How to Draw an a Wave with Soft Pastels | Jekaterina Kotelnikova | Skillshare

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How to Draw an a Wave with Soft Pastels

teacher avatar Jekaterina Kotelnikova, Artist & Language Tutor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (42m)
    • 1. Intro | Seascape with Underpainting in Soft Pastels

    • 2. Sketch

    • 3. Underpainting

    • 4. Finishing the Drawing

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to draw a beautiful drawing of a seascape with soft pastels. We will be using an underpainting technique, using a fixative to fix the first layer in place and make the colors darker and then we will add brighter and lighter colors on top of the underpainting.

Can't wait to see you in the first lesson! :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Jekaterina Kotelnikova

Artist & Language Tutor


Hi there! I'm Kate and I am an artist and an illustrator (and a mom of a wonderful 5-year-old). I live and work in Jelgava, Latvia. 

When I was very young I went to art school but did not finish it as I got really tired of everyone telling me what 'the right way' to do things is. I believe that in art there is no right or wrong :)

I returned to drawing and then painting after I started having problems with my health. Right after I gave birth to my daughter I was in pain 24/7 for over a year and a half when I was finally diagnozed with fibromyalgia (for those of you who are lucky enough not to know what that is, it's an illness that makes your nerves transmit paint which is not there). 

I run my YouTube art channel, Patreon, my little online art school... See full profile

