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Old 02-17-2003, 06:18 AM
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Weekly Pastel Sketches Feb. 17 - 23

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 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

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
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Old 02-17-2003, 06:29 AM
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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!!!
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Old 02-17-2003, 07:30 AM
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Lovely

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.
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:15 AM
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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
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:20 AM
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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:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...threadid=87938

Jamie
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Old 02-17-2003, 08:34 AM
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Hi Sunny ....... Im wiv ya on this one ..... sitting here on my lunchbreak at home lol ..... I think this will be an EXCELLENT continual thread .... well done you and Jamie

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

Ok Im off back to work..... someone please give me some direction lol ..... Im coming back in tonight
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:01 AM
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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.

Cheers,
Mo.
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:27 AM
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You are right Jamie....but we are disciplined artists now aren't we...hee

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..?
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:54 AM
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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!

Jamie
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:56 AM
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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!!!!!!
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:04 AM
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no image. I certainly won't go through this again. Will post it at a later time. Thank you.
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Old 02-17-2003, 11:14 AM
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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..
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Old 02-17-2003, 12:43 PM
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try again
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:00 PM
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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
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Old 02-17-2003, 01:18 PM
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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...
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