Archives For pastel

pastels & card

my pastels & card

There they are, those beautiful sticks of soft pastels. They are about the size of my pointer finger, and while mine may be a bit messy, they are full of beautiful, creamy, vibrant color.

I have my pastel card cut and I’m ready to begin.

Wow: big pastel, tiny paper. How is it to be done???

My biggest sellers are mini pastels, 2×3″ to 4×4″ pastels on card, framed. When teaching classes, one of the tricks my students are encouraged to master is the ability to hold a chunky pastel just right, in order to achieve a very fine line. It can be done!

No matter how rounded my pastels look, I can always find an edge. Sometimes I have to break them (painful, I know…but it must be done!), or use a small “crumb.” When handled correctly, I can get a thin eyelash even on a small piece of art. Continue Reading…

Doing a back flip

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

I go on and on about the glories of textured pastel paper-which I love and prefer-but sometimes, I do use a piece of “regular” pastel paper…with a twist. While I mostly use Ampersand Pastelbords and Sennelier La Carte pastel card, I often choose a sheet of pastel paper for soft subjects, like a baby’s face. However, I do NOT like the little dots that show up on most papers.

So, I just flip it over and use the back! Continue Reading…

A field of cotton ready for harvest, lit brightly by the sun on a crisp November afternoon, rimmed by a string of trees in the distance with a Southern blue sky above.

I drool.

This is a sight often viewed enviously from my car window as we speed down the interstate; but not this day. This lucky lady was able to bask in the glory of an Alabama cotton field and snap as many photos as I wished.

I’ve been itching to put my pastels to work capturing this exquisite afternoon.

Lately I’ve been busying myself with commissions and small pastels, and I decided it’s about time for a big one.

I compiled 5 of my photos into a sketch, making sure to have everything just how I wanted it.

first sketch

Using vine charcoal, I loosely recreated my sketch onto a 24×36″ Ampersand Pastelbord (I always choose gray!)

pastelbord sketch

I’ll begin the color soon…right now, my sketch is resting and I’m contemplating. Check back soon and join me as we progress!

Since my previous post about SpectraFix Pastel Fixative, I’ve had some questions from readers and new developments on my own. I want to take a moment to add to the discussion, so we as artists can have the most information to create the best results possible! Continue Reading…

Ah, pastels…so vibrant, so soft, so many possibilities. And so SMEARABLE!! After working for hours on a fine portrait, the last thing you want to have happen is someone come swipe it with their fingers.

Trust me. This has happened…

Little fingers have swiped right across the eyes of one of my completed pastel portraits. I’ve also had a big bouncy ball bounce off a portrait, a cat walk on and slide down (using claws!) a big commission, the wind catch a finished piece and slide it face down across a parking lot, a child’s jacket thrown on top of a piece while waiting to frame it, and on separate occasions, several customers at a frame shop come over and (for some reason) rub their fingers right on my pastel painting (???).

These pastels need protection!!!! Continue Reading…

I’m teaching a class to a group of beginning pastelists: Some students have read up on pastel techniques, others may have had a few classes. My first instruction always throws them for a loop: “Begin with lots of black!”

As I’ve said before, I’m a self-taught artist…When it comes to pastels, I fiddled with them alone at my art desk until I discovered results I liked. And it all started with black.

Below you will find a quick tutorial using my own technique to create vibrant, textured pastel paintings. Continue Reading…

Layers of Life

marylizingramart —  November 11, 2012 — Leave a comment

Ah, the complexities of life. We all have a story, layered with triumphs, tears, mistakes, redemption, tragedies, success, joy and pain. Most of our stories are hidden behind our personas, whether they be smiling faces or bitter scowls; woven so tightly together that the layers are unseen, making up one image. These thoughts were on my mind as I created my newest piece, a 16×20 cotton boll in soft pastel. I begin my pieces with under layers of dark black followed by bright colors: turquoise, fuchsia, purple, bright green, gold:

Continue Reading…