Learning Pastels- Lesson #2

Introducing Dabbing and Creating Clouds

Well as intended I finally got the chance to learn a new technique for the month of learning pastels. This time it was experimenting making clouds and applying a dabbling technique to make them look light and fluffy (that same interesting term used in baking, now appears a part of clouds I wonder which came first...). Having it be a while since I first took a lesson in between experimenting on my own and learning techniques I was nervous about returning but decided that since growing as a pastel artist means being open to improving and taking on techniques it was time to learn more on how to expand on my own style. Feeling more comfortable using them on my own and less intimidated by the pastels it made sense to transition into another technique. My pastel hands were ready to take on another experience. 

Morning sun, created March 22/2017, first attempt
using dabbing effect to create clouds.
An intimidating second-err-third step, the first two would be deciding to do this, picking up the pastels and learning blending.  I seemed to gain just enough confidence to return and learn more, still a little unsure of my skill this was a big step to take returning back with some personal experience and pieces at hand to be admired or critiqued. 

The Technique/Lesson:

It actually wasn't as challenging as I thought, although it is different from blending. In blending you use a swiping motion with your hand and wrist going from one direction to the other. For dabbing on the other hand, you simply dab or plod gently at the centre of the shape using an up and down motion to keep it all contained within rather than blending it outward together. If you're interested this technique appears to work best with clouds, especially in creating the wispy type clouds in many outdoor scenes, or fields, beaches, etc. you get the picture.  For my first attempt (as seen above) I was given 20 minutes to work on the clouds and add anything else I felt would make the scene, so seeing as the orientation of this piece was portrait style I decided that what works best is adding the sun because sometimes it's nice to see the sun out amongst the clouds. You can also use clouds when making pretty much any outdoor scene in creating a sky. Homework from this lesson: look up at the sky and observe different types of clouds for inspiration.

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