I always take a sketching kit away with me that consists of a small box of hard pastels, a charcoal stick, sketching pens and paper. I do a tonal sketch with notes about colours and a colour sketch if I have time. It’s not done neatly as it’s for my eyes only! So the sketches I’m showing in this post my be difficult to decipher, but together with a photograph it’s the start of my process in creating a pastel. A course led by Sarah Bee gave me the grounding and inspiration to develop my pastel work. I’ve continued to follow her mixed media approach by starting with gesso on card, then painting with acrylics and finally with pastel.
i usually apply gesso to mount board in a semi-haphazard way that provides underlying texture to the fluid acrylics These are almost splashed on, helping to keep the finished work spontaneous. However I wanted a less textured look for most of this painting so I applied thinned terracotta pastel primer over the surface, then the soft pastel went on beautifully giving depth to the darker tones.