Sunday, 17 April 2016

A Pastel Workshop

A couple of months ago we had a demo at the Farnham Art Society given by the very talented Rick Holmes using pastels and Chinese ink.  Regular readers may have noticed with my recent postings that pastels are fast becoming my favourite medium so I was particularly interested in this one.  The demo was followed by a workshop which I signed up for and went to yesterday.  I had a fantastic day so I thought I'd share the results with you.

We started off with a few doodles and marks to get used to using the pastels.  Then we moved on to our first picture of the day.  Using one of Rick's paintings as a reference,  this is Frensham pond...I think.  My thoughts on this one, I'm not entirely happy with the trees as I think they've come out too much like a dark block in the corner.  Rick's comments,  you need more colour...  

Painting number two was a farm which I've forgotten the name of (hopefully one of my fellow participants will leave a comment below filling in that particular blank). This time our reference material was a black and white copy of another of Rick's paintings.  That was exactly what I needed.  In the first painting, I focused on copying the colours and missed a lot in the process.  This time I had to use my imagination and so, listening to the feedback from earlier, I added colour.  To the point where everyone who walked past my easel said "Ooh, that's colourful".  I'm happier with this one and I can see how taking the same approach to the first picture would have worked.  Something I often fail to do (because I often fail to think about it) is bring the foreground forwards and push the background back.  Rick gave me a few tips to help here which I'll definitely be making use of in future,

After a break for lunch, we moved onto our third and final painting.  This time we used Chinese Ink to begin with (as in the earlier demo) followed by pastels.  We had a choice this time between New York or Venice.  I went with New York as it's not that long since I did a similar scene, also using pastels, and I wanted to see how different this one came out.  I spent a lot less time studiously blending my colours together and I like the results.  I'm also quite pleased with the truck.  I'm less pleased with the deformed cars in the bottom right - they definitely need a bit of attention.  

All in all, I had a thoroughly enjoyable day, learned a lot and met some lovely people.  My only disappointment is that it's now Sunday evening and I have to go to work tomorrow instead of staying home and putting into practice some of those ideas.