Pastel practice: Technique and painting process Automatic translate
Technique and painting process
Acquaintance with the required materials is only the first step into the wonderful world of pastel painting. Pastel painting is quite simple: the work is done using pastel bars and fingers, the rest depends on the artist’s imagination
When working with pastels, you must adhere to certain rules, otherwise the result will be unsatisfactory. The colors will not be so clean, pastel bars will crumble all the time in your hands, and erasing will cause a lot of difficulties. The apparent ease, when viewed from the side, of working with pastels by professional artists, is largely the result of great experience. Further, you will be able to familiarize yourself with typical mistakes and difficulties encountered in the path of comprehension of pastel painting by a novice artist.
Pastel painting is a bright and very rich means of artistic expression. Make an effort and they will pay off handsomely, allowing, in the future, to make full use of all the inherent opportunities.
Feathering, in pastel painting, primarily means the distribution of color. If an artist who paints oil uses a brush or palette knife to distribute paints, then the pastelist uses a rag, shaking, or hand. At the same time, this term also means smoothing the boundaries between the background and color by dimming their intensity. You need to know that shading is the basic technique of working in pastel painting, the principle of shading is simple: the pastelist draws on paper a bar of pastel, and subsequently grinds the trace left. And then, on top of the shaded stain, the next, more saturated pigment layers are superimposed.
Finger shading is one of the most natural and most commonly used work methods. The pigment is evenly (or unevenly) distributed over a large area of the base with fingers pressed together, and for small areas only pads are used. Most importantly, especially at first, after shading one color, wipe your hands so that the purity of the color is not disturbed by mixing.
Stain Over Feathering
Layers of pigment of different colors can be superimposed on each other, but do not forget that with a high saturation of the lower layer, the tone of the upper color will undergo changes. To avoid this, you must first shade the base layer, and only then apply a new one.
Accounts in pastel painting should be used as rarely as possible, otherwise the colors in the picture fade and do not look fresh. Abuse of the eraser can cause damage to the surface, which, in turn, affects the ability of the pigment to lie well on it. However, adhering to the rules mentioned below can help reduce the damage from cleaning to a minimum. Initially, it is necessary to prepare the corrected area for work, wipe it with a cotton or cloth to remove excess pigment. After that, you can use the eraser. Care should be taken, the pressure on it should not be strong, and do not try to rub the corrected area, as this action may damage the paper.
There are topics that, when embodied in the canvas, use only the shading method. At the same time, the shaded color spots smoothly flow from one to another, while forming a harmonious unity not only with each other, but also with the color of the base. This is how water spaces are usually depicted, unknown distances and cloudy landscapes. To implement these topics, you need to choose the right paper: its background color should match the prevailing tonality of the picture, so that the pigment spots (shaded) organically merge with the base.
Feathering in the landscape
The number of topics that can be completely written using only feathering is small. The following example is a typical representative of one of them. This landscape represents the sky, with the silhouettes of trees painted on its background. The primary task, in this case, is to convey characteristic, that is, decreasing gradations of tone. The only graphic elements of this landscape are trees against the sky. To convey the transparent purity of the main motive, you need only a few feathers.
Stage 1.Initially, we draw a light blue line along the upper edge of the sheet, while we press on the bar, so that the track turns out to be very saturated. Next, blend the resulting line, and distribute the pigment in such a way that as a result, a wide strip of a uniform color should be obtained.
2 stage. Immediately under the resulting strip, we apply a pale blue pastel, while we try to slightly overlap the bottom of the first layer with it. Next, repeat the previous operation, until a smooth transition from dark to light.
3 stage. Add a pale yellow pastel even lower, gradually brightening the future pattern.
4th stage.We begin to carefully shade all the strips so that as a result they merge into one with the previously applied ones. For better clarification of the lower part of the sky, add white pastel and repeat the previous work.
5 stage.Now it’s time to tackle the bottom of the sheet. Take a pastel of olive-green color and cover it with the bottom of the sheet. On the border between pale blue and green, draw a thin strip with natural sienna.
