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.
The beautiful red roses in the garden inspired me to do a pastel study. With my secateurs I sniped an unopened bud as I knew it would open quickly as soon as I brought it inside. Flowers are great subjects as they need to be done immediately. Therefore you can’t put off the task at hand.
Sometimes as an artist you can get stuck for inspiration. During those times I find it helpful to do some reading. I so often find that reading more about an artist who’s work you admire can unlock the creative block. It doesn’t always mean you need to buy the book libraries are a great source of research material. However if I find it difficult to return then maybe that could be a good reason to have one for the studio. Currently I am reading this book about Georgia O’Keeffe, a total inspiration. Her compositions are so balanced. On the cover is a picture of Calla Lilies, which I have flowering in my garden at the moment and I am enjoying sketching these exotic flowers.
Last week I set off to do some outdoor painting in Elie. The weather was very cold but the light was amazing and colours glorious. The sketch below was looking towards the harbour in Elie. The box of pastels in the photo are Unison landscape collection, a favourite of mine. I even brought home some sea grass unintentionally. The art pad has pastel neutral coloured paper ideal for outdoor studies.
This second sketch is looking straight out to sea. The water looked so inviting even on a crisp January day. As it was so cold it forced me to edit the scene before me so as I could capture the essence as quick as possible.
After the success of the event last year in Anstruther ENOS have decided to have the same format with all the artists exhibiting together but this time in St. Monans. This will be at the Town Hall in St. Monans on the last weekend in November (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th), each day from 10:30am to 4:30pm.
I read that if you cut back your poppy flowers after the first flush of flowers then you might get a second flush. I did it this year and the poppies have come out just in time for Remembrance Day. It is especially poignant as this is the 100th year after Armistice Day 1918.
I took the opportunity to get outside and do some outdoor sketching. The weather recently was very favourable, sunny and not too windy. I set up my paints on a picnic bench and spent some time immersed in the scene enjoying the atmosphere.
I was inspired to do a sketch of a Canadian Goose at the start of a walk around Fairy Lake. My sketchbook is a nice compact square pad which I have always gravitated towards. At school it was my favourite shape to doodle in. I had with me my travel watercolour paints and box of neocolor II crayons which are water-soluble. I like them as they can give texture to the painting without being too messy to work with.