“As an artist, you’re always trying to reach a new height, do something new, try something you haven’t done before, and push your boundaries. ” – Eric Balfour
As an artist, I have always pretty much stuck to working in a few mediums – acrylic, pencils, and inks. Occasionally, I have dabbled in some watercolor and even tried oils, but I guess I have always been comfortable working with what I have known since I was an young artist.
Recently, however, I have just been hungering for more art – in any form, any way, and any medium. I have also been hungering for growth as an artist, and change. As with anything in life, to change, you must be challenged. And the challenge that I chose this week is working with soft pastels.
I chose pastels because number one, I like how portable they are! My daughters and I went to one of our local beaches here, and I decided to bring along a small box of pastels and a pad. I liked the fact that all I had to pack up was just the pastels, a gum eraser, paper towels, and a pad of paper. I really enjoyed drawing the lovely scene with those simple, rectangles of vibrant color! And yes, I kind of liked the fact that I could use my fingers to help create the art and blend; to me, it was like finger-painting for adults (and there we have another reason I chose to play with pastels).
After my first attempt at pastels (which did not go so well, I might add), I decided I might have to read up a little on pastels and educate myself on actually using them. I went to our local art store, lucked up and found an instructional book on pastels on clearance (what artist doesn’t love a bargain?). The book I found is simply called, ‘Pastel Painting’. (written by Margaret Evan, Paul Hardy, and Peter Coombs)
I did some reading of the basics, which included how to layer to create certain colors, how to blend, and how to add details. Armed with the help of this book, and some of the basics, this is my first pastel painting!
My First Pastel Landscape
It was a lot of fun to make, and I think I may be adding pastels to the list of mediums I like to use. I have a lot more to learn, and more challenges with this medium to meet, but I know that in the end, it will only help me grow more as an artist. I look forward to sharing more finished pastel paintings with you guys in the future! And if pastels is your favorite medium to work in or even if you have used them in the past, please let me know about your experience with them! Any tips, tricks, or advice is most welcome. I want to continue to challenge myself and grow as an artist by adding this medium to my art arsenal!