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Pastel Painting => Pastel Encourager Sessions => Topic started by: RebecaM on July 03, 2017, 12:58:03 PM

Title: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 03, 2017, 12:58:03 PM
Hello everyone!
I was planning to start learning about this lovely medium for quite a while. In this thread I will post exercises and drawings made after tutorials from books or internet.
This is my first drawing in pastel pencils (I prefer to start with them instead of pastel sticks because they give me the feeling of more control over what I do, more detail and are less dusty. I draw at home in my spare time, so creating as little dust as possible is a must).
I would appreciate very much any feedback and constructive criticism in order to improve my work and learn more. Thank you kindly.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Kathysutterlin on July 03, 2017, 02:39:30 PM
👍🏼 Nice work, Rebecca. How do you like the pastel pencils? I like the idea of trying pastel without the dust. 😃
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 03, 2017, 03:50:34 PM
Well done Rebecca.

What pencils did you choose to work with? i tried a number of different ones and ended up with a small set of Carbothello, I'm hoping to get to try some Giocondas as i've heard some great things about them.

What paper did you use for this, it looks fairly light textured. So many decisions!
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Lisa gale on July 03, 2017, 04:06:40 PM
This is great Rebecca.   I have Carbothellos and they are pretty good. So I'm interested to see what you are using
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 14, 2017, 01:07:36 PM
Thank you Kathy, Val, Lisa. I'm sorry for answering you so late, sometimes it can be hard to maintain a balance between drawing and duties.
I have a set of 36 Faber Castell Pitt Pastel pencils which I mainly use and also some Derwent and Cretacolor. The Pitt Pastels and Cretacolor are a bit harder than Derwent, which helps when sharpening them. They are quite clean compared to traditional pastel sticks and are very good for detailing. I usually draw on A5 to A3 surfaces, which I find them perfect for.
Val, I didn't see Carbothellos in any art supplies shop from here, I believe they don't sell them in my country. I have only one Gioconda pastel pencil (light purple) which I haven't used that much, but from what I've seen it is softer than my other pastels, is easy to lay down and has vibrant pigment. For this drawing I worked on Fabriano Accademia paper. The manufacturer stated that this paper is suitable for pastels too and I can say it works very well to a point. It is good for sketches and quick studies, but it doesn't take many layers of pastel. I'm planning to use a paper with a heavier texture next time.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 15, 2017, 02:17:06 PM
I managed to find some Fabriano Tiziano paper (white) while in Guatemala City. Haven't tried it yet, but setting up Dennis' Mist In The Valley to give it a go. Quite excited as this will be my first proper lesson with my stick pastels. I have not seen any of the Accademia paper. In the meantime i still have some of the Canson Mi Teintes to use up.

Have not seen any of the sanded papers as yet, has anyone tried these?

The Carbothello pencils are made by Stabilo which is a German company I believe. The only indication on the tin is that they are made in EU.

Thank you for the little note regarding the Giocondas. Looking forward to seeing more 'stuff' (  :whistle: ) when we visit friends in the states shortly.

I'm scouring the net (when I can) to learn as much about pastels as I can. So exciting!!!  :yippee:

Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 15, 2017, 02:58:20 PM
Val, I also have some Canson Mi Teintes colored paper which I'm planning to try soon. I didn't find sanded paper here, but it would be interesting to use it. Karen Margulis is a pastelist who works on this type of paper, she has a blog and youtube channel where she shows demos and talks about her projects and experieces. I like very much her landscapes done in impressionistic manner.
You are right about pastels, they are such a versatile medium to work with, I've never had so much freedom in drawing as I do with them. And I totally love their blendability and vibrant colors.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 15, 2017, 03:11:56 PM
This is my second practice piece with pastels, done after a tutorial found on youtube. The real drawing is a bit softer in the cast shadow areas and left corner.  The background has a violet hue with subtle blue in it (here is too bluish), but this is the best result I've managed to obtain after editing the photo.
As usual, constructive criticism would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 15, 2017, 04:49:45 PM
 :heeha: This is great! I think the shaded side could be a bit darker, but you're definitely on track with the contouring.  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Win on July 15, 2017, 08:43:05 PM
This is very well done Rebeca  :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: TeresaM on July 17, 2017, 08:50:48 AM
Well done Rebecca
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 17, 2017, 03:11:04 PM
Thanks for looking, Val, Win, Teresa!
Val, thank you for the suggestion, I added some browns to darken the shaded side of the pears. This time I've photographed the drawing in the sunlight, so the colors are closer to the original.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Kathysutterlin on July 17, 2017, 06:52:17 PM
 :smitten: I love it.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on July 18, 2017, 05:08:44 AM
Rebecca,

