A recent bear from my 30 Bear Challenge on Facebook. Scraps of soft pastel on scrap of velour matboard. Finished image would mat to 7" x 5."
No thoughts except "bear" and "highlights," and "fit image to mat." This is a scary time. But one must keep going.
2) Keep going. Keep going.
I have large hands. Fingers don't like working with bits, chips, and small pieces of pastel. "Tough," I tell them, "It's our mission to use these tiny colors to possibly create some new beauty." "We NEED more BEAUTY," I tell fingers. (This is a lie. I simply want to use up more bits of pastel.) Time to break out of the blue and see what happens. Come on, little pastels, you can do it!
3) A bruin is appearing. I want it to be Joyful. Lift those arms skyward! Pick up those feet! Fingers, grab that lovely intense light blue! And more yellow! Make tentative marks within the bold ones! (Sadly, I'm quite good at making tentative marks. Be brave enough to go for Bold!)
"Why is that line of bright green dots there?," you ask. For Fun! And perhaps - a bit a Stability. And a wish for Spring in this white white Upper Midwest. And because I love that color.
4) Keep making marks, keep making decisions. Blend some parts. Keep other spots untouched. This is the time of Tiny Miracles. Don't go too fast. (I almost always go too fast.) Let the image form. More decisions. More marks. Good thing that pastel on velour mat-board is quite forgiving and one can re-work areas deemed in need of such. (Recalling pen-and-ink horrors... I shall not elaborate...)
At this point I have no "good" reasons for placing colors, other then feel for composition and an unbalanced balance. Six colors used so far. Is that enough? For this piece, probably. But one must keep options open. It's fun to work with abstract shapes after most often drawing blue "lakes" and green "trees." It's scary to dare to play. But fun to have fun. This bear is making me happy. This piece might be a 'successful" piece. I try not to care. I'm one who likes succeeding, darn it. But the end seems to be near - that's a whole other problem....
5) I keep fitting the matting over the image. Choosing the final cropping. At this size an eighth of an inch can make a big difference. And I know that the finished piece will be used in cards and a variety of reproductions. An 10 x 8 reproduction crop differently than a 6 x 4 image for a greeting card. Now we're starting to leave the Fun and return to Business. Sigh. Keep adding high-lights! Stay with the Joy! You can do it. You can do it! A few more marks, a couple more blends. One more look overall. And, ta da!, let's consider this bruin done.
Now it's time to relax and enjoy the results. This piece came quite easily - whatever THAT means. One is not often so lucky. And there are so many small bits of pastel left...
But we'll leave them for another day.
Hoping this piece inspires YOU to pick up something and make your own marks.
Time to get back to transplanting zinnias and tomatoes and starting to plant the beloved Sweet Basil.