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1. Intro | Seascape with Underpainting in Soft Pastels: Hi there, my name is k. Comma down. I'm a professional, self-taught artists and welcome to the new class. In this class we will be drawing a beautiful wave with soft pastels, who will be using an under painting technique with a fixative. So first we will be drawing the under painting, then spraying it with fixative to fix it in place so that it doesn't mix with the colors that we want to layer on top of it. By the end of this lesson, you will have a beautiful way of drawing that you can frame and hang on the wall. I hope to see you in the first lesson. 2. Sketch: Hello there, it's Katie. And today we will be doing a new drawing and we're going to stick with the summer topic and we will be painting waves. So again, I'm using sandpaper and I am going to use a different thing today. This is a fixative that I have. And this fixative, it's going to dry a lot faster than the water. So you can also watch down your best style with water to create that under painting. So, but with the fixative, unlike with Walter, you do not have to brush it over. And instead, as you spray it, the marks that you did are going to stay on the paper. So once again, I'm saying that this is sand paper. You can use any paper that has the abrasive quality to it or also some pastel grounds. But if it's just a study, if you'd like to do just a study, a sandpaper of 800 grit will work perfectly fine and it's going to cost a lot less than other, more expensive. We'll pass out papers. So now what I wanna do is I wanna take my charcoal and I want to sketch out my wave. So this is a photo that I took last year in October and it was really hot. And I remember that day, the seaside. So let's try to kind of communicate the sense of this warm sea and these waves rolling onto the beach. So I'm gonna start by putting in that horizon line where it is. Then I'm looking at we're, my wave is approximately on the image. I chose us square cropping of the painting because It's slightly different to usual landscape drawings. Because usually when you draw waves, it's usually in a landscape. In a landscape kind of crop of the composition. So here, this white foam. And one more thing that I wanted to say, we will be using very few white. And now we're foam. This is our wave, just blocking it in. And here we have that. Actually I think I took it too sick, too big. Let's make it smaller. So this wine charcoal, it's really easy to eliminate the marks. So for sketching, for the initial sketch, it's really kind of a very good material to use. Let's raise it here a bit. And then we may get slightly narrower compared to how it was before. And here I want to leave that space for the sand. So it's approximately slightly above the middle of my sheet where the wave should end. So I'm still getting it wrong. So this is, see if I got the middle. Oh, okay. You've got the middle. So this is still too high or too low. I mean, we need to, so the wave, and somewhere here, and I like this diagonal movement, Slightly diagonal movement. So the wave is going to be here. So look how much we have to move it. This is good to start sketching, or especially it's best if you do thumbnail sketches. I actually did a thumbnail sketch for this one, but I did different like landscape oriented sketches. This is the wave and then we have the space for our beach. So here it curves and I really want to show that curving movement. And I wanted to say, I'm sorry for the state of my hands, but I'm having a terrible allergy attack and my fingers are falling apart. Nothing to do with pastels though is perfectly fine. So then here we have that beach line, like so. And it kind of curves. These lines are carving in here. And that's it. 3. Underpainting: Now we can start adding those colors. So we are going to be adding the darker colors first, my pastels here. And I'm going to be testing my pastels on the side here. So I quite like this blue for the background, the C in the back. And we need also something in the sky. So I'm going to go, this is going to be too late to light. Just gonna go with some day. Let's try these two. So we can go with these two for the sky. So let's do that first. Also, you can use a sheet of paper to help yourself and to use this term. Correct? Straight line. Straight line over here. This guy first towards the bottom. Now we will be grinding it and then we will be also spraying it. Which is important for this one because I wanted to show you another technique and I'm going to add just a bit warm yellow towards the bottom here. So now I'm gonna blended while still keeping the paper there because it was quite cloudy that day, but it was really hot. Okay. So we've got this done next door going into the scene. And now we're going to be applying those layers of color. And here we really need to apply the colour and already give the sense of the movement of the sea with our marks that were making. So here I am going in, this is a very soft pastel and going in the horizontal direction over here, like so. So we have gone over it a bit. It's okay. Now, I think that I need something greener and I will be using a kind of a grayish green because I want to push that back ground the C in the back slightly away and kind of focus on the wave. So I have this great green that I really like. And for now we're going to add those gray green over the top of our blue, trying to go into this area here. So now we can. Blended spike links. So this is kind of an under painting, treated as an under painting here. I'm going to go over it with my darker blue again. This is gonna give me that texture. See. So you can see it starts to kind of shimmer already. Next, what I'm gonna do is I'm going to add just a bit, a bit of this lighter, green, I need something even lighter than that. C says maybe to blue. So I'm looking for the right colour that I would yeah, so we can use this. I'm just going to add some of those layers over, and this immediately gives us the sparkle of the C. Next, I'm going to clean my hands. So always make sure that you clean your hands when working with pastels. I'm cleaning my hand. Now. We have Doug Green Wave. So I'm gonna go and take my green. So this is the same green that we use here. And I'm going to start adding those greens onto the wave. And then moving in horizontal directions because we see the wave curling horizontally. And also here, this is just the under painting, I'm saying again. And here I'm going to add it in these movements. The same green. So we're kind of having a very limited palette here. