This is the first picture that I have done on pastel mat. I have been holding off trying it until I felt I was back with pastels. Now that I have I am very pleased with the surface, for I think it is between velour and sanded paper, it has a velvety rough surface. Now I know what everyone was raving about.
I was drawn to this picture because I liked the dramatic moody twilight and all the shadows as well as the man's craggy face. Neil Kingsbury always takes such dramatic shots. Again most of this picture is done with pan pastels, on medium gray pastel mat, with the details being done with pencils. I did play a little bit and added in some extra colors like magenta and some blues. I have heard that we tend to see as nature gives it to us in monotones, so it is up to the artist to exaggerate color to make it more interesting for the viewer.
Again I struggled with was it finished. I used to think I overworked everything and now I tend to underwork. So I put it up for a critique on PMP and sure enough there was some excellent advice. Just a note here, each group for media type in PMP has a critique - it has been there for all the years I have enjoyed PMP, but I never knew or used it. How dumb is that? Moral of that story is if you utilize some groups look around to see what is offered. Some of the most talented artists and teachers are there to give you really great advice just for the asking. So I am now making a list of questions I need to ask myself before I declare a piece done -
- Did I squint and look at both the reference and the painting? It really helps with defining the lights and darks.
- If I don't want to squint you can load your photo/picture and put it to black/white tones to compare, again making sure you have the darks and lights
- Did I make my focal point the focal point?
- Did I do the mirror test. It is amazing at what pops out if you hold your picture in front of the mirror. I guess it tricks the mind but the bad things just pop right out there for you to see.
- Did I wait a few days between my excitement to get it done to determining is it finished?
Do you have questions you ask yourself, if so please share so I can add them to my list.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away - Antoine de Sainte-Exupery