The Process

pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

Sometimes it’s a hard to see progress in my artists journey.

I put in all the work, yet, it feels like nothing’s changed. Does one stick figure really look better than another? Does this collection of Boxes represent more than the last? Are my drawings ever going to actually look like something? It’s frustrating, and I know a lot of people feel the exact same way.


And then there is a series where I’m like, ‘well, ok, there’s definitely some progress going on here.

 pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

For the last several days I’ve been working with pastels.

Charcoal pastels to be specific. White, black, gray, and as of yesterday, green and blue. The non-colors I’ve had sitting around for a while on my shelf. I think I picked them up on a whim a while back when I saw them on sale...maybe for a project I had in mind then but forgot about. 


That happens a lot. I trust my gut when it says buy because I know sometime in the future whatever I get is gonna come in handy. But, and I mean, BUT, I do that because I’m 100% sure I’m gonna be using it. I know too many people who’ve bought only to build up stockpiles of paints, pencils, paper, that they never use. Don’t be that person...unless you have tons of money.

 pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

I got into these pastels, not really because I wanted to, but because I can’t afford paint and canvas right now.

True story, it’s hard to make money as an artist, especially at the beginning. Shirts, totes, and canvases are selling, just reeeaaallllyyy slowly. I’ve got my mega-fans who always buy whatever I sell...but, you don’t want to push that button too often. 


So much potential with my art, yet, so hard to get it out there, hehe. The cry of every aspiring artist.

 pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

I love to get my hands dirty, and pastels are great for that.

At least how I use them. The more I mess with them, the more I see their potential, and the more it feels like I’m sculpting than drawing. The darks for the shadows press in, the highlight drive upwards and outwards, the gray sits flat... All these cool little stories you get to make up as you go along shaping the piece.

 pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

pastel charcoal skull series by LA artist Wessel

Each step on this path so far has been a leap least IMHO (humble).

That’s not too hard to do I think at these early stages of drawing in pastel. I can see the gaps in my knowledge and experience like giant voids I’m going to have to figure out how to cross or fill. But, I’ll get through it. There’s no other choice really. It’s all a part of the process. ...or something. :)

Hope y’all have a great day!

And, if you have a minute, take a look at my Latest Designs and see if there’s anything you like :)


pastel charcoal gas mask series by LA artist Wessel

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