We had a four-week break between classes, so our teacher filled in with four weeks of optional make-up-your-own-content classes. For something completely different, Carol broke out all the pastels we had in the house. There were about six boxes of pastels she had bought a long time ago on sale; there were some with Tona's name on them; and I had a few of my own.
I discovered two things right away: It is a LOT harder to think in color than in black and white; and, I didn't have NEAR enough colors. So I bought another set to go along with what we had. Pastels are just the pigments that are used in watercolor and oil painting, but are used in chalk-like sticks. They go on dry, much like charcoal, and they have the same problem -- they get rubbed off easily. Also, as soon as you use one, you have some of the pigment on your hands, and soon you have it on your clothes and all over your "painting". Some authors regard pastels as drawing, but others call it painting if all the paper is covered, and drawing if some of the paper is used for one of the colors. Something I didn't know: many of the master painters did their work in pastels. I thought at first that all pastels looked sort of fuzzy because of the chalk-like softness of the dry pigments, but since then I have seen some portrait work that I couldn't tell were done with pastels. They were crisp, with colors very gently blended in a continuous shading across the face.
MY paintings, as is easy to see, are the work of a beginner. I have a LOT to learn about painting. Well, I thought it best to start with drawing, since that is the foundation for all art, so that's why I was taking a class in drawing. But now I think I might like painting after all.
In case you are curious, I am NOT posting any of my "paintings" yet.
By the way, I took two of my drawings down to have them framed. This means they should be around for the next couple of hundred years.