I was, unfortunately, unable to get back to Pastels on the Plaza in the evening to get some good pictures of finished artwork, so this year I’ll be focusing a bit more on the in-progress works. I did the above pastel, as usual, for local landscaper Genevieve Schmidt.
When I arrived at the plaza at 8AM it was wet from the night’s rains. After picking up my pastels and choosing a square in a location that seemed promising, I settled in to get to work. It seems like every year, the supposedly 3’x6′ and 3’x’3′ squares get smaller and smaller, this year by about 25%. I’ve learned to bring a tape measure. It’s not so much an issue of them being too small, although that further limits what can be done, but it can throw a wrench in well laid plans to find yourself with a whole different aspect ratio than you expected. I was hoping to put my lettering down the sides to frame things and give me a taller end result and keep me from sitting on the lettering while I worked, but the square was too narrow, so I reluctantly went with left and bottom.
My mom was here to work with me again this year, and I was grateful for her assistance. There’s space for someone both above and below the square, so I highly recommend bringing a friend. It’s also a good idea to bring brushes, regardless of whether you plan on working wet, because sometimes the weather doesn’t give you the option. The day dried out once the sun came out, but starting in a wet square was nice. I learned on my first year that it makes things easier to get an initial layer of pastel down and blended wet, and that it’s important to go over everything before it dries out, or else it’s really obvious where the division between wet and dry pastel happened.
Leah Vaughn, working on behalf of Holly Yashi Jewelry, warded off the changing of the seasons with this summery likeness. I never would have considered trying to do herringbone. I can barely even draw a crisp line under these conditions, much less keep my lights and darks separate.
The artist who does The Alibi every year is consistently excellent. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it finished, and so far, I seem to be the only one giving the event much coverage. I like her use of color here, and there are a lot of challenges doing this kind of thing. Faces are hard,Â more than usual due to rough surface and colors that don’t like to blend in expected ways. She even managed to draw in glasses. I’ve never done anything as crisp as that logo she does every year, and that square is twice the size of mine.
These two were doing some high level work too. A big portrait, done quickly, and this other complicated work that I would have liked to see when it was completed. Working in outline over white is tough. Mistakes show, and I don’t see any.
A few more that caught my eye: