Saturday, February 07, 2009

Drizzly morning, clearing up, pastel

Drizzly morning, clearing up
pastel on Pink Pink paper, approx 12 ins square, Vivien Blackburn

I need 3 pastels for a show next month and set out to do a large piece based on the pollarded willows. I got half way through one and it's at the ugly stage just now and needs thinking time, so I got side tracked into completing this one. The attention span of a gnat <> Never mind! this one can be one of my 3.

It's mostly Unison pastels as I love them - velvety soft and rich but they don't break up and flake away to expensive shards and powder like some. What I do want to get is some white Schminke pastels, as I'm told they are the richest, whitest white with brilliant covering power.

I often underpaint when I use pastels but this one is just pastel and no other medium.

I love pastels with the mix of drawing and painting they allow - my skin doesn't like them much though and dries out terribly. I've tried wearing those thin disposable gloves but I use my fingers too much to soften edges etc and I just don't get on with wearing the gloves to work. I'm just piling on the moisturising creams.

I'll get back to the willows done much larger in pastel and see if I can rescue them - or maybe it won't look so bad in the morning - she says hopefully. I just may end up putting 3 seascapes in!



18 comments:

Anita said...

I read the other day about reconstituting broken pastels - you break them into dust and then add a little water to rebind them, roll it into a pastel shape and then leave to dry. Not sure if it would work!

vivien said...

yes, I've read that but never actually done it but it does work I'm sure and would give you murky neutrals :>)

vivien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann said...

This is a beautiful piece Vivien!

Jeanette said...

Some pastels are very dusty and make everything around dry. The plastic gloves don't work for me. I need to feel the piece in my hand and get messy. :)

I know your willows will turn out beautifully along with this piece. The water in this is lovely, very 'wet' looking - if that makes sense.

vivien said...

Thank you Ann :>) - I like your use of cp's

I need to get messy too Jeanette! it always surprises me how some students have an absolute horror of the messiness of pastels and charcoal - I love them!

I did my degree alongside someone who used to come in wearng pale chinos and a white shirt, put on his latex gloves and go home absolutely spotless :>0 - I on the other hand would have smudges of colour across my cheeks, and often my hair - colour all over whatever I was wearing ......

Robyn said...

I can't stand the chalky feel of pastels on my hands. Just one step away from fingernails dragged down a blackboard. I think, like horses, pastels sense I'm nervous of them!

Beautiful seascape, Vivien and I love the square format. Also loving the beautiful paintings you are posting on Waterworks.

vivien said...

I don't mind the chalky feel at first Robyn - but as my hands dry out they feel horrible! dry and rasping :>(

I do like what they do though - the lovely velvetiness of Unisons as a surface.

And then the nightmare of framing :>(

my croft said...

ever the dull voice of reason tiptoeing amongst the artists -- could you use a glove with a couple of fingers cut off?

Casey Klahn said...

I use mechanic's glove, which is a cheaper alternative to the barrier creams that the art stores sell. It is a barrier cream that works for me, which doesn't leave my hands too oily after I rub it in good, then wipe away the excess.

Auto parts store.

My goulash of colors made from tray tailings are irreplaceable - the grays have inclusions that really sing.

harrybell said...

Have you tried applying a barrier cream before you start working? Might help.

vivien said...

I tried that Melanie - but they are quite fragile and just disintegrate if you do that to them.

I'll have to see if I can track down this Mechanics glove over here Casey and Harry - I worry about anything greasy with using the soft pastels.

I have awful problems with dry skin in the winter and have to ladle on prescription creams and be careful what I use.

Lindsay said...

just beautiful! You've really got the movement in the wave and the quality of light.

vivien said...

thanks Lindsay - I'm going back in a few weeks - yippeeeeeeeeeee!!!

rob ijbema said...

great movement and mood vivian

vivien said...

thanks Rob - I've loved your snow paintings :>)

caseytoussaint said...

This is just beautiful, Vivien. I agree with you about pastels - they really offer the best of both drawing and painting, and you exploit that beautifully.

vivien said...

Hi CAsey :>)

they do don't they - and thank you :>)