There Is Beauty in All Things

This double page spread started a a simple play with my new hard pastel set, and evolved very quickly into a message, simple and universal.

To all Westworld fans out there, you will know where I’m coming from on this one. One of the main characters’ famous quote (Dolores) is “Some people choose to see the ugliness in this world. The disarray. I choose to see the beauty. To believe there is an order to our days, a purpose”. When I first heard this character say this line, it really hit me, and I felt immediately connected to this character. I strongly believe that a lot of the misery in this world is caused by focusing on the ugliness, on what you haven’t got and others have, creating your own hell and others’ as a result.
In every situation I’m faced with in my daily life, I always try my best to focus on the positive, in order to move forward. I don’t always succeed to be honest, but, after all I am only human!

This message came to my mind when I finished the artsy bits and was ready for adding journaling.

there is beauty thumbnfinal.jpg

Watch it on Youtube and Vimeo (free download)



  • Liquitex white gesso
  • Koh-I-Noor Gioconda 24 hard pastels set
  • Finnabair clear gesso
  • flat synthetic brush
  • hair spray strong hold
  • heatgun
  • black Sharpie pen Fine Point



I started by roughly gessoeing  and placing colours very randomly on my double page spread. The colours and shapes reminded me of the sky and grassy hills.

I then used my flat brush and some clear gesso to spread the pigment and create a protected layer to work on for my next step.
Once the clear gesso was dry (using my heat tool- I have no patience for letting things dry naturally!), I started sketching a face profile, again very roughly, and softening my lines with my finger.

As the right side of the page seemed a bit bare to me, I decided to add some doodled flowers (my go-to doodle). It brought some immediate balance to my spread.

Now that I was ready to tie both sides of my spread up with some journaling, I looked at my page and, straight away, my journaling came to mind. I used a black Sharpie for this and wrote the word “Beauty” in capital letters and adding a double line to make it stand out. I filled my capital letters’ double lines with a pink hard pasted and smudged the pigment. I added some more touches of pink on different elements of my page to bring more balance.

As I wanted to add some highlights with the white hard pastel, I had to fix my layer. I used strong hold hair spray for this. I did spray quite close to the page and a bit more than expected. This caused the Sharpie ink to bleed (I never encountered that before so I was quite surprised. I think it is because the previous layer was gesso), and the pink pigment to tremendously brighten up. I only used my hard pastels a couple of times, but it was my first time using this colour. I will know for next time!

Once my hair spray layer was dried, I added highlights with my white pastel. I think it makes the flowers and the face pop up a lot more. I finally added a last thin layer of hair spray to fix my white pastel.