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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Animals, Big Bird, Jez Eden

Big Bird, Pastel Pencils - Jez 
I don't like using pastels, even though I love other people's pastel paintings, but this was my attempt at using some pastel pencils I came across in one of the studio drawers.  It's been ongoing for a few days and I managed to finish it when we got back from the hospital this afternoon.

He's called Big Bird because I don't know what he is, he doesn't look like an ostrich with that strange bulge on his neck, and I don't think he's an emu.  Whatever he is, he was very fierce and didn't like me taking a photo of him, and came at the open car window with tremendous speed - I just managed to wind the window up as his beak hit the window.  My heart was thumping.  It's an old photograph, I took in the local safari park many years ago.

I don't know how to use these pastel pencils and there were not many colours, certainly not the colours I wanted so I did the best I could with combining the colours we had.  Any tips on using pastel pencils would be appreciated, just in case I make myself use them again.

16 comments:

  1. I'm wondering if what you are calling pastel pencils we call colored pencils? Koosje Koene, one of our teachers from Sketchbook Skool instructed us in the use of the colored pencils. Some of the things she said that stood out to me was to blend starting with a light color first, going very slow and lightly, blend with opposite colors on the color wheel, and build up the colors slowly. She really emphasized the slowness of the process. Some folks got awesome results. I think I didn't have the patience for them. I use them, but not as one is supposed to use them. I use them more like color crayons. Pastels, as I know them are little block sticks of color and have a lot of dust when used. Hope this helps. Your big bird is nicely drawn and colored! I am not afraid of him on this page!

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    1. No Lynn, I really mean Pastel Pencils, like pastel sticks but in pencil form, and not as soft. They are quite different from aquarelles, Inktense, ordinary coloured pencils, soft colours.
      Yes, you have been taught the traditional and correct, successful way to use coloured pencils, as I was, like with my cockerel, yhough I don't have the time or patience for it all the time. I also have a love of solid blocks of colour and as you say use them like colouring crayons.
      I hate pastels and don't use them because of the dust and I don't like getting my hands dirty, which is why I thought I would try out the pastel pencils.

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    2. Thanks for clearing that up for me Jez. I sometimes wonder how much is the language differences and how much just art equipment I don't know yet!

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  2. He has that "don't mess with me look."lol Glad I'm here and not someplace where he is running at me. Nice job on this, even if you don't use those pencils much.

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  3. I love this big bird. With a few colors it is beuatiful.

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    1. Thanks ladies, i like what you have said to me here.

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  5. I like the result here, Jez! Maybe the pencils made you uncomfortable and pushed you in a good direction (not always fun, I know!). I think I bought a couple of these a couple of years ago, they are softer and crumblier than regular colored pencils. I couldn't figure them out and I gave them away! Now I think I will try them again. I say just experiment, as you have been…and I'd love to see anyone else's suggestions, too!

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    1. Thank you Margaret, you are right about the uncomfortable bit. It's good to step out of the comfort zone now and then.
      So if you say you are going to try them again you give me the encouragement to try again, thank you. I must say I was fairly pleased with the results for an experiment.

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  6. I think he looks great! The colors you used work well. I have some pastel pencils, and although I love soft pastels, I've never been able to do much with the pencils. I bought them to do small details in soft pastel paintings but they don't work for that because they are too hard and just scratch the underlying soft pastel off. Looks like sketching with them like you did might be a better use.

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    1. I agree about the scratchiness, and found the pencils took off the surface of what I had already done when I tried to add detail just as you said. It would be good to see what you do with them if you post one. Perhaps those of us with a few pastel pencils could try them in the next fortnight.
      So thanks Melissa, I have found all the comments here and above very useful and interesting.

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  7. These big birds can be mean and they are go home security guards so they say. Very nice sketch and glad you didn't get poked, it would have hurt.:)

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  8. Thanks Gloria, good idea about the security guard aspect, like geese, but he probably wouldn't even let me in the house!

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  9. what a lovely ostrich jez.. never heard of pastel pencil but you have rendered it nicely with the shadow and the dark tail. i am not sure if we can smudge it?

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  10. Thanks Elisa. Yes, the pencils work like pastel sticks, are powdery and can be smudged. I wanted the black feathers to look rough as they did on the photo and in life, but for the rest I was combining colours and then gently rubbing them together with a special rubber-tipped tool that I don't know the name of to get a smooth finish.

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