I’m back from four amazing days at IAPS!! This pastel conference connects and reconnects you with wonderful people who are all passionate about pastels. It also inspires you through demos, workshops, and the exhibition of amazing work from around the world. It’s also a place to stock up on pastel supplies at the ‘candy store’ where you can converse directly with the vendors – offering feedback, finding out about new products, getting the best deals you’ll probably find. While there, I had the opportunity to demo with Sennelier pastels at the Savoir Faire booth. I thought I’d share the progression and results of this demo with you.
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.
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!
When we’re on location I hear students complain that there is nothing to paint, that they want to move to another location. There is always something to paint – you may just have to look a little harder.
Take for instance this day I was out – it was overcast and I had limited time. It didn’t seem like there was much to paint but then this scene captured my attention:
The first thing I do before I settle in is to make a thumbnail sketch (as you all know!!) to check for value masses and balance:
When I am okay with that, I make a quick drawing in charcoal on my paper, in this case, Wallis Belgium Mist:
It’s time to get started. I pick three pastels in three values (light, medium, dark) and apply lightly and quickly:
Now I can begin adding a second layer:
And now I get down to work in earnest:
There are a group of dead branches emerging from the foliage. A tricky subject that needs to be included. How to do them? I just start in and see what happens:
I then add more details and more highlights. Eventually I realize I am beginning to get picky so it was time to stop. Before I did so, I added the small tree on the left feeling the design required a vertical at that point:
Back in the studio a few days later, after considering the pastel, I make a few more tweaks (on the fence for example) and then consider it done!
And just for fun, here are a couple more images – one of me at my easel and the other of the pastels I used:
Do you have questions about the creation of this pastel? Please ask!
Thanks for being here,
If you are a member of Facebook and a lover of pastels then rush to enter Sennelier’s Facebook contest posted a few days ago.
Here’s what they have to say:
“On the road for Summer or Winter ? No matter which side of the Earth you are, you can enter the draw to win this SENNELIER 80 PLEIN AIR extra soft half-pastels set. Taking part is very easy, you only have to like the Sennelier fan page (if it is not done yet !) and to share the following picture. Winner will be announced 21th June 2013.”
Click here to enter.
Good luck to you and good luck to me!! 🙂