Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pastel Life Sketch Apple and Containers

Pastel Life Sketch Apple and Containers
7" x 5"
Rembrandt pastels on black Crescent rag mat

Odd little sketch of some things on top of my black refrigerator, using a 60 color Rembrandt half sticks set I just bought a couple of weeks ago. I've actually been back to "daily art, at least a gesture sketch" for a month or two now, barring sick days. August missed only four days. But rather than work back, I'll start posting forward again to share my artistic journey.

Sorry I didn't post anything much so far from 2014! I had several good ones so far this summer so I'll add them as highlights...

Open Road
8" square
Assorted soft pastels on Uart sanded pastel paper
Photo reference by DAK723 on

Did the above for a pastel forum challenge with a "Green" theme. Had fun with the clouds, it was a good breakthrough on clouds painting as well as landscapes.

Colourful Lemons
7" x 5"
Unison Pastels on sanded pastel paper

Another pastel challenge from a photo in the Reference Image Library at WetCanvas, a lot of us did these lemons. Best "colourist" painting I had done to date at the time for a "Yellow" challenge. Also in the same challenge, another yellow fruit...

Colourful Bananas
7" x 5"
Unison pastels on sanded pastel paper
Photo reference from WetCanvas June 2014 Pastel Spotlight

This one didn't reproduce as well as the lemons. It was hard to get the reds, greens and yellows all to come through even close to the original so that blue shadow is actually a blue green closer to the green of the leaf. There's more hue and value variation in the bananas than shows but they're smooth gradients. Achieved a fine detailed rendering with quite soft pastels on this.

And more recently, this month's challenge is "Blue." So another photo by DAK723, of a lake scene with clouds, changed quite a bit in the painting:

Lake Scene
8" x 10"
Assorted pastels on Uart sanded pastel paper

I had a lot of fun playing with textures and values on this, also using different textures of pastels at different stages. The blues in the water do not quite go as far toward violet in the painting as they do in the photo, it's actually more Ultramarine values and some mid-blues and greener blues. But cameras lie about color all the time and the photo makes me think it might be fun to carry it all the way to violet on one sometime!

Anyway, there's some high points of 2014 and I expect to post more often again. Some days might be no more than a quick pen gesture of my cat or a still life object, others may have stages of a painting. I'll try to get back in the habit of posting when I've done something. There are still days I don't have even a gesture to show for it due to chronic disease symptoms but I hope to build up to where I can manage at least that every day. My habit is returning!


  1. So good to see you posting again, Robert! These are all brilliant pieces, but "Open Road" is probably my favorite. I feel like I'm in the scene. Your use of color is inspiring, and your compositions keep getting better!

    1. Thank you! All those classes with Johannes Vloothuis have made a huge difference in my paintings. Open Road is something I literally planned for years - every time I went on a road trip anywhere through wooded hills I'd be mentally sketching and thinking, "I have to paint this." I will be doing more of them too.

      Especially if I get to go on another road trip somewhere!