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Kingfisher

Playing with pastel pencils: test #3. Learning from my frog mistake I went a little bit bigger (but I think not big enough! This is 9×9″

What I learned:

  1. I need to slow down doing the backgound and get it nice and smooth.
  2. The stabilo pencils are water soluble and going lightly over it with a water wash once I’ve got some pastel down helps fill in the gaps were it may not be making good contact with the textured paper.
  3. If I want really bright colors maybe I should use a white paper
  4. Either I don’t like the spray fixative or I’m not using it right. The fixative made all the colors darker, made areas with only light pastel vanish, and made some heavy chalk lines in my underpainting stand out. Oh – it also revealed some lines from my pencil sketch! Working over the top. of the fixative felt a bit scratchy.

Since the fixative caused so many problems I did a substantial amount of work over the top of it. It left some gummy patches so my background is not as smooth as it was, but it did really let me punch up the color and rework the spots on the feathers. Looking at it now, there is some more I could do, but now I’ve got it under some glass to protect it.

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Pastels

It’s been a while, but now with everyone under a stay at home order, I’ve got plenty of time to play with art. Here are two quick studies I did to try to see how they work. I’m learning. The frog had good colors but I realized I’d made it much too small for the kind of details I wanted to use.

I called these “pastels” but they are specifically Stabilo CarbOthello pastel pencils. I have an ancient set of pastels that I never liked because they make a huge mess and were ‘scratchy’, I’m not sure about the scratchy part, but having pulled them out again now I think my main problem is that I only had 9 colors and it wasn’t enough to do anything. And also I would need to work BIG and that kind of size intimidates me. Buying paper that large is expensive – but I’m adult now with my own budget.