Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Hitch-Hiker

Pastel on Pastel Card, 19 x 31 inches

You can just see the little guy cadging a lift from his mum while his four siblings are paddling furiously - there's always one rebel.

This is about as big a Pastel as I paint.  It was as much a portrait of the water as the Swans, and I had quite a battle to make the water convincing as a wind-ruffled surface, making the reflections very broken up.
For the Pastellists among you, I have used Pastel Card for some years - its gritty surface is made from thousands of cork particles, but many people don't like it because they find it too abrasive and you can't wet it because the surface lifts off. I've never seen the point of putting a wash over an already tinted ground, but if you accidentally get a bit of spit on the surface when you blow loose Pastel dust away, if you leave it to dry, there is no problem - just cover the offending spot with a little Pastel.  I, too, find the surface a little harsh, so I rub it with a piece of 240 grade Wetordry paper. You can be quite agressive with it, so that the resulting surface is fairly smooth, but it still grips a lot of Pastel. I use my fingers a lot with Soft Pastels, so it's a very tactile way of working and that's why I want a smoother grit.

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