Summer Pastels Workshops

July 2017 – Animals.

In this workshop I worked solely on one animal portrait – having unfortunately got lost on my way there and missing the warm up exercises at the start!

I had brought a range of photos with me, and decided to work on a pastel drawing of a red panda from a photo I’d taken at Colchester Zoo earlier this year:

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I took photos of the various stages of the drawing as I built up the layers – starting with the pencil sketch of the outline. The initial sketch is something I have learnt the hard way not to rush – it is much easier to move features, such as eyes or noses, at this stage! I used quite a few shades of brown and red to build up the fur.

August 2017 – Portraits

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, drawing people and faces is very much out of my comfort zone, so this is something I am always keen to practice! The workshop started with a couple of ‘warm up’ exercises. The first one was to draw a continuous line drawing of the face of the person next to us – luckily Theresa wasn’t too offended with my impression of her! We were given felt tips for this exercise, and only five minutes to work – so no time for erasing or second guessing mark-making!

The second warm-up exercise was to draw a line drawing of a face from imagination – again in only five minutes. Mine wound up looking a bit like a mug shot, but I was pleased that I’d drawn the features in roughly the right place and in proportion.

For the main body of work in this session, I chose to work from a photo of David Essex I’d found on the internet (The Sun, 2017), with the idea that if it turned out well once I finish it, it’ll be a nice gift for my Mum…at least that’s the plan!

Like with the panda, I started by sketching the outline, and the main features – the paper was too dark for graphite, so I used a white charcoal pencil. By the end of the workshop, I had built up a few layers of tone for the skin and started working on the eyes – which was apparently enough for both my Mum and sister to guess who it was supposed to be!

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