I have been spending a great deal of time working with and posting the results of my iPad digital artwork. It has been a long time since I worked with my favorite medium for life drawing, pastels. I finally got back to using them yesterday at the local life drawing group. After working on the relatively small format of the iPad (I use the 9.7 inch version), it felt good to get back to pastels and real paper measuring 18″ x 24″. But I must say that it was a bit of a struggle. Having worked in the digital medium for the last two and a half months, it was something of a shock, like being in a foreign country speaking a somewhat rusty language!
I find that the medium I’m working with tends to dictate certain elements of the style of the finished work. If I’m doing block prints, the carving of the block creates a certain angular look. With pen and ink there is a different feeling, more line oriented and with pen and ink & watercolor, yet again a different result. Using the pastels for life drawing, holding the pastel stick along its length, I use broad swatches of color and bold line (especially in the shorter poses). This is a more “physical” kind of drawing for me and I missed doing it so it felt good to get back to. It will take a while to feel fully comfortable drawing with pastels again but I enjoyed rekindling the experience of using them.