Learning to play with pastels

This year I’ve been attending regular art classes to improve my technique in using pastels, my illustrations have always been quite detailed in the past, I’m a realist at heart and lean towards being a bit of a perfectionist or so my mother and a million personality profile tests tell me πŸ™‚

It is hard to tell whether I have improved in terms of my illustrations but learning how to loosen up and find a technique that suits me has been a valuable experience. Both the angel illustration and the river rocks image are earlier illustrations, done prior to my art teacher sending me off to classes with a local artist specialising in pastels. I have chosen to focus on landscapes for the moment, they allow me to practice my technique without getting caught up in the detail, plus the colours can be fabulous to play with especially in the clouds.

Cheers and have a lovely weekend!

Illustration of an angel, original image was from a photographic series of angels
Illustration of an angel, original image was from a photographic series of angels
landscape illustration in pastel
I had 30 minutes to get this done, a great exercise in learning to loosen up. The original image was a photograph of somewhere in Scotland.
A peaceful and serene image of the most famous volcano in Italy, Mt Vesuvius.
A peaceful and serene image of the most famous volcano in Italy, Mt Vesuvius.
Trying to capture a storm coming over the hills of my family's farm in New Zealand
Trying to capture a storm coming over the hills of my family’s farm in New Zealand
An earlier pastel drawing of an area that looks similar to the creeks and waterholes that we used to swim in as kids.
An earlier pastel drawing of an area that looks similar to the creeks and waterholes that we used to swim in as kids.
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19 thoughts on “Learning to play with pastels

  1. kareninhonolulu December 8, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    That angel is kind of eerie but really beautiful. So wonderful to have that talent.

    • twoblackdoggies January 4, 2013 / 10:36 am

      Thank you, the illustration was taken from a book of photographs focused on angels, many eerie images included but that one really appealed to me.

  2. Bosun Dawg December 8, 2012 / 12:38 pm

    They are lovely. The angel particularly appeals to me. Good luck as you continue your classes!

    • twoblackdoggies December 15, 2012 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you, I’m loving the classes and always learning πŸ™‚

  3. Ogee December 8, 2012 / 1:33 pm

    You are a woman of many talents! I particularly like the angel and volcano. And I agree…sometimes less detail captures much more.

    • twoblackdoggies December 15, 2012 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you, I think they’re two of my favourites as well – more atmospheric than the others.

    • twoblackdoggies December 15, 2012 / 7:05 pm

      You’re very nice to say so, thank you πŸ™‚

  4. restlessjo December 9, 2012 / 7:50 am

    My valued judgement, as a mean drawer of matchstick men- awesome!
    Oh for one small iota of talent.

    • twoblackdoggies December 15, 2012 / 7:04 pm

      Thanks Jo, nothing wrong with matchstick men πŸ™‚

  5. megtraveling December 9, 2012 / 11:36 am

    Your artwork is really beautiful! I can’t believe you did one of them in 30 minutes – amazing… πŸ™‚

    • twoblackdoggies December 15, 2012 / 7:03 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      It took weeks to do most of them, the 30 minute exercise was great practice for me – learning how to be less focused on tiny details.

  6. Richard Tulloch December 16, 2012 / 5:18 am

    I didn’t know you were such a seriously competent artist. I dabbled with Community College courses at one time – Drawing for Beginners went fine, but colour always defeated me. You’re inspiring me to give pastels a go again.

    • twoblackdoggies December 17, 2012 / 4:46 pm

      Thank you, I have been dabbling for years but have only recently become more deliberate about learning new techniques with pastels. It is so lovely to hear that you’re inspired to give pastels a go, they can be fun and great for learning about colour πŸ™‚

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