Friday, January 21, 2011

Working with Pastel and Charcoal

A friend of mine on Facebook took a picture of these two burros on a snowy/foggy day and posted it to her page. It struck me as being so very sweet... they looked all shaggy and interested in the person taking the photo. Against the white snow, one burro looked so dark, and the other so mid-tone that I thought they would make a great rendering.

I asked my friend if I could use her photo to do a drawing/painting, and she was happy to give me her permission, so here they are, in pastel and charcoal.

I have never worked in pastel before, so it is a new experience for me. I really enjoy some parts of pastel drawing - it is smooth and goes on fairly quickly, but there are other parts which are a not smudging, not getting it all over myself, and all the areas around me, what to do with the parts I end up blowing onto the floor... and how to get high contrast. I find getting the darks really dark is almost impossible with white paper, so I used charcoal to try to strengthen the darks. I think I will try a toned paper next to see if that makes a difference. 

I am enjoying doing these little renderings as great practice in my drawing skills. It gives me something relaxing to do in the evenings during the really cold weather we've been having. Sitting in the family room, with a fire going and the family's adults  together after a long day makes for a wonderfully inspiring environment in which to create! I'm not sure what the next drawing will be...but I will post it when it is completed. :-)

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