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gogirl46 12-19-2009 05:56 PM

Works in Progress
Alright, so I'm not entirely looking forward to Christmas break. Well, luckily, I have recently discovered a slight talent with pastels and I need some large art for my college portfolio so I figured bored + pastels + large sketch book + an endless amount of photos = some large art work.

My first piece is of a mare I keep in shape and am training for a family friend. The original picture was taken early in the summer. The picture of the piece was taken on my cellphone and well, ya. The shading is flat at best and its very messy. I'm not done, so hush.

So ya. Voila. There she is so far. I have a lot of work ahead of me (although maybe not, the colours are simple) but yeah. That's an hour and a half so far (sketching included)

Kayty 12-20-2009 02:55 AM

Very nice! What type of pastels are you using? If they're chalk.... EEK don't use them on normal sketching paper it'll smudge everywhere and your drawing will dissapear into a big smudgey mess... trust me, been there done that!!
You need to get yourself some textured paper such as Canson, anything that has 'teeth' on it. Reason is that the pastel is little particles of pigment and gum. They need to have the 'teeth' in the surface on which they are applied to be able to stay on, otherwise they will just slide straight off.

gogirl46 12-20-2009 02:44 PM

I don't know the brand of the paper I'm using but its got some teeth to it. The pastel actually stays on really well. As for the type of pastel, I'm using a combination of prismacolor nupastel and design nupastel (only they're old)

I finished the piece, I'll see if tinypic wants to work for me now. It took me three and a half hours and it is going to be a christmas present for her owner. We're going to try to get a frame soon. And some spray so it doesn't smear everywhere.

And thank you :D

Kayty 12-20-2009 09:24 PM

Phew thats good you've used a toothed paper, otherwise you can have a disaster on your hands!!! Carefull with using a fixative with pastel too, they can dull the colours really badly. I never use fixatives anymore after a few big disasters with it, so I have to package them so carefully for clients so they don't get damaged, but in the long run they fare much better without fixative.

gogirl46 12-21-2009 06:47 PM

Here it is!:

The paper is only SLIGHTLY toothed, but it stays pretty well. For that, I'm glad. My mom is supposedly buying a fixative tonight (I know how to use it, no worries) and she's pick up two frames since I am now over halfway done with my younger sister's Christmas present.

Speaking of which, here is her's so far:

Its in oil pastel, which I have no experience in. So its turning out pretty well seeing as its an experimental piece. The giant white spot isgoing to be a champion ribbon, since Rhumba (the pony pictured) is a champion in his own right. The other two ribbons are a first and a second, FYI. He can't be #1 all the time =D

And sorry for the quality of the pictures. My camera phone is workable but has shoddy quality.

Kayty 12-21-2009 08:06 PM

With fixatives its not how you use it, it's just the chemicals in it react badly with the pastel particles and results in a dulling of the colours, which can also give your whites a yellow tinge ;) Just a word of advice there, I have used so many different brands of fixative and they all dull my work slightly.

Very good job of the drawing, you've got proporations reall ywell down pat, I think you should start havign a go at increasing how much detail you add such as putting in the hairs and different tones through the piece ;)

gogirl46 12-21-2009 08:09 PM

Oh ok, I didn't know that Kayty I have used a fixative before, it didn't mess my piece up. But I know it messed up a friend's pastel and charcoal piece. It was saddening =/

As for the hairs, no thanks =D I have little to no patience in that area. Smudgy McSmudge-Smudge will do for now =D

Kayty 12-21-2009 08:17 PM

Aw no give them a go!!! Seriously, it will imrpve your drawing by miles. Just practice piece by piece, do little areas of fur and gradually you'll work out how to do it. Hounestly, it will make your drawings so much more realistic. You don't know what you can achieve until you give it a go :) Maybe start using graphite or charcoal, they are much easier to work with for finer detail, just so you start to get a feeling for it. Once you master it you'll never look back !!

Equusketch 12-22-2009 07:19 PM

I agree with Kayty that you should go just that little extra step to make the drawing pop out more. your proportions are spot on and the shading is very good. I understand the impatience thing, trust me. If you don't want to focus on individual hairs, I'd suggest at the very lease going back to the drawing with a lighter color and highlighting a few areas on the neck and face so it doesn't look so dark. You'd be amazed how just a few highlighted areas can take a drawing from just good, to close to spectacular. Doesn't take more than a few minutes if you just focus on the major highlighted areas.

And Kayty, sounds like you have just had NO luck with fixatives. I have a couple fixatives that are designed for graphite, charcoal, colored pencil and pastel and they specify "will not turn white areas yellow". I have had a lot of success with the graphite and colored pencil, but should I just steer clear altogether with the soft pastels? I was tempted to just try it with the cat drawing I did and see what happens since it is just a gift for my parents, but now I am a bit nervous.

Kayty 12-22-2009 10:09 PM

Liz, I always use fixatives on my charcoal and graphite pieces, it works fine with them. But ask anyone who does pastel work for a living, none of them endorse using fixatives on a pastel portrait because of what it does to the colours over time. Pastel will always fade slightly over time, but fixative speeds that process hugely. Plus it hardly does a thing for pastel. It will still smudge as it would without fixative, all fixative does is still the top layer of pigment temporarily to the paper. It will still flake off over time.

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