Tag Archives: pastel portrait

Found, finished and scanned: the lost drawings of Dr. Sketchys Berlin “Broken Baroque”!

Marijn van der Waa at Dr Sketchys Berlin Jan 28 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI actually produce so many drawings that I sometimes lose track of some of them.

Having a Patreon has reduced the orphan drawings rate enormously, but some still slip through the cracks! During the Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin Broken Baroque sessions, I did some large pastel drawings on Canson Mi Tientes paper. I tried to work on them at home, then abandoned them, as it was early days in my re-embracing of pastels.

Luckily, I just bought an A3 scanner and searched through my large drawings. I am so glad I found this drawing of beautiful artist Marijn van der Waa!

Evilyn Frantic at Dr Sketchys Berlin Broken Baroque Jan 28 2018 by Suzanne ForbesThese three portraits of sexy, spooky Evilyn Frantic merely needed to be finished.

I found it surprisingly easy, two and a half years later.

Evilyn Frantic and gent at Dr Sketchys Berlin Broken Baroque Jan 28 2018 by Suzanne ForbesHere we see Evilyn and a lad whose name I will have to get.

I was very nervous, two years ago, about how to handle the pale pastel shades.

Evilyn Frantic at Dr Sketchys Berlin Burlesque Week June 23 2020 by Suzanne ForbesNow I am confident!

Adding the watercolor brush pens has made a huge difference to my mixed-media drawing technique. They are physically pleasurable to use, as pastels are not for me. And they allow me to apply fine control to detail areas.

Mixed media art is all about finding what works for you – no rules, except consideration of issues of archival problems. I honestly do not know how my drawings of the last couple years will hold up over time. But since they are created to be shared online, I am kinda not fussed.

Yes, my lonnnnng art education instilled the value of archival materials. But it was pre-internet. And because in school I meant to be a fashion illustrator, then a comic artist, my intention was always to make work for mass distribution. Ephemeral, yet joyful 🙂

I am so blessed by my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to grow and develop as an artist.

As usual these drawings are licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) for all to share and enjoy!

In addition, I release the copyright on each drawing to the performer shown and they may use the drawings for their own profit and pleeeasssure in any way they choose.

 

 

 

A big pastel drawing finished!

Viva Lamore by Suzanne Forbes detail pastel on Mi Teintes June 26 2018Using pastels on dark paper is so weird.

I started this drawing of Viva Lamore at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin “Broken Baroque” session quite a while back. She is the producer of Full Moon Cabaret as well as lots of other artistic projects, and a frequent Dr. Sketchy’s model; I love to draw her. I worked on this one a good bit at home, but couldn’t figure out how to resolve it.

So I tabled it for a while, to see if I got more comfortable using pastels.

One of my beloved Friend-Muse-Patrons sent me a box of Prismacolor Nupastels for my birthday. Those were my favorite pastels in college, if I could have been said to have a favorite in a media I do not love. They are square in profile rather than round and both harder and more waxy than most pastels. I find them much easier to control and they lay down a lot of pigment on my toothy Canson Mi Teintes paper.

Viva Lamore by Suzanne Forbes mixed media 32cm x 41cm June 26 2018I also knew I needed a workable fixatif to freeze each layer of color as I laid it on.

But I was having trouble finding the kind of workable fix I used in art school.

Eventually I figured out that Winsor and Newton “soft fixative” is the same product. It’s sold as Professional Fixative now in the US, I believe. It’s a (virtually odorless! brave new world!) spray fixative that holds the dusty pigments in place, and creates a new layer of tooth for the next layer of pastel to catch on and adhere to. I ordered some and went back to the picture of Viva this week.

Portrait of Viva Lamore in media media and pastel work in process by Suzanne Forbes 2017 to 2018

The process of adding layers of Prismacolor Nupastels to a portrait on Canson Mi Teintes paper by Suzanne Forbes, 2018

Pastels are imprecise anyway, so I can use them fairly well with my injured hand.

The problem with workable fixatif, or any fixatif, is that when you spray them on, they adhere the pigment particles to the paper with an adhesive medium. Which has the effect of darkening the pigments. I hadn’t had much trouble with the Lascaux fix I’d been using, but the new can totally knocked out my highlights.

Portrait of Viva Lamore in media media and pastel work in process by Suzanne Forbes 2017 to 2018After each spray of fix I had to go in and restore the highlights. The paper got coarser and coarser, although as promised the fix does build a new layer of tooth. You can continue to add pigment on the surface for a long time. The lightest values in the drawing you see in the photographs aren’t properly fixed; they could easily be rubbed or wiped off. But that is a problem for another day.

I feel like this is a nice depiction of Viva’s beauty and mischief!

Evilyn Frantic at Dr Sketchys Berlin Burlesque Week June 23 2020 by Suzanne Forbes Edited June 23 2020: I also finally finished a long-tabled drawing of Evilyn Frantic!

Thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon whose financial support makes it possible for me to experiment and grow as an artist. You sustain me.