Sharpening Pastel Pencils

Pastel pencils can be so fragile. I often have broken them in the process of tying to get a point. Costly mistakes. Below I have taken some photographs showing how I have learned not to break the points.

I use a knife with a sharp blade to create a squared off edge see below

Photo below shows stage where it is squared off.

Final carefully whittled down to a nice point to work with.

Wormit Bay, Sunset Study

I thought I would post yesterdays work in the studio. I like to do a study before considering any larger work. Sometimes that study could be just in monotone however I wanted to test colours out on my favourite orange Mi-Teintes pastel paper. Here is a photo of my sunset study with a tray of pastels I selected for this painting. A swatch of paper I used for testing the pastels. The grey colours you see in the bottom right corner of the tray are so important to the work and desirable to have in any pastel collection. I use either a pastel pencil or charcoal for drawing a loose sketch to begin with as this can easily be corrected without damaging the paper. Now I am inspired and ready to start the larger painting.

Low Light, Isle of May, Pastel

This pastel painting has had an interesting journey. It has spent the last year on the Isle of May where my original inspiration for the painting took place. Last year there was an exhibition on the Island of work by local artists. Stormy weather hampered the return of the paintings and they were there over winter. Then this year other factors meant that they weren’t able to be retrieved until this autumn. I am looking forward to be reunited with my painting.

Hare after Dürer

Hare after Dürer, Graphite sketch

One of my favourite pieces of art work is Dürer’s Hare. It is the kind of artwork that remains with you and is timeless. It is hard to believe it was done in 1502. There is something dynamic and alive about it. I often find myself wanting to do studies of art work I admire. I did the sketch above using graphite pencils. One thing I appreciated about the painting, having done a study of it, was the way he captured the fur giving volume and shape to the animal. I have observed that my cat often sits in a position quite similar to that of the hare.

Hare 1502 Albrecht Dürer, Watercolour

Patio Painting

close up of the flowers
Work in progress

The weather was lovely and my spring plants were looking so nice. I thought if I don’t go out and paint them I will have lost the opportunity. So I put fresh acrylic paint in my stay wet palette, arranging my colours around the palette like a colour wheel. With my small easel, paints and paintbrushes out I went to the garden. The tray at the front is for mixing and when the acrylic dries it can be peeled off. This is a new acquisition which I am finding really practical.