Showing posts from February, 2013

Dark to Light (How to make your pastels stand out)

In my first pastel class, I remember learning a basic method of blocking in darks and lights when we started a painting.  Later, the teacher mentioned that pastels are meant to be painted with lights on top of darks. I always seemed to run through my light-colored pastels about twice as quickly as I used my darks, mostly because I felt like I lost my lights as I worked.

What I eventually learned was how important those darks were in establishing contrast.

In the painting above, using pastels dipped in water gave them a darker finish, which helped highlight those lighter areas of the piece.  In the following painting, you can see how I got a little too excited about the color and had to work on the darks and lights to rein it back in:

Initially, it's easy to get carried away with color when using pastels.  The chalk looks so vibrant sitting there in the box, and has a dazzling effect when applied to paper.  If you're a painter who likes to focus mostly on color, then…

Birdwalking....with Collage

What is "birdwalking?"  My understanding of the word is that it means to stray off topic.  As you can imagine, creative people are often drawn to all types of activities and forms of expression.  This is not great for marketing, I suppose, but as one of my favorite former art teachers would say, "So What?"

I did a couple of collage pieces back when I was recovering from a few months of morning sickness, and knew I had found a fun way to create art that appealed to my sometimes child-inspired view of life.  After having another baby, there's been precious little time to do much of anything artistic, and for a while I was struggling with the frustration of never being able to really focus on my paintings for more than a few minutes at a time.

With these pieces, I could pick them up and put them down as time allowed, and even do a little work with a baby in the wrap and a preschooler yapping in my ear.  The following three were inspired by the children's song …