Saturday, January 9, 2010


Pastel on Canson Mi-Teint (blue) 6x9 inches

Happy New Year, everyone ! With a new year come new resolutions, new thoughts, and new adventures.  I thought I'd try a new medium and new techniques before settling back down into my tried and true methods, and so I played around with my pastel pencils.  I'm new to pastels - bought the pencils as an adjunct to my graphite work, to see if I could gently apply subtle colour washes to portraits, but chickened out and didn't try that. I still wanted to use them, though, so started messing around on scrap paper and then decided to try my hand at seascapes.

The painting above is what came out - my 'scribble' technique, I decided to call it.  This image is from a series of photos I took while in Florida - early morning on a beach, with the gulls facing into the wind and waves.  The pastel pencils are large, and blunt (even when I sharpened them the point wasn't pointy enough). 

However, after scribbling the waves in I found that in doing the same with the gulls I was able to get a 'windy' misty kind of look, reminiscent of the actual morning when I walked along the beach.  Plus, because the pastels were dull I didn't have to worry about detail - and they STILL look like birds! Especially from a couple feet away :-)

The paper is already blue, and so I didn't need to cover the whole sheet with pastel - Bonus!  I did, however, add some lavender, turquoise and light blue grey to the background and waves to liven it up.

I like this loose technique, and may play around with it some more.  So, here it is - my first painting of the new year.  Only 70 more days until Spring - and surf's up!


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