The latest session in my drawing evening classes was on drawing with soft pastels. There were a number of still lifes set up with fruit, pottery and vividly patterned fabrics - I chose the quinces set against a wild paisley African fabric ( I was SO tempted to take it home afterwards) . The inspiration was to draw in the style of Matisse ( I really enjoyed the exhibition a few years ago at the Royal Academy of Matisse and textiles (great accompanying book too)
As usual, I got a lot out of the session- quickly and directly in less than an hour ( we also spent some time on samples to see what pastels could do) , I made me realise that despite my love of patterned fabrics,, this is the first time I've observed and drawn it! Definately something to go back to. I'd brought along some good quality soft pastels I've had a long time and barely used. I don't like the mess and the fact that you have to have loads of them to get the colour you want or mix on the paper. And spraying with fixitive alters the colour and the quality of the pastels anyway! So I'm still not enamoured with pastels but I enjoyed the exercise - working so quickly and without it being 'precious' results in far more dymanic and lively work for all its imperfections and gets me wanting to keep observing and sketching. I'm starting to think about what art materials I want to take with me at Xmas to Tunisia.