Wednesday, October 17, 2007

To Blend of Not to Blend

8 x 10 soft pastels
Art Spectrum Colorfix
At last, I have finished the 10 in 30 challenge! This is the last painting in the series. I will be uploading the whole series in WC later today. If you are interested, go here.
One of the biggest questions that came up during this challenge was the "blending" question. I have read several pastel books, listened to pastel artists talk about their work, and taken classes and workshops. Everyone seems to have a different idea about blending. Some blend only water. Some say it is okay to blend where you want a smooth look, especially in still lifes. Others say that blending completely dulls the painting by flattening out all the pigments. Is there really a right way?
I started out blending everything because it was the only way for me to get hard edges, or soft edges for that matter. I used my fingers for everything. I gradually stopped blending anything and tried to learn to love the textured finish. Now, I do selected blending.
Often, I blend the first or second layers in certain areas, then add textured strokes for details and highlights. I use my fingers still, but have added tissue in some instances. I have also done some sky blending by using NuPastels over the softer Ludwigs and Great Americans.
Today's painting is a mixture of both. I left the sky unblended for a dramatic effect. The reference photo was taken at sunset on the North Shore of Oahu at a place called Mokulaea. I was amazed that no one was sitting in these chairs. I did, right after I took the pictures.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

I visited the page with all of your 30 minute pastels on it - wow! You are doing interesting work with colors and with your art: keep posting~!