Saturday, March 29, 2008

Springfield Pastel Workshop - Friday

Friday arrived sunny but cool. With lots of loose ends to tie up -- how to correct a painting, how to know when you're done -- we had plenty to keep us busy. We also completed paintings that we'd begun earlier in the week. I finished up this 5x7 sketch. I'd been admiring this building all week through our studio window. When the sun was out, the play of light on it was enchanting. In this small format, it was impossible to capture all the detail, so I opted to merely suggest the architectural features and to focus more on light and color.

I also went over my "extreme limited pastel palette" concept, which gave everyone something to work on when the post-workshop blues hit. (They always do, and the instructor is not immune.) As I've written elsewhere, the palette consists of 14 sticks -- a warm and cool version of each of the six color families, plus black and white. To get a better value range, select the darkest violets, blues and greens, and then the lightest yellows, orange and reds. Black and white are used only as a last resort for lightening or darkening a color. This exercise helps artists who paint only in pastel to learn the art of color mixing.

I had a great time with this group. We're already talking about bringing me back next year, at a time when the weather is warmer and sunnier and when the flowers will be blooming. The building in the sketch above has a magnificent magnolia tree in front of it. The tree has only begun to bud. It'd be fun to paint it in all its glory.

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