DAY 30 FINALLY Kitten pastel portrait

Day 30

Day 1

Finally it is Day 30 and it is over.  Apologize for the long post, but it is a bit of a recap.

I must say that I am glad that I participated and as always I think I learned a lot and certainly had some fun doing this.   I said never again, but like childbirth, I am already thinking about doing it in September, but in a different way.   Maybe not so many pictures, not the full 30, or taking longer with each one to get higher quality pieces.  But it is really fun to see what others are producing and you can't help but get inspired.  
Sorry, blogger is having some formatting issues here because I put these two pictures together.
I didn't intend to do a lot of domestic cats this time, but ended up doing 7 and found them to be very interesting subjects.  I posted the first and the last days work of the challenge, maybe not fair to compare as they are two different media, but I think I did learn something about fur this go round.  I want to do the piece on the right in a larger format and will do it again in acrylic, so it will be interesting to see how much translates  and changes from the initial study.  Basically today's cat was done with pastel pencils which offer so much more control.

What did I learn the last 30 days?  

Interesting the things that bothered me the most in the first challenges aren't the issues any more, like inspiration, painting faster, working small, etc.

1)  Monoprint and dendritic print making - challenge now is how to incorporate it into my ongoing work as I really like the idea of texture and I can't seem to produce it myself.
2)  Let it rest before you call it done.  I pretty much confirmed that I stop too soon on pieces and need to continue to add in more darks for definition and finishing.   I think this is one thing that really sets apart the pro from the amateur artist.
3)  Found a site that talks a lot about pastel painting and might do a bit of studying with Colin Bradley.  I never have taken a workshop and this might be the next step to actually hearing and seeing instead of interpreting from a book and pictures.   Already learned just really simple things, like holding the pencil in a new way, sharpening the leads, color combinations that make such a huge difference.  And all of these came from just watching a freebie demo that was 1.5 hours in length.  YouTube and the people who utilize it have really created something amazing.
4)  Underpainting is definitely something too that I need to incorporate into more of my work.  Whether it is a grisaille, gray-tones before pastel colors, black paper, it really is necessary.  It makes everything work together, adds so much depth, because it isn't white peeking through that it looks more finished and cohesive and piece comes together faster.  
5)  I did join the Southeastern Pastel Society, and they took me on, so now I hope to attend some of their activities and try getting juried into some shows.  Also so many talented folks there I can't help but pick up something.  
6)  Found " How To Pastel", Gail does a blog, YouTube videos and has a Facebook page.  These are ardent pastelists and she has some theme daily with Tuesday being Tricks and Tips - suggest you check it out if you are a pastelist as there are some really great tips and lots of support and sharing going on there.  
7)  Worked a lot more using pan pastels - can't say enough about these and the results you get.  Not for all pictures but certainly for base in, looser, and soft pieces. 
8)  Last but not least, and probably this is the most important I met some new folks who I will continue to follow.  They just inspire you and best thing is they work in such different medias and thought processes, it just makes you get excited and grow.  Gaining friends, finding blogs and learning from them are all things that really make the time invested this month well worthwhile.

As I mentioned earlier I am going to do the collage this time so that I can see all the pictures together.  Since I am working on my art plan I want to graph in the number of views and comments to determine a kind of focus group of what people seemed to respond to.  So you can see it is all good!!

Thanks to all who stopped by and those of you who leave comments - well you are my heros!!  Thanks so much for your thoughts, critiques and support.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Now onto FEBRUARY.....


  1. Both are beautiful , but I really love the sweet eyes and expression of the first little kitten .

  2. Great to see your day 30 and day 1 together. Both are great, but I really love the softness you achieved on today's kitten. It has been fun following your posts this month. That is one of the great long-lasting benefits of the challenge...meeting new artists that you want to continue to follow. Even though the challenge is over I'll be visiting to see what you are up to. It was great participating together!

  3. It is so great the way you catalogued what you learned over the month - very impressive! Your animals have improved significantly but both of these cats are super; I really like the eyes best. It is always great to see your posts - have a great day.

  4. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing the info, and congratulations on learning oh and joining a group. High five!


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