I hadn’t drawn anything for well over ten years and certainly not in colour – I was strictly a graphite pencil artist except when forced otherwise in school art classes!

Then the 2020 lockdown hit and I decided to learn something new. I couldn’t go to a shop and browse so I ordered cheap pastels and papers online and tried to draw. I knew about tonal values from drawing in pencil but tried to use pastels the same way – layering black over black to darken a dogs fur and using white for highlights. I was struggling and kept reverting to simple black and white with frustration.

These are some of my attempts before tuition.  the drawing was good but I was lacking the knowledge to create depth within the fur.

 

These are some of my attempts before tuition.  the drawing was good but I was lacking the knowledge to create depth within the fur.

 

I then saw a tutorial offered by Sue with unison pastels where she worked through a drawing of a black spaniel. Wow. I discovered that there’s blues and purples and reds in a black coat and that highlights can be lilacs and pale blues. It was like a lightbulb going off in my head. 

 

It was like a lightbulb going off in my head.

 

I signed up to Sue’s Facebook page and lurked nervously in the background for a few months, admiring all the fantastic work being produced. Then one day I took the plunge and signed up for a full tutorial along with the Horse Portrait Course (horses are my passion).

Back at school I’d been told I couldn’t draw horses so this was a leap of faith. From Sue I learnt how to build base layers and create depth and form before adding highlights and detail.

 

“From Sue I learnt how to build base layers and create depth and form before adding highlights and detail.”

 

I discovered the best paper to suit my style and how to use pastel pencils as well as sticks. I’ve experimented with blending materials and pushed my boundaries, trying landscapes and flowers and birds!

Sue’s draw-alongside videos are fabulous as she talks you through all her decisions in colour selection and even occasionally mistakes and how to correct them. I can pause where I’m slower and then restart when I’m ready. (I can’t do the live drawing sessions as I’m at work). Sue is always on hand for support. On her private Facebook page for members she’ll always comment on work and offer advice when asked.

 

“Each month I look forward to the next set of tutorials and the new skills I can develop.”

 

She also hosts an evening art chat on zoom where I can meet fellow artists and share ideas and ask advice. Each month I look forward to the next set of tutorials and the new skills I can develop. Thank you Sue

Cathy Holloway
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cathyhollowayart
Website: https://cathyholloway.art/