From my High on Halliburton series,....pastel, 5" X 8"
I finally have the time to write a bit about my Halliburton experience, 2016. It was a great week, a very big class, teaching two levels at once. First, I'd like to thank all my very patient and understanding students, who allowed me to float back and forth between beginner and advanced. If it wasn't for the fortunate collective karma of this group, I certainly wouldn't have been able to manage quite so well. What an amazing talented group I had this year.
Learning how to overlay one colour on top of another, mixing right on your paper, one element that makes pastel different from any other medium.
The first two days of my 5 day Intro to Pastel starts out a little heavy on the information side of things. It's a lot of standing up and continually talking for me, and quite a bit of letting go, sinking into colour, and self discovery, exposure to many pastel paintings and developing taste in terms of application techniques.
While this is going on in the beginner side, my intermediate students are 1) reviewing application techniques but using them in small studies, 2) reviewing their inventory of pastels and their personal arrangements of such 3) making 2 painting of the same image, one with a very limited palette where you ahem to mix all the colours right on the page, and another of the same image, using an expanded palette. then we compare the two and decide which process allows for the most creativity, which one was most enjoyed. No right or wrong, just different ways of doing things, and choices.
Independent study, this one particularily about hard and soft definitions, when to define and when to suggest.
By the third day of this 5 day workshop, everyone is working independently, so although it's still quite busy, it gives me more room to address everyones' needs, beginner or intermediate.
The following 7 images are examples of copies my students did during the week. I don't condone copying other peoples' work when you can't come up with you own ideas. This point of this is to keenly be able to analyze how a pastel painting was constructed, replicate the same strokes/techniques, mixing of colours, and good compositions.
It's a very positive exercise, which gives students can see their own potential.
I ask students to pick out at least 5 images they like, and I talk to them one on one about their taste, what techniques they'd use, and whether the piece in well within their drawing ability.
We spend much time together as a group now, discussing a broad subject: what king of pastel paper, and what colour to use as you ground. Many students came up to me at the end of this day and said how much they learnt from slowing down into the process of planning their work out. No rushing allowed! Fall in love, with what you are doing.
Once the pics are chosen, grounds (paper choice) ready, we analyze the palette and techniques used. This piece above is an excellent example of replicating effective contrasting techniques.
I hope this student doesn't mind, but she blew my mind! At 84, this student showed unending energy. patient and well drafted drawing, and an accurate account of how the colour was put down on this piece. Excellent!
This student wasn't confident about her ability to draw, but with just a few directives, she easily had the horse in proportion ready for detail.
My intermediate students made underpaintings,with more planned out images from their own stores. This one was done with pumice and brush marks showing. The wonderful thing about working with Underpainting is the capture of colour on colour. I so loved watching the piece evolve as the pastel covered this gorgeous underpainted palette.
This piece was done on board, with a gesso/pumice/pastel underpainting. The texture that came out was superb, and added so much interest to a simple, yet powerful subject.
Thanks again to everyone who took my class this year, it was an absolute pleasure. Stay tuned for announcements about teaching in the Toronto area in October-something that was discussed in class.
Happy last days of summer everyone!