I’ve been asked to teach a non-credit class in pastels at Broome Community College, so until then I’m working exclusively in pastels. It’s been a while! Using pastels (essentially, dry pigment in chalk-like form) is similar in many ways to working in colored pencil — one of my current media — but VERY different in others. So soft, so smudgy… a very responsive medium, and a little loose and out-of-control, which makes it fun and full of surprises.
I’m considering this first piece an experiment. After fussing around for several days with highly-worked compositions, gessoed panels, and such avoidance-prep, yesterday I decided to go with a simple pre-toned paper (Strathmore laid charcoal paper) and a simply cropped photo, from a modeling shoot with my nieces two years ago, for source/reference.
It’s not a bad start, though I think next time around I want to start with a cadmium red base (worked into the substrate — probably paper again — and well anchored with workable fixatif), as I do in oils. The toned paper seems a little dead to me. Still, working up my chops in application techniques and color layering is proving both enjoyable and challenging.
Working title: “The Mirror.”