Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

Art: Revisiting an old drawing…


Today I thought I would go back to a drawing I did just prior to going to TAFE for my year of Fine Arts training and finish it.

It was an interesting experience to revisit a drawing that I had enjoyed working on and then put aside to concentrate on all the projects assigned to us at TAFE. I realised just how much I learnt last year and how much better my observational skills are now after the constant work I did last year.

This is the drawing as I left it in January last year. I still had quite a bit of work to do to it to finish it off.









This is the drawing at the end of today, where I am going to leave it as I can see so many things that need to be adjusted in the drawing, which would mean brushing out a lot of pastel. So it would be a lot easier to start from scratch. There is only so much pastel I’m willing to waste, and if I do any more to this, I think I’ll end up having to brush some out again or the tooth of the paper will be too full to hold the pastel.

(This photo is not the best for colour as it was taken at night – the dog is darker than this shows).

This is the reference photo. I took this at a dog show a few years back. He was a really handsome dog but hard to get a really good photo of – this was the best I could do with crowds of people around.
Looking at the reference and the drawing, I can see that his head is too narrow, nose too small, jaw not the right shape, the lower edge of his mouth is narrow and out of shape. I can spot more, but that’s enough for now.

The green background was the wrong colour for the dog, so I tried to adjust it and ended up with mud – it would definitely have to be brushed out (I forgot my bristle brush today which is why I attempted to change the background without removing the other colour first – I knew there was a possibility of mud, and that’s what I ended up with).

So whilst it was a bit disappointing not to finish this, it was a good learning experience and it showed me just how much valuable experience I gained in my year at TAFE, and most importantly I learnt when to put something aside and accept that it is better to move on rather than over work it.


Author: Elaine

Artist, writer, married, mother, living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and winning (most of the time). My creative impulses have led me to drawing, pastel painting, writing, handcrafts and photography.

11 thoughts on “Art: Revisiting an old drawing…

  1. I still think where you left it is beautiful.
    Art is in the eye of the beholder ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I just kept seeing more things I was unhappy with and I would just end of fiddling with it, and then finding someething else, and end up wasting way too much time on it. So time to start on something new!

      Thanks Robyn ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh woow this is stunning – i honestly though it was a photo – the textures and depths..i’m speechless


  3. I think it’s a wonderful painting. You have captured the “essence” which is way more important than exact photo realism.

    Depending on your pastel paper, I use a damp towel (face washers are excellent) to take off large areas of pastel. I prime my own boards with pastel medium (art spectrum works best for me), and I upcycle the matt boards discarded from my framer. Make sure to use the acid free side (back of the matt board). This support can take much more of a beating, and many more layers of pastel, than paper.

    • This is on Art Spectrum Colourfix. I haven’t tried using a damp anything to remove pastel – just bristle brushes. I’ll have to try it. Not sure of Colourfix will cope with it though.

      Is matt board a good serfucae to work on? It would be much better to work on a firmer surface I think. I have quite a bit of matt board at home left over from TAFE and I have some pastel medium, I’ll have to give it a go.

      Thanks for your comments. I just think the tooth is too full to keep going on this for now. I’ll give it a go with the damp cloth – I can’t make it any worse. I’m not looking for photo realism, but I would like it to be in better proportion. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Yep, I use matt board pretty much exclusively, and so do most of my students. Especially when you can get it free from the framer! If I want to do a really large pastel, I buy a whole piece of matt from him for about $10.

    Always use the back though. That is the acid free side. The front (usually coloured), is just a thin piece bonded to the board, and when you apply the Colourfix primer, can buckle and peel off.

    I also us the clear primer, which I tint with acrylic paint to the background colour I want. I usually tint this the darkest shadow colour of my painting, and use this as part of the painting (leave it pastel free).

    You can wash off a whole painting on matt board, leave it dry for a few minute and start again. Mechanical erasers are also a must for fine detail work. You can take pastel off right back to the board with no damage.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this process. I will definitely have to give it a try. How many coats of the AS pastel primer do you need to use on the board, if you don’t mind my asking?

  5. 2 coats (watered down). I use a wide (3โ€) hake brush. Paint diagonally one way, 2nd coat diagonally the other way. This will give you a very smooth finish.

    If you want a lot of texture to show through your pastel, donโ€™t water it down, and paint in random strokes every which way. Very effective for a lot of โ€movementโ€ under your painting.

Thanks for leaving a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s