|Springtime Marsh, pastel, 5x7|
This morning I was working with some students who are new to pastel, and demonstrating one of my typical minimal stroke exercises. I've learned that it's important to explain to newer students some mark-making particulars that experienced pastel artists tend to take for granted. However, some experienced artists often still become frustrated when they SHOULD be addressing these particulars (myself included!).
How are you holding the pastel stick? Do you need to use the entire broad side, just the skinny edge, or a portion of the broad side? How much pressure should you apply for the specific mark you need to make? Do you need to vary the pressure along one particular stroke? Should the mark you're making have a hard edge or a soft edge. Yes, lots of questions before you even touch the pastel to the paper.
Keeping some scrap paper handy (ideally the same paper/surface on which you're working) allows you to test out the particular stroke you need, especially if you need to place it in a conspicuous area of your painting. A painting quickly becomes overworked when you test your strokes right ON your painting rather than on something else first.
|100-stroke pastel study, 5x7|