I recently had
an Emeril Lagasse moment--and it happened when I mixed pastels with water for
the first time.
|Three Sunflowers on Blue by Jimmy Wright, pastel painting, 30 x 41.
A while back,
I confided that I wanted to start an earnest study and exploration of pastel
painting. That resulted in me mucking about on my own for a few hours--I just
let myself play as I created a pastel drawing. First, I spent time seeing what
the stick of pastel can do in terms of mark-making. I varied the pressure I
applied to the surface of the paper; I tried holding the pastel like a pencil and
also experimented with running it across the paper on its side. I smeared it
with my finger, and then reached for the water.
At first I thought,
what have I done? But I started playing around with the
water, applying washes to my pastel-painting paper, and the colors all started
to blend together. It was lovely. I tried using a spray bottle, too, which yielded
interesting results--the pastel powder got drawn into the droplets of water and
ran down the surface when I tilted the paper.
||Sunflower with Red Leaves by Jimmy Wright,
pastel painting, 41 x 29, 1996.
So for my
first un-chaperoned tour of pastels, I think I taught myself a lot about pastel
painting--mostly about being brave when it comes to trying different things. I
felt really liberated. So I hope you get a little fearless with your art, too.
Nothing but good can come of it!
touched on one aspect of pastels, but there are plenty more pastel-painting
lessons waiting to be learned. For compelling and interesting pastel
instruction, check out Claudia Seymour's latest pastel lessons DVD, Pastel Painting Techniques: Still Life Flowers.
It offers insights from a professional artist who always shares the best of her
artistry with us. Enjoy!