Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I know it's been a while since I was last here but I've been swamped by various projects. Some have been in the making for a while and I'll let you know about those when they're ready to be announced.

In the meantime, I've started a new dog portrait. This one is very special since 1) it's for a wonderful person 2) it's a lovely dog and 3) I'm using my new PastelMat for the first time on a commission!

I'd planned to do give you a full WIP, but, as usual, I got started and forgot to scan the basic sketch! However, I didn't get very far before I remembered so there's very little done.

In this wip, I hope to better learn the properties of the PastelMat, of course, but I also hope to learn more about mixing colors in pastel. I've been told that an artist really needs the exact color they want to lay down as mixing colors isn't really feasible in this medium. For this dog, I don't think the exact colors are available as I think I have just about every "dog" or "cat" color made and they're still not quite right!

Also, I'm working from some relatively bad reference photos. Well, the photo showing the body of the dog isn't too bad but the eyes were totally flashed out in that photo to the point where even the area around them was badly affected. I had another photo showing the eyes pretty well so I ended up using the one photo for the actual dog but am using the second photo to sketch in and paint the eyes. It looks right so far so I'm excited to see how it all works out!

I'm also excited about using the PastelMat again. I said in an earlier post that I didn't think I wanted to like it very much because it wasn't available here in the US. Well, I just found out that it is available here now! I don't know if any other art stores will carry it, but Dakota Pastels is now offering it to their customers. Having it available in the US may not entice me to use it more though as it's still a very expensive support! Hope my customers appreciate the fact that they're getting the best! lol

More later - let me get back to work on this so I'll have an update to post tomorrow!


sue said...

I look forward to seeing your progress on this portrait. I love pastelmat but just wish the colour range was better - is this the light grey you are using here?

Dors said...

Great start Jan. I am looking forward to seeing your WIP. I have yet to get into the pastels.
I am sure this surprise will be loved.

It's great to see you back on your blog.

Christine said...

I will also pay close attention to your findings with this pastelmat. You sure did get excellent results last time. An instructor in photography once told me to always buy the very best tools and materials that you can afford, and I am living by that. You can pass the cost for materials on to your customer who most likely will appreciate the best and superior results.

Jan said...

Thanks Sue, I think I like pastelmat but it's been a little different for me and I'm finding my way of working with it. This is the white color - I really wanted a blue but of course, there isn't one! May have to add a background - we'll see.

Thanks Dors! I really like the immediacy (sp?) of pastels. I like the look of cp but it just takes too long for me. I hope to get here on a more regular basis now. I do like to blog but sometimes life just gets in the way!

Thanks, Christine & Happy Birthday! I also agree that you should buy the best you can afford of anything. But, I'm not sure yet if the pastelmat really suits my way of working or if I can adapt to it. It's different but really holds the pastel. I think it would be great for cp too - maybe even better than for pastel.

readingsully2 said...

Hi JAN. :)

Jan said...

Hi Carole!! Thanks for stopping by!