This piece was so fun to do. I have always loved a red rose against a black background. When I saw the reference photo for this I knew this was one I would want to do. Check out my time-lapse video on YouTube.
I knew right away that I wanted to do this in pastels. I thought it would be easy to achieve the soft, delicate look of the petals using that medium. Wasn’t sure about the paper, but once I decided, I chose a dark grey color. I thought it would be a nice neutral enough color to get my darks dark and brights bright enough.
The supplies I used are very minimal and easy to use.
First “Real” Pastel Art
This was my very first “real” pastel art. I say real because I only used pastels one other time and they were hard pastels and very low quality. You can see that result in my Gallery.
I absolutely loved working in this medium. The blending is easy and it is very forgiving. If you mess up you just go over it and you can easily make adjustments to your layout.
Up until now my favorite medium was graphite and I have to say I like both graphite and pastels equally (for different reasons). Since these were soft pastels they were a little messy, but surprisingly enough, that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.
I did have to wash my hands often so I didn’t darken my lights up when I was blending (you only have so many fingers before you run out of clean digits…lol). Between the pastel powder and constant washing of my hands they did dry out a little. That was solved with a little lotion application when I was done working for the night.
I began to block in the rose and decided that I transferred way too much detail. When working in pastels you don’t need to transfer as much detail as you do in color pencil or graphite. (Another plus)
So I kind of used what I had there for guidelines at first, then decided that I was just going to go over it and worry about the details later. Once I made that decision the whole piece changed for me and I really began enjoying the process. I didn’t worry so much about getting everything perfect from the beginning.
Yes, you want things in their proper placement, but the small details I was able to put in later and found I loved working that way. I felt my style became a little more relaxed and looser which I really think shows in the final piece.
Once I finished blocking everything in with the pastel blocks, I moved onto my pencils exclusively and really learned how to blend them while still being able to keep the detail. I found that if it got a little to harsh or bright, just a couple of taps with my finger and the result ended up being exactly how I wanted. The pencils are great for small details, just make sure you use a very sharp pencil.
I also learned how to mix the colors to achieve the colors I wanted. I felt by the end of this piece I was really getting the hang of it and am really looking forward to doing another project in pastels soon. Definitely my new favorite medium.
Pastel Rose Time-Lapse Video
See the time-lapse video of this piece of art. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss future videos.
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