In this workshop, we observe with a clear and careful eye our model’s unique structure, colour, value relationships and posture. Our goal is to distill this complex information, through sustained study, into a simply expressed, harmonious construction. We engage in the intense colour analysis intrinsic to working in pastel. There will be one model in one pose for the duration of the workshop mornings, and a second model in one pose for the duration of the afternoon sessions. A slide presentation and discussion of the instructor’s in-progress portraits illustrate her evolving response to her subjects, and the gradual interweaving of pastel strokes—from first steps to completed portrait. There is much opportunity to discuss the layers of encounter that shape the making of a portrait. The instructor works one on one with the students.
Because we never know what colours we will see in our subjects, it is important to have available for our use as many colours as possible. A large set of pastels can be financially daunting, but a set is a one-time purchase: each stick has a very long life, and the replacement of even frequently used individual sticks is necessary only on occasion.
Rembrandt Soft Pastels
I recommend the largest set of REMBRANDT soft pastels that you can afford (the largest set contains 225 sticks; the 150-stick set is also excellent). If you choose to begin with a smaller set, it is advisable to supplement it with some individual Rembrandt sticks, so that your total selection includes at least a few tints and shades of the widest range of colours possible.
It is important to have NuPastels, the largest set you can afford (the largest set contains 96 sticks).
Paper & Boards
Of the pastel papers, I like Canson for the weight and texture. Canson makes a Steel Grey and a Felt Grey, which are both good neutrals. Bring about 5-6 sheets. The paper measures slightly larger than19" x 25" (larger sheets can be cut from a roll). Art Spectrum Smooth is also very good, and comes in several shades of grey.
Two pieces of white foam core board, same size or slightly larger than your paper. One will be your back board, one will be an overnight cover.
If you prefer to work on boards or canvas, that's fine.
- X-acto knife or mat cutter, ruler and straight-edge to cut your paper and backboard down to size, if you wish to work smaller than the paper and board are manufactured
- Four clips, such as bulldog (approximately 3"size), or the long, slide-on type
- Charcoal, hard and soft
- Charcoal sandpaper block
- Razor blades, single edge
- Paper towels
- Drawing pad -I love Strathmore 400 Series
- Any pencils you like to use -I like Faber Castell - bring a few, from B to 8B
- Kneaded eraser
- Hand - held mirror
More Short Courses & Workshops
Portrait Painting with David Gray
David will teach the application of the painting medium as he applies it in his own professional work.Read More
Portrait Painting in Pastel with Ellen Eagle
Engage in the intense colour analysis intrinsic to working in pastel.Read More
Explore the essentials of colour with this two-day colour mixing workshop.Read More