Trying Out Pastels


Eric bought me a starter kit of small pastels today, at Blick, along with a small sketchpad for working with the medium, which he knows I’ve been itching to try. This comes from a combination of suspecting they’d be an easier traveling medium than watercolors or acrylics, and from being inspired by the insanely, vividly luscious pastel cityscapes done by James Romberger.

So here’s my first experiment, done over about 30 minutes sitting in a coffeeshop. I went in for the folds of fabric of a black and red patterned keffiyeh draped over Eric’s neck. I tried to stick with blue, brown, and purple for shading, to distinguish from the black stripes and pattern that are woven into the fabric. (Then again, why would you shade anything directly in black anyway, in a color piece? That kind of thinking has come from years of black-and-white pen-and-ink work.)

Also, Blick…damn, I don’t want to sound like an advertisement, but walking into there for me is the equivalent of what walking into a 10th avenue sex shop must be for a certain breed of dirty old man. It’s big, maybe not quite as big as Pearl, but not quite as claustrophobic either, and the pricing…there are expensive items, no doubt, but there’s also a lot of what I’d call Artist pricing over Dilettante pricing. The starter kit and pad together ran about $7.

So…something seems weird about closing out on the price of art supplies, not sure what else to add though. Currently I’m reading “Red Dirt Marijuana” by Terry Southern, and currently I’m musically fixated on Swans’ latest release The Seer , and Death Grips, just generally. Also this kava blend herbal tea that’s supposed to reduce tension or something.


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