6 stage.With the edge of a pastel bar, we write tree silhouettes. To convey the black and white nuances of this motive, you need to use a pastel of black and white colors, as well as natural sienna.
Small silhouettes of trees visible in the landscape are drawn in black. These small details are not easy to draw with soft pastels, so in this case it is better to use a charcoal pencil or a solid pastel bar.
Lines and spots
Together with shading in pastel painting, spots and lines are used. The former are either intermittent or continuous, simple (used to emphasize the contour) or complicated. Each of these cases makes an important contribution to the artist’s design, being a transfer of form. A pastel bar on paper can leave a stain or line, it all depends on how it is applied to the surface - flat or at an angle (in the first case, it can draw stripes whose width is equal to the width of the bar). Usually, when working on a single work, a real artist uses the entire arsenal of available techniques, so you can see the use of feathering, lines and spots in any picture: feathering usually serves to create a background on which saturated and clear elements, such as lines and spots, are visible in turn.
Bar edge work
For drawing straight lines, the edge of the bar (square section) of solid pastel is best suited, for this you need to attach the bar to the paper with the edge and just draw a line along it, as a result, you get a perfect straight line. The same effect can be achieved by using the lateral surface of soft pastels, although the line thickness in this case will be much larger.
Spots and optical bias
The most expressive styles of pastel painting use stains of pure color to do the work, but try not to use feathering at all. Feathering muffles the intensity of colors, which is not always liked by the author of the work, so they use only unstuffed strokes that perfectly convey the freshness and vibration of pure pigment. There is a category of pastelists who create their work solely on the basis of color spots, excluding any shading or mixing. Of course, at a short distance, these paintings have an abstract appearance, but at a certain distance, the viewer will see a whole canvas that plays with unusual colors obtained through optical mixing (spots of different colors are perceived by a person as a whole).
Lines and spots in a still life
The manner of writing the still life, which can be observed in the figure (the work of Francesc Crespo), is achieved by superimposing spots of pure color on the background. To carry out work in this manner, a bold and energetic character is needed, since the work is done with decisive and energetic touches, immediately, without any preliminary drafts. The experience of writing this kind of work is sure to be useful to a novice artist.
The theme of the still life is simple - a jug of flowers standing on a cabinet. The artist chose a not very widespread angle, but the style of work says that this is the right choice.
Stage 1.The work begins with drawing a preliminary sketch with charcoal, and the shape and volume are modeled, which are done with energetic strokes and spots. The beads of the contours and details as such are absent, and the thick line gives a hint only to the general outlines.
2 stage. In this still life, the background is created by blending spots of ocher and light gray colors. These spots mix, so that the background takes on an indefinite hue, which perfectly conveys the play of light and shadow in the depth of a still life.
Imposing pure flowers on top of a feather
The manner of working in pastel, which is demonstrated in this work, is quite interesting. Spots of pure color and shading not only complement, but also reinforce each other - spots of pure color look harmoniously only on a shaded background, and he, in turn, skillfully emphasizes the expressiveness of pure colors. That is why you should not shade the stains of the main composition, which is applied over the initially shaded background, nor should one try to get uniform saturation for all parts of the picture. Usually shading is used only for the background or background.
3 stage. Flowers - their color and shape are obtained when bright saturated spots are applied, for this we press the pastel bar onto the paper (this allows us to achieve a high color intensity) and create a stain in circular motions.
4th stage.After staining is complete, we emphasize the desired shape of the stems and flowers with charcoal. If you look closely, you can see that some sections of the work were shaded by the fingers of the artist, in order to reduce its intensity and contrast with the background.
5 stage.The next step is to refine the jug and other details of the composition using colored pastels - that’s it, the still life is ready. It is worth paying attention that the initial drawing of charcoal harmoniously blended into the overall structure of the picture due to shading of the background and elaborated harmonization of color.
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