Beautiful work on the pears.  Even the wooden table top looks so well done.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 18, 2017, 07:58:54 AM
Brilliant Rebeca, looks fantastic! Well done you!  O0     :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: dennis on July 21, 2017, 01:12:52 AM
Excellent :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Happychappy on July 22, 2017, 11:23:27 PM
 :clap: :clap: :clap:  You are doing so well with the pastels Rebeca. Love your pears.  Carry on the good work.  Patricia.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: lynn p. on July 23, 2017, 04:34:38 PM
This is a great still life.  Very well done and great color choices.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 24, 2017, 08:44:33 PM
Thank you so much for your kind words, Kathy, Mea, Val, Dennis, Patricia, Lynn, your support means a lot to me!
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 24, 2017, 08:55:42 PM
This is the first time I draw an animal. It's done after one of Collin Bradley's pastel pencils tutorial. I was curious if you can apply pastel on canvas, so I decided to find out using a small piece of canvased cardboard I've bought some time ago. I must say I'm quite pleased about the way this surface worked - it has enough tooth to hold many layers of pastel and it also gave me an interesting texture. As usual, please let me know what you think.  :painting:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 24, 2017, 10:07:23 PM
This is so cute Rebeca, I have the emails for this one saved but haven't been brave enough to take on fur yet.

You've done a lovely job on the eyes and really nicely on the colourings. I rather like the texture as well. Did you find the canvas ate up the pencils very quickly?

Very well done  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on July 24, 2017, 11:28:53 PM
Oh, Rebeca, this is precious.

All of the features look perfect.  Such a happy kitty.

The canvas seems to have worked well for you.

Wow.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Kathysutterlin on July 25, 2017, 12:34:43 AM
 :clap: YOur kitty is darling, Rebeca. I love the look you created using the pastel on canvas. That was a successful experiment.  :yippee:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: dennis on July 25, 2017, 07:07:08 AM
Beautiful  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Win on July 25, 2017, 07:51:33 PM
Gorgeous Rebecca  :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 31, 2017, 01:00:14 PM
 :thankyou: Val, Mea, Kathy, Dennis, Win
Val, I too am a bit reserved when taking up a new subject, but this is the only way to learn and evolve, so is worth taking the risk. Yes,the canvas took many layers of pastels, especially after I blended them with a paper stump (this was a crucial step of the drawing. In the beginning it looked really strange and had a muddy look, then I used the paper stump and the pastels did their magic! It was a major change). Over all, I am quite pleased by how this surface worked, so I plan using it for less detailed projects.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on July 31, 2017, 02:56:43 PM
I've always loved lilies, so I was very happy to find a pastel pencil tutorial on how to draw them. This time I've got more serious about drawing flowers (I still remember the scribbles I did while in primary school   ;D ).
Did this one on purple Canson mi Teintes paper using Pitt Pastel pencils on a watercolor wash background (which is actually more violet, but this is the closest I could get to the real colors).
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on July 31, 2017, 03:32:16 PM
Lovely Rebeca, I like the background colour. 

Have you tried the Mi Teintes Touch paper? It is a 'sanded' type paper. It is supposed to be excellent for using with pastel pencils. Thought this might be of interest to you.

Content/Technical DetailsMi-Teintes Touch Paper
 
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on July 31, 2017, 03:50:07 PM
Oh, Rebeca, this is lovely.  Background and flowers are so well done. Great blending and shading on the petals.

