Friday, July 12, 2013

Frolicking with Pastel ... Again!

My art class,  two summers ago, introduced me to soft pastel. Initially, I mistook it as oil pastel. Our teacher, however, showed me the distinction. If interested, I discussed their differences in a previous post.

During my trip to Manila last summer, I saw a lot of artists who used soft pastel as a medium. They used brushes for application and blending. Simply put, they treated the pastel just like any acrylic or oil paints. Coming home, I decided to get my hands dirty and play with the soft pastel sticks I bought from National Bookstore. To start off, I searched for tutorials on YouTube and tried their exercises.

So far, so good. I was satisfied with my results.

The pastel is not as intimidating as paints. It's like coloring a kid's art book using crayons. And it can also generate other colors from existing hues. For example, the green-shade of the suckers (I hope I get the name right.) beneath the tentacles of the octopus are created from mixing yellow and blue.

Moreover, pastel also behaves exactly the same when complementary colors were mixed. This technique is very useful when you want to create shadows, and black and gray appear too strong as options. Mixing complementary colors will do the trick.

The Coca-cola can below, looked flat in its yellow background. To separate it, I decided to use shadows but I didn't want it, appearing too dark. So I rubbed a line of violet pastel (complementary of yellow), forming a subtle separation of the can and its background. Furthermore, using the same technique, I also made another shadow cast by the can itself, at around 45 deg-angle. Imagine if I used black; it will compete with the can for attention.

For those artists who are starting out, I encourage you to try out soft pastel. It would be a good medium for experiments and even when you are getting serious about pursuing art.

On the last note, let me leave you my favorite pastel art to date...


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