other crafts

Pastel cormorant

A soft pastel drawing of a cormorant taking off from a canal.

I like subscription boxes. As long as you can find one which is consistent in quality and matches your general taste without becoming predictable. A few years ago I regularly got the CraftBox subscription and it filled up my stash with embellishments and ephemera beautifully, then the style of it changed and I cancelled the subscription. The current monthly joy is now provided by ScrawlrBox, a box that comes complete with art supplies, paper, inspiration and a sweet! Occasionally, the contents will duplicate something I already have (and nothing is going to make me want to change from my Copics to any other alcohol marker), but that’s inevitable. More often than not, it’s something different.

A close-up of the pastel cormorant.

January’s box contained a small set of Rembrandt soft pastels and three pastel pencils. I’ve never used pastels like this before, they’re a much more expressive, imprecise medium than I’m used to — doing mixed media pieces has helped me tone down the controlling aspect that used to mean I would sooner spend hours stippling with a fineliner than pick up a paint brush, but I still like to at least have a clue what I’m doing before I start.

A screenshot of a tweet with a photo of a cormorant lifting off from a canal.

So, they sat on the side, waiting until inspiration struck in the form of a tweet. This image of a cormorant lifting off from a Venetian canal caught my eye and, before I could start thinking about how I would do it, I grabbed the pastels and just started on it.

And… it’s not awful.

Having since watched a couple of YouTube videos by pastel artists, I now realise that I overworked it, but the shapes aren’t far off the original and the colours are as close as I could get given the limitations of the set. So, while I’m not going to be hanging it on the wall any time soon, I am pleasantly surprised by it. Not too bad for a first attempt.

The cormorant drawing displayed on a small wooden easel.

6 thoughts on “Pastel cormorant”

  1. Awesome! I have never done anything with pastels….I do have some, but have yet to use them. I, too, love subscription boxes. I currently have two. I’m thinking of changing one of them at the first of the year….we shall see.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just signed up for one. I’ll have to find the name and let you know. I also recently found a lady on YouTube who has excellent tutorials on wire weaving – creating wire wraps for pendants. I think her sight is OxanaCrafts.

        Liked by 1 person

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