Artsy Fartsy Friday: Pastel Apples

Steve MerrymanArtsy Fartsy Friday2 Comments

pastel apples
pastel apples
Pastel Apples look good but taste rather chalky

Here’s a crate of pastel apples. Don’t eat them, as they are a little chalky.

I love working with pastel. There’s a couple reasons for this.

The first is that to me it’s like a hybrid between drawing and painting. On the one hand, I’m holding a stick of chalk that acts much like a charcoal stick, so I employ it as a drawing tool. But on the other hand, I can add wide swaths of color by laying the pastel on its side, and lay colors on top of each other as though I’m adding layers of paint over dried paint.

The reason I like pastels so much, then, is because I’m more comfortable drawing. In my mind, drawing is a fun, low-pressure activity, whereas painting is more serious and risky. So with pastels, I naturally adopt the drawing mentality and take more risks, not worrying about the consequences. This sometimes leads to failures, but other times leads to surprising successes.

I should adopt the same mentality with paint, but I’m old and set in my ways.

Pastel Apples: Tasty But Not Delicious

Pastel Apples is sort of a mixed success, but it’s still one of my favorites. I like the bright color usage, the absence of too many sharp, defining edges, and the sparkle of complementary colors in the highlights. As a college art student, I was a bit fond of Paul Cezanne’s work, and Pastel Apples has that sort of feel, at least to my eye.

To be honest. I would probably do more pastels if they weren’t so fragile. I haven’t found a good fixative that “fixes” the pastel in place without ruining the vibrancy of the color. Every spray fixative I’ve tried dulls the color, which is very disappointing.

Pastel Apples was a bit messy. It’s true of pastels that they create a bit of dust that floats around and quickly accumulates on the nearest flat surface. After any session working in pastels, my fingers are covered, my pants (if I’m wearing any – I work at home) have wipe marks all over, and the floor and desk is covered in a fine grit.

Previous Artsy Fartsy Friday Art:

Boris at Six Months | Fortress Rock | Deep Water | Writer Falls | | Spring Flowers | Sleeping Dragon | Grim Bloomsday Runner | Blind Dog Video | Graphite Self Portrait | Joining the Marines | Remembrance | The Bloomsday Finisher

2 Comments on “Artsy Fartsy Friday: Pastel Apples”

    1. Oh yeah! Forgot a couple weeks, didn’t I?

      No excuse, but I have an explanation: web troubles. All the way from a troublesome router to a dodgy WordPress theme, confusing plug-ins, and a glitchy web host. At times I’m tempted to utterly ditch technology, but my blog doesn’t translate well to smoke signals.

      I think I have the problems fixed (or at least identified and targeted for repair or replacement) and should be back on some type of regular blogging schedule this coming week.

      By the way, I enjoyed your Alaska travelogue. My daughter worked as an attorney in Kenai for three years and we visited a couple times. I am certain I could not survive the winters in darkness.

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