A quick charcoal and soft pastel sketch I made before leaving on my holidays! Quite an omen, too, because whilst on holidays, a friend from school saw my post on Facebook, and as it turned out, she found out she and her husband were going to travel in the same area for a few days. And then we met up. They reside in Austria. Two years ago I went to her birthday party, and that was the first time I saw her for over 30 years! It was an honour that she asked what we were up to and if we had the chance to meet up again. The four of us had such a great time for the two days we got together. It is not often that I get to spend quality time with real friends.
Upgrading my Mediums
Then when I was back home, I found these drawings of Little One and her friend. Very appropriate for that occasion! Initially, this drawing was actually spontaneous at the time. I wanted to try out my new charcoal sticks and combine that with my Faber Castell’s soft pastels which I had recently bought and used a few times with satisfaction. The willow charcoal sticks by Sennelier were recommended by my Tuesday evening art class tutor, and he was right, they are wonderful!. As for the soft pastels, I really love the Faber Castell set which I find tons better than the Royal Talens ones I had been using. Both of these new products are considered professional standards, and I must say there is a reason for that. First, I tried it on Canson’s Mixed Media Paper but was not sure about the results, and then I proceeded with Royal Talens Van Gogh paper to see what would happen.
This paper is 300 gsm. As you can see closely, the texture of the paper is quite rough with stripy bumps. Some artists like this because it helps the powdery charcoal and pastels to adhere on the surface than if the paper were smooth. Personally, it took some time for the stripy texture to grow on me. It’s not that bad, but I do prefer the softer and smoother look. Perhaps I would use it more for a rough sketch rather than colouring it completely. Canson’s paper, as I conclude, is more suited for mixed media work and acrylic painting.
Royal Talens Van Gogh Paper
This paper is also 300 gsm thick. However, the surface is smoother though not velour smooth. There is some texture to enable the charcoal and pastels to adhere to the paper but the surface is not as rough as the Canson paper. As a result, I found it easier to draw on it and needed not worry that the charcoal and pastels get used up quickly. You can see in the below photo that the result is a fuller and more velvety finish. I would definitely say hands up for the Royal Talens paper. I sprayed both drawings with Sennelier Universal Fixative.
I do enjoy the occasional soft pastel drawing, especially when combined with black charcoal. The vivid colours do pop out. And I of course love drawing cute things like this! It is also not often that I get to draw Little One hanging around with a friend or two. She also likes to go out and enjoy spending time with her friends, and it is so wonderful to draw about it!