Jessica R. Herrera's Books, Blogs & Art

Pastel Tutorial | Desert Run

Supplies: Sennelier Sanded Paper, Soft & Hard Pastels, Pastel Pencils, Tortillions and Vacuum Cleaner

  1. First, I drew all of the animals in pencil on drawing paper, cut them out and taped them to a larger paper. I positioned them and resized them with my copier if I needed to, then I traced my drawing onto the paper with a wax-free graphite paper.
  2. I liked to work on an adjustable craft table and had it raised as high as it could go. I began to paint in the sky and clouds. After blocking the major shapes onto the paper, I started laying out the colors for the animals. I had really light colors in my skies because of the clouds, I try not to blow on the art because the darker dust from the bottom blows and messes up my sky. It sounds weird, but I use a vacuum cleaner to suck the dust off. I do not use the brush attachment, and I am careful not to touch the paper. Sometimes, I have to hold the paper down touching as little of the paper as possible. I use this method with SANDED PAPER ONLY, never velour! I try a small area first to test it.
  3. After I was satisfied with how the overall image looks, I added details to animals in the front, which would be the focus of the art and smudged out the animals in the back to take away some of the detail.
  4. I continued to adding color. I corrected the size or shape issues as I went along. Periodically, I would photograph the drawing and look in the viewfinder to see problems with the image or where I needed to adjust the colors.
  5. I added highlights and darkened, where needed, blending with my fingers or tortillion to soften the edges, carefully vacuuming of the dust as I worked along.
  6. Finally, I darkened the darks, painted in the whitest whites and vacuumed again. Then signed my name.

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Purchase a postcard of “Desert Run” and more of my art on Zazzle

I love Sennelier Pastel Paper. Desert Run was my entry for the Albuquerque Bio Park Run for the Zoo in 2015. The zoo told me the competition was close and my art was picked second.  If you’d like to see more of my Run for the Zoo Art Click Here

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