Since 1994 when I first discovered this medium, I have been adding to my collection of pastels. From a basic starter set, I have constantly been searching for those elusive ‘English’ landscape colours. Every time I visit an art shop I head straight to the section that displays individual pastels, as excited as any child in a sweet shop! I have samples from many manufacturers, the important thing for me is always the colour.
This was my first box quickly filled, each of the trays arranged by colour and tone and although I used it for many years, it is far too heavy to carry to and from workshops and demonstrations so it now remains my ‘store’ cupboard.
Perhaps my favourite box, this contains a selection of ‘jumbo’ pastels in my most used colours plus a few smaller ones in both the lightest and darkest tones. The large pastels allow me to apply large areas of colour quickly before I move on to detail. Rapid results.
In my studio I use a customised tray on wheels, designed and made by my son. Again arranged by colours and tonal values, when not in use I can roll it away under my desk.
This small portable lightweight box contains all the colours I require for a demonstration or outdoor work. Inexpensive and readily available from any DIY store, perfect when starting out.
Artist and friend, Liisa Clark and I have together formed Abbey Arts. Under this banner we will initiate workshops and other tuition, exhibitions, demonstrations and shared drawing sessions.
We are inviting interested parties to visit our studio at The City Discovery Centre in Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes MK13 9AP. This will provide the opportunity to watch us work and chat about what we are doing and propose doing in the future.
There were 13 participants at the pastel workshop for WDAS yesterday, some of them very new to the medium.
The chosen subject was “Winter Scenes” and after my demonstration using an underpainting before applying the pastel, most members chose to try this technique for themselves with incredibly good results. Below is some of the resulting work:
Click on the link above for my 2016 workshop listing and booking form. I hope you will find something of interest to encourage and develop your particular artistic skills.
I have recently moved into a new studio at the City Discovery Centre at Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes. This is a lovely environment to work and hopefully I will be able to take advantage of the inspiring environment of this old medieval site. With no major exhibitions in the near future, my primary aim is to spend time experimenting with new techniques and ideas – the luxury of having fun with my art.
Underpainting process using watercolour paint on Colourful pastel paper
Working up with a selection of soft and hard pastels
The painting completed
After an initial underpainting to establish the large colour blocks and some basic drawing elements, I began to add pastel, concentrating on showing the dappled light in this beautiful tranquil spot. I hope these three pictures will speak for themselves.