Today was an exciting and exhaustive day. Promising to post my take on the day, I'm getting this out late but much to journal about. (note: I'm a bit tired and may not make sense.) Albert is actually a really funny man by way of a dry sense of humor and sensibility. His depth on the pastel subject is from years of experimenting with pastel when the medium was just a blip on the art radar. It's funny to hear about his discovieries on what and how he sees things.
Here are a few snippets and words of wisdom from today:
A good painting has an inner glow all it's own.
We don't "finish" a painting...we resolve it.
Work from dark to light. (this is a hard one for me)
Get the proportion and placement down first. (plein air specific)
Use 2, maybe 3 colors of the same value for a spanse of sky. (or a shadow area) to create excitement.
Greens in the landscape can be modified by purples and mauves. (This was nice to hear.)
Landscapes are patterns...no blending allowed! Let the eyes do the blending.
He also talked a lot about "the touch", meaning that you can get different colors, or values from the pressure of a pastel. For example: Taking a light value pastel and just ever so lightly brush it onto the toned paper. It appears darker than when it is applied with a lot of pressure...
as in the peachy color on the right. See how it is feathered and with additional pressure the peach gets "lighter" in value? Albert stressed that you can get more values by using this technique with just one pastel. (meaning you can travel with less pastels and get the same results on location as you would with your entire collection of pastels.) The same goes true with a darker pastel too, but with a reverse effect, ie: the lighter you press, the lighter the value, and the harder you press will give you darker results. Hmmm,... I hope to see this in action tomorrow when he is at the easel.
After the lecture and lunch, we got down to business. Albert asked us to just do a painting, and photograph it in 30 minute stages. I'm posting just a few from my long 2.5 hour session.
I used a turpenoid underpainting, pulling out my favorite complementary colors for the intended colors.
Starting to block in and establish values. I am now noticing that I didn't work from dark to light. Augh!
I "resloved" by cropping the final image because the lower bottom became really distracting and didn't seem to help the piece any. I also am grappling with my rendition of the tree. Seems a bit like a green Q-tip on a fork!
Tomorrow morning I am supposed to go back to this site (first thing, early in the morning) and see it in another light. I'm out of energy, will hope to be back tomorrow with more!