Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year - New Artwork!!

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope this Christmas season has been wonderful to all of you!

I have been playing with my pastels, teaching myself how to use them. I bought about 20 pieces of Mi-Tientes paper to practice on. Here is my first practice piece. I am attempting to figure out how to layer pastels and mix the colors (and NOT get mud). This one was good practice in not getting mud. The original ref pic had a very dark, almost black background, but I didn't like that, so I changed it to this. The red in this digi pic is a bit deeper and as a whole the pic is darker than in real life, but it's very close.

I also tried another experiment. I have read so much about how pastelists hate to use a fixative on their work because it tends to change the colors but I thought I'd try it and see what would happen. In this case, I not only sprayed permanent fixative, but then got real crazy and decided to go for broke and spray varnish on it - just to see what would happen. When I spray varnish on my CP pieces, it tends to deepen the colors and bring them out more. Thought I'd see if it would do the same to the pastels. It did seem to a little. I like the result very much, but I think it worked okay for me because I really push the pastels into the paper when I blend and don't leave them sitting on top of the surface of the paper. *shrug* Don't know, but it didn't ruin it at least. :D

I am currently working on my fourth inspirational piece, but this one is special. The others I followed a ref photo, this one I created entirely on my own from scratch. I put together each item in the painting on purpose. Unfortunately, tomorrow begins two weeks of 10 hour days at work. So, I will try to update this blog as often as I can. The biggest problem I will have is being able to get good pics of the piece to post.

Here is the beginning of the piece. It is called Morning Devotions. I have a full pic and a close-up for those of you who like those. You can see how rough the paper is on the close-up.

I set this up on my kitchen table at sunset rather than sunrise (the only part of my house that gets the morning sun is my bedroom, so I figured sunset would work just as well). I got very inspired to start it while visiting my step-daughter and her family in Texas for Christmas, and I got much more done than I expected to.

I'm using a new sanded pastel paper named after Brenda Mattson and made by Richeson. They have four colors, which are much like Colourfix colors, but the paper is much rougher. It eats pencils way more than Colourfix does! I'm using the dark gray color for this painting and Prismas, plus brushes for blending. I have only just begun and I'm kind of jumping around rather than following my usual routine of almost completing small parts individually. The cup needs tons of work. You can see the gray of the paper where there is no pencil (which gets confusing around the cup, since there are so many grays in the cup).

I don't like how the napkin looks yet. I'm trying to get a smooth look and smooth transitions from one value to another but it is proving to be difficult. I think this paper may definitely be better for pastels than pencils, but it was yet another experiment.

Originally, I designed this painting to be 6" x 12", but then realized that it would cost me a small fortune to get it framed, so I thought I might try to turn it into an 11" x 14". Don't know what size it will end up as though.

First time trying this kind of composition so C&C's are welcome!


  1. I actually really like the napkin :) it has a nice soft look to it.

  2. Thanks Jen! I appreciate it very much! I'm glad you like it.