"Ferdinand", 12x9" Pastel
This past weekend I taught my Pastel Punch! workshop at Sequoia Gallery to a wonderful group of artists. They all worked very hard and so I'm going to share a bit of what we worked on and some of the finer points that I taught.
Values are distinct when color is absent.
First and foremost I encourage every artist, whether they are a beginner or advanced, to study on an ongoing basis the importance of values. This is probably the hardest point to drive home to artists and often the one thing that we all struggle with the most. Here is my value demonstration of what I titled "Ferdinand." In this lesson, we used just ten pastels of varying values to create depth and volume. When I returned home after the day's work, I checked my work by photographing him in black and white mode to see if I read the values correctly and it looks like I might need more practice too.
Another project we worked on was a 4-value, single hue underpainting using Turpeniod. Turpenoid offers flexibility with the dissolved pigment, but it takes a long time to dry. It's great when out plein air painting as the heat of the day evaporates it quickly enough.
"Glass Implements" 9x12" Pastel
One of my favorite exercises is having the students create a quick 20 minute study. I use a timer and count down the minutes to add pressure to create. It is my intention to get the students to loosen up and simplify their work. No room for details in this exercise. Then we stretched a bit further and painted a 10 minute study. Everybody gets a kick out of the energy that is evident in the work. If I had thought of it, I'd have put on a blood pumping marching tune by John Philip Sousa. Here's my 10 minute attempt (from a photo that I had painted alla prima in oils.)
"Teacups, 10 minute Study" 9x12" Pastel
Because pastel can be handled in so many ways, whether it be blended, crosshatched, stippled or patterned, an artist can have such versatility and a lot of fun. Here are a few of my students' works with their choice of mark making.
A delightful stack of cups by artist Ann.
...and a very precious robin's nest by artist Marianne
And finally, here is the wall of most of the students' work. It was a fun workshop and when I woke up the next morning after the workshop, I expected to go back for more. There will be more workshops as I have just signed a contract to teach "Pastels Inside & Out" at The Oregon Society of Artists in September, and I also will be teaching "Pastel Punch!" at the Emerald Art Center in March of 2014. (Details will be up soon.)
Some of the students work over the course of the workshop.
If you are interested in having me teach a pastel workshop in your area, contact me and let's discuss the possibilities.