Thursday, September 22, 2016

Defining my process

Photo Reference for Rock Creek Series
Rock Creek at Abrams Road, pastel, 6x4 inches image
My challenge today was to paint from a reference photo and try to stick as close to the scene as
possible. Not easy after painting all week without a reference.

In the middle of this challenge, it occurred to me that I have developed a somewhat unique approach to pastel painting based on my need to enjoy the process of creating.

I have painted in pastel for many years; I know the medium very well and occasionally I become a little bored with the "traditional" pastel painting techniques. When that happens, I switch to another medium OR figure out new, challenging ways to approach pastel.

My current technique is to brush a painting off - sometimes repeatedly. Depending upon the surface, this gives various effects. I also push pastel around with brushes, Colour Shapers and flexible spatula tools. This week I've also spent a few days exploring alcohol mist.  Changing-up the usual process of working with pastel keeps me engaged and inspired. Brushing pastel off began as an act of desperation when a painting wasn't working but it has become my process. Many times the pastel is moved around so much it loses the attributes of a dry medium and begins to take on the look of oil paint. I will be posted more about my technique in the future.

Each post on this blog that is some sort of pastel tip or trick is labeled with HOW TO PASTEL. If you click on the HOW TO PASTEL label at the bottom of this post, all the tips will come up. There are nearly 100 posts that have some sort of pastel instruction. Some may be useful to you. Enjoy.

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