Pastel Drawing – Meandering to the Sea

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Meandering to the Sea 12 x 9 pastel (available here)[sold]

Experimenting with Pastels

In previous posts, I’ve used stick pastels on top of monotypes – inspired by Edgar Degas’ beautiful treatments of dry media over printmaking inks. But until this piece, I’ve never worked with seemingly delicate little pastel pencils. The drawing above was an experiment to use cross hatching with sharpened pastel pencils over black paper. I had so much FUN with it, I couldn’t wait to end the day, and grab a glass of wine and my lap desk on the couch to continue. Have you tried this before? (Pastel pencils on paper, not the wine with art-making on a lap desk… well – okay, both!) ?

The black paper and color-popping pastels reminds me of woodcuts and color relief prints. There’s a high-contrast graphic quality, like poster art, that I find so appealing. I have a few still life setups already photographed that might be candidates for more of this style of drawing. What do you think? Skip it and stay with watercolors, or meander a little bit and play with pastels this summer?

Working on a lapdesk on the couch; gridding the drawing on black paper to get the receding street in perspective
Testing a new tin of 36 derwent pastel pencils. So far, they are completely fun! Have you used them?
Adding cross-hatch patches of color here and there from a lap desk on the couch a few nights after the previous process photo
Comparing the art to the scene it was inspired by on the street to check perspective

Inspiring Art links for you:

  • When coming up with compelling titles for your art (here’s a link to a course I teach on that), unlikely resources might surprise you with great ideas. Check out this rose compendium, with lists visual as well as names of roses by type. You might find some good art titles based on colors in your work, and names of roses in the list.
  • This isn’t about art, unless you get inspired by dreaming about beautiful beaches, and hosting your entire extended family in an amazing 8 bedroom vacation house. Click through the photos, and imagine hosting 26 of your favorite people for an artsy weekend getaway on the Florida shore. #afteryouwinthelottery
  • Alan Bamberger writes about the importance of scheduling, planning and routine in your studio time and art-making. Even on your uninspired days, think of your work table as your factory, and more important for many, your laboratory. Show up. Experiment. Explore. Read about it here.
  • Frances Bridges describes herself as a twentysomething writer and blogger in New York City, writing about everything she’s done wrong. In this Forbes article she shares tips as a creative person to stop the stream of negative self talk.
Framed and ready for the Sierra Madre Art Fair this weekend
Instruction reminders if you need encouragement to tend your creative garden
In a state of discovery and wow during presentations at Marketing Impact Academy Live.

Launch of an Art Career

Thanks for all the emails and direct messages on social about the Marketing Impact Academy course coming up. I’m so excited for you to get started. I was curiously skeptical (my natural state) when my daughter Melanie invited me to a live MIA event three years ago. By the end of the first hour, I was writing as fast as my pen could streak across the page. After three days of presentations, panels and video, I had filled a leather bound notebook with plans, ideas, branding and revelations. It was the first time I fully comprehended methods to fill gaps with income passively, in between art-sales. I came home with wide, excited eyes, and signed up to take the full course online immediately. And at Chalene’s suggestion, I found an accountability partner to check in via Skype once a week to stay on task. It was – and still is – a phenomenal step by step business-building program. I can’t wait to hear what you think after you get started too. (And then we can all brainstorm together about the best practices to move forward in the art world, so let me know if you sign up!)

Scribbling excitement during Marketing Impact Academy

Weekend Plans in Los Angeles

If you’re in or near Los Angeles this weekend, stop by booth #20 at the Sierra Madre Art Fair and say hello. The weather is supposed to be in the 70’s and mostly sunny. I’ll have about 50 watercolors and original prints framed and ready for new homes in my booth. Stop in and take a little break from strolling through the park – I’ll have an extra chair for you.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. You can subscribe to get each new post via email by signing up here.

P.P.S. If watercolor paper is a mystery to you, get this free watercolor paper primer. I wish I could have found this when I began painting, so I made one for you. The download is three pages, and it will kick start a series of 5 weekly emails full of watercolor tips, links and resources to help you get started.

Click the flowers to check out this free mini course

Art Quote

You can resist the seductions of grandiosity, blame, and shame. You can support other people in their creative efforts, acknowledging the truth that there’s plenty of room for everyone. You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures. You can battle your demons (through therapy, recovery, prayer, or humility) instead of battling your gifts – in part by realizing that your demons were never the ones doing the work, anyhow. You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration nor its master, but something far more interesting – its partner – and that the two of you are working together toward something intriguing and worthwhile. You can live a long life, making and doing really cool things the entire time. You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point. And at the end of your days, you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.

Elizabeth Gilbert

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18 thoughts on “Pastel Drawing – Meandering to the Sea”

  1. Wow, Belinda! Great job on the pastel drawing AND another lovely, upbeat post! Thank you for making my day.

    1. Hi Candy! Thanks for the encouragement on the drawing – it was pretty darned fun, and I think I have a few ideas for more. I hope you and your hubby are enjoying Spring, and looking forward to summer break (with some art-making time). ??‍?

  2. Vicky Hanson

    Love this! My vote to go with the pastels. I agree, I like the graphic quality as well. Sometimes with acrylic paintings, I use sandpaper to expose the white tooth of the canvas.

    1. Hi Vicky! Thanks for weighing in!I’ve never heard of sanding acrylics down to the canvas, but I can picture it, and I bet the effect is lovely. DO you have any links to art you’ve posted where we can see?

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