Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Pascale Bigot - Musicians in Soft Pastel


Pascale is a French born artist who has lived in England for more than 20 years. She has developed her own techniques for soft pastel using strong colours and very contrasting tones, as can be seen in the detail where she is in the process of adding blacks and dark browns to provide contrast for the musician and keyboard. She is also beginning to add outlines for the figures.

To see more of her work visit her website www.pascalebigotart.com

Her supports are usually a white or ivory sandpaper which is not at all abrasive. I think it was Clairefontaine Pastelmat.

Composition is very important for her and she can spend hours sketching until she is happy with the composition. For this demonstration she brought with her a prepared drawing done with graphite pencil. This included blocking in some of the darker shapes and shadows with pencil. Pencil marks can be erased to make corrections to the drawing, something that is almost impossible with pastel. This was a technique she developed for the students she was teaching and now uses it herself.

The drawing can be seen to the right. The next step after fixing with extra hold hairspray, is to add a lightly applied layer of white pastel. This makes it much easier to blend colours which are added subsequently. Light colours are added first and then darker colours above. Blending is done with the fingers, working from light into dark. Smaller areas, such as the musicians' fingers, are blended using a colour shaper.

The images that follow show the work in progress. The painting was not completed at the end of the demonstration but Pascale has promised to send an image of the finished painting.















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