Pastels and Sandpaper

To be honest I have often considered pastels a rather insipid sort of a medium, now, thanks to Jean who came on our July painting holiday, I have changed my mind.

She introduced me to very rough paper, hers came from Sennelier and costs £5 a sheet, mine comes from the local hardware shop and costs 50p per sheet of wet-and-dry sandpaper, (much smaller).

The rough texture really grabs the pigment – giving it the intensity of oil paint, but with none of the kerfuffle and much, much faster.

So here is what I have taken to doing. Every day I have been going out at dusk, just when the mountains are turning hazy blue and do 2 fifteen minute sketches. The time limit means that you have to work fast, really loosening up your work. It also means it is much easier to capture rapidly changing light. Plus it makes you a lot braver with colour sometimes leading to disaster and sometimes to happy accidents – but hey, it’s only 50p a sheet, and 10 minutes of time.

Below are a few of my sketches.

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