Carmen Griehl-Groß

This week we are featuring a selection of beautiful animal portraits by German artist Carmen Griehl-Groß, all created with PanPastel along with soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on PastelCard.

Carmen says about her technique:

My Materials:
My favorite pastel brands are PanPastel, and for soft pastel sticks I use Sennelier, Unison and Rembrandt. I also like to use Schmincke and Nupastel. For fine details like a single wisp of hair and whiskers I use pastel pencils, different brands so that I have a greater variety of colors and hardnesses.

Papers I use: Sennelier LaCarte (sanded paper), Pastelmat and Tim Fisher 400 (a wonderful paper from the UK).

I consider my most important tools to be my fingers and my hands. Of course I use the Sofft applicators from PanPastel, as well as pastel brushes, Colour Shapers, Q-Tips and kneaded erasers.

My Technique:
At first I sketch with charcoal. Then I lay the colors I want to mix parallel, a bit overlapping. For this I use mostly the harder Rembrandt stick pastels.  For example I set the blue tone next to black and then I softly wipe the black into the blue. Creating an “explosive” but natural black-tone.

When I have placed all the colors I need, I start with the PanPastel Colors to intensify the colors.

When I like what I see I start adding the finer details. For this I use pastel pencils, Colour Shapers, square Nupastels and brushes. From this point on I wipe less.

The eyes of humans, as well as animals are most important to me…”the eyes reflect the soul”! I paint them in a very early stage so that my picture does not stare at me with empty eyes.

For the final stage last I set highlights with the various soft pastels. I never use any fixative.”

My Background:
I was always inspired by colors and painting. But at first I studied graphic design at the University of Wuppertal. After I graduated I worked many years as a designer. Most of my commissions had to do with illustrations.

In 2003 I switched from designer to a full time professional artist. I am self-educated in pastels –  since 2004 – it became my favorite material. But I also work with graphite, colored pencils, watercolor and oils. I mainly paint portraits for commissions but I also paint landscapes, still life and much more. In addition to my painting I also give lessons in pastels at our Atelier in Bonn, Germany.

To see more of Carmen’s work visit: www.art-ist-art.blogspot.de   and https://www.facebook.com/A.Carmen.Griehl.Gross.artistart

Details on the images shown above:

  1. Snow Leopard Cub 8×12 “ – Materials: PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Steve Tracy
  2. Red Fox 16×24 “  – Materials:  PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Allanah Hawker
  3. Wolf Portrait 8×8 “ – Materials:  PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Peter Bolliger
  4. Robin Bird Nesting, 12×16 “ – Materials:  PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Paul Sawford
  5. Red Maine Coon, 8×12 “ – Materials:  PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Ines Giers
  6. Black Cat Isis, 8×8 ” – Materials:  PanPastel, soft pastel sticks and pastel pencils on Pastelcard®. Ref. photo: Carmen Griehl-Groß

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