View Full Version : Lorenzo Chavez Workshop

04-13-2007, 01:19 PM
I promised to report on the Lorenzo Chavez workshop that I participated in last week. I'm a bit late!

It was a wonderful class, and we painted outdoors each day. Unfortunately, the weather was unusually cold for this time of year, and by afternoon, my fingers were so cold I could barely hold those little sticks of color!

Lorenzo stressed composition, finding the big shapes, value. He is a terrifically nice guy, lots of fun, and an outstanding instructor. The entire group of workshop attendees met with him for supper at a local Italian resturant the 2nd day.....we were all glad to be inside to warm up with a glass of wine! Later, I was asked to take him to our co-op gallery to view the show that the Northern Colorado Artist Association was having. He spent quite a bit of time viewing the show; it was wonderful for me because his critiques are so educational.

All in all it was a super experience. I've posted a pic of Lorenzo painting. The scene he is working on was actually to his left, and not included in the photo.


Donna T
04-13-2007, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the report, Deb. It's so nice to learn a little about how the pros do their pastels. What kind of paper or support did he paint on? Does he do any kind of underpainting first? Thanks!

Donna T

04-13-2007, 01:33 PM
Hi Donna,
Amazingly, Lorenzo paints almost exclusively on Canson paper, a soft grey color. It was pretty astounding to most of us in the workshop who paint on Wallis. He has a really light touch...something I definitely need to work on!

He did a minimal amount of underpainting while doing plein air work; I think he might do more in a studio environment, but can't recall that he specified that.

Watching him paint plein air made me realize that the correct value is more important than the color. He seems to nail the values every time.


Donna T
04-13-2007, 01:56 PM
Thanks Deb! Wow, Canson?! I think people who do amazing works on Canson deserve special honors...I can get about three layers and then just make mud. He's so right about the values too, hopefully that comes with experience.

Donna T

04-13-2007, 03:05 PM
I'm still trying to get the hang of 'Values' It's all like a foreign language to me. I'm sort of getting the hang of the Colour Wheel but then when you start throwing in Tonal Vaue and Colour Value my brain goes into melt down. I'm pretty sure I don't get them right, in fact I'm sure I don't as I don't understand what they are all about. I tend to pick colours that look like they will match up with what I am doing. :rolleyes::smug:

CJ :o

Paula Ford
04-13-2007, 05:47 PM
Oh you are sooooooooooooooooooo lucky!!

He is absolutely one of my favorites.

Thank you for the update.


04-13-2007, 06:14 PM
I also love his work, how wonderful, thanks for sharing. By any chance did you get a pic of his box of pastels and his easel a little more? I am reminded of two things Richard has stated over and over in class: "Color gets all the credit, value does all the work" and "mud is produced due to value difference, not color difference. Color differences create neutrality."

M Douglas
04-13-2007, 10:12 PM
"Color gets all the credit, value does all the work" and "mud is produced due to value difference, not color difference. Color differences create neutrality."

I'm going to write this down, its a good thing to remember! Thanks Shari.


04-13-2007, 10:15 PM
No, Shari, I didn't think to take a pic of his plein air set-up, but we were all jealous of it and questioned him about it. He said he had it made by a friend of his years ago, but the guy wouldn't make any more of them! And I was really surprised that he carried LESS pastels than most of the rest of us. I guess that comes with experience & knowing by instinct what he will need in a given area. He said he paints about 50% plein air & about 50% studio.

So I guess what I really learned is that I need to paint plein air more!


04-15-2007, 01:01 AM

You are very fortunate!!.. I am in total AWE of his skills. For anyone not familiar do a google and go to his web site. I am really surprised he works on Canson.
Do you have any more tidbits of information? What is he using to support the painting he is working on? Does he tape his canson to a foamcore board?
Thanks for sharing this with us!!!


04-15-2007, 04:17 AM
I had the privelidge of being in Lorenzo's first national workshop back in the mid '90's when he came to Washington state. Then again few years ago in Oregon. Lorenzo is everything Deb says and then some. He's always amoung the first people I suggest as a plein air workshop instructor to anyone who asks me.