More Learning for Me

This January I told you I was concentrating on my own artistic growth and that I had signed up for a few challenges . Some have been successful and others have proved a bit too much. I have completed the shorter ones like “5 paintings in 5 days” but the “drawing everyday for a year” challenge is a bit harder to do. Still I am drawing more and so I will take that as a move forward. And the year is not over yet!

I have been working on learning more about pastel though. I have completed a couple of online classes and I am just back from the Pastel Artists of Canada conference down in Aurora, ON. I signed up for everything I could and it was amazing. I was able to take workshops from many accomplished artists and I’ll share what I did in that week. I have included links so you can see their artwork.

First day, was from Jessica Masters. Don’t Bury the Headline. In this class we learned that it is important to figure out WHY we were painting our subject and how lead the viewer to see what we wanted them to. I chose to work from a photo of my own, taken in France last year. I loved this photo. The kitty is just sitting there…is he hiding or watching or is he just pretending to be a pot of geraniums? You never can tell with kitties. But in this little town, one had to keep an eye out for kitties as they were very much part of the landscape. I set up the highest area of contrast between the dark of the kitty and the light of the wall as well as the cool of the kitty and the warmth of the wall. I also used the the temperature of the reds to lead the eye towards the kitty… reds at the right and then getting warmer and more intense on the ones closer to Monsieur Chat.

The next day was with Kathy Hildebrandt. No It’s Not a Photo. Kathy employs many different techniques to achieve her realistic works. We used a photo of a still life she had set up for us and we came prepared with it all drawn on and ready to work. We used our fingers for blending and both the chunky sticks of pastel and pastel pencils. I got most of it done and learned many more pastel techniques!

Third day was with Roberta Combs. Don’t be Afraid of the Dark. Here we did three 20 minute studies where we used BLACK! Yes, we used a Black pastel to give our work punch!

On Day Four, I took a workshop with Joan Larson – a master animal portrait artist. How could I not? Although she is known for her equine and dog portraits I managed to sneak in a kitty. My Emma. A challenging colour of fur with her orange and black brindle type colouring. This is a combination of the soft pastel sticks, blending, pastel pencils and leaving the strokes unblended. Too much fun!

It was a full week with the workshops, demos, slideshows and gallery viewing! I came away with my head just bursting with information. So many different techniques and now to decide which ones are for me!

Thanks for reading.





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