A Couple of Owls in Pastel..

I came across this picture the other week of an owls face on one of the copyright free sites I visit on my travels around the net. I thought just how stunning the eyes were and yet so piercing too, almost seem to be watching and waiting for you to turn around before accending down and swooping you in its talons.

I am continuing to use the carbothello pencils and conte sticks for most of the work, but when i need a colour i dont have i either layer two together, or i open my  Faber Castle Pitt pastel pencils tin in hope there will be something closer in there.

This is the first one i did, i followed a chap on youtube called Unmask Art, he even supplied the photo and line drawing with which to get started.

Owl No 1..

This second one is from a picture and i made the line drawing and used my own colours, it is really a great process to do, start with the darks and overlay the lights, try it..2018-05-26 08.40.09

Still Life and wolf eyes pastels..

I have had a go at something totally different this month, i started out with more of my animal faces (see below) but on delving through my heap of pencil tutorials i have done in the past i came across this particular pattern i did in coloured pencils, its a pattern from the very talented  artist Marian Jackson MDA, if you get the chance just pop over to her site , she has wonderful patterns there of all sorts of interesting stuff.

I really like to paint  a bit of still life, and these patterns are wonderful if you cant or dont draw well as all you have to do is copy the pattern onto your chosen paper and simply follow her written instructions or if you feel like doing your own colours, go for it.pestalpastel

This is the last of the animal eyes for a while as i am trying to broaden my level of interest into my pastel art, i do love the challenge though of trying to make the animals looks almost believable, i have had a few comments saying the fur looks like you can stroke it, that for me is a massive boon. I will be returning to these type of paintings in the near future.wolfeyes

Cougar eyes and Lemur Pastels..

As i am really enjoying my pastel pencils i have decided to try and carry on doing a piece of work every week in order to keep up my practise.

Currently using Carbothello and Pitt pastel pencils along with Conte sticks on Pastelmat paper, the amount of detail you can achieve is amazing, i struggle with loose work and end up throwing most of it away as i cannot seem to produce anything i am happy with, or worth keeping.

This time i have used a picture from the ‘Paint my Photo’ site to put together the Cougar eyes pastel, it was a photo of a full head but i only used the eye section as i have a bit of an eye theme going at present, after all they are the window on life anywaycougareyes

I spent quite a bit of time with this Lemur although it isn’t as big as the first time I drew it and went completely wrong. I had finished the eyes and the nose area and had started on the fur, doing random strokes of hair doesn’t usually come as a problem to me, but at A4 size I started to struggle with it, it just looked like a bad hair day at the salon, so unfortunately I gave up on it and started onto something else, well this one is just about A5 in size and more manageable so it came together better. I must admit, i will be trying other subjects later on, but for now i am more than happy with the wild animals.

lemur in pastel


Leopards eyes study, Pastel on Pastelmat..

Managed to finally get enough time to finish off my leopards eyes today. This was painted using Carbothello pastel pencils on Clairefontain Pastelmat paper and altogether took me about 15 hours to complete.

I intend to do a few more of this type of picture as I find it fascinating the amount of colours and layers used to get the desired result. The building up of thick fur texture requires several layers of different colours applied on top of one another, and using these pencils in combination with this type of sanded paper allows you to put light on top of  dark and doesn’t build up loose dust either.


This study is about 12 inch long by 6 inch wide and looks even better in the flesh, it is really vibrant and i may even have a small frame put on it.

Here’s to the next one….

The Eyes have it, pastel doodling..

As i continue with my quest to become somewhat better at art, i keep finding more products that helps in the process to gain satisfaction and  pleasing results, but as always it comes at a price.

I have not done that much with pastels, either soft nor pencil  at all in concideration to the amount of time they have adorned my cupboards. I have to be fair, had some success with them  even selling  a couple of pictures i once did of animals some time ago, and if you look at my other pastel pages you will see some of them there.

I did back then enjoy the process of painting a picture with them, but i did find (being a virgo) i needed more detail to my work, but the paper i was using just wouldn’t let me attain that level, however i carried on but was never completely satisfied with what i had produced, so i kind of set it to one side and moved on to other mediums.

It came to my attention recently that there is a new boy in town, this one goes under the name of Clairefontain Pastelmat. You can buy it in pad form or loose sheets, and for me it has made a great change to my work. I can now get several layers onto the paper, which has a slight rough texture to it, allowing the build up of fur or hair, but probably  best to use a paper stump to blend rather than your finger, unless you like short fingers that is.pastelmat1337256802_476

The pads come in a variety of sizes and with different coloured papers inside too, but if you only want to use a single colour then its best to buy single sheets of it, which also come in different sizes. This is the pad i bought and it cost me £17 delivered, which is a great saving on a lot of art sites that are charging £25 for it.

I wanted to start doing wild life again, so i got a photo of a leopard and set about putting it onto a small piece of Pastelmat i had been given some months ago but had never bothered with it,  i was amazed at just how nice this paper was to use, and using it gives you lots more layers than the Ingres paper and derwent paper i had used before.

This is my first picture using pastelmat before finding out that you need to start with dark layers and build up to the light colours, just like you do with oil paints, so hopefully from here on in my pictures will get better.pasteljaguar

The second piece of art came with more knowledge of the layering techniques , i did a couple of studies of eyes, tigers and leopard, really enjoyed it too. Looking forward to improving my technique and doing some better work..eyes

Brown hare’s eye, Pastel on Pastelmat..

This was just a little eye I worked on the other day when I found myself a bit of spare time. I had never used this type of paper before and I was given a few small pieces from a friend to try.

It is sort of a sandpaper with being too rough and it’s rapidly becoming my favourite paper as you can layer so much and lay light on top of dark too, I like this method of working far better than the coloured pencils I also use.

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to draw but having been given a hare cutting block tile, I kind of liked the picture so made a study of an eye for detail.

Hope you like it, as there will be more like this coming over the next few days as time allows.

Cat in Pastel..

This is one of the first pictures i did when i started using pastel, it was taken from an online tutorial and i used Rembrandt soft and Pitt pastel pencils.

If you are new to pastels, or any other medium come to that, i thoroughly recommend getting some tution, this will make you more confident and bring you forward in leaps and bounds. It can be quite intimidating when you are faced with a blank sheet of paper and a bunch of pencils, or a box of soft pastels.

Take the time to look around and buy yourself the best you can afford, too many people give up  to soon thinking they are not much good when its all down to materials they are using. Paper also plays a massive part as well, so go for a good brand, good luck…20150709_083215