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to blend this slightly. Be careful not to rub your fingers too much. And also this can have. So once we apply the fixative, it's going to dark and our pastels. This way, we will be able to add more lights over the top. And it's going to create more depth. And you'll see it's going to look amazing. So then I'm going to violet, so greyed out. Violet is my favorite thing in the beach scenes. And I have this nice violet, This is a unison. And this is all the way here. Where I see that wet sand. We can add a bit of greyish name given to write. Let's say this is good. So some worm or grayish in here. And then we can add the sand. So the sound, I wanted to be quite cool and it's almost greenish. So I'm going to see this notice to yellow. I know I have to find out that style that I really like. This color. So kind of an all grey color. And let's have this one. So now what we're doing is we're blending this sense. So I said this is just an under painting. So we need that color underneath for our colors that we put on top. So look more juicy. So if I like color somewhere, to add it again. And here I'm going to start adding those blue grace that I will be using for the shadow parts of my wavelengths. See this is very dark. So you can use this. Again, I'm using it in this horizontal movements. Where I see the dark bits of my phone, where there's the shadow on the phone, somewhere here. And then we also have some shadows happening with those we can put in later. This is not so important. So I'm going to add a bit of a darker, violent here. Or maybe you're just a bit the bit Justin. Give it more light and more life, like So. Next, we need to deal with this area here, so it's quite dark and it's green. So the sun is shining on this part, so it's lighter, but here it's quite dark. So I'm going to choose gray green that is dark. So for that, I'm just looking through my Pascal's defined. So this is a great green, perfect. So I'm going to add it here. I'm not worried about those phone bits that are visible. I'm like the patterns on the worry about that at all at the moment. And I'm going to add that even darker blues someday, very dark, very, very, very dark. Let's see. This is going to continue. So I have a very dark color here. Actually, I have a very dark green color. So this is a very dark green color. So I'm going to add up onto as darken it up a bit. Just taking it out and blending it slightly with this light. Okay, so now that we have our initial drawing ready, the initial under painting ready, I'm, the only thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to cover just looking. If my sky slightly tilting, it is to be careful that it's not tilting. Ok. In fact, it has and to fix that before I do any because it looked as if it's tilting. Okay. So what I'm gonna do, I'm going to count cover part of the sky, like so. Now we will see why I'm doing this. I'm actually going to take a look tape, just say dumbed down so I don't have to hold it while I M spray. So careful not to go over there. So I am going to attach it here. And here. I'm going to shake my fixative and free everything. This is going to fix our pastels in place. So well is drawing. I just wanted to talk a bit about the fixatives. There are different brands or have Winsor Newton one. This is Cauchy nor spray fixative. It's good for pastels and charcoal. And basically what it does, you can also use a tip if it's just a study and you don't have a fixative handy. And you're a woman especially you have the hair spray. So these work as well. This is something that is going to fix your pesto layer and you will be able to maintain those marks on the paper. As when we were working with a brush and water or alcohol, you can wash it out. So it's not as precise as you put it with a fixative. But why do I do this? So I never fixed my work when it's done ever. But in the intermediate stages, you can spray your work and intensify those darks. So usually with pastels, there are problems with reds and with darks. And to get those darker darks, you need to buy separate sets. But you can get away with. And it's fixative. So that's a good idea. So you put in the first, initial dark layers and over the top, you already work with the lighter colors. Depending on the brand. Some pastels reacts slightly differently to different fixatives. So you have to try and kind of see the reaction of the pastels. But most importantly is that those darks, if you've seen the video that I did about pastel color mixing those darks. They will not mix them with our lights now, so we are avoiding the mud. So this is automatically know mud. And it's very interesting. Kind of process is like you're putting a puzzle together. So you need to put one piece first. So you're kind of, you need to arrange everything, the darks, and then you kind of work on top of that. And this is just a bit the world fixatives because also this one, for example, it comes with a UV filter so your pastels shouldn't fade. But if you're using are just quality pastels, it, they shouldn't fade in general. So now you'll see the colors that I swatch. Look how darker that got, but it's okay. We're gonna go over with our light blue and we can fix that. That's not the problem, but you will see how much lighter. So these are the colors that I watched over here. And you will see how much darker the colors become once you apply this brief fixative on them. So it's the same as when you are whetting your colors with water. One important thing to remember is that when you're using a fixative, I have like all the windows open. Here's a book. You have to be either outside, either you have to have very good ventilation that it kind of you don't breathe those films because they're great, harmful. So that's one important thing. And now I just wanted to talk about the process of what we're going to be doing next. And we're going to be adding the lights on top of our darks. So here we're going to be working mainly with those axons. Now, you can see how much darker this kind of the shadows on our phone became. And also here we are going to be working with our lights. Very important thing to notice is the movement of our pastels. So the brush rush, sorry, not the brushstrokes, the marks that we make with the past towel. And I will be working with the tip of the side past tile and I'm going to be working with the tip. They are going to give that painterly effect. So when you are working with the side of the best style, it's as if you're using brush, a wide brush. Whereas when you're working with the tip, so compare these marks or like so with something with the tip. So this is boring and this already gives it some Life. So now that I'm waiting for it to dry, we can start selecting the colors that we will be using for our lights. 