How often do you get outside of your comfort zone, playing with artsy materials that are not in your lineup of faves? How often do you grab something that you haven’t played with before or in a really long time? Or that you haven’t exploited fully?
This may seem a bit bizarre, but it’s true. I have never really played with chalk pastels. I know, I know, they are plentiful and cost-friendly, and it seems like everyone who has ever arted at all has some lying around somewhere. And how could I have made it all the way through grade-school without ever really playing with them??
The few times I have tried to use pastels, I’ve ended up frustrated and unhappy. I don’t like the mess, I seem to get chalk all over the place, and hardly where I actually want it. I don’t like the scratchy noise and feeling from scribbling with them. I don’t like that I have to stop along the way and spray some kind of something on them to keep them where I put them.
I had a bunch of ideas about how chalk pastels are just not for me.
I also have a list of self-motivational prompts to get my creative juices flowing when I’m looking for new inspirations. I have a note to myself on that list to try new things, new mediums, new techniques.
I’ve been pondering the chalks for a little while, mostly because I have several different sets of them, all kinds of colors, and even different brands and qualities. Seemed kind of silly to let all of that color go to waste.
I also attend YouTube University, always hunting down a video when I want to try something totally new. I like to just “download” the information, and turning around and saying, “I know Kung Fu”…
And I tend to be braver if I’ve seen somewhere how it’s done.
Not so with this little bit of fun! I just pondered the whole thing for a week or so. Then I had a bit of an a-ha! moment…and grabbed the boxes of colors and got down to it.
I can safely say that I really like my pastels now! Ha, imagine that, I managed to get past my silly ole brain and inner critic and just made some color love!
I realize that looking at the pics of this art journal madness, that you might not see right away where I managed to get some of the chalks involved, lol. Believe it or not, I used the chalks for the flowers.
And I did the playing with the chalks and the flowers first. The “background” came after that! So I am including pics here for you of the flowers, before I started mucking it all up with my usual mess.
The whole thing was a total blast. I enjoyed it, I felt like I was playing, I never did hate it during the process (which is a step in my usual process), I just really loved this whole thing. Will definitely be playing in the pastels again.
Tip: After scribbling with the pastels on the sketch, I used a paintbrush and water to smear and blend the color. After letting it mostly dry, I hit it with some gel medium, I used matte cuz that’s what I had within reach. I’ll be trying gloss next time…After all that was nice and dry, I painted the blue background and got to adding all of the other stuff. Fun, fun!!
Prompt: Now go and grab something you haven’t played with ever, or in a long time, and make something!!!