PSC Demo

Submitted by Gary on Mon, 03/25/2013 - 18:36

Drifting Once More into Spring, 18 x 14, Pastel

In February I had the pleasure of doing a pastel painting demonstration for the eastern slope section of Pastel Society of Colorado. This is photographic proof that a painting did indeed happen that day.

It was a great audience of about 30 or so PSC members. At first I was a bit timid but the warm reception soon got me into a groove. Terry Ludwig was in the front row and I kept my eye on him. If he was still smiling, I figured I was doing all right!

The demo began with a discussion of the painting I was going to attempt. I had done a charcoal sketch on the 18 x 14 panel ahead of time but wanted to demonstrate my sketching technique so did it over again at a smaller size. This allowed me to discuss the composition while not relying on my ability to talk and sketch at the same time.

The points I wanted to stress were the many interesting interactions between sunlight or cast shadows and water. The four combinations that seem important are water in shadow reflecting dark objects, water in shadow reflecting light objects, and water in direct sunlight with both light and dark reflecting objects. There are variations but they are of lesser importance and once the four basic types are understood all the others fall into place somewhere in between.

The scene I wanted to paint had all four types of water. It was one I had painted before so figured I was comfortable enough with the material that I could paint and talk at the same time. Since I haven't done a lot of painting in an interactive situation, that was an important consideration. I admire those who can paint from one side of their brain and talk with the other. Some day, maybe!

The photos show the progress and how far I got in the hour and a half of working time. Final work was done in my studio to bring it to where it feels to me like a finished piece. I was happy with it and received nice compliments but knew it wasn't yet done that day. The final result is shown at top left though I can't guarantee I won't tweak it a little more with some more time to look at it.

My thanks to Pastel Society of Colorado for hosting the event, Diane Wood for setting it up, Scott Leckrone, PSC President, for his gracious introduction, June McWilliams for the photos, and the members present for their kind response. I'm happy to entertain any questions that remain about the demo from those that were there or from anyone else.