Saturday, April 28

Pastel Landscape ACEOs

I was dabbling with my pastels again last night, and came up with two ACEO's that I listed in my Etsy store:

Clouds I - Pastel ACEO on Canson Mi-Teintes

Sun Break - Pastel ACEO on Canson Mi-Teintes

It was a little bit of a challenge to create on these small pieces of paper. It was hard to scan these little artworks in - the scan just doesn't capture the brilliance of the pastel work, so I included that photograph of the two of them together up top.

Sun Break was created with just the PanPastels, and Clouds I was created with just the NuPastels. I also sprayed them with a light layer of fixative, and left a thin border around so no one would have to be worried about touching the pastel work. 

Thursday, April 26

Map Project Finished! (Creative Space)

I finished my Map Project hosted by Arthouse Coop this week! Yippie! It turned out wonderfully:

The best part was folding it really gave it the final touch of being a map. The submission could be no larger than 4x6" so I've folded up my 18x24" map down to that size:

Here is the "unfolding": looks so much better with all those fold lines in, definitely the final and essential effect :D

In the end the following were used to complete this mixed media project:

  • Watercolour (majority)
  • Collage elements
  • Acrylic Paint
  • White Ink
  • Black Ink / Markers
  • Iridescent medium
  • Home-made tear-drop stencil
  • Cling-wrap 

See more creative spaces, here.

Wednesday, April 25

The Map Project Update

The last time you saw my map, there was still quite a bit to go. I must admit, when I got my PanPastels, and then Nupastels I sort of got sucked into that dusty world. Then, when looking for some papers around my printer I saw my map! OMG! I almost completely forgot about it...scratch that, I did forget about it. So much for trying to get it done early....

Due to the above episode that I had, this is a humongous Map Project Update. Hopefully, the second last one. I plan to finish it tonight, but I'm only sharing the pictures that I have from working on it the past while. Prepare for shocking progress!

Where I left off...

Things as they stand as I'm typing this:

...yup, tons done....well back to it!

Monday, April 23

Daffodil Pastel Painting Process

After being pretty successful with the Cardinal Pastel painting that I had done, I wanted to try a Daffodil. I used  my PanPastels to block in the background and general shapes, and then moved to my NuPastels to work on the actual flower and get in the grunt of the work. Please forgive me photos, I painted this at night, and so the lighting is completely off.

Drew out the outlines, and used a grid to be sure my flower was proportional

Blocked in with PanPastels

Add some of the larger shade areas

Adding some highlights over those shaded spots.
At this point, I'm thinking this might not turn out so great.

Try too avoid working on the trumpet lol.

Starting to work on the 'trumpet' of the flower

Almost done...then I take a second look

The middle part was a little too big, so I fixed that, and added in more highlights

All done!!
I wish my camera took pictures with more 'true' colour
I might work on the background a little bit more, so I haven't given it a spray of fixative yet, and until I do I don't want to put it into my scanner. This piece took about 2.5 hours, and did that time fly!

There was a moment or two where I thought that this just wasn't going anywhere good...but then it takes a magical turn. It was the same experience with the bird. I think it's b/c I just don't have enough values / pastel on the paper yet and it looks discouraging, but if I keep adding and blending and highlighting and shading a little bit here and there, then it all comes together - and very well. I am once again shocked at the results

Sunday, April 22

Spring Cardinal: Pastel Painting and Process

Spring Cardinal - detail, pastel
 I've gotten the opportunity to be a little creative this week. I thought I would start with a challenge over at, where a series of photo references are provided and pastel artists choose one (or more) and create their own interpretation of it. It is especially great if you in a rut, like me...I was finding it hard to choose an appropriate subject to use my pastels on because I'm still so unsure about technique.

Here is my process, I used both my PanPastels and my Nupastels:

Step 1: I find the main shapes, and broadly colour in.
Next, I continue to add layers and build up colours and blend
Finally, it's almost ready for scanning - I give it a quick spray of light fixative
"Spring Cardinal" - 6x7" Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes paper
I would have to say I'm fairly pleased with my end result. I enjoyed pushing the pastels around and blending, and I learned a little bit on corrections - I corrected the beak area quite a bit, and the technique I read about totally worked. So far battle-pastel is a winning battle :D

Saturday, April 21

Weekly Review

This was another week busy with work at the hospital. I was also working on the last assignment in my Continuing Education Computed Tomography course that I'm taking. That was sent out last night, so it's done, and all that's left is the final exam in May - yea...I don't mind assignments, they're even very interesting at times. But exams are my least favourite thing, I'd take an essay over it any day!

