Art Lab Episode 60: Regency

Hello, folks!  I’m glad to be back here today to show you a new tutorial.  I’ve recently been interested in the regency era, and I found this beautiful picture on Pinterest, and I thought, “Why not paint it?”

I decided to make it ever harder by using pastels.  Now, before I begin, let me warn you.  PASTELS ARE MESSY.  And when I mean messy, I mean your whole entire floor will be green from that lovely dark green you used…If you don’t take precautions.  I would advise using something with a tray underneath it as you use pastels, and do it outside, or with newspaper on the ground.  Also, wear clothes you don’t care about, or cover yourself in towels, like I did.

Now, on to the art project!

You’ll need…

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A pastel set (I have a set of 72 different colors my aunt gave me.)

Pastel paper

A pencil

Eraser

Fixative

(optional: tape)

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This was the prompt I chose.

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So, first off, I taped my pastel paper to my music stand, which will be serving as my easel.  I had the choice of grey, or a more skin tone, and I chose the skin tone, since it was easier to rip out.

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Now, the first rule I always try to follow (and usually forget) is when drawing, start with what’s closer, but when painting, start with the farther away things.  I’m really bad at freehand painting, and that’s why I always sketch before I paint.  Start with your person’s head.

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I gradually sketch more and more…and then erase more and more. XD Just work with one line at a time, or one shape at a time.  I ended up erasing the whole head, and moving it back a bit, and then I erased the arm, and the shoulder…And you get the point. Just play around with it.

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Now, I’ve added a bit of the detail.  I don’t want the girl to be too detailed, or else I’ll get distracted.  Just a rough outline.  Now, you’re ready for pastels!

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I decided to start with a light blue for the background, and then mix a light grey with it.

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This is what it should look like once you mix it all up.  I portioned the painting off because I wanted to. (Haha.) You can do whatever you like with the background of your painting.  I find the less detail, the better and easier, especially with pastel.

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For the top part of the background, I used mostly a dark red, blue, and a very dark grey.

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I have a lot of pictures of this in progress, but I’ll give you this one.  I used the darker color more in the corners, and left a gap in the mid-left side.  If you look at the prompt, you can see the light reflecting.  That’s why I left that spot there.

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Part of the reason pastels are so messy is that you use your fingers to smear, and smear, and smear some more.  Honestly, if you love mud, and dirty hands, this is the art project for you!  (I actually enjoy those things…Sooo…) Smear your colors together, and bring them as close to the lines you’ve made as possible.

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I used lots of different blues, and white for the light reflecting, and then I took more of the red.  Smear those together.

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These are the different yellows I used for the thin strip in the middle of the background.

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I took the darker yellow, and outlined the outside, and used the lighter yellow for the inside.  Another good thing about pastels are that they’re really forgiving…And they let you continue to work with different things.  I also added more white to the background, with a bit more red.

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I took some orange that I felt needed to be used to outline the outside a bit more, and then the brightest yellow for the inside.  Smear it together.

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I used a purple, and the same blue for the background to make the dress.  Just slather them on there, and smear ’em together.

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The dress in the prompt has a lot of lines, and folds.  I used a blush pink to draw them, and the white to highlight the ones up top.  (Don’t worry if you end up smearing them…I did.)

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I decided I needed more light and dark contrast, so I used a lot of white on the left side of the dress, and a lot of an eggplant color on the right.  Use as much white as possible, but be gentle with the dark colors.  Dark colors aren’t as forgiving as the light colors. 😉

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It took me a long time to get satisfied with the dress.  Just play with it for a long time, and step back every once in a while to get a new look at it.  Then, add the white for the gloves and sleeves.

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I used a yellowish creme color for my person’s skin…At least, to start the skin.

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Add the blush color you used on the dress, some white, and a brighter yellow where you think the shadows are.

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I decided I didn’t like how bright the background was, so I paused on the skin and slathered white all over the background, and smeared it all together.

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The background ended up like this.

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Take a bit of dark grey, and accentuate the shadows before taking a bright blue to outline the girl.  You don’t have to use blue…I’m just drawn to blue, since it’s my favorite color.  You could use a yellow, or a lighter color, or even a green.  It’s up to you.

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Then add whatever color you want for her hair.  I’m partial to redhead. 😉 I couldn’t get the mirror to suit me.  Even now…I reluctantly admit that the mirror isn’t what I wish it was.  But I needed to post this for Art Lab. XD

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I played with different colors, and played with the mirror.  Then, I left it like this for a while.

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After a while of letting it sit, I came back to it and added more red, and grey.  Sign your name…

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You have your finished project!  I will be the first to admit that this did NOT turn out like it should have, or like I wanted it to. *sigh* But…Let me know what you think.

Have you ever used pastel before?  What is your favorite historical era?  Do you enjoy messes?

~~Amie~~

15 thoughts on “Art Lab Episode 60: Regency

  1. Oh, this is so neat, Amie! I loved seeing your process, especially since chalk pastels are one of my least-used mediums. I think I should try them again, though! Also, if you don’t want to get your hands (as) dirty, you can try a tissue. 😀 I think the dress turned out really pretty, actually! Especially since it’s purple, my favorite color. 😉 The prompt picture was lovely too!

    Liked by 2 people

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