I fell in love with some of my #inktober character sketches and decided to add color to a few of them.
For these I used an old sketchbook that had layers of paper ephemera layers with a top coat of gesso. I used a carbon copy sheet and transferred my #inktober sketch onto the gesso page…pressing very lightly. Then I added chalk pastel.
I love to work with chalk pastels in my art journal. I have such a love / hate relationship with chalk pastels. I love to use them only when I can work over gesso and on larger pieces. I love the richness and vibrancy the pastels have and blending them with my fingers is such a freeing experience.
We artist can learn so much from other artists, especially the masters who came before us. I love Impressionism artwork because of the rawness and freeness it represents.
Paul Signac / French / 1863-1935
I love that Signac experimented with various mediums. He creating paintings in oil and watercolor. He made etching and lithographs. But it is his pen-and-ink sketches I love.
For this Imitate the Masters piece I used chalk pastels to recreate Signac’s famous St. Tropez, the Shipyard and the Lighthouse (1893).
Working with Chalk Pastels can be fun, messy and totally frustrating all at the same time. I’ve found that I like working with chalk pastels in my art journal the best. I always start with a layer of Gesso. How thick of a layer will depend on what medium I’m working with. Since I’m using chalk pastels for this piece my Gesso layer is thin because I’ll be covering the entire page with color.
First thing you’ll need to do, is to sketch in pencil your figure. Since it was #nationalballetday yesterday I chose to sketch a ballerina figure. I saw a photograph on pinterest that inspired this drawing.
With chalk pastels, color in your ballerina. Blending and layering until she’s complete.
Add a background color. Then spray entire page with a fixative. Hair spray will also work. The fixative will darken the colors.
Once the fixative dries you can now add doodles. Pens will not work over the chalk pastels until it’s been sprayed.
Add a quote to the page if you like. I chose a quote by Susannah Conway. “Always wear your invisible crown.”
I’ve had a box of chalk pastels sitting on my art desk for over a year now. I remember as I child my mother had a box of these colorful chalks and they were messy but vibrant and I loved them. I’ve kept this untouched box on my desk thinking that one day I’d play with them, even if just for nostalgia sake. A couple weeks ago I did just that. I had been working on a drawing inspired by Jane Davenport’s book “Drawing and Painting Beautiful Faces” and I decided since I was playing with sketches in my art journal that I’d give the chalk pastels a try.
I fell immediately in love!! They are messy! But after watching a couple YouTube videos I quickly got the hang of them.
After I finished both of these pieces I sprayed them with hairspray to lock down the chalk so they wouldn’t smear. Once the hairspray hit the chalk the color exploded. It’s truly one of my favorite parts. It changes the color…darkens it quite a bit, but I dig it.