My Painting Journey with Pastels

While appreciating art as a viewer, I remember sitting for what seemed to me like hours and hours, modelling for my mother’s paintings while my brothers were playing.

When I became a teenager, I was ready to give life to my own artistic side. While studying engineering, to get some counterbalance, I participated in several workshops where I tried different techniques, typically starting with charcoal drawing and ending with oil. It seemed like oil painting was often the goal and most of the time, we ended there. But I always remained attracted to one medium that we passed fast and only very few settled in.

Pastel painting by Francisca Siri.

I was really fascinated by the endless possibilities that I felt when I had a pastel in my hand, so I started devoting more and more time to using pastel pencils and pastels. I grew increasingly attracted to how I was able to develop a huge array of colours and combinations while seeing the results immediately.

Over those years, pastels have become by far my favourite medium and I continued using them extensively for several years. Then life took me on a different road: work, several relocations and family took my hands away from painting for a little more than a decade. I took that time to gain an incredible amount of different experiences and develop my view while refining my appreciation for nature and life. Over all those years I was sure that I would return to my passion for painting.

Some years ago, I was finally able to restart my artistic work. Since then I have been exploring different subjects and different mediums. I have done some series in acrylic, watercolour and oil but I always come back to pastels. It seems that I never stop being fascinated by its possibilities. I find pastel is my medium to realize, and give life, to my creations in a way that I cannot achieve in any other way.

I have decided to follow my instinct and continue exploring pastel, even when many artists have tried to convince me to go to oil. In my research of pastel, I have bought all the brands I have found trying to find the best, this is how I came across Unison. After trying some colours, I fell in love with its unique colour palette and texture.

When painting with pastels I’m always fascinated about the details that I can achieve and that in each pastel there are infinite possibilities with an endless range of colours and rich palette. I can paint and repaint, living something truly unique to pastels, that after each layer you see something of the underlayers, achieving a richer colour vibration and creating a unique touch, sensitivity and view of reality.

I love painting human figures and landscapes but focusing on the details that are usually hidden from a simple view. Right now, I’m focusing on a series about rocks, their textures and environments in cliffs, rivers and sea. While painting the series mostly with pastels, I’m also exploring some techniques combining oil with pastel on top.

I plan to continue developing my pastel painting, exploring new subjects and discovering new techniques. We will see where this journey takes me in the years to come.

Announcing New Associate Artists!

In May we held a recruitment exercise for new Associate Artists and we were overwhelmed with the number of applications. So much so we will have 2 groups of new artists. Our 2nd group will be announced in August 2020.

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2 Responses

  1. This was a lovely blog to read – your painting of the rocks and water above is just stunning. I am mesmerized by the details and feeling of textures with the fluidity of the water. Fabulous work and I look forward to seeing your new rock and cliff series.

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