Lessons in Art forum: Beginner Soft Pastel Lessons

 
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ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:21 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
I originally started this thread on another website; with Dorothy's permission, I'm moving it here in hopes that others will benefit from her advice.

The next 14 posts will be repeats of the original thread.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:22 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie63:


My first drawing:

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:22 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

Yay! good for you! Next add some color!!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:23 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie63:

Oh no!! I don't do color!! LOL
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:23 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

Oh I know color is scary. Often after I sketch out a piece for watercolor I dread adding the paint! It's kind of a joke that that's when the painting starts to go downhill!!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:24 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie63:

Yes, that is just how I feel. However, I did buy some pastels to start playing with color. In the past I usually just stuck with pencil or charcoal :)
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:25 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

If you use a medium paper (like gray, or it could be a complementary color), try to lay in first your darks...I use almost no black, I mix dark brown and blue, or dark orange and dark green...it makes the shadows more interesting.

Then lay in the lights...I don't use white, use something that you could still add highlights to.

This sketch was very fast. It was actually my daughter. There was a light (electric) on the left side, and a window down by the floor on the right side.

The light reflected in from the snow was cool. The light from the lamp was bright and warm. THe shadow area was right down the middle.

Of course you don't want a black or gray shadow down the middle of a face, so I usually use a warm burnt sienna type color for face shadows and then a dark umber or such for corners of eyes.

This is a pretty good example of "laying in " colors and I didn't work it any more so you can see the process.

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:26 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

You can see I started to put in the next layer of lights, the light purple, some lights on the face.

From here I would lay light flesh tones and maybe some cool pinks, and let them blend into the lower layers. You would in the end see some blues through the skin. If you look at Mary Cassatt you will see how she did that. This one, also from the same session, shows the skin more worked out.

The face is flat in the lower part though so I'd add more warms to build it out and round it. (these were all pretty fast poses)

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:26 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

Actually the front "bulb" of the chin needs to be a warm round pink too. You can always do more! Don't put on too much color all at once, build it. Take time to study each addition. Use lots of different colors that will mix together to create the final color (rather than color the lily all pink, or all orange, for instance.)

Here's the first sketch of Ernie's Gabby. You can see I established the darks, the lights, and the background, and would then work the color of the dog. The dog, like my daughter's hair above, would be blocks of reds and darks and golds, with a final layer to round or smooth it.

Anyway, that's how I work.

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:27 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

Definitely get a pastel paper in a medium shade or color. It helps a lot! Rather than drawing the whole image in black on white, the lights will be laid in with light or natural color (like a light pink for the light parts of the lily) and you won't have a black line to get rid of, which flattens the thing.

And don't panic!! There are no pastel police or I'd be long gone!!!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:27 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie:

Oh thanks for the 'lesson'!!

I will try to find some pastel paper other than white. I guess I never thought about that, but it makes sense now :)
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:28 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

You might have to check an art supply store.

I need more paper and I order it online but you have to get large quantities.

I still have a couple pads from ten years ago. If they still made them, they'd cost over $100 apiece. They only come in small sizes now.

But there are not as expensive ones, like Strathmore I think still makes colored papers. I use both sides too...I always joke that my artwork is reversible!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:28 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie:

So far I am just getting my stuff at Michaels (there is one close to where I work so I can just run over there at lunch time). Just getting some cheap stuff to play around with. I think I saw a pack of colored pastel paper?

What brand of pastels do you use? And do you use soft pastels (like chalk) or oil pastels?
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:29 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

I use soft pastels...I started with Grumbacher, which are not too expensive. Then I got Rembrandt. Then Unison and Sennelier.

I still use all of them, the Senneliers are very soft which is good for accents once there's already a lot of color on it.

Also, the paper has to have some "tooth" to hold the pigment, some texture or whatever. You don't have to start really expensive, but better quality materials will give you better results, so if you start getting frustrated with the amount of color you can get or whatever, try some softer pastels. THe Unisons are around $5 apiece! I think I have 70 or maybe 80. And then a nice case to protect them.

But you don't need it all at once, start with what works and move up as you need to.

I used to work with oil pastels & friend does...they're fun too but different. you could try a few of each separately to see which you like better.
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:29 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Jeannie:

I was able to find a set of Rembrandt 1/2 sticks (30 colors) and some pastel paper.

Here is my first attempt at color. The subject matter is not too exciting (ornamental peppers before they have ripened), but I wanted to stick with something simple.

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:30 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Dorothy:

Ooh Rembrandts are good! I use mine on everything! That's great, you've got it already!!!!
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageJeannie63
Feb 8, 2010 6:35 PM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
Now back to live conversation....


I picked up the book "All About Techniques in Pastel". It goes through several 'lessons'. The first one is using only one color in your drawing. The subject is a pumpkin, a pear, and two different types of grapes, all sitting on a piece of cloth.

This was really difficult for me, because I kept wanting to grab other colors of pastels! I finally had to close up the box and move it to another table. An eraser was used to achieve the highlights:

Thumbnail by Jeannie63

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
ImageDorothy
Feb 9, 2010 6:33 AM CST
Name: Dorothy
ADK mountains
WHat a hoot, now that they tell you CAN'T use other colors, that's all you want to do!!!

I guess they're trying to get you to see the darks and lights? Did you set up the still life?

If you do, putting a strong light on one side helps a lot. The darks and lights will make sense. In the sketch above of my daughter's full face, with all the turquoise, it was tricky because there was a light on one side, and a low window on the other. There was strong cool light reflected off the snow.

That's a lesson for later once you understand how to build all the lights and darks. My instructor used to say, I'm not teaching you to paint, I'm teaching you to see.

You obviously have the talent to get it on paper. Now you just have to learn to see!
ImageJeannie63
Feb 9, 2010 7:47 AM CST
Name: Jeannie
North of Milwaukee, WI
zone 5A
LOL on the color! I think getting the nice set of pastels was a good move!

The still life was a photo in the book I mentioned. Later they have a lesson where you have to draw a conch shell three different times, once with light from the right side, once with light from the left side, and once with light from the back (?? going from memory here, but I know the light is from three different directions). That should be fun!

Learning to see - yes, that is the hard part! My fingers are starting to remember how to draw, but I think my eyes have a long way to go! Smiling
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Imageshirley
Feb 9, 2010 8:10 AM CST
Name: shirleyt thompson
Pearl River, Louisiana
Beginners At Art
I remember something from long ago.... To see where shadows should be squint your eyes and you can see where they go. Do you find this to be true??? shirleyt
shirleyt
wanna be artist bad
visit me at Beginners At ART



[url=http://cubits.orgshirleytBeginnersAtArt]


























shirleyt
Beginners At Art


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