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.

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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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