I have shied away from pastels, but took the plunge and ordered the Faber Castell pastel pencils last night.  Am looking forward to giving this a go.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on August 02, 2017, 09:40:06 PM
Thank you Val, Mea. Meanwhile I took another photo (this time in the sunlight) of my lilies and edited my post. The previous image seemed to be alright on the computer screen. Then I checked it on the phone and saw that the green hue in the petals was way too saturated, giving them quite an unnatural look (I modified the color channels in Ps to be more accurate to the background, but it seemed I altered the flower colors). Now the colors are almost identical to the real drawing. The background is still a little bluish...uhh, I have a hard time photographing purple.

Thank you the info Val, until now I've seen only the simple Mi-Teintes paper in the art supplies shops. I need to buy some paper next week, so I'm going to look for Mi-Teintes Touch Paper, hope I'll find some.

Mea, I'm glad you decided to try pastel pencils, I'm sure you will have a lot of fun with them. Colin Bradley has very good tutorials on how to use them. Which pack did you order? I have the 36 one. They are great for doing detailed work and the pencils can hold quite a sharp point without breaking (I prefer using a cutter and sandpaper for this, it works  well). Faber Castell Pitt pastel pencils have more muted, earthy tones, being suitable especially for animal and landscape drawings. I intend to buy a couple more Derwent and Conte pastel pencils in order to add more vibrant colors to my palette.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on August 02, 2017, 11:16:58 PM
Thanks, Rebecca.  I am really excited about this purchase.  I am getting the 36-pack of pastel pencils.  I can always supplement more vibrant colors if I really enjoy using them.

I told my senior art class about them and said I would bring them so they could try them, If we like them, I will order some for our class (I now have a modest budget for supplies).

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on September 12, 2017, 07:09:26 AM
I've had a tough time recently, with a very busy schedule, but I will try to take 1-2 h for drawing almost every day. I've completed this peacock head exercise recently, adapted from one of Colin Bradley's tutorials. This time I've used pastel pencils (FC Pitt, Cretacolor), as well as soft pastels for the background. I've also found the Sanskrit name of the bird/ Mayura, which I've decided to add.
As usual, constructive criticism and advice are appreciated.  :thankyou: :painting:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on September 12, 2017, 07:12:46 AM
So nice to see your work again, RebecaM.  The blue is beautiful.  Nice eye.

 Love that you added the Sanskrit name.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Happychappy on September 12, 2017, 03:34:35 PM
 :clap: :clap: :clap:  Rebeca, your peacock head is beautiful and I too, love the eye which you have done so well.   Patricia
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on September 13, 2017, 09:03:54 AM
Very nicely done Rebecca.  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on October 05, 2017, 06:21:49 AM
Thank you Mea, Patricia, Val!
This time I decided to do an owl, as I love these birds. I found a pastel pencils tutorial which I've followed and adapted. Grey and ivory tones were used as an underpainting (for the ivory I've used a soft pastel stick for quicker results and saving the pencils).
I've had a real struggle with the eyes, at first the bird having a scared, lost gaze. I've tried to create a more focused look, like something in the distance caught her attention - well, I hope I've achieved that. If you have any advice regarding this it would be greatly appreciated.
As always, the beautiful purple hue of the paper was altered when taking the photo. I've tried to modify that in Photoshop, but it would affect the rest of the drawing, so I've left it like that.
The actual color of the paper is something close to this
As usual, thanks for looking and please let me know what you think :)
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on October 05, 2017, 02:30:02 PM
Oooooh! He looks like fun! The only thing I can see that might need a touch up is in his left eye in the iris below the pupil. I think it is a highlight but looks like a band going up around his eye. I think if you soften most of that away it will be good.  O0

Great work on the fur and feathers!  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on October 06, 2017, 11:46:28 AM
Thank you for your suggestion Val, I believe you are right. I've softened that highlight adding a bit of yellow.
This time I've photographed it in natural light, so I've got a bit closer to the actual color of the background.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on October 06, 2017, 02:55:11 PM
Better I think. This photo is much better, I can see some reddish browns around his face. Whenever I see one of these owls and his tufts are sticking out to the sides I always think of Einstein!  :heeha:

