Monday, February 23, 2015

New Workshop: Studio-Only, Pastel-Only Color Intensive

Tomorrow, I start teaching a workshop that's new for me.  Rather than taking students out into the field and guiding them through the perils (and pleasures!) of plein air painting, I'll be locking them up in the studio where we'll be masters of our environment.  Just think:  no wind, no pollen, no tourists or other interlopers.  We'll have climate-controlled air and, if I remember, coffee and coffee cake.

The theme?  Color and pastels.  I've always wanted to teach a workshop on just color.  To be sure, value is the foundation for representational painting, but it's color that really gets people excited.  As a landscape painter, I'm particularly fascinated with how color sets a mood.  I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas with everyone in pastel.

Why pastel?  Mixing color in oil and other "wet" media is relatively easy and straightforward; even in kindergarten we learned that blue and yellow make green.  Many pastel painters, howeever, even more experienced ones, feel that you have to buy the exact right color you need in a stick.  But you don't have to.  You can mix a variety of useful colors with a very limited palette.  Also, pastel allows us to layer color and achieve brilliant, broken-color effects that are more difficult to accomplish in oil.

We'll be exploring my "extreme limited pastel palette," mixing color with pastels, how paper color can unify a painting, and a variety of palettes designed to help set different moods.  I've also got a few surprises for everyone.

As the week goes by, I'll try to share some of our demonstrations and paintings here.  In the meantime, here are the photo references I plan to use.

Grand Manan Island, NB - Fish House

Near Telluride, CO

Taos, NM

Chama River, Abiquiu, NM

Burke, VT

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