Monday, February 2, 2015

Fruit Studies in Charcoal and Pastel

 Charcoal pear studies 8 1/2" x 11"

My cold is starting to break up, so this morning I decided to sketch in something bold enough it'd be easy to get a photo. I love doing charcoal sketching. It's so easy to get good strong values and model the forms by sketching and smudging. I use a peel off the wrap charcoal pencil, so I don't have to bother sharpening it or getting charcoal stick on my fingers. When I feel like going to charcoal I want clean and easy.

Two pears, an apple and an orange
Pastel pencil on paper 8 1/2" x 11"

Still in the same plain sketchbook I got for a Christmas present, I got into color and sketched all the fruit I had left. I ate another pear, the big orange, the smaller apple and a banana. But didn't want to eat all of it before sketching, especially those quirky bumpy off-shape pears. The nice thing is that pear shapes don't need to be symmetrical. Real ones are lopsided, lumpy, bumpy and have strange hue shifts along their sides. They come in so many colors, sometimes all on the same pear from green to pinkish! 

Two Pears 9" x 12"
Rembrandt pastel on Bee Bogus Recycled Sketch Paper

After that, I decided to add one to my sketch wall. First loosely sketched in charcoal and then started using my Rembrandt half sticks. I layered them quite a it to get subtle color changes, especially between greens and earth reds and earth yellows with a touch of violet - yeah, most of it is complements. The shadow's been glazed over with a light violet but has a good five or six dark colors in it from gray and blue to brown and green and violet.

So today was a good day for playing around and most of all working large. For me anything 9" x 12" is big, when I'm used to using small journals or doing 6" square or 5" x 7" paintings. 

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