Whilst in the UK I was lucky enough to be able to attend a workshop on using pastels, with Lynda Kettle. http://www.lynda-kettle.com/pastels.html
Lynda is an experienced painter in pastels ( and other mediums) and her style has evolved from her work in the theatre and television.
Lynda started off with a demonstration, talking through a field of poppies using a ‘pointillist’ style or manner. This was to help us to be more playful and loose in our work. She also talked us through which paper is the best and explained that it needs a good ‘tooth’ to hold onto the pastel. She also said that hairspray is better and cheaper than fixative, which is what I have been using anyway 🙂 She talked about the rule of thirds and also working from the top downwards, to avoid smudging. We looked at the importance of the background colour, and this makes the colours stand out, which is relevant to the POP course, as I have just done an exercise on this.
We then selected a photograph of a garden scene from magazines and chose a relevant colour paper to try this. I chose a black ground, and created my garden with lots of marks in the pointillist style.
I was fun to do and didn’t take very long. I am surprised by what can be achieved with this kind of mark marking.
We were then given a chance to buy some fisher 400 paper, which to me felt and looked exactly like sandpaper….. We each chose another scene, this time I chose a landscape photo of an autumnal mountain scene. The paper works well and grips the colours in a pleasing way, and also gives you more control. It is a little harsh on the fingertips when you are blending in colours with your fingers though! Lynda advised me not too use too much orange, even though it was like this in the photo, and also to make sure if I used a colour at the top end that it also appeared lower down to give balance. I can see that this works well. I was fairly pleased with the overall finished result. Lynda also demonstrated how cropping and framing can drastically change how you perceive a painting as she went through our work at the end. I will certainly try this with my work in future.
I do not have these in my portfolio as it was not possible to bring them back to Spain with me this time, but I am glad I thought to photograph them. I still feel that pastel are not my best medium, but I certainly learned a lot from the day