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Cathleen Lengyel > Scribbles > Artist Life > Decisions, decisions!

Decisions, decisions!

Today is a bit different.  Today rather than share advice, I will share my perplexing quandary! As artists we are constantly facing decisions.  Some more difficult than others.  Normally I have no problem making a decision when it comes to my artwork.  However yesterday I ran into a tough decision which I am mulling over. Everyone knows I want to get the full 120 set of incredible Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils.  No secret there!
My dream pencil set!
  I follow many artists via facebook, instagram and youtube.  I love seeing what other people are using and creating.  Yesterday one of my favorites posted a video on choosing the right pastel paper for your pastel work.  He is fairly new to working with pastels, but his work is AMAZING!!!  I decided to watch the video.  I don’t know anything about pastels except that my Aunt Jenny worked with them and made stunning pieces. Watching the video blew everything out of the water for me!  This artist is a wildlife artist and primarily works in oils.  Watching his demonstration of pastels and pastel pencils on pastelmat BLEW MY MIND!  
I found myself saying, “I want to do that!”
It was absolutely amazing and here’s why: Working in colored pencils  you generally work light to dark.  If you need something to stay pure white, you need to work around that area with the darks.  That makes things like fur in ears extremely difficult to accomplish.   Working in pastels, you can work light to dark OR dark to light!  The pastels are opaque which means you can draw incredible light colored hairs over the darkest shadows in an ear.  You underlay the dark shadows in the fur, layer on the mid-tones and finally add the highlights last!  It blew my mind! That is when I began researching and pricing things out.  (You know I had to!) Here’s what I am looking at:
Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencils
Conte’ Paris Pastel Sticks
                  I’ll be honest, when I started looking up what I would need I secretly hoped I wouldn’t be able to afford it.  Uhg.  Guess what?  The full set of pastel pencils, the full set of 50 Conte pastel sticks AND some Pastelmat cost less than buying the polychromos! Mind you, there’s no way I can purchase the poly’s and the pastel stuff right now.  I have to choose one or the other.  Therein lies my dilemma.  After much thinking, not letting prices guide my decision I came to this conclusion.  I already have a good set of Blick colored pencils and some individual polychromos and a couple Caran d’Ache Luminance.  I also have some good Fabriano Artistico extra white hot press 140 pound watercolor paper in order to work with my colored pencils.  I can continue working with these things. My heart is wanting to try out the pastel pencils and sticks.  I think they’d be incredible especially for my furry wildlife.  So as of right now I am making the decision to take the plunge into pastels!   Aren’t artist decisions tough?  LOL I will keep you all posted on how this goes or if I change my mind. Have you had any quandaries like this with your art?  Let me know in the comments below. Until next time, Keep Creating!  

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