Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Pastels I like 'em, the drawing that people who're good with them produce and mucking about with 'em myself. Unfortunately I'm not very good with them, actually I should say I'm quite bad with them, if not very bad. There are a few problems in using them because there's no art shop here so to get materials I need to trek 20 miles to nearest one or order on-line. The other thing is that decent paper is no longer available it seems, or at least not easily at a reasonable price. That's another one of those frustrations that seem to increasingly be a problem for artists, a lot the items we used to take for granted are now gone or difficult to get hold of. You can get that sort lumpy paper, what's it called Canson but that has to be made of linen to be any use and the stuff I can find feels like drawing on cotton wool.

Anyway I got a roll of 90gsm Kraft Paper off e-bay and it seems reasonable quality, unfortunately it's ribbed, I don't mind that so much but it impairs the saleability of drawings. Incidentally the calendared side of Kraft (not all of it is calendered) is an excellent inking surface, better than Bristol board and a tenth of the price but bleached Kraft is now almost impossible to get retail in this country. Anyway I took a couple of snaps of my latest effort, executed in my piteously laboured style.

The face has come out a bit pasty here, that does happen if you view the drawing at an angle before it's been fixed. The hair is just awful as well, too much heat, I know I should use green as a base for blonde but I just can't get out of the habit of using a red earth colour.

I did a little more to it after this, you can see a nasty dark area under the  mouth on the left that I moderated. I also made the mouth a bit pinker. Don't think I'll do much more, I might try to flog it but I think I need a lot more practice before I can ask people to pay for 'em.


  1. I like it - especially the luminous quality you have given the skin. I find pastels almost impossible to use - but I think that is mainly because I am left handed and tend to smear my work. The big eyes and dreamy quality remind me a bit of Sulamith Wulfing.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Sharon, I know I need to work on this kind of thing of bit harder. I know what you mean about pastels being tricky, I find the drawing finer detail difficult with a something about the size of your finger, you can kinda hone an edge on the pastel, working in a single direction helps too, such as top to bottom because you can concentrate on one edge. Still they're great fun, this one didn't turn out anything like I expected but I quite like that aspect, it reminds me of more naive times when small achievements meant so much. I remember Sulamith Wulfing from that Xmas posting of yours, what a fantastically sublime artist. It would be interesting to see some of your work, have you posted anything of yours on your blog?

  3. Initially I didn't intend my blog to include anything of me, but its difficult after a while not to let the odd thing slip in! I've mainly tacked some (usually old) pencil sketches to the end of posts - there are a couple in one I dedicated entirely to Sulamith Wulfing which will also give you more examples of her work:
    As you once mentioned you like representations of fabric you might also like to see this:
    From early childhood I've found the women's dresses in these images incredibly compelling. At the end of that post is a pencil sketch I did of my grandmother as a child - possibly a bit staid but deliberately so!
    I also quite enjoy it when something turns out differently to what I intended - having the two images as a work in progress is a nice idea - it was interesting to see how the second image had evolved and what changes you decided to make.