So I have this love-hate relationship with soft (chalk) pastels. I finally splurged and bought a decent set after drooling over the luscious colours in Brandy’s Fruits Gone Wild Series. Seriously sumptuous colours.
The first time I used them, I loved the saturation and the blending. The second time I used them was a bit of a disaster. I don’t like disasters. They disturb me. I like things to go right the FIRST time. And the second. I’ve been known to quit altogether if I don’t “get” something right away.
Another aspect of the “hate” part of the relationship is how messy they are. That powder goes everywhere. I learned a few things this time around that helped a lot.
Firstly, I wiped my hands down with paper towel a lot. That minimized the smears where I didn’t want them. These little sketches are only studies, but I still didn’t want big blotches of colour everywhere. Secondly, I used q-tips to blend some of the smaller areas. I had tried them before and they just removed all the colour. This time I barely tickled the surface with them and found they were lovely for moving the powder around and manipulating the colour. Lastly, I have discovered that when it comes to pastels, a kneaded eraser is a girl’s best friend. It was terribly handy for cleaning up areas where I’d smooshed outside of the lines.
The first thing I did was just block in the colours. This is where I fell in love with these luscious sticks of pigment. I found out on the first one that I need to be careful what colours I try to blend but this medium is dynamite for just getting big swaths of colour onto the piece quickly.
After I put the colour on, I sprayed them with a Matte sealer. As I said last time I used this, I really need to get a different brand as I’m not thrilled with what it does to the paper, but it’s what I had on hand. It did the job of sealing the powder so it won’t gum up my pens just fine, but I’d hesitate to use it on a project piece.
All that was left now was to add a bit of detail with some ink. I use Staedtler Pigment Liners that are Archival and Acid-free.
These have worked out nicely as a way to experiment a bit before committing to a full-sized piece. I’m definitely going to be doing some more work with hummingbirds.
As a final note, I’m not going to be posting regularly on Fridays anymore. Our Fridays are becoming increasingly busy so I need to cut myself a break and not fret so much about not having a post because life has intervened. Conversely, if I manage to get something cool finished on a weekend, I just may post it then.
So I’ll see you next week. Maybe with a hummingbird or two in-tow. Have a wonderful weekend!