Friday, April 2, 2010

Starting a Pastel, The Drawing

I wrote previously about what brands of pastel and paper I like.  Today I thought I would go over how to start a painting.  Depending on how I am feeling I start one of two ways.  The first, is to start the drawing on the pastel paper with vine charcoal.  If I am raring to go and limited on time this is usually how I start. However, sometimes that backfires on me because if I don't spend enough time in the drawing stage then there is a greater chance that I will have to spend more time fixing the drawing later on in the process.

                                Original Drawing

  The second way, and my favorite way, to start the pastel is to do the drawing on a regular piece of drawing/sketch paper and then transfer it to your pastel paper.  Transferring is good for beginners because it allows you to get your drawing worked out without messing up your expensive pastel paper.  If you do your original drawing on a piece of paper to transfer then you will always be able to copy it again and paint it later in a different medium or colors etc.  Plus, I just like to have the original drawing.

                                          Tracing Paper with Charcoal on Back
Once you have your drawing to the level you want it then you take a piece of tracing paper and trace your drawing.  It is a good idea to tape your tracing paper to your drawing so that if your hand slips or you have to step away from your drawing then the tracing paper will still be in place.  I always make two X's on opposite corners of the original drawing then mark the X's on the tracing paper and that ensures that I always have the tracing paper in the correct position.   When your done tracing flip it over and cover it with vine charcoal or white pastel.  If you have a light piece of pastel paper then use the vine charcoal.  If you have a dark piece of pastel paper then use the white pastel.  Put the drawing charcoal/pastel side down and then trace it again.  It will leave vine charcoal/white pastel on your pastel paper and now your ready to start painting!!!

I always keep my original drawings for later but I also save my tracing sheets so that if I decide to use the same drawing later I can skip the 1st tracing step.

Drawing transferred to Wallis paper and lines made darker with blue pastel 


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