Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Painting with Pastel on Canvas

Ahhhhhhhhh!  Today I finally got back into drawing!  I taught a pastel class at the studio today, and, since I only have 2 students in the class, I gave myself permission to draw while they were working - it just isn't helpful, I don't believe, to stand over their shoulders the whole time they're working.  I didn't want to do something persnickety, so I decided to do a fairly simple figure study of the model I photographed most recently.  She was terrific to work with - open and comfortable in her body and terrific about sharing of herself.  I got some wonderful pictures of her but hadn't had a chance to work from them yet, so I could feel a little bit of excitement today as I glanced through the shots to figure out which to work from. 

I found one I liked then cropped it.  I had a 24" square canvas which I'd painted then painted over with glop from the bottom of my turpenoid jar so it was textured and slightly mauvey-pink.  Perfect!  I didn't want to feel pressure to do anything perfectly.  I decided to use pastels on the canvas - a very unusual thing to do, as far as I know, because pastels don't stick to canvas so well, but I decided I'd use fixative like crazy and see what happened.  I NEVER use fixative - just ask my students - it changes the texture and color of the pastels in ways I don't like - but I figured I'd try something new.  Why not?  I'm on vacation - I have all summer to experiment - I may as well try something new.  If it doesn't work, I can always paint over it again and do something new.

Fortunately for me, I like how it turned out.  (For all I can write what I wrote about "who cares?", I'm actually quite a perfectionist and get very disappointed if something doesn't turn out well!  But pretending I don't care gives me permission to do things I would otherwise be too anal to try.  It's a good way to trick myself.

I can see some things I need to work on- her finger is too light, for example, but mostly I'm very pleased with it.  I like the texture a lot - I think it fits her stance and her body shape well.

I haven't come up with a title yet.  I want to name it after the model, but usually refrain from doing that in case the model isn't too excited about that possibility!  Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. 'Dora' Sounds good to me, awesome work btw..