Assignment 1: Soft Pastel Study of Bottles and Jars

chalk-bottlesI have recently treated myself to a set large box of Sennelier soft pastels. They where pretty pricey as pastels go but I was pleased to see the large selection of vibrant colours when they arrived through the post. I’v used them on this bottle study.



I thought it would be fun to use this loverly old slate roof tile I’v had in the shed for years always intending to paint on it. Thought the pastels would work well on the surface and the shape of the slat matched the shape of the composition well. The slate is approximately as wide as A3.


I marked in the out lines first the filled in the colours. I didn’t fill in any back ground for speeds sake and because I like the look of the slate. I think the first two bottles have worked nicely. The others not quite as nice. As they are moving away from the light source there high lights become less frequent. Also I was trying to work fast.

I was aiming to do an A1 drawing after this of the bottles with the back ground filled in and all the cast shadow and reflection accounted for. But as I’m really behind on time already I decided to leave this project here and move on to the still life of natural objects.

I must confess that I was starting to tire of the subject matter as well. For my personal preference I feel I have done too many in depth studies of this subject. So whereas the arrangement did interest me and hold a sense of wonder which I really wanted to capture on paper (or slate). Depicting this scene has now become a bit dull. Would this feeling toward the subject have translate in the final drawing if I had done it? I’ll never know.

I should have spent less time on the prelim sketches. Making more impressionistic studies to hint at ideas. Then I would still find the subject fresh and interesting for the final piece. I will try this for the natural objects still life. Although saying that I did need to take the time to study glass like I have here. So all in all I think, time well spent.


About Emma Perring

I am an artist working in mainly soft pastel at present.


  1. Love this study on slate that would be on my wall!

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