Saturday, January 16, 2010

Nature's Palette

Nature's Palette
8x10 inches
Pastel Pencils on Pastelmat
Dear blogging friends,
I must apologize for my lack of blogging in the last couple of weeks. I took our youngest up to Qld to spend some quality time with Mum and all the family and to surprise one of my sisters for her 40th Birthday and then decided to take an extra week off to spend some quality time with hubby and kids who I feel I have neglected in recent months.
The one artwork I have done in the last week is the one above. I ordered some Clairefontaine Pastelmat before Christmas after having some frustrating battles with velour paper. I had read that this paper was something between velour and a sanded paper. I have to say - I am in love!!! This wonderful paper has quite a smooth texture, but accepts the pastel beautifully. The colour application is strong and vivid - there is minimal shift of colour when fixative is applied. The smoothness allows for fine detail work, and blending with fingers or tortillon is a breeze. Once the pastel has been blended into the paper, there is minimum smudging if your hand brushes over an area that has already been worked upon. This paper doesn't come cheap, especially when you add in postage, but I feel it is worth the extra expense because it is so fabulousl to work with. My only criticism is that there were some very faint lines (like ridges) running vertically down the left hand side of this sheet which are still just visible after a fairly heavy application of pastel. I'm not sure if this is a one off, or typical of all the Pastelmat sheets.
So, I will now be offering pet portraits on this paper instead of the velour, and plan to try a people portrait on it later this week and may offer these as well.
I look forward to catching up on everyone else's blogs over the coming days and a Happy New Year to all!!!!


AutumnLeaves said...

This is so lovely, Karen. So glad you had some time away to spend with your family. Those are moments you will cherish forever, I hope. This water bird is gorgeous (I am at a loss as to its "breed.") Interesting read on the paper you purchased too. I always try to store these little nuggets of truth for that someday when I am halfway decent time. If that someday ever comes, that is.

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Sherry. This is a Mandarin Duck, and they are native to Asia. I took the reference photo for this one at Sydney's Taronga Zoo and was just mesmerised by the colours of these gorgeous birds. I do hope you find the time one day to devote to art as you would like, fingers crossed it will be sooner rather than later!!!

sam said...

Wonderful Karen! I love the colours of these ducks, I ve alwasy wanted to paint one. Youve done a great job with the pastels)

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Welcome back Karen. Beautiful work as always. Great job on the water. I notice that the pastelmat can also be used with pencil and acrylic. Have you used either of these with it?

It's always good to take a break, especially if you get to spend time with loved ones. How fun for all of you!

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you so much Sam and Barbara. They are gorgeous birds Sam and I would love to see one of your paintings featuring a Mandarin Duck!!! Barbara, I did use a tiny bit of pencil on the pastelmat in this piece, I actually found it didn't accept it all that well, but was beautiful with the pastels. I use the Faber Castell Polycrhomos, which are quite hard, so it may be more receptive to a softer pencil.

DEB said...

This is beautiful Karen! I got some oil pastels over the break too. I haven't used them yet, and I haven't used my chalk pastels in eons. I thought I'd make it a goal for the new year to try all the media I have just sitting on my shelves. As always, your work is so inspiring!

Miniature Art by Karen Hull said...

Thank you Deb, don't you find it exciting trying new media, or even going back to ones long shelved, especially when you feel in a bit of a rut?! It either spurs you on to try new things, or reminds you why you stick to the trusty old favourite mediums.