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Rudbeckias: Pastel-pencil 7x14 inches

, 11:03

A Slightly different format today. A while ago I used my sets of pastel-pencils to create a starter-drawing for a dandelion painting; Casual Gold (further back in the posts). Over the weekend I got them out again to complete this piece "Rudbeckias". I spent an hour or so outdoors, along with the wasps, making some line drawings in ink of these flowers. Having selected six or seven blooms to draw, I then took the sketches indoors and spent a while selecting five for the final work. I wanted to do a longer, slimmer work that would encompass the flower heads and also allow for the stems. I picked a piece of plum-coloured pastelMat card...tempting to choose black, but I resisted it and used the plum colour to work towards both light (for the petals) and the darker centre.

The initial sketches were worked again in white pastel-pencil on the card surface; not heavily, just enough to indicate the shapes and positions required. I chose to use my Conte and Carbothello pencils for this artwork, both of which are harder in quality than say Derwent or Caran d'Ache. I rather like the dusky finish that these harder pencils give. The colours are not as brilliant in the final effects as chunky soft pastels but I am happy with this. I could add touches of soft pastel if I wished to, later on.

The dark sections of each flower were put in first, working towards the darker petal markings and then on down through orange-reds to the bright yellow tips. It is difficult to make these darks really intense with harder pastel pencils; it is their nature. The stems were worked with touches of purple and green together for the darker parts (purple tends to enliven a rather flat dull green)...and then added to with lighter green. I have a small set of Russian Olki pastels that are very useful for detailed work; the sticks are small and slender, permitting a closer approach to drawn lines. They're very soft, but produce lovely linear marks.

Finally, the background was added using black, dark green, blue and purple pastel-pencils, working in curly swirls and overlaying the colours. A light spray with fixative and the piece is complete. Yes the fixative does darken the colours a little, but it's necessary to fix the pastel-lines because even the dust from hard pastel-points will brush off.

On other things; I have decided to have a go at placing my artwork on ArtWeb.com I've been a member there for four years but never really gotten around to using the system properly. Now that I have quite a bit of work, I've uploaded some for sale at my own section; the link is in the blogroll to the right. My latest pieces usually go online at my own website and also Original-ArtU100.

Apple Trio: pastel pencil 8x6 inches

, 12:28



This one is also over at SmallArtStuff; haven't got much time for scanning this week, but I have just completed a nice little still life of dandelions that was actually started off with these same pastel pencils. That'll be for the next post.
The apple sketch was done in just over an hour, using all Conte a Paris pastel pencils; on a sheet of Colorfix paper. Yes it's quite gritty for pastel pencils but works very nicely; deposits quite a bit of loose dust and a little bit of light smudging is needed to keep it down (bit of fixative as well in the process). The range of Conte pencils isn't especially large (48 in total) but there are enough to create some nice images. The colours are more muted, not as brilliant as soft pastel because of the binder in the pencil-pigment. It is a little tricky to overlay the colours on this rougher surface since dust is created and the pencil-point makes furrows. It's simply a case of doing it and working out the problems en route.

Monochrome

, 10:29

Due to people who have loaded my blog with spam messages, I have decided to not accept comments; I really don't have the time to trawl through several hundred spam per week in order to find genuine posters, so regrettably I've had to disable the system. Now... I am taking a few weeks' break from pastels and now doing some drawing instead. I have a fair collection of drawing materials including carbon pencils, water-soluble graphite, charcoal, graphitint pencils and faber-Castell coloured pencils. Usually I am busy with pastels and don't draw as much as I should. This tonal piece is subject-matter away from my usual comfort-zone. I just wanted to get away from colour and do something structured.

Kingston Buildings, Bath : pencil, carbon pencil and water-wash on cartridge paper