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Thursday!

I got up at around one this afternoon and started working on color charts.

I pulled out my Rembrandt set of 60 pastels. This was a gift from John Houle, my favorite nature artist. He does graphite and oils. He had an oil painter friend who gave him the set years ago because he bought it and didn't like the medium.

He tried it and didn't like the medium, so he mailed it to me from Canada with a note. "Well, Robert, hope that you can get more use out of these than I did. Enjoy. John." It was a great surprise and I've used them to good effect in some of my pastels, especially a bunch that I did last year while doing eHow articles.

Here's where logistics and ergonomics get funny. I liked them a lot. They're artist grade. They're good pastels, till I got my Pan Pastels they were maybe my best set. But I hardly ever used them because of how the stack got stacked up too high. Then last Friday, I cleaned up big time and threw my back. But I put the big pastels boxes in reach on my easel shelf.

Memory plays tricks on me. I'd thought I hadn't used them much because they were faded and mostly tints anyway. NOT. What faded was the box cover. Yes. In the decades since this box was first purchased by that first oil painter who didn't like the medium and barely used it or didn't use it at all, the color faded out of the cover art somewhat. The cover art doesn't have the rainbow brilliance of a new set. Maybe it never did, maybe graphics were softer back then, the olive green background didn't fade.

So when I decided to chart it I vaguely thought it'd be mostly earth tones and tints and muted colors. So untrue. It's a good range with a few gaps in it, mostly bluish greens, blue-green and turquoise. I wasn't mixing greens last year. Now I could mix greens a lot easier but I still like having true green sticks for the mixing.

So I charted it, moved Ferns, Moss and Water over to the Good Framed Art Wall and hung my chart. Then after a half hour rest from standing and hanging things with push pins, I charted all 96 of my Nupastels. That set has a perfectly balanced range.

I hung that and considered selling off some of my older colored pencils realism pieces in order to make room for new art, for pastels that I'm doing now. Some of the ones I have hanging, while still beautiful, date back to 2005 like Black Eyed Susans 3, which still has a classy golden finite perfection about it zinging between realism and some kind of impressionism with the golden brown leaves. Ferns, Moss and Water may get bumped by Rocks and Rapids, or by a 9 x 12" landscape on Colourfix once I finish my commissions.

WetCanvas has a lot of activity in the Pastel forum, including a class in Painting Snow Scenes by Deborah Secor. She's famous, several thousand dollar paintings that are worth it, beautiful art, North Light author, and doing a neat class. I know I will do at least one or two snow scenes better than I've ever done. And they won't all be ACEOs. I've been doing trees a lot too, because of a thread on Tree Studies. Plus this week's Weekly Sketch thread is on Trees and Clouds.

So as I get active over there, I am looking critically at much of what I kept from years past. The problem with growing as an artist is that my old stuff is no longer as inspiring. These CP paintings did stand up to time. Some of my 4 x 6" watercolors did not.

But that finally gives me something I always wanted to do -- use a watercolor as an underpainting for colored pencils or pastels. So I will be getting up and taking two of those down -- the worst offenders -- and reworking them with other media till I get them up to my current level of skill. It may really take some work, they are bad compared to my current work and I know so much more now about landscapes than I did.

Prices on the good colored pencils pieces will range from $100 to $250 depending on how much work went into it and how well it came out. Actually, I can see one that I'd let go for $50 in Graphitints, it's nice but it's not that large and wasn't as much work as my marbles. I might even let go of my marbles, cool as they are, but only on a really good offer. Message me if you're interested in any of my really good stuff.

The bad stuff is just going to get reworked. Waste not, want not.

Lisa should be over here anytime and I'll spend tonight working on my commissions. They are going so well, now I want to throw serious time in and finish them!
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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