The new Sketchbook Project was also released this week! And that is very exciting news! I'll have to admit I wasn't going to sign up at first. I had been conteplating it since sending off my last sketchbook and my mind had been made up on not doing it. Then, they came out with all those smaller, very fun projects and it completely got me back into I will be signing up for it again this year. And I will be signing up early, so that I have lots of time to work on it. I'm still trying to decide on which subject / idea to go on, and I've narrowed it down to: Chronicle, Chapbook and Sketchbook. I did like the sound of the Almanac, espcially since growing up there was always one lying around the house, but I couldn't think of how to approach it and so I think it just isn't my thing. I'm leaning very heavily towards the Chapbook - I just like how it sounds, and my last submission was sort of something like that. I'm going to think about it over the weekend, and then sign up on Monday.

I'm still playing with my PanPastels, and loving them! I've also purchased a set of firm Nupastels by Prismacolour - 24 pieces, along with a pad of Canson Mi-Teintes paper in assorted colours. They were both 50% off at Micheals (bring down the cost of them to equal what it is at Currys...markups on prices simply blow my mind sometimes...actually looked it up on Currys, the paper is still cheaper there than Micheals, even though it's 50%!!). Many pastel artists on have mentioned that these firmer pastels are good for intial underpaintings, and even adding some detail - so I thought it was worth while, and the price was right. I havn't had time to actually sit down with them yet, but I think the toned paper will make things a little interesting, and it's a good sized pad of paper. Most papers I'll probably cut in half, and that will give me up to 48 pieces to work with. I'm still have trouble with the idea / theory behind pastels, and have been seriously considering signing up for a Pastel Art class in South Hampton.I feel this will give me a good foundation to start on. I don't really want to spend any more on pastels (they're expensive!) until I know for sure that it's for me. The pastels I currently own can be combined with mixed media pieces, so I'm okay with those...but once you start getting into purchasing the really soft, lovely ones - the prices go up, a lot. This class, the instructor brings the materials and you just pay a 15$ material fee to use theirs, so I think it's a really nice set up for beginners.
I plan on making some pastel ACEOs in the next couple days, so I'll be posting those shortly in my online store as they come complete. If anyone has advice on shipping pastels, I would love to hear it! I know there is tons of it on the WetCanvas forums, but it's always nice to not have to search for it, :)

Also, I've been working away on my Map Project, and some new watercolours. With that course out of the way, I can spend my evenings after work this weekend painting and creating away!

Tuesday, April 17

Large PanPastel Painting Progress I

I started work on this large PanPastel painting last night. I was actually shocked by how much I got done - these PanPastels cover a lot of ground, and quickly - which is nice, since then the creative thought process just flows so smoothly. This piece is 16x20" on Canson art board:

I toned the artboard with a violet watercolour...I honestly don't know
if it added very much to the piece...

I used charcoal to place my lines and work things out.

My first bits of pastel application

Getting quite a bit done...

Desk pans are starting to look a little 'dirty' here, but they're easily
cleaned with one sweep of a sponge.

..and that's it for the night!

  I took the last picture this morning when I had some better lighting. It's not done yet, but I'm pondering out some problems, and the 'next steps' with it. The big 'blob' of red / orange at the bottom left corner is really bothering me, and sucking life out of the rest of the piece, it's totally unbalanced by it. But not too bad for a couple hours in the evening.

My New PanPastel Set

Before I opened all this goodness...
I had meant to blog about my new toys sooner, but I was just so busy enjoying them. I wil admit, there is a learning curve, and it's a little steep at times. But, I'm slowly getting through things and figuring out what works and what doesn't so much. Here is my set as I unpacked it last week:

Everything nicely packaged in a small box.

They came 'threaded together' in stacks of four

A nice closeup

I love how colourful everything it, but it still practical colours for art use which is great!

So pretty.... :D

All unpacked, and some of the applicators I got with the kit.
So there you have it! Stay tuned later today for a progress posting on my first large pastel piece.

Monday, April 16