While I am home doing the job hunt thing (which by the way is a full time job) and hoping I come up with a way to freelance so I can chose not to return to the office life. I am making most of free time 🙂
I love animals, nature & all its wildlife (not snakes, never snakes) I thought it would be great to do some pastels of endangered animals. My starting animal is a Gorilla. It’s the eyes, so expressive.
I used canson pastel paper and a mix of pencil and my Rembrandt soft sticks.
I’m pretty happy with finished product and it felt good to lose myself in the process. I think I will try another paper next time though. I am now planning my next one. Not sure which animal yet but looking forward to it.
This is a commission I just finished, for my daughter. This is her cat Oliver. I used 8 x 10 Canson Paper with soft pastel sticks. I also used a lot of pastel pencils.
Once I got all the base colours in I used the pencils for details and hair.
The funniest part was every time I sat to paint Oliver would lay right next to me on the shelf unit watching me. I think he wanted to make sure I captured his likeness properly.
As you may or may not know I’ve been playing with sanded pastel paper. It started with Nell the horse and went on to Brown Eye Susan (one of my favourite paintings yet) and I really enjoyed the paper and it’s very rough texture and its ability to take punishment.
Well, I decided to try a portrait on this paper, from my past paintings I wasn’t sure portraits would work. The paper didn’t seem to lend itself to details. My daughters friend has a real cutie, Desmond. So after sorting through some photos I found one I liked. I started with the sanded paper and started to sketch.
However I really had a hard time blending the skin tones on this paper I kept walking away coming back making changes but ugh! I got to a point where I just had the base colours in and just could’nt get it to work.
So the photo is all that remains. It went out with the trash.
I have a hard time with throwing out art I figure if I keep it I can fix it. So this is a step forward for me, some might not, but it takes a lot to throw away a piece of art that you created.
So, back to the drawing board. This time I used Canson Pastel paper this had always been my go to paper for my pastel work before I started the sanded experiments.
Much better, although you can see the texture of the paper, which I don’t mind I like the extra depth it gives and the blending for hair (baby fluff) and skin tones was much better. I was very happy with the outcome. I think I captured Desmond and his cute little face.
I also did the marketing thing as well and posted it on my Facebook page and twitter hoping that I can get some commissions for portraits. Part of my ongoing plan is to try and market myself more.
I also do it because I love it! I do enjoy painting people and animals I get such pleasure from seeing the faces come alive on the paper not to mention the faces of the people I do the work for.
I am still playing with that #Pastel sanded paper that I bought. I bought 2 sheets, they were a medium brown colour. They actually look and feel just like sandpaper from the hardware store. I have always used the Basic paper that works for pastels, has a little tooth.
I am on my second painting, I cut the paper in half the first half I used for Nell
my painting of my sister’s horse, this time I decided to try something floral. My wonderful daughter takes breathtaking photos, I use some of these for my inspiration.
I did this painting with soft pastel sticks and used some soft pastel pencils for the finer details. This paper is great it takes so much punishment everything blends well and you can just keep adding more and more layers and you don’t need to fix it first (this means adding a solution so the pastel is no longer loose and chalky). What are the fall backs? Well, I have found it does wear down your pastels very quickly and the brush blending I had used before doesn’t really work well on this paper.
The usual Canson Mi-Teintes that most artists use covers well too. I can take brushes when doing hair and get a great sweep and texture that looks like hair, but I have found you can see the paper detail and you cannot add lots of layers without using fixative to seal each layer. But your pastels will last longer.
So here is the finished painting, Brown Eye Susan
So for me I think I rather prefer the Sanded paper for things like nature and landscape, but maybe for portraits maybe the Canson paper. I think a little more testing is needed 🙂