In April I saw a course called ‘Pastels for Pleasure’ advertised on Facebook. I initially brushed it to one side, but it kept popping up again… then my housemate helpfully sent me a link to a course that he saw pop up on his News Feed – the same course! Marketing on social media really does work sometimes!
Anyway, I signed up for the course, and not really knowing what to expect, went along to the first session on the 25th April. Each session is run for two hours on a Tuesday evening, and every week has a different theme. I’ve now done the first four weeks, and have thoroughly enjoyed my ‘messy’ evening each week…
Week 1: Experiment and discover pastels
Week 2: Still life
Week 3: Botanical
Week 4: Landscapes
I had intended to go back to my sunset drawing but have now decided that I do really like it how it is – stepping back from it and looking at it with fresh eyes has removed some of the personal doubts.
Some of the things I have learned so far:
- Pastels are a versatile and vibrant medium to work in – the range of effects is not limited to particular subjects;
- There is a huge range in types of pastel – not just oil and chalk based;
- Although you do need to work on a surface or type of paper that has a certain ‘tooth’ for the pastel to adhere to, there are various cheap alternatives such as brown parcel paper and sugar paper – the only thing to note with the sugar paper is that it does tend to fade in the sunlight!
- Stepping back and looking at your work from a distance or from another angle is essential – even taking a photo with a cameraphone and viewing it on the screen helps.
- Pastels are extremely messy!