|Cherries in pastels 11 x 9 inches|
So, if you've been by recently then you know that I think I've found my medium in gouache and I defintely know my subject matter is all creatures great and small but sometimes it's good to challenge ourselves and step outside of our own little comfort zones. So, with that in mind, I decided to try one of the challenges in the Society for All Artists website which was to recreate a still life of cherries in pastels.
I had a hoak through my art supply cupboard and lo and behold I still had the small box of pastels and the last few pages of a pastel paper sketchbook that I've had since school (that's over 25 years! )
Anyway I spent about 2 hours on this and I remembered exactly why I haven't used pastels since my school days - they are incredibly messy for one thing and that chalky feeling on my fingertips kind of sets my teeth on edge.
More crucially though, I feel like I have very little control over them and as someone used to adding lots and lots of tiny details to my paintings that was definitely a step outside of my comfort zone.
It was an interesting exercise though, both in using a medium I'm not very familiar or comfortable with and also in drawing a subject that I would never normally consider.
I think I'm going to make it a regular exercise just to test my artistic mettle although I'll set myself a time limit of a few hours for each painting/drawing/whatever rather than the multiple sessions each of my paintings normally take.
I may even dig out the dreaded oils again. Who knows, I may discover I can emulate the wonderful loose brush stroke-y style I admire if I'm restricted to completing a piece in just a few hours.