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Art Pastels: Fall Scene

For the last few weeks during art time, we've been working our way through chalk pastel techniques. Our final lesson introduced us to "blocking" and "cross-hatching" skills.

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Blocking is the use of a pastel on its side to make large patches of color.

Cross-hatching, on the other hand, is using the pointed tip of a pastel to make diagonal hash marks to create texture on a page.

After practicing these two new skills for a few minutes, we were able to put our newly acquired skills to good practice by creating a fall scene. (I know...I know...it is NOT fall, but we were replicating the sample project provided for us in The Usborne's Complete Book of Art Ideas.)

Our first step was to make a light pencil line across the top third of the page in an upward slope. We used this as a guide to determine where our horizon would fall. Then we BLOCKED a frame of light blue around the top third of the page (above the pencil line). We scattered BLOCKS of darker blue on top of the light blue.

Next, we filled in the empty middle space with several BLOCKS of various fall colors of yellow, rusty browns, and oranges. These would become the tops of our trees.

For each tree-top color, we chose a slightly darker shade to each by using CROSS HATCH marks on one side of each top.

Once the crowns of the trees were complete, we BLOCKED out layers of the field by making patches/stripes of army greens, yellows, oranges, browns, oranges. The key was to follow the upward slope that we had created with our pencil.

We added CROSS HATCHES on top of our field stripes using browns and greens.

We retraced the horizon line with the tip of a dark brown pastel.

Tree trunks came last. These were made with simple vertical lines using the same dark brown.

Hairspray is always a good way to "set" chalk pastels to help prevent smudging. Ideally, aerosol spray works best, but a pump spray works fine too.

Ta-dah!  and thus concludes our month-long practice of chalk pastels.

Oil pastels are comin' up next. Hope you stick around for the fun...

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