4. Finishing the Drawing: Like using some light light, greenish, yellowish colors for my phone. And I think that we can go with the same colour here for those maybe slightly darker areas just to give it some color. And then we can go into some grey, blue, grayish, kind of green. We can use it for the phone as well. But for the form in the shadows, now we need something for the light bits and I will be using I sink. So this depends entirely on your preference because you can use your artistic license here, and depending on what you see in your reference. So let's see maybe something yellowish. This one's going to be two yellow. These are two yellow. So I'm gonna go into something grayed out. So let's try this. Yeah, I like this color. Very nice and it has this yellow, green quality to it, but it's at the same time, it's very alive. It's not just flat white. This is too dark already. Something like cell. So this is not what this has color to it or solve some yellowish color to it. And then we need also that shadow color for the areas where we have that phone shadow. So we're gonna be adding back a bit still. So I'm gonna use my dark, dark gosh, not very dark, but bluish-gray. Since this color. Good work well, and I had done other bluish-gray than I like to intense, but we can keep it. I'm just looking yesterday, I resorted my pastels, mostly where I put everything, but I'm getting there. So anyway, this is still drying. And this is my one of my favorite blue-gray. There is another one that I have a slightly here it has this one's the one that was looking for. So now that it's going to dry completely. I think that here it's already yet dried. We can fix that horizon line. Like so I'm not even going to blend this end. This kind of suggests that forgiveness kind of cloudiness. Then this is the same blue dot are used for the background blue, which is going to add a bit of that. And you can see how Lively. Now it looks how many interesting little details we have in that background of the sea. And here I'm adding this gray over the top just a bit very gently, very, very likely. So notice that when we get here, it's going to become lighter, so we're going to add that there. And now I'm going to add this grayish blue also here, but also don't add it in one kind of definite line. And that's it. I really like when you show the texture of the paper that really plays well here. So in some places it can get sicker by more dense the best style layer. But overall, the paper shows through. It looks very, very interesting. And, and here we have that forms shaping their, Okay, so this is one thing and I'm going to add a bit of those. This green that we used also, just a bit of the screen in a couple of places, just we don't have to graduate with it just to give that greenish shimmer. Yellowish bit like a yellowish color. And I'm going to add those marks inside the wave here as a lake. How kind of shines? The same? I go here always using the first time on the side and moving it in the direction of this crust of the wave. Kind of the way that it actually folds, curves on its own. Gently rub this n, We're going to texture, it's amazing. So also here, going too much into those darks, but kind of creating that gradual transition. Like so. Okay, so now I'm going to add this switch. Nope, something slightly darker. Just a bit more texture here on the crest of the wave, so it doesn't look so boring. We can even take a darker green. So let's see a darker green. Something grayed out to yellow green. Ok, let's leave this for now just because confined the color drum actually looking for, but we can start adding those lights and intensifying those darks. This is a dark green. So I'm going to use this to create kind of an appearance of kind of more texture inside the Wave here. And also I'm going to start going up slightly in the screen. We can work on that. So I'm darkening up slightly this wave, like so. And here what I'm looking at, this is to cool it off slightly with this color green. And the same thing goes here. Cooling it off with the blue Just a bit. Okay, and I'm gonna take this very dark green just to intensify that difference between the light and the shadow. Here it's dark guest and dance also some texture to our wave. Next what we do is we're going to add those lights. So this is where the fun part begins. So I'm going to be using this C. Where is it? This one? Yes. So this greenish color, I'm going to add it. In those areas where you see the kind of transition from shadow into light in the wave. And here we're moving the chunks likely, like turning it so we can show that turn off the wave. Okay, so this is the area of the shadow We're parts. And now with the same color, actually I'm going to take an even later one. I'm going to start adding those brighter bits. This is almost a yellow, yellowish green. I'm adding it here where the lighter bits are. So it's not boring white. And here where there's the phone over here. It's going to be also late term. And then with the same color that we have here, I'm going to start adding that phone. So this is the phone that I see and leaving some of those areas. For the water to actually shine for the phone. Like so. And here we have those kind of little tiny waves hitting the shore. And now I'm taking this lighter bands town here, I see that I don't have this difference between wave, so I need to make it prominent here. And constantly looking at all of my drawing, not only important part of it. And now we're adding those lighter bits actually, let's do one thing. Let's add those lights in here. So this color of the phone pattern inside the wave is very similar to the color of the wave-like into shadow. So with quite a hard pressure, I'm going to create those wave terms. I don't have to follow exactly how you see it in the reference photo, but it also here. I really loved drawing CFO. So that's kind of a passion of mine. And I think I'm going to add this lighter color here will represent this undersea. Just to kind of make that quake create more contrast. Like so. And now with this lighter color, what we're doing is here, sorry that I'm going back and forth. I want to add that glow. So inside here there's a bit of that glow of the Sun actually shining through the wave. Which looks really nice. Okay, so now what I want to do is start adding those lights. So these are definite lights. We have on our wave. And again, I'm moving in the direction of the spring. This is a very subclass town. Once again, I'm saying this is not completely white. This is both white. And here we need that darker blue. Just to bring back those shadows. Coolest them. Just blending in a bit of this sound. So k And these bits over here as well. So we have some of that Bolter showing, but mostly it's the foam over here. Plank. So gone into much Sony, my violin here. But to correct this bit of violent and also the dusty bank that we did previously. Like so. And what I'm gonna do is I'm going to have that shadow here. This point has a bit of a shadow. And then the third occur. Actually, we can use charcoal to darken my down. This is just a compressed charcoal. And I'm writing those the shadows of the compressed chart, but also here there might be some shadows. Okay? And here I want to create them. Bench that can comes later and slightly a port to create that spray. Okay, and here it's a bit too great for my liking and think I'm going to take something just slightly grayer or bluer. Just pass over it likely to kinda show that it's reflecting the sky. And some of those darks back can. And now the favorite part that I have, I'm going to take away. So for this I am going to use the white and I'm going to add those. Whether that's spray of the phone, just to live in it up a bit. Just in some places, not everywhere. This is a hard, soft pastel Rembrandt I think. And I need a sheet of paper. So I'm going to rub it in. And there we go. Our colorful little seascape is already the most gratifying by taking out this tape. John, this is a lot of dust sticking off the tape and shaking off the dust. Voila, our little seascape is all ready. I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and I will see you in the future ones. Thank you for watching. Bye.