Friday, January 23, 2015

Day 23 of 30 in 30 Challenge Silver Fish

Silver Fish
8" x 10" Henri Roche' pastels on Strathmore Artagain paper
Photo reference by lisilk on

I love these pastels. I have a few precious pieces of Henri Roche' pastels that a friend gave me, and I just got a package from Isabelle at Maison du Pastel with samples of the new Metallic range! Lovely metallics. They have nine gold, nine silver and nine copper variations and on the silver that goes from a near-white to a near-black, making value painting possible in metallic colors. 

I have a number of ideas for these and of course the first one I actually tried is the wonderful iridescence of living fish. If there's any color that seems impossible to be in nature, a fish somewhere will be that color. Be that screaming hot pink, fluorescent green or bright metallic silver, fish come in all the colors humans can imagine or formulate.

That experiment was a total success but the Artagain paper is annoying. I found out the regular Roche' pastels don't like it. The softer metallics adhere beautifully but my beloved Roche' Ultramarine, which seems like it steps up the saturation of ultramarine another two notches sometimes, didn't adhere well at all. 

So I'll be doing another version of this painting or a similar subject on PastelMat, perhaps with some PanPastels underpainting or background stuff. I'm going to play with the subject and test the pastels on several types of paper. I'm betting Canson Mi-Tientes smooth side works a whole lot better than the too-smooth Artagain surface, which just felt like it seriously lacked tooth. I noticed this especially in the coverage of the first blended layers, when I expect quite a lot of adherence it kept moving around and created a lot of dust. Heck, I might even test them in my sketchbook, see what soft vellum drawing paper does. It'd be worth the strokes to do a small orange or something.

Yesterday was spent doing the first layer of this painting and sleeping a lot, so I posted that double page of Ari sketches I did to make up for the 14th and at least had something from this month to go up. Tomorrow who knows? I'll guess when I get there. 

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