From start to finish

For those interested in the process of pastel painting, here are some views on how the picture ”Enjoying the View” was created.

Overall it took about 20 hours to paint and then fitted with a bespoke frame.

Stage 1:

The initial structure of this picture was sketched  “Art Spectrum – Colourfix” paper. This can be bought as paper, or a solution to paint onto paper as a base for your painting and it has a terrific “tooth” to hold the pastel pigment, removing the need for “fixing” the finished artwork (which can spoil the painting with spatter and even darken and spoil the colour).

Pastels tutorial

Stage 2:

Unlike watercolour painting, the dark tones are usually set down first then mid then light. My “go to” colour for shadows is usually a Sennelier prussian blue 287 (thank tou to Margaret Evans for this tip) and I rarely use black.  To get the correct colour tone, I tend to mix on the paper (though some experimentation separately is advised in order that you do not “muddy” your colours). If you have large dark areas you can even use water to distribute the pastel pigment. This does not work as well with lighter colours

Pastel painting

 Stage 3:

Continuing to work round the picture adding in mid and light tones and start working on finding the right colour and light balance.

Pastel tutorial

Stage 4:

Working in the detail now on the pony and mountains.

Pastel tutorial

Stage 5:

Darken the darks and lighten the lights to give depth and shadows. I always add a splash of a contrasting colour to the picture for balance. Red in this instance.

The picture is now finished and ready for framing.

Pastels tutorial

Stage 6:

A double mount and a natural wood frame seem to fit well. Overall size is 700mm x 610mm.

Pastel painting