Category Archives: Project 1: Basic paint application

Exercise 3: Painting with pastels

I spent some time enjoying this exercise purely on an experimental basis. I also found an article on this very skill in my latest edition of the artist magazine which I found really helpful in gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for it too.
I started by having some fun in my smaller sketchbook. I played with the colours, blending effects, sharp lines, etc.
I then did a simple landscape experimenting with clouds etc and colours etc.
Pastels are very messy and fun which I really enjoyed. Separating the colours became challenging at points which is an advantage and disadvantage of using them. I actually like the practice and experimental piece of work more than the landscape. I think this is because it felt less restricted. I’m going to explore this further in my personal research and creative work.
For this exercise I used soft pastels. I’m going to explore the effects of oil pastels for personal research too.
Overall I am thankful for this exercise, pastels are definitely a tool I will be using in the future. I would like to see how this would benefit painting movement as well as flowers. I will take this further in the future.
I found it really does cover large areas by using the side of the stick. Fading and blending shades is really easy too. Using the point for bold contrast works really well. It presents stillness and stability within the movement of the blended areas. I sprayed my fixative to keep everything in places one I was finished of course. Overall this was really enjoyable and helpful.
I found the artists handbook of materials and techniques very useful for this experiment. To give me a deeper understanding of this subject as finished

Further experimentation and personal work

I have to say I literally adore pastels. The more I have used them, the more I have fallen in love with them. Possible shades, tones and effects really suit what I want to achieve. Really loving using them. I will be adding some of my sketchbook tomorrow. I have also discovered how amazing fixative is at helping me achieve lighter tones and detail once I have finished.

pastels homeless1 pastels part 2 001

I have included a simple landscape that I was experimenting with which I really liked. I completed a larger one that I really wasn’t happy with but it was a really good experiment to learn from.

The first image is a development from a sketch that I did of a man who was homeless holding tightly to his beloved dog. I was so touched by this mans selflessness and compassion. Although he was holding tight to his friend, he really didn’t create the impression that he was doing it to keep himself warm. Instead he wrapped his blanket around the dog and they appeared to be holding hand to paw too. this was very moving, and often a moment that can be overlooked. I am a huge lover of those beautiful acts of humanity and kindness. capturing them is a huge passion of mine. I was really happy with the results of using pastels with the human figure and cannot wait to explore this further in my work.

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Exercise 2: Applying paint without brushes

I have to say that even though I have two small children, and volunteer in my church’s children’s group, I have never allowed myself to fully embrace the enjoyment of painting with my fingers. This was definitely a freedom feeling experiment and one I am going to explore further. I really felt like this exercise really came from me. By taking away the paintbrush in a way freed me from the restrictions of a tool and gave me a chance to experience the paint flowing from me on to the page. It was lovely to feel the textures, and generally have fun.

I cant say that I am thrilled with the results of my painting however I really did enjoy the process.

These exercises have stripped away some of the restrictions that I have put on my art and brought a greater amount of playful fun back in to both the process and my finished work. This is really exciting!

I also plan to paint using a collection of objects I am putting together on a bigger scale. The findings and my evaluation on how this goes, I will add on to this when I have finished.

Exercise: Getting to know your brushes

I started by exploring the range of marks and shapes that can be made with brushes of different sizes. This exercise was really fun to experiment with. It helped me get to grips with my tools. So helpful that I did it with my new range of pencils and drawing pens. 
I found this to give me a gentle nudge to step out of my safety net of tools and push through my own restrictions of what I use which I can now take forward with me. I am excited to open up new possibilities with my work.

Painting a small and simple landscape was both challenging and enjoyable. At first I naturally included a small bench using a smaller brush to experiment with the smaller brush, however I then completed another simpler painting, one with only larger brushes. I fought against natural instincts during this exercise. I feel by doing this has helped me develop personally to widen my perspectives. Even though I found this challenging, I also found it to be fun.
I usually enjoy working from what I can see or photographs, but to work from memory was really enjoyable!

Leading from this on to painting a piece of fruit (an apple) really helped. Not only did I explore the tones etc to a higher standard, I also brought much more texture and excitement to the painting. I am definitely going to do some more still life paintings using fruit for my personal development.
During this exercise, I first experimented with different directions that the light was coming from in order to bring out a preferred set of tones. The apple had some beautiful patterns and lines of colours. This reminds me of one of my recent sketches of a close up eye observation where the fine detail of colour was incredible. I have found that being more playful with brushes can really emphasise such characteristics of subjects.