“Beauty puts a face on God. When we gaze at nature, at a loved one, at a work of art, our soul immediately recognizes and is drawn to the face of God.” ~ Margaret Brownley
This pastel lesson was inspired by the above photo. That tiny figure out on the beach is my brother. Two years ago we were all together at the water’s edge. And on this particular morning there was a storm rolling in. He was feeling brave and went out to get the perspective. He went to see how long it might be before we all got to go out and play.
So last week, when the children and I studied summer weather during our Outdoor Hour Challenge, I kept going back in my mind to this photo. To the beach in general. Because there, at the beach, with the flat, unobstructed horizon, you can view weather amazingly well. Sunrises, sunsets and especially cumulonimbus clouds
I asked Nana if she’d show us how to create clouds in pastels to compliment our weather study. She not only taught us about clouds, for this post she has explained it in her own words. She also brought a bonus technique. So now, let me introduce Nana…
Beach color was added in a pale pink, fisted it in lightly, and “skumbled” in a brown on top of the beach color by turning the brown pastel stick on the side and very lightly rubbing it or “skumbaling” the color on top.
Tricia here. I had to step in and share a bit more. When we were done, we went to wash up. Nana suggested I share what happened next. Let me tell the rest of the story…
Nana had stepped in it, with her bare feet, while she was teaching. There were beautiful, pink footprints all underneath the chalkboard.
Then children stepped in it as they ran to wash hands. It was all over the linoleum. I had decided to keep the pastels right in the kitchen because they do stain carpet. (see All Things Chalkboard). After mopping with vinegar, we pulled out the Comet and the scrub brush.
Thank you Nana for teaching us how to draw beautiful clouds, for taking the time to teach us the techniques and describe them in your own words. And for helping clean up!
A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons (over 25 now!) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials. A simple set is very affordable.
The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.
So, does this tutorial make you want to go to the beach too?
~ from the July 2010 archives