Tag Archives: pastel demo

Pastels on black aper: Gail Sibley, "Untitled [at this point], Mount Vision pastels on Sansfix pastel card, 5 1/2 x 7 3/4 in

Using Pastels On Black Paper

Occasionally I get asked the question: Do you ever use soft pastels on black paper? And the answer is: Well no, I don’t. Mind you, when I first started in pastels over 20 years ago, I worked on a dark green mat board. So I have worked with pastels on dark paper, just not black paper. But once I discovered sanded paper, ie Wallis paper which came in the warm mid-value colour known as Belgian mist that I used at first, it was bye-bye dark paper!

When thinking about what I could do a new pastel demo for YouTube on, I recalled the question about pastels on black paper and here you have the result. I’m using pastels from Mount Vision’s workshop set of 50 pastels on Schminke’s Sansfix pastel card.

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Pretty much finished the still lifewith all the highlights and subtle variations of colour added. I did sign it but don't have a photo of that final version. And, uh oh, the pastel is at the Gallery ready for framing! Gail Sibley, "The Yellow Plate," Schminke pastel on Wallis Belgian Mist paper, 9 x 12 in

Still Life Demo at Peninsula Gallery

Saturday past I was set up at Peninsula Gallery, in Sidney, BC for an ‘art encounter.’ From 1-4pm I worked on a still life set up in front of me. It was fun and although it wasn’t busy (the good part of that was that I got to get some work done!), I had some ardent admirers. 🙂  There was one woman who sat and watched me almost through the whole process. Now that was commitment!

Basically I worked the entire three hours and at the end, I came out with a painting of a still life that I’m pleased with. Peninsula Gallery’s manager Vivian liked it so much, she kept it for exhibiting in the gallery. Yay!!

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Using White Paper For Pastelling

I have done a few pastel demo videos now, all of them on toned Wallis paper. A question I’ve been asked is, Why don’t you use white paper? and What would the pastel painting look like on white paper?

I have taken these questions to heart and decided to do a demo on white paper even though it’s not my usual surface colour. In the demo, I use, for the first time, Terry Ludwig’s set of 14 Best Loved Basics – the company’s uber starter kit. When I first looked at these, I was surprised and a little bit anxious, if I’m truthful, because there wasn’t the usual saturated colour selection I’m used to, for instance, no bright yellow, orange, or green. But I was up for a challenge! Here’s the result.

 

 

So let’s have a closer look. First the set-up:

White Paper blog: The set-up of bowl and fork on a green background

The set-up of bowl and fork on a green background. You can see how orange the bowl is and how bright the green.

 

Next the thumbnail.

White paper vid: The thumbnail sketch, pen and ink, about 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 in

The thumbnail sketch, pen and ink, about 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. This delineates the three main values: light, middle and dark

 

So let’s look at a few progression pieces:

Vine charcoal sketch on Wallis white paper

Vine charcoal sketch on Wallis white paper

Pastelling on white paper: Three values beginning to show in early layers

Three values beginning to show in first layers

Pastelling on white paper: The pastel all blocked in and value areas settling in to what they should be

The pastel all blocked in and value areas settling in to what they should look like

The final piece after 35 minutes of pasting. Gail Sibley, "Orange Bowl, Red Fork," Terry Ludwig pastels on Wallis white paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in

The final piece after 35 minutes of pastelling.
Gail Sibley, “Orange Bowl, Red Fork,” Terry Ludwig pastels on Wallis white paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in

And just for fun, the final piece in black and white. Gail Sibley, "Orange Bowl, Red Fork," Terry Ludwig pastels on Wallis white paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in

And just for fun, the final piece in black and white.
Gail Sibley, “Orange Bowl, Red Fork,” Terry Ludwig pastels on Wallis white paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

 

The combination of the softness of the Terry Ludwig pastels and the sanded texture of the Wallis paper allowed layers to be built up thus eliminating most of the white specks of paper showing through. Where you can see them, I rather like the sparkle that the white paper brings, for instance in the shadow side of the bowl.

Here are the photos of the Terry Ludwig set:

Pastelling on white paper: Terry Ludwig pastels - 14 Best Loved Basics

Terry Ludwig Pastels – 14 Best Loved Basics. Box cover

Pastelling on white paper: Terry Ludwig pastels - 14 Best Loved Basics. The pastels circled are the two I didn't use

Terry Ludwig soft pastels – 14 Best Loved Basics. The pastels circled are the two I didn’t use

 

I love the name of this set of pastels – Best Loved. It doesn’t have the name “starter box/kit” or anything like that. Instead, it appeals to our emotions. And this is typical of the way Terry works. For instance, while at IAPS conferences, I have received free samples. (You can see a whole piece I did from this selection of IAPS samples by clicking here.) Terry (and team) also posts artwork by others created with his pastels on the company’s Facebook Page. It’s through this generosity that we not only come to love his pastels but also the man himself.

I was curious as to how this selection of pastels came about – how were the colours chosen? I put the question to Marie Ludwig, President of the Terry Ludwig Pastels. Here’s what she had to say: “The Maggie Price Best Loved Basics, a set of 60 pastels, is the set we most often suggest to new pastel artists just getting started with the medium. We became aware this set would be a price stretch for those new artists and decided to create a small set geared toward them. Terry selected the 14 pastel colors and values he believed would be most useful for the new pastelist.” So there you have it! A fabulous beginner set for sure.

 

Limitations, counter-intuitively perhaps, enable you to grow as an artist. A limited colour selection, working with colours not usually in your palette, these things will lead to creativity and progress. I leave you with this quote (substitute the word ‘artist’ for ‘writer’):

 

pastelling on white paper: Neil Gaiman quote on the value of barriers

 

That’s it folks! Tell me, do you use white paper? If so, why? I’d love to know how you use the white paper. Let’s get a discussion going!

Until next time,

~ Gail

 

PS. I recently did a pastel self-portrait using the same set of 14 Best Loved Basics. Watch for that coming soon!!

A new pastel demo video! Holly and Negative Space

The Pastel Demo Video

I’m really happy to tell you that I now have another video up on YouTube. Have a look at the video then let me know what you think. In it, I talk a bit about using negative space. Was it helpful? Did you understand what I meant? Leave me a comment here or in the comment box on YouTube. I’d appreciate your feedback.

 

 

Here are a few other pictures you might be interested in:

Holly - subject of the video

Here’s the holly sitting on the shelf

The initial charcoal sketch of the holly

The initial charcoal sketch of the holly

 

Gail Sibley, "A Sprig of Holly," pastel on paper, 6 x 6 in

Gail Sibley, “A Sprig of Holly,” pastel on paper, 6 x 6 in

 

The line-up of the Great American soft pastels used

The line-up of the Great American soft pastels used

 

The Contest Winners!!

In my last post, I promised you the list of winners for my contest (the one I ran to encourage subscribers). I decided that since the response was so great, that I’d draw three winners instead of just one. I also thought to be fair to those who had already found their way to my blog, that I would draw one winner from that list.  I am happy to say everyone received their first choice.

1. Betty A. Atteberry from Florida, USA

2. Irene McKinley from Washington, USA

3. Jon Wilks from England

4. Laura Gabel from Florida, USA

(If you are wondering what this is all about, you can click here to read about it :-))

 

I’ll talk to you soon!

~ Gail