it does with sticks or even hard pastels so it helps to use more colors to have good two-color mixes.

One thing I've done is a mixing grid if I've got a small set - all my colors vertically in a row of as many swatches as I have colors. Then go over all the swatches again in rows starting with the top row colors over the side row ones. This results in a diagonal row of pure color for each pencil and two triangular areas that show each combo with one or the other color on top. Since they respond differently depending on which is on top, that mixing chart will give me a lot more hues with fewer pencils. I label the colors down the side and across the top so that I can tell at a glance which two pencils to use and which one to put down first.

I like those Colin Bradley videos too a lot - so that's where you get that spectacular pastel pencils realism style! They rock.

Cool mallards too.

NYKIWI, your heron is breathtaking in a completely different style. Both of them are very detailed and realistic, yours has different light and a different texture and feel - and wow, wow, wow. Between the two of you, you're embarrassing me about my little heron sketch. This is fantastic!

DAK723
06-30-2011, 08:25 AM
don.....my biggest problem that I have with pastels is color. I know about complementary colors and the color wheel, but my problem with color is which color of pastel do I layer ontop of another to achieve the color that I want. I understand that pastels dont mix well, but its the layering of colors that I have a problem with. Which color of blue do I layer with which green to get the right color blue green that I need...thats my dilema.
First let me say that probably every pastel painter has a different method and procedure, so my answer to this is...well, my answer only! In almost every case, I try to pick a pastel that will be the local color I want. I layer to mix a new color only if I can't get the color I want with one pastel. So, I layer for creating a new color very rarely. Layering, for me, is primarily for working light over dark. For example, I may start a tree with a dark green - the color of the darkest shadows deep within the tree and in the shadows. The next layer is a lighter color to depict the areas in the light. This color covers the other color, but leaves enough hints of the background color and gaps so that we know there are darker areas behind the lighter areas. My next layer is another new color that covers the lights with even brighter highlights. Yes, there will be some blending, but that is not my main purpose in layering.

When I do mix to create a new color, I don't really think of it is as layering. It is more putting down a color more loosely - usually with a harder pastel like Rembrandt - and then adding a second color. By applying the pastel in a loose manner - with space between the strokes, for example, I can then fill in the gaps with the second color. I also occasionally use a very fine cross hatching method to blend the two colors. The color choices would be similar to oils - mixing a yellow with a green to get a yellow-green, for example. Or adding a more neutral blue-gray to dull down a color to push it more into the distance.

Hope this helps!

Don

DAK723
06-30-2011, 08:26 AM
Tammy, very nice job on the Canadian geese! Really like the way you handled the water!

Don

ncgirl
06-30-2011, 12:07 PM
NYKIWI, wow, I love the heron! The colors are wonderful, and such good detail too! :clap:

Ann, your mallards are wonderful - very nicely done! :clap:

Tammy, the geese are beautiful! I like the reflections off the water too, but I think my favorite part of your painting has to be the trees - the colors are radiant! :clap:

Eagerly awaiting next challenge - pastels are lined up all nice and neat! :D The kittens are doing better now too, so I may have a little more time to look and comment! :cat:

robertsloan2
07-01-2011, 12:54 AM
Tammy, great Canadian geese! Love those trees and the choppy water with the subtle reflections. Gorgeous color in both the bright areas and the muted areas.

Ann, thank you! I think you're doing better than you think you are. I know that feeling about JV - the day he said "You can draw beautifully, there's nothing wrong with your rendering. You need to learn to paint..." or something like that, it hit me like a sledge hammer. Kicked me to a whole new level.

I loosened up after it too. You will reach that point. You are talented. Everyone in JV class is ferociously talented. He brings it out in people. Talent is wanting to get it right so much that you practice enough to get past the point it makes you choke.

I don't think it'll be long before you get a piece of finite perfection - one of those paintings that comes together right and not one more stroke could be added or changed. I also hope when you do that you recognize it and don't overwork it, I ruined a few of my best that way.

Ruthie57
07-01-2011, 04:15 AM
Great work since I last posted! I started the Heron but haven't finished as my plans for yesterday were turned upside down when Mum was found on the floor, hypothermic, in the morning and had to go to hospital again. They've got her temperature back to normal but she is fighting infection which seems not to want to go away. So, no heron from me.

spirothet
07-01-2011, 07:45 AM
Sorry to hear about your mum! When things like this happen, herons are the last thing you should be thinking about. Hope they can get the infection she is fighting under control. Take care, Cali

mij
07-01-2011, 09:00 AM
Goals are the last thing to mind when things like this happen. I hope she is able to beat the infection. Best wishes for a quick recovery from here.
jim

robertsloan2
07-01-2011, 01:42 PM
Ruthie, that's terrible! Life happens, your mum is more important than doing a Spotlight challenge. Though I would still love to see what you do with the heron someday, when things settle down and she's better would you consider coming back to this one to do your heron? I love the ones you did.