View Full Version : So... I am having a workshop....

05-29-2010, 07:42 PM
I have been doing so many OTHER things, and some are making money but most are a lot like fishing... lots of work and little to eat!

I have a pastel over watercolor workshop scheduled in Prescott AZ. I went up, braving a forest fire, yesterday to do a demo.

I have not been doing a lot of pastel of late and I was feeling brain dead... so I prepped two pieces for a one hour demo. You kind of have to know me. I talk FAST, draw faster and was afraid I would finish too soon if I didn't have a few things to talk about.

Before I left, I drew and put my underpainting, a wash of either acrylic or watercolor, and started a little drawing on this one...

the underpainting, and what I did to it while at the demo:

This was the sort of intermission. The actual piece I quickly showed was sketched in charcoal on a piece of watercolor paper and fixatived. I painted a watercolor splash of some purples and yellows and blues.... While they dried I worked on the previous piece and when it was dry enough to paint, I continued to this stopping point:

The demonstration filled the 30 chairs they had set up and at least 25 more came and stood... although I believe a few did leave as an artist's reception started outside. I had a silent audience, which was sort of unnerving, as I am used to painting in crowds and being ignored.

When I was done, it took over half an hour to put my things away for all the questions. I felt pretty good! So before I left, after a little cheese and crackers, I asked how many had signed up and was told zero.:eek:

THEY SAID they would probably sign up on Monday (not... it is a holiday). I need a minimum student number to do it and I would LOVE to come up to the hills and be cool for a few days this summer, so I am putting it out.

05-29-2010, 10:19 PM
great demo....who could possibly resist that! maybe they are so good they scared your audience.

05-30-2010, 03:27 AM
Hello again DJ, long time no see - tho I have actually been looking at your website and admiring all over again.

I cannot believe nobody signed up. Were they all artists, do you know? I doubt it was lack of interest, and suspect it was the length of the workshop that put people off - a one-day workshop often attracts while a three day one means they have to have much more commitment, be available for three days, have someone look after kids, or arrange to be off work - all sorts - .

I do hope it fills.


05-30-2010, 03:32 AM
I found this very great, what a beautiful idea, wish I have such or any workshops about pastels overhere...

05-30-2010, 03:36 AM
Thanks, Jackie!
This workshop was an expansion of a one day I did and our former local art league president attended. She had moved into our cooler hills and talked this new league into a longer workshop. I debated. I actually think they wanted a week, sort of a vacation but more intense, like the Scottsdale Artist's School does down here. Sounds good, but it is the sort of thing that comes with a huge reputation and a willingness to pack a suitcase and book a hotel!

I had two locals tell me they were asking about it so I thought that the two hour drive and a full room (this guild is associated with the gallery in which I did the Demo) of a range of artists of all sorts of discipline.

I really don't doubt they LIKED me. I must say I was shocked at how well I was received, but they seemed rather blasé about it, so I will take their word for it, that I shouldn't fully panic until next week.

I do have one bright spot on the horizon! The Pastel Society of America has extended its entry deadline into June, so I have a chance to hone some skills and think about entering it again! I just have found my energies pulled in ALL directions. Hard for me to pick one.

Thanks again for you support and best wishes. OF COURSE there will be a report.

05-30-2010, 03:45 AM
I was working on the finish of this one and taking a break to think what to do next. Of course it is nearing midnight and the light is horrible, the right side is flared out from the flash, but for the gang to come, I wanted to show them it CAN end up looking more polished and normal, just more exciting than a regular pastel:

05-30-2010, 03:56 AM
I'd love to see you exaggerate the light from above onto the figures........but perhaps you intend to do that...........?

05-30-2010, 04:10 AM
I have a bit more... I tend to stop, take a photo, think... wait and see things completely different! No detail to actually speak of yet, I want, at least in this demo, to do a general coverage of the surface to show what doesn't have to happen with the abstract underpainting. Then when I have the shapes, and most of the values, I get in with the pencils.... and play.

Probably am thinking along your lines, just fat chalk and tiny fingers so far.

05-30-2010, 05:18 AM
Gorgeous paintings! So comfortable to look at figures with perfect gesture and proportions, seemingly done effortlessly. I wish I could come to the workshop, but I'm in Asia.

05-30-2010, 08:40 AM
glad I found you again, thanks to my post in the other thread - someone noticed where you had been moved to!!!
I look forward to seeing the finish.

Just one more thought.........kids heads are usually bigger for their bodies than adult heads. Your kids' head looks a touch too small to me. ?


05-30-2010, 01:33 PM
My turn, teach! The proportions are right: We are used to measuring bodies by heads. As it looks now they are teetering around 5 heads, perfect for kids, but.... normally you measure top of head to chin, so are you adding the neck to average out what it would look like from the front? If you split the difference from the hairline to the collar on the little boy, you come barely 5 heads. His sister is foreshortened so all that wet hair may be throwing your eye off as far as width. The little one with mom, accounting for the chin on the front of the face is a bit under five heads. The width of all of them is much wider than an adults on the shoulders......

And you have brought me to one of my favorite techniques which I teach over and over! -ER! (not E R, but -er) Warmer, cooler, lighter, darker, duller, brighter, larger, smaller... etc. I may tell my next class to buy a drawing compass so we can work those relative sizes.

The demo explained how important value was in picture making. I am a firm believer, as a pastellist, that any color works just fine BUT it must be the proper value. These demos get their zing by using a middle value background... imperfect but NOT white. Using a toned ground, not matter the medium makes things easier. Cutting negative shapes of the proper value INTO the medium value starts the ball rolling. The silhouettes of the people were visible as soon as I started painting in the water..... by comparing values (and head sizes) you are using the organic rules of the painting, not so stuck on formula.

The head in children becomes problematic.

I did a workshop earlier in the month FOR children called "LOOK AT ME" and it was about finding the features and making a drawing based on yourself. The age range was from 6-12. That gave us a run of heads and I will say, not a one of them exactly followed any of the rules I had thought. Because they are always growing, the size of the head gets smaller proportionate to the body as they get bigger!

I appreciate your observation, and again these really photograph poorly at midnight, so you may be losing some of the edges in the pastel, but it was a good jumping off point for discussion. And I always believe you eye will tell you first where the problems are. THEN it is important to have some "rules" to use to figure out what is right and what is wrong in the work... or if you want to even use exaggeration for an effect! All is fair in love and art!

05-30-2010, 03:06 PM
Love all the technicalities, as I do not do figure work.

Although it is all wonderful, the woman's shorts are just beautiful. So simple, so complex. Maybe I'm drawn to them b/c they're green? ha

Good luck with your workshop. People will appreciate quality, even if it take a while. Check the hits on your website etc to see if they brought their interest home.

05-30-2010, 05:04 PM
I love your work! You are able to make the poses seem natural and flowing. Great stuff!

Good luck with the workshop!


05-31-2010, 05:48 AM
thanks for the lesson! I am always willing to learn.

having said that.....actually I wasn't worried at all about the kids' head sizes in the first pic, it was only the little girl with her mom that looked a bit small to me....rules or no rules......:evil: