One of my 2018 New Year Resolutions is to PAINT MORE. I want to get in the studio and do something! I spend a lot of time on my computer – responding to email queries and enquiries, and writing blogs but also, for the last six months or so, sitting for hours editing and preparing videos for my next online course (Pastels 101). And sometimes, it seems that I’m just not painting. Argh. So today is blog writing day and I wanted to share something about my pastel work. So, it was a good reason to get into the studio and do something.
So there I was this morning, in the studio, and stuck. I was overwhelmed by the many choices of subject matter. Sooooo many possibilities!
Time was of the essence so I did what I always recommend to others when they’re staring at a blank canvas – do something, anything!! I grabbed a used piece of UART paper and with pipe insulation, brushed the pastel around to create an overall surface of colour.
Now for the subject….a night scene? a dog walker? I had thumbnail sketches for both of these. Then I remembered the challenge I had set for this week’s Friday Challenge in the HowToPastel Facebook group – a self-portrait in profile. Yes, that’s what I’d do!
I love working from life best but a profile? Right now, it would take too much effort to set up mirrors. Time for a selfie…where I can’t see what I’m taking! I snapped a few, mostly missing the subject (me!) altogether, but here’s the one I worked from. Not very clear but good enough to grab some info from and get a quick pastel going.
Time for a quick sketch to set out values and become familiar with the subject. I already knew the format I wanted to work with ie. the square of the UART paper.
The initial drawing:
Then I set the timer for 30 mins and off I went! I added a few more minutes at the end but here’s the whole process, step-by-step.
I went a bit crazy with the colours (all Unison), picking them as I needed them. I rarely go overboard like this but it was kinda fun to play in the jewel box!
And in black and white:
After 45 minutes, good enough!
And just because, here are the pastels I used:
So that’s how I deal with overwhelm – do something, anything!!! Pick up a pastel, make a mark, and off you go! Yes, I know, easy to say, harder to do. But it really can work! Try it and see what happens!
I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment. Was this idea helpful? Was the step-by-step progression of use? And also, let us know what are the ways you overcome that feeling of not knowing where to start or what to do once you do get into the studio.
Until next time,
PPS. An impressionist guest blogger awaits you next week!