Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Milton Workshop - Day 3

After a brief period of rain, during which I discussed aerial perspective and other methods for putting distance in a painting, the sun came out again. Three beautiful days in a row is almost unheard-of in a workshop! We really have been blessed this week with excellent weather.

Once the sun reappeared, I had students go out and start new pieces or catch up on previous ones. While they worked, I continued a piece I started the day before - one using my "extreme limited" pastel palette. (You can find a list of the pastels I use here.) The colors are more vivid than they were in real life, but I really liked the way this piece progressed, so I stuck with it.

"Spring Pond"
8x10, pastel, en plein air

I painted this on one of the new Rtistx panels (available from We were given generous samples to try. On this one, I first laid in an underpainting with a mineral spirits wash, followed by an application of dry pastel. I used NuPastels almost exclusively. I did have an issue with getting the pastel to stay put, but I solved the problem by using a sheet of glassine and a spoon to "burnish" the pastel and press it into the surface. The pastel stuck just fine after this treatment. Like any new product, sometimes you have to play a bit to find the right mix of materials and methods! I think the board will work really well with softer pastels.

Later, we got everyone to don their "secret value decoder" glasses for a group shot. I've always wanted to do this, and I was finally able to coordinate the event. We might start a new craze with these!

Tomorrow - how to fix and finish a painting.

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