Project Five: Pastel Hi-fi Grays, Geometric Still-life



For this project you will be further demonstrate the basic elements of seeing, conveying scale, attaining correct proportions, and perspectives. While also incorporating a full dynamic range of value. For this project we will be investigating the possibilities inherent in High Fidelity Gray Pastels while creating a study of one of the three still-life’s set up in the class room.



Step 1: You may do a light under-drawing of your chosen still-life utilizing your H pencils. Use the sighting technique to achieve proper proportions, perspectives and spatial analysis. Erasers are only allowed during the under-drawing process. Once you begin adding pastel to paper you can only rework over areas with pastel to correct mistakes, no erasers. I encourage you to explore mark making with this project and get away from the highly “polished and blended” drawings we have been doing. Try using your blending tools as little as possible.


Try blending the differing tones together to achieve new tones.

- A tone is a form of gray or a color with gray added to it.

- A shade is something (i.e color) with black added to it.

- A tint is something (i.e color) with white added to it.


Step 3: Your study must include an environment. This is where we must decide what is truly creating the edges of the objects we see. There is some sort of value behind these objects that interacts with the value of the object creating its’ edge. Try getting away from contour lines to dictate edge. Your still life must be grounded and have a depth of field, or an illusion of depth or space.


Step 4: All figures must be fully modeled (shaded) and be grounded. Instead of allowing the white of the paper to show through to create a tint of your value, use your white pastel! If something is to dark add the tone lighter than it to lighten it, or even be brave and just add some white. All forms of light, shadow and reflected light must be shown in your study. Hunt for every little detail, every little nuance of your figures and their placement in space. I want you to do a few thumbnail sketches until you decide on an attractive composition, and to warm up. Your format (vertical/horizontal) is up to you. Your study must go to all four edges of your 18” x 24” sketchpad paper (1 inch border not included).


Step 5: Any fine details can be worked in at the last moment with your black and white charcoal pencils. They must be spray fixed when handed in. You have two weeks to complete this. Outside class time will be required. 24 hours of outside class time for this project would be appropriate.




18 x 24” Sketchbook, H Pencils, Erasers (for under-drawing), Sighting Stick, Hi-fi Gray Pastels

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View student examples by selecting an image above

© 2020 Dustin M. Price