humpback whale fin

Miriam K’s Art is pleased to release her Humpback Whale Fin pastel painting.  It instills her awe for this magnificent animal of the seas.  Feel the ocean around you as you gaze upon this painting!  There are Work In Progress (WIP) photos too.

The painting is dominated by the majestic tail and fin of a humpback whale.  You can feel it’s strength by looking at it.  It is black and grey with a bluish hue.  Water droplets drip from the bottom of the fin.  In the background you can sea the wide expanse of the sea, land and a cloudy sky.  The point of focus is the fin itself.  These huge creatures are as big as a bus and yet graceful in the water.  They are also very strong since they are so big.  Being a mammal it is also intelligent and caring for it’s young.  Miriam is in awe of whales…she wishes for you a whale.

When I chose this picture I was light hearted and felt strong.  It was International Woman’s Day and I felt strong as a woman artist.  I had dared to start some new things and therefore felt strong too.  Blue is melancholic but I was not sad when I chose this subject.  Blue is my favorite color and the whale is my favorite mammal.  I believe I chose the fin of the whale because it is so strong and I was feeling so strong.  The next day as I painted it was an anxious day.  My old demons were back to make me fearful.  Throughout the day I tried to paint.  Sometimes the demons were too strong to enjoy and relax.  At other times, the rendering (explained below) relaxed me and I lost myself in the fin of the whale.  I turned to this painting of the fin to give me strength to fight the demons in my mind.  I succeeded and was calm after concentrating, meditating and having the strength to continue calmly.

I have also included Work In Progress (WIP) photos.  I thought you might be interested.

WIP1 Mar 2017

This is how I start the painting.  I lightly sketch in the animal and then color it with pastel crayons or pastel sticks.  This time it was pastel crayons.  I keep adding color to it and don’t blend until after all the color has been laid down.


Here you can see the fin before and after rendering.  To render is to blend the pastel chalk into the paper with a cardboard pencil (called a stomp) or a rolled piece of paper towel.  It smooths the color into the paper and if you want into the adjoining color.  Sometimes you want to keep the colors distinct and separate though.


In the above photos I have taken the final rendered painting, added fixative, added color and blended some more and then added a final coat of fixative.  I use a professional fixative so that the pastel chalk doesn’t fall off the painting.  However, I tried to blend after having applied fixative and this doesn’t work too well.  You shouldn’t blend after applying fixative.  With patience though I was able to make the painting look a lot better.  The blending of the fin made it contrast better with the background.  As usual, my daughter was my critic and helped me to make my painting better!