I had a piece of handmade paper 22X30 inches that I had toned with colors that had accumulated at the bottom of my pastel container. I often take the particles of pastel dust and blend them on paper. Usually get a beautiful grey color. This paper was a heavy texture and kept the color in place, I just added more of the same color and let them blend together. Once I did this I did not know what to do with the paper so I put it away for a long time.
This spring I pulled the paper out put it on the easel and just looked till I saw something in the abstract colors. I saw the ravens. I pulled out my pictures and did a couple quick studies. As I started working on this hand made paper the pastels did not want to make a mark. I tried very soft, medium soft and very hard. I found the medium hard seem to work the best. I use pastel pencils and charcoal pencils to do the line work. Again a bit of a struggle, the medium to hard pastel pencils worked best but the charcoal I used 4B & 6B soft and dark. As I continued to layer the colors and black on, the paper accepted the pastel and charcoal better.
When I got to the point I thought I might be done, I took it outside, sprayed some workable fixative on it and took some photos of the work. Looking at the photos I did not like some parts of the work. I left it over night, looked at it the next morning. Turned it up-side-down and re-worked the areas that needed softening. Let it go till the next day, took another photo and worked a little more in one area...finally looks ok...bumped up the whites/highlights and sprayed it again. Working on the spraying technique to see if I can slowly seal in the pastels without melting them and causing them to darken. I am at the point of no return...I think it is done.
|ravens pastel & charcoal on handmade paper|