Yumefusha is a local cafe & gallery owned and run by a photographer. Many local artists hold exhibitions of a variety of artworks here and I have once visited there to enjoy their popular meals. This is a very cozy place and only if it is located much closer, I would like to visit more frequently. But it is actually two years ago that I visited there.

Well, this work was completed pretty quickly, at least compared to wildness of trees, which took me four days to complete. I finished drawing Yumefusha for a day, and it turned out to be a lovely work, so I was very happy. I believe simple works which can be completed for a short time and are yet engaging are most “efficient” works. Especially while you are in the middle of developing your portfolio, you need to try to be as efficient as possible, avoiding too heavy works which take many days to finish. This is something I keep in my mind when choosing the subject of my pastel works, and in many cases, I can make a correct assumption about the workload required to complete a piece of artwork, but sometimes I cannot. Wildness of trees is a good example of the latter case, and I was literally exhausted when I finished all the final corrections of the work. So after this hard work, I did not want to tackle anything heavy. Yumefusha was just a very reasonable choice, I think.

Yumefusha was also perfect choice for me who wanted to try two new colours of Schmincke soft pastels; delft blue and light green. I used the delft blue for the sky and light green for the wall of the cafe. The sky of delft blue was okay, but the light green for the building needed pretty much adjustment. I added some different types of greens and even very light blue. And yet, the green I have chosen for this building does not exactly show the real colour of the cafe. I pondered if I wanted to change the green, but decided not to change it. This is because the sky of the delft blue is pretty unnatural and gives you a bit of surreal impression anyway. Then the colour of the building can also be a bit strange, too. In terms of the integrity of this piece, I should not necessarily stick to the reality of the elements included in the scene. So I kept this particular green for the cafe building.

I started working on the sky first. I used some masking tape for the outline of the building because I did not want the green to be affected by the delft blue of the sky at all. When using soft pastels, you can of course overpaint. But I think if you want to keep each of the colours used clean and sheer, masking is necessary. I first used the masking tape for drawing “cat reading a book-kitten dare“. I protected the cats and the block stone where the larger cat is reading a book. Masking was also one of the keys to complete “cat reading a book-furry expectation” successfully. Without masking, I could not have drawn the scenery seen through the window pane so precisely. Especially because I usually use A4 or smaller size of papers, it becomes very difficult to draw small elements within the scene clearly once stained by the colours around them.

I then moved on to the building, which took the majority of the production time of this piece. Developing the particular green colour using the Scmincke light green as the base, developing another colour, i.e the grey-darkbrown wall colour, all the line drawings and shading…these tasks all took so much time. Shading was extremely troublesome, but was also very rewarding. I know how this drawing looked like without shading. It was totally flat and uninteresting. But as you add the shade here and there, the building gradually becomes to make sense. This process brought me such a huge fun that I am motivated to draw something with complicated shadows pattern for my next work, too 🙂

All the fine-lines drawings were very frustrating because I found my pastel pencils not producing lines thin enough for this piece after all. I found this much earlier so I started using some coloured pencils with “cat reading a book-kitten dare”. At first I thought using coloured pencils along with soft pastels in one piece of work was just a first aid and have been trying to find a good way to produce really fine lines using pastel pencils. But looks like this is a sterile effort. I had a bit of discussion with some VI members about the fine lines drawing using soft pastels and I did a comparison of finest lines achieved by a coloured pencil vs a pastel pencil to prove my point.
I wrote in the discussion thread:
“I should have mentioned “density” or “sharpness” of lines when talking about the pastel pencils problem which has been bugging me. I want sharp and clear lines especially when I am working on something which has clear-cut edges like a house. I have just uploaded a new pastel work and for the very thin lines used for the café building, I used black or purple coloured pencils. I couldn’t help it, and as long as this sort of mixed media approach works fine, I lean toward keeping this way for my other works as well. At least I don’t find any reasons why I shouldn’t. Now I just did a bit of comparison of the thinnest lines I can achieve using a coloured pencil or a pastel pencil. This is the results of the comparison.

“The line drawn using a coloured pencil is thinner plus more distinct, i.e. dense and sharp. This is the line I want. Maybe for the drawing of animals, the little bit of unevenness of pastel pencil lines would work as a strong point because the subject is soft and fluffy. But when it comes to buildings, and especially drawn using an A4 size paper, I think coloured pencils are the appropriate choice.

So, now my plan is to get some proper coloured pencils for my future pastel drawings because I have been using a mini-coloured pencils set which I happened to find at home. I used the black so heavily that it has become very short. Currently I am in the process of researching which brand I should choose.

After I finished drawing the house, the grass portion was pretty easy and quick, I really enjoyed the shading here, too, in particular the shading of the white stone path in the middle. I made them too purple at first, so I added more blue-grey and very light cobalt blue to neutralize the purple. Initially the shadow parts were much larger, but I made them smaller by adding white over them. White was also used to make the shadows pattern more complicated to reflect the shape of the bushes. I have been using this sort of “shaping by white” approach for my previous works, but I had not felt the strength of this method so much as this time. This is something I want to explore further for my future works 😉