Pastels for Pleasure (continued)

I’ve really enjoyed these workshops, as they’ve been good fun! I’ve identified a few of my weaknesses that I would like to work more on, and rediscovered the fun and ‘messiness’ of pastels!

Week 5: Figures

Pastels Week 5 - Figures (from supplied reference photo) (Medium)

I worked from a picture that the tutor had supplied, and tried to work more on using my pastel to measure the proportions of a figure. It was also a nice chance to have a play with some different colours. The jeans and boots worked quite well, and I think I achieved the difficult task of drawing a foreshortened leg reasonably well! Features are difficult to draw with pastels at this size, but I wasn’t happy with the face!

Week 6: Portraits

Pastels Week 6 - Portrait (from supplied reference photo) (Medium)

Once again I chose a challenging subject from the selection of images that the tutor supplied. I am still not happy with this one and may well go back to it at some point, but I must have done something right, as my mum and sister both recognised the actor from this drawing!

Week 7: Animals

Pastels Week 7 - animals (from my own reference photo) (Medium)

This was one of my favourite subjects. I worked from my own photo (taken at Suffolk Owl Sanctuary last year) in this session, and mostly used conté pastels for the details and softer ones for the shading. I definitely intend to finish this picture in the near future.

Workshop: Drawing flowers with unfavoured hand

Pastels - Drawing with unfavoured hand (mixed media) collage (Medium)

This session focussed on drawing flowers with the unfavoured hand. Drawing left handed was not as difficult as I thought it would be, and I really enjoyed the challenge. As well as using pastels, I also experimented with some mixed media and a range of effects.

Things I have learned:

  • I enjoy working more off my own photos, and am far more in my element drawing animals and birds than figures and portraits.
  • Using a darker background can work really effectively when drawing highlighted subjects, such as the barn own, but the background needs some working over to stop the colour fading!
  • The importance of sketching guidelines before starting on the finer details – moving an eye after drawing it is very frustrating!
  • The benefits of stepping back from work at regular intervals and taking photos for viewing progress – it’s a lot easier to see what is going right or wrong when you do this!



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