Tuesday, 11 April 2017

More Pastel Artwork

After the success of the oil pastel larger scale painting of Villefranche on the French Riviera, I felt curious as to how it would be to use the hard pastel crayons I bought. So over the past few weeks I've experimented and completed a couple of A4-sized sketches. The set of pastel pencils I have is a Derwent set of 12, so it leaves me with a quite limited palette. But I did find that they were quite easy to blend together - certainly much easier than the oils had been to overlay colours and fade from one to another.

This sketch from one of my photographs of a Venice backwater took just two days to complete. This a decidedly sketchy drawing - the overlays are glaringly obvious but it also contains two elements that I usually find very hard to draw. People and water.

The second one was taken from a postcard and is of The Shambles in York. I took a bit more time with this, which was started on 20 March and finished on 9 April. Because of the narrow nature of the street, in real life I have never seen it in anything but deep shadow at this particular point where two medieval buildings look almost to touch across the street. I didn't want to make this a drab painting, so introduced somewhat more colour with the beige than there is in the actual buildings. The brickwork of the building on the right presented its own challenges as the bricks are worn and some of them are almost as smooth as porcelain and tend to reflect light, looking almost blue rather than the dull red that we associate with bricks. The perspective of the rows of bricks was also quite a challenge to me as I tend to draw everything freehand and not think too much about where lines might converge. I made a special effort here! It's not exact and the shop is definitely not called Green's in real life but hey - it might have been once?

I have in mind another larger painting using either the oil pastels or actual oils - I have some paints and brushes but so far the thought of mess is putting me off... For the subject I've got an old early 20th century postcard of Studland in Dorset.

This presents a number of difficulties and challenges. For one thing I'll have to choose the colours myself as the postcard is in sepia monochrome. Then there is going to be so much green, will it swamp the painting? Can I get enough detail into shrubbery and trees? And I've never attempted to cope with drawing a horse before. There are two here, but the format of my painting will not be quite so widescreen and I have in mind to have the cart drawn by just one horse, thus moving the cart forward and away from the edge of the image. It could take a long time and there could be other projects finding themselves squeezed in the middle to let me recharge and take a fresh look at how it comes along.

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