I think if I have a go at one like this I'll have to call him Einstein!  :2funny:

Lovely rendition Rebeca, well done.  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: linley.plester on October 13, 2017, 05:45:29 AM
Beautiful painting. He/she certainly doesn't look scared or lost now. :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on October 20, 2017, 11:52:25 AM
 :thankyou: Val, Linley, glad you like it.
Val, yes, I've used some dark red for the background.
Hahah, I like the Einstein one, didn't think about it until now  ;D Well, the owl is a symbol of wisdom, so that would fit :)
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on December 14, 2017, 09:16:34 AM
Hello everyone,
Long time I haven't visited PB. I've had quite a hard time recently, with some misfortunes happening, but with time I will overcome them.
Here is what I've been working at recently, lady cat on the pillow, focused on something in the distance that caught her attention. I've imagined that she's looking at a moth flying near a window and she's planning to jump and catch it.
Done this with pastel pencils, after a tutorial. However, I wanted to take some liberties- the lesson was done on gray paper, but I wanted to use this aubergine tented Canson mi-teintes paper, thought it would create an interesting contrast with the eyes. I've also added some light flesh/grey underpaintings. The pillow was ivory in the tutorial, I've added some hues of blue/dark red. And finally some subtle shades of dark red/purple in the background.
I'm enjoying pastels more with every drawing. I plan to buy some soft pastels sticks soon and try Steps in Tuscany lesson  :)
As always, I appreciate everyone who will read this and I will be grateful for any constructive criticism/advice that will help me improve as an artist.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: linley.plester on December 14, 2017, 10:21:45 AM
Glad you've returned Rebecca M. I love your cat. Your work is lovely and it's a pleasure to see it on the forum. Sorry I can't offer any  useful criticism. it just looks fantastic to me. I hope your trials and tribulations are behind you now. :flowers:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on December 14, 2017, 02:25:50 PM
 :heeha:   Beautifully rendered Rebeca  :clap: :clap: :clap:   Fabulous job on the fur, and those eyes!  :smitten: Banner!

I was thinking a while back that I should give the pencils another go. I did a free lesson or two a number of years back with Colin Bradley. Since you enjoy using pastel pencils so much I think you would really enjoy him. Perhaps I'll check out his site again... maybe later, I'm really enjoying my soft pastels so much.  :yippee:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on December 14, 2017, 04:21:36 PM
RebecaM

So wonderful to see you back.  Hope your troubles are behind you now.

Your artwork has always been top notch and this cat is no exception.

Every aspect of it seems perfectly done.  Excellent composition, beautiful blending, and incredible realism.

Masterful!!!

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on December 14, 2017, 04:24:24 PM
Oh, RebecaM, I missed the owl back in October but see it now  Another excellent piece.

You do great eyes!!!

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: TeresaM on December 23, 2017, 06:26:32 AM
Wow RebeccaM just found this posting your work is great. :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Ray3 on December 25, 2017, 08:53:39 AM
Hi Rebeca I have just started following your journey in “Getting to Know Pastels” and you have gone from strength to strength in your quest I to use the same pencils Pitt and have found them more favourable to pastel sticks because of less dust but the paper I have found to be more helpful in that it takes many layers as long as your pressure is light is Sand Coloured Ingres Paper it has a good texture and you can use the sticks as background on a lot of paintings but I must say that your last cat is very realistic so well done and keep up the good work  :clap: :clap: :clap:  Ray
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Cath on December 29, 2017, 02:25:52 AM
Love your cat, Rebeca.  The blue eyes remind me so much of a cat of mine when I was a child.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:08:15 AM
Thank you Linley, I'm glad you visited my tread and like my cat.
My grandfather's pass away saddened me deeply, followed by some personal issues, but I've slowly overcame this. Holidays spent with family and friends also helped and the new year's arrival gave me hope.

Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:12:54 AM
Thank you very much, Val. Indeed, I quite like Colin Bradley's style. Two of my pastel paintings posted here are done after his lessons - the kitten and the peacock. At the moment I'm working after his jack russel tutorial.  I've ordered the Fabriano Ingres paper Colin likes so much to use and I will do this drawing on it. I've added a purple watercolor background, but the paper didn't take it too well and the tooth of the paper was a bit affected. Hope I'll manage to do this one without having to waste the paper.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:22:00 AM
Thank you very much for your thoughts and for featuring my work in the newsletter, Mea!
The eyes are usually the focal point of the drawing/painting, I'm happy you liked them. I also enjoy the challenging process of creating the illusion of fur, skin and other textures through value and color. That's a very interesting journey to take!
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:23:01 AM
 :thankyou: Teresa, glad you like it.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:36:37 AM
Thank you for stopping by Ray, I appreciate your comment. I've recently bought the Sand Coloured Ingres Paper you mentioned and I have used it for a drawing I'm currently working at. I really enjoy the contrast between the opaque pastel added on top of transparent watercolour, so I've  added a purple watercolor background, but it seems it wasn't the best idea for this paper. I'll see if I manage to finish this project or if I'll have to start over, this time only with pastels.
I enjoy realism, suggesting textures and creating a believable subject, especially when it comes to animals, but I also want for the marks I make to show through. I consider this is part of the drawing/painting's charm and individuality.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on January 08, 2018, 10:42:59 AM
Thank you Cath, your comment made me smile. I'm happy when my vision matches what I put on the paper, but the ultimate goal would be to evoke a certain feeling or memory within the viewer, so that person can be a part of the whole process.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on January 08, 2018, 03:24:50 PM
Rebeca

Your work on that cat was exemplary.  It needed to be showcased in the newsletter.

Hope to see more good work from you.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Gita on January 21, 2018, 02:14:42 PM
I love your pastels, Rebecca. The cat looks so cuddly.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on February 21, 2018, 10:49:28 AM
Thank you for your support Mea, greatly appreciated. I hope to keep learning and growing as a pastelist in the future, so I can materialize my own expressions through this wonderful medium.

Thank you Gita, glad you liked the cat.
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: RebecaM on February 21, 2018, 10:59:31 AM
Here is the Jack Russel portrait done after one of Colin Bradley's tutorials. Finished it a week ago but only now did I manage to find time to post it here.
This was done with a w/c background (and partial underpainting - I planned to keep the area of where to dog will be painted dry, but as we know w/c is quite unpredictable it covered some part of it. In the end it proved to be more interesting like that). I've used the Fabriano Ingres paper, but this one is not very suitable for a w/c application.  At a certain point I thought the paper isn't going to take the wet medium.
Done this with FC, Cretacolor pastel pencils, sepia and sanguine on Fabriano Ingres paper. I wanted to add the purple watercolour background as I thought it would create an interesting combination with the orange hue the fur tends to have and also with the purple shade added to the eyes. Also, I've  added some of the fur's tones in the background to create more unity.
As always, I appreciate your opinions, as well as any constructive comments and advice :)  :painting:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: linley.plester on February 21, 2018, 11:13:26 AM
I can't offer you criticism because I absolutely love your work. :clap: (And I'd be talking through my hat as I know nothing about pastel!)
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: EmmaLee on February 21, 2018, 12:30:38 PM
Beautiful! I love the detail in the fur.  :smitten:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Val on February 21, 2018, 01:36:52 PM
(http://d326oobcc22bax.cloudfront.net/content/50396/1508575.GIF)   Banner job Rebeca!!!    :heeha:      :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: MaryAnne Long on February 21, 2018, 03:13:47 PM
Rebeca,

What a nice-looking dog.  You have done him proud!  Great eyes, fur.

Personally, I think I would have continues his neck off the paper.  But, it is excellent the way it is. 
So crisp and clean.

aloha

mea
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: dennis on February 22, 2018, 12:50:58 AM
Excellent  :clap: :clap: :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Cath on February 23, 2018, 11:41:41 AM
 :clap: :clap:  :clap:
Title: Re: Getting to know pastels
Post by: Zilpa on June 08, 2018, 03:13:30 PM
Well done, you have captured the kitten beautifully.