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.
Last year my sister got a new horse, Nell. She is huge they have other Belgian draft horses but none are quite this big. I headed over for a visit and took some great photographs. But I took this one close up of her face, just one eye and piece of face I just love it. It’s been sitting in my ‘studio’ (bedroom) for awhile now, I really wanted to paint this it was such a great shot.
This weekend I moved my work area out of my bedroom to the kitchen. I got everything nicely set in front of the window, I feel more comfortable in this spot and I am close to everyone instead of far far away. The kids were gone and I had bought my very first piece of sanded pastel paper. Perfect time to paint.
I have never tried this sanded pastel paper before I had read an article on it and really wanted to test it. It was just like the fine sandpaper you get from the hardware store. The paper was a nice reddish colour and so is Nell…..perfect. Laying down the base colours was great this paper blends beautifully and takes far more punishment than regular paper.
I put a few layers of colour down building slowly. Once I was happy with it I started on the details, adding a bit at a time. I used both the soft pastel sticks and the harder pastel pencils which give me a finer detail for the smaller areas. The sanded paper does wear down your pastels quicker but I can put several layers down where as I cannot on regular paper.
So I have been a bit quiet of late. I do find it hard to be inspired when I look at databases all day. Must put new job at the top of my to do list 🙂
So the original plan was to do a sketch a week and post, hmmm, best laid plans and all that! But will still try to keep it art/design/craft/DIY oriented and hopefully I dont wander in my verbage to the gripe and moan genre. Well, I will keep to a min if I do LOL!
When looking for inspiration I was asked if i could sketch a friends dog. I got out the sketchpad and the graphite to start work and decided that I might give the pastels a shot. Its been years since I did anything with pastel.
So this old guy’s name is Jackson, a Jack Russell, it didnt come out to bad? I scored some old mats at a yard sale so at least he looks more refined.
I love, love to create, its hard to explain, but, I feeel like without it I am missing a big part of who I am. This is what I want to do. I want to paint and draw and sell my art, but I also fear sometimes that it wont sell, art is a tough field. My self esteem has been takening a bashing for a while now (long story bad boss) so I am pusshing myself to create and post.