Mark Making: practical, technical, fun:)

Thanks for glancing at this blog.   It will be very informative and brief, to the point of ridiculousness.  It’s called Pastel Bytes.  These little gems will be about the practical technical aspects of pastel painting,  drawing or the bones of painting, art history from Leonardo to Banksy, a spotlight of a current Pastelist’s work, and a glimpse of  what’s on my easel and how I manage my studio.

  1. Mark Making (very practical, very technical, and a lot of fun:)

Pastels are versatile (extremely so) and are excellent for both drawing and painting.  Take some time now and then to remind yourself what that little stick of compressed pigment can do.  Find 20 minutes to practice creating strokes with pastels.  Let’s not think too much about color here, just the strokes you can make with a piece of pastel.

Remember, simply by twisting and turning the sticks, using the tip or breaking the stick (gasp, yes just snap it in half or thirds or whatever) turning the stick on it’s side, you can create a wide range of effects.

You can make soft washes of pigment over grainy or sanded paper.  Barely touch the surface to do this.  Make whisper thin lines, crisp strokes of varying pressure, rough dabs or dots or even dashes.  Try hatching, cross-hatching, overlaying and yes, blending.  Break the sticks, crush them, push the fragments into the paper, grate them over your paper or board then press the gratings into your surface using glassine paper.  Randomness is useful.

That’s it.  You are done!  What did you learn that you can use in your next painting?   Your daily experimentation will add to your pastel tool box.