I bought chalk pastels months ago after seeing some “Pastel Paintings” online. I tried once and it was a disaster, like a toddler drew it! Ha! I mean, really truly bad. I threw it straight in the garbage. But then I pulled them out this week when I was working on the drawing of Liz and to my surprise they worked great as an accent to help give her face the “pop” it needed. So this morning I decided to give pastel painting another go, but to mix it with other media as needed to achieve the effects I wanted.
The struggle with learning any new medium is that your working order gets all messed up! In this case, I had to build up the sky before I could build up the distant horizon line trees, before I could build up the closer trees, before I could work on the meadow, which I had to do before I could put the tiny blue flowers in! And I really wanted to do those tiny blue flower marks RIGHT AWAY!
Also it was SO MESSY. Like every finger looked like I had dipped my whole hand into black chalk and it was EVERYWHERE (my face, parts of the painting I didn’t want it to be, the table, Molly’s face…) In case you decide to attempt this yourself: have baby wipes on hand. Lots of baby wipes.
Thankfully I also purchased a spray fixative for pastel in my fervor to get going months ago and it really helped! I sprayed between every layer, maybe about 10 times? I just didn’t let myself give up, even though I initially had a huge stand of white flowers on the left that looked like a hot mess, I just sprayed and went over it the next time and started that corner over.
I guess it’s always good to stretch your skills and try new things, even when it makes you feel a bit chaotic in the moment! My Virgo perfectionism and my messy creative side were definitely at war this morning but now that it’s done I think I learned a lot!