Saturday, 24 March 2012

A Promising Start - Part 2 - FINISHED!

Come on.  Admit it!

You knew deep down that once I started painting Bubba yesterday(my first ever pastel pencil wonder baby) that I wouldn't be able to stop until I had finished, didn't you? ;-)

I was a lucky woman, I tell you - hubby was so impressed by my initial work on Bubba, that he could completely understand why I felt so compelled to keep working on the baby, and has looked after our kidlets today in order to give me time to complete the painting. What a guy!

As you may recall, I was quite worried in yesterday's post that I'd muck Bubba up.  In the end this wasn't really an issue, as life threw me [up] a curve ball last night when my youngest child (known as Mister Cal-cal) came down with a spectacular bought of gastro at 3am in the morning.

Comfort and cleaning in the wee hours of the day has meant I've been feeling too exhausted to bother with being worried about the painting turning into a disaster.  Instead, I've only had enough energy to focus the small remainder of my consciousness and my bleary eyes on creating colour, intensity and line to try and due Bubba justice.

Disclaimer note! The next couple of paragraphs have been written specifically for those of you who are interested in the process I used to paint Bubba.  For those of you whose eyes glaze over at the mention of colour application and technique, please ignore the following italicised paragraphs and proceed to the bottom paragraph.  If you read on, don't say you haven't been warned... :-)

[Firstly I divided the painting into three distinct areas of work - initially the face; then the hat; and then the blanket.  I worked right way up (mostly) when painting in the face, although I occasionally turned the painting and source picture upside down in order to let me see more objectively whether I had captured the right placement, colour and tone for features.  I predominantly worked upside down when painting in the little hat, because I wanted to ensure the colour did not drop onto the face; and then I turned the painting right way round again, but made sure the painting was propped up on an angle when working on the green blanket, to ensure the pastel dust didn't drift upward toward the face.  In case you didn't guess, contamination is not my friend!  

In terms of the practical application of the pastels, I completed an under layer of the painting using solid "blocks" of bold colour. Yep, believe it or not, the painting is actually a combination of fluro purple, fuscia pink, electric blue, wake me up before you go-go green and neon yellow.  I used my Conte pastel sticks here, chosen because they are a harder pastel and are easier to layer over than a softer pastel.  I then gently blended the colour into the board using either a tissue (when I was being a goody-two shoes and health conscious) or my finger (when I was being lazy and couldn't be bothered worrying about the dust).     If you look closely at Bubba's skin, you may now be able to notice all these colours in action, as well as what you'd consider the traditional "skin colours". Sneaky, right?

After I completed the initial layer, I then went over the top using my pastel pencils, working slowly and carefully.  Finally, for the bright highlights that you can see on the painting, I used my super soft Art Spectrum pastels, as they had the ability to stand out from the smudged in lower layers.  I'd estimate all in all, that Bubba has taken me somewhere between eight and ten hours to complete.]   

I'm really thrilled with how Bubba looks.  My warm and fuzzy feelings were made made all the sweeter when Mr Cal-cal proclaimed from his sick sofa that "I love how your Bubba looks, Mummy!".

Thanks for stopping by and sharing my pleasure today, I hope to see you again sometime soon!



  1. Beautiful!!!!

  2. Excellent! Your drawing is beautiful!

  3. Thank you Youknowwho and Anonymous for your very kind words. I'm thrilled that you like Bubba. :-) x

  4. Oh Kate words can not do your beautiful Bubba justice. I can't take my eyes of it. What a clever woman you are. The colours are superb.

  5. Jan, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I'm so glad that you like Bubba. My little boys love all the colours too, so it's nice to hear that others also like them! :-)


Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to comment. I get so excited and love reading what you have to say!