Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Why Pastels?

I thought I would share with you in this blog post about why I decided to have a go at pastel painting as one of my new mediums to try.

One of the reasons is that I can still use pencils! I've said before that I find it difficult with a brush to capture the detail I'd like as I can't seem to control a brush like I can a pencil. Because pastels come in sticks and pencils it seemed like a medium I personally would be able to create fine detail with.

It also seems a fairly 'claen' medium. By this I mean that there's no brushes or palettes to wash after painting. This suits me because I'm not the tidiest person, but it also means I can do an hour or so's artwork and not spend nearly as long setting up and tidying away afterwards. Of course, pastels can be dusty and I've already discovered that the velour paper picks up fluff as a pastime as well as being unforgiving when trying to remove smudges so I will need to be careful while I'm painting to not smudge pastel everywhere.

Being able to work dark to light or light to dark also appealed to me as I struggle with coloured pencil to remember to keep the highlights light and will often make a drawing darker and darker as i make the light bits too dark to begin with. By being able to add highlights after drawing the mid and dark tones I will hopefully be able to avoid this problem.

And, the main reason is because there are so many artists out there who produce such beautiful pet portraits and wildlife art using pastels that I felt I really should have a go and see if I could do it too. They create a really lovely softness when used to draw fur. Here are a few of my favourite pastel artists:

Sarah's Pet Portraits
Vic Bearcroft
Nutty Art
C.P. Art

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