Bella, soft pastels on Canson paper

I used mainly Schminke pastels and some Derwent pastel pencils. I tried the Sennelier, I’m not crazy about them but their pigments are gorgeous. When I do portraits, I find the Schminke’s almost mimic human skin.

This was a quick one done in an evening, no patience to do anything finer. And why should I?

I would like to study famous pastel artists like Redon, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Renoir. Their pastel portraits glowed!!

This is my cousin’s granddaughter Bella, who can resist that cheeky monkey?! Her ggrandfather was my Uncle Earl, I loved him so much. We were so poor and he would bring us lots of clothes from the US when New England was a clothing industry king. He died way too early and I miss him.

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Browns Yard Church and Cemetery

Browns Yard Church and Cemetery, New Brunswick, Canada

I’m not happy with this one, but it reminds me of home. All my ancestors from 1800s are buried here.

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Elephants, soft pastels on ?????

I saw this textured paper at the art store, it had no name on it but was available in white or black for about $4 for a large sheet. So I tried it on on this painting of elephants.

It really didn’t grab the pastels, so I used a lot of spray fixative, but every time I did, the texture would leap out too much. Oddly, when you look at this far away, it looks great, but close up looks like too much texture lines ( vertical only!) . It was hard to get the dust to stick. Details was very difficult also. I used mostly q-tips to blend softly and sometimes dipped in water.

I quite like it though and I continue to force myself to use colour.

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My nephew Jayden


Schminke pastels on Stonehenge paper

I thought I would try the Stonehenge paper because it was recommended by many people online. It was awful! Maybe because I use the rough for side of it but it was a fight to make it blend these beautiful pastels.

I’m not happy with the results of this, in fact I wanted to give up portraits. It really doesn’t look that bad from a distance but I don’t like how it isn’t translucent like the Canson papers.

The Canson Mi-tients paper is far superior to the Stonehenge for pastels. The Stonehenge might be better for colored pencils and I’d like to give that a try.

So it’s back to the Canson papers for portraits from now on. I also bought a plastic tube from the dollar store for $3 to put the portraits in so I can ship them back home so I can give these portraits away.

I’m still two years in to my self-imposed five year training., So there’s no pressure to produce really perfect results! It’s just practice, I tell myself!