Have you ever used Sennelier’s iridescent pastels or indeed, any iridescent soft pastels? I hadn’t and I was curious about them. So I acquired a box of 24 Sennelier’s iridescent pastels.
I just created and published a video showing my unboxing of the set for the first time, recording my initial reactions (YUM!).
I also tried out all of the iridescent pastels on three different types of paper:
- the mid-value La Carte Pastelcard provided with the set,
- a piece of black Canson Mi-Teintes (the smooth side),
- and a piece of UART 280 (the company’s coarsest grade of sanded paper).
I then did a demo with ten of the iridescent pastels, copying a demo piece I’d recently done in a workshop using regular Sennelier pastels.
I’ve been enjoying portraits by Carol Peebles for some time now. You’ll find one of her pastels features in October’s monthly round-up. Her demos are extraordinary. I’d be pleased to create any of them in the quiet of my studio never mind under the intense gaze of students!
The other thing I love is that Carol uses fabulous and pertinent quotes for the titles of her pieces. They make you think about each piece at a deeper level.
Probably the question I get asked the most is: “What pastels would you suggest I start with? And by the way, I have a limited budget.” Choosing your first soft pastels should be easy but with all the choices we have, the decisions become more difficult. This week I answer the question!
May is here, by date anyway if not by weather conditions (I’m still bundled up in fleecy sweaters!). But the beginning of a new month heralds another blog of ten amazing pastels, pastel paintings that have grabbed me for some reason over the past month. Have a look.
Recently I was asked to share how I create greys in my pastel paintings. Rather than write an email in reply, I made a video on painting gorgeous greys in soft pastel as I thought my answer would benefit many pastel artists.
Take a look!
What happens when you watch a sunset? Chances are you’re in awe and glad to be alive. It may make you laugh or move you to tears. And inevitably, as an artist, you’ll probably feel the urge to paint it. But dang, painting sunsets can be tricky. For one thing, the sun sets so quickly! It’s almost impossible to keep up. And so what do we do? We take photos and plan to paint from them later. And when we do, our paintings just don’t live up to our experience. Jacob Aguiar is a fantastic landscape painter in pastels but it was his sunsets that stunned me – each one evokes the emotions that often accompany the setting sun.
How does he do that??
If all you have is a limited palette, a lack of colour choices can stop you from painting some subjects. I’m here to persuade you to take up the creativity challenge with the pastels you have available – you may be surprised!
Take today’s demo – a box of tissues as its subject. It’s a lot of off-whites on off-whites. But say my palette only has a few colours to choose from, what do I do? Well let’s check it out.
I can’t believe the first quarter of the year has gone. Anyone else think those three months went by in a flash?? Well, yup, it’s the beginning of April so it’s time for me to choose ten notable pastels from the many I collected over March. These are paintings that either reached out and grabbed me or those that worked themselves quietly into my soul. In both cases, I keep returning to them. And then comes the hard part – after choosing only ten, articulating why I have chosen March’s notable pastels. Okay, let’s go look at them.
I’m back in my studio after a wee getaway to Seattle and then Salt Spring Island. The DK Project is pretty much wrapped up so I can do what I like in my studio. But being able to do anything often means I do nothing! And so the blank canvas sits starring back at me. I’ve spoken previously about the usefulness of boundaries and restrictions in pushing creativity so I decided to set up a challenge. This time, it would be about breaking the rules.
I came across the work of Bernadette deCesare a couple of years ago and have featured her pieces twice in my Monthly RoundUp blogs – in Feb 2015 and then a year later. I’m fascinated by every piece I see of hers and so it made complete sense to invite her to guest blog. And here she is!!