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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The pastel convention in Albuquerque was great!

Earlier this month I was at the International Association of Pastel Societies' Bi-Annual Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  This was my second time, and I enjoyed it immensely.

I saw many wonderful demonstrations by top pastelists.  I signed up for one hands-on workshop given by Andrew McDermott.  I thought it would be very different - he paints on black paper, and he is also very impressionistic with big, bold strokes.  He had us all work from the same photo reference of a harbor of boats (another thing that is unique for me).  First, to loosen up, he had us do a small 5 minute pastel studies in black, grey and white.  The idea is to not do detail, just block in the value shapes.
Next, we were to pick about 5-7 monochromatic colors of a warm hue and do another 5 min. study.
Next, we were to do a 5 minute study with only warm colors.  After we finished, we were supposed to do another 5 min. of cool colors OVER it.  The idea was to keep to the same values - be them in greys, warms, or cools.

Finally, we worked large - about 16x20 piece of paper.  This time he had us do something rather unique.  He had us sketch the design on the paper, then take tape and tape a square around the center of interest.  Next we were to do the outer perimeter in black, white and greys only.  Then we were to take the tape off, and paint the center of interest in first the warm colors, and then the cool colors over it.  Finally, we were supposed to blend it into the greys and maybe add a few bits of color around the grey painting.  We ran out of time and didn't finish the blending and finishing process, but we got the idea.
This was really fun and out-of-the-box way of doing things.  One thing he stressed was that if you do 3-4 small 5-minute paintings BEFORE your final big one - you will find it is so much easier once you get to the final one and it will go faster too.  It also helps you really cement the value structures and shapes in your head and you will have a more successful painting.



Bruno said...

wonderfull works!

ti-igra said...

Super Cool! Thanks, Carolyn for sharing the process and tutirial ;) It is very informative, interesting and new for me!