Art class – week 3

This week it was all about charcoal, chalk and pastels.  I was looking forward to this, as I’m not that keen on pencils, and I vaguely remember from school that pastels were way more fun, and quite forgiving with their smudginess (*)

I don’t really remember what advice Will gave us this time, but I do remember enjoying getting my fingers dirty :-)

Here’s my first attempt, in charcoal and chalk:

I was really happy with this!  I didn’t think I’d be able to capture the light like that.

Here’s the original I was working from:

Will seemed happy with the result, and suggested that for the second half of the lesson I could add some colour using pastels.  I didn’t really want to, as this was the first piece of work in the class that I really wanted to keep, and I was worried about ruining it.  So he suggested I do another quick piece, choosing something very basic like an apple.

I found a still life amongst the pile of original drawings, and picked out a single apple from the composition.  About 25 minutes of pastel work later I had this:

All I can say is, I’m glad I started again.  I seriously like this apple.  When I look at it I see a work of art, not something that I did!

I also really really enjoyed doing it.  There’s something about the pastels and getting my fingers in there smudging away that disconnects the logical part of my brain and lets out a part that’s normally in my subconscious.  Although I feel that my job in software development does require a certain amount of creativity, there’s an awful lot of logic involved that pushes that creative side of me to the bottom!

Tip: A little aside about working with the pastels.  They go everywhere unless you fix them afterwards. Will gave us a tip about using hairspray as a cheap alternative to commercial fixer, but warned that all fixer darkens the image.  I bought a Tesco basic hairspray and tried it.  It kind of works, but it does indeed darken the image.  Worse though is that it seems to affect the different media to different extents.  In particular the white chalk isn’t darkened at all, but the light coloured pastels are :-(  I think that perhaps the answer might be to try white pastels instead of chalk?

(*) I didn’t really think that smudginess was a real word until my spell checker happily accepted it!