The first decisions made before creating this striking elephant in pastel

Ivan Jones art exhibition art for sale artwork in progress attention to detail choosing colours detailed pastel artwork elephant paintings pastel art pastel artist pastel pencils photographic reference photos of artwork creation

Choosing subject matter for my artwork is always a gamble....will people like it, will I enjoy creating it, will it sell? Also I need to consider size - larger works do not sell as well as smaller ones. But some images need space and create a bigger impact when larger....

So it is for my latest choice - an elephant. I found two images, one by George Veltchev taken in the Kruger and one by Steve Bloom taken in Namibia. There were aspects of both that I liked - the background in George's photo and the tusks in Steve's photo so I decided to combine them using Serif Craft Artist. This has been done very roughly as it is only to use for reference.....

The next step is to decide on size. As I said if it is too small then the image does not make an impact so I have decided to have the final painting as 15inch by 19inch which means about 23inch by 27 inch when mounted and framed. The lions, as seen below in a frame ( with reflections!!) are also that size....

Lions framed, elephant set up with reference photos

Having made those decisions I need to select the colours to use, both for the elephant itself and the background....luckily I have a large range of colours ( accumulated over the years ) in both pastel pencils and soft pastels to chose from. 

Searching for the best shades of pastels 

 Experimenting with colours of pastel

Once I have chosen the colours I then blend and mix as I go along, always comparing with the reference photos to get the best outcome....

Blending and experimenting with pastel colours

So as you can see colour and shade selection of pastels and pastel pencils is an ongoing process. My next blog will show you some more "WIP" ( work in progress) photos plus the completed artwork....enjoy your day and catch  up soon! Maybe at my next exhibition?   


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