View Full Version : Two pieces from a R. Carsten Workshop
05-24-2011, 02:17 AM
I wanted to share with you my recent workshop experience.
Robert Carsten, was invited once again by the local museum to do a workshop in Syracuse. I had already taken his workshop the year before, but decided to sign up for this one mostly because I wanted to get his opinion about some of my paintings.
I thought I was going to hear the same stuff as before, but he has a bag of tricks as big as Santa's sack! If he is invited next year, I'll sign up again!
He showed us a beautiful unfinished river scene of his and that piece prompted me to work on rocks, one of the subjects I have tried to avoid at all costs until now. The reference photos came from the WC library; thanks to JoanS for the first one and and to lisilk for the second one.
For the first one I used Richeson sanded paper in black, 11"x14". The coarse texture was perfect for layering pastel. I worked slower than usual, thinking every move beforehand. When I thought I was done Robert said that I was at a point where I needed to really slow down and start working on achieving more detail in the focal area. This was totally new to me, so I had to switch gears.
The second piece was done on w/c paper, 10" 1/2 x 9" 1/2, prepared with fine pumice gel and a mix of Golden's iridescent gold (fine) and orange liquid acrylic. I started it one hour before the final critique so it needs more detail.
C&C are always welcome.
05-24-2011, 08:08 AM
Both of these are really beautiful, Adriana! Looks like you found a lot of inspiration at this workshop. I love the texture in the rocks! You did great work on the river scene in a very short amount of time. No time for fussing! What areas will you keep working on? I hope you'll show us what it looks like when you finish.
05-24-2011, 08:21 AM
You are courageous to tackle your personal challenge with the rocks! As you continue, they may become one of your favorite subjects. I really like the rich color and painterly use of pastel in both. The river piece is strong for such a short time- you should be proud and pleased with all your work!
05-24-2011, 10:31 AM
Very impressivive Adriana! The first painting has such sparkle, and what you've accomplished in such a short time in the second one is equally impressive. It sounds like a fantastic workshop. Beautiful paintings, both of them!
05-24-2011, 11:29 AM
Ariana you did an Excellent job on the rocks, and your reflection of the rocks in the river are very good. Bill
05-24-2011, 11:51 AM
Two totally different looks both handled very well and your inclusion of the details re: time restrictions really gives us insight into what you can do in an alloted time. Like Donna, I am curious as to where you will take the second. Perhaps you will repost when it is done.
Bravo lady!! Cheers, Dianna
Adriana: These are spectacular. I love your color, especially warm playing against cool. The rocks are to die for. The second one has great movement.
Really nice Adriana.
05-24-2011, 07:22 PM
Beautiful!! wonderful colors throughout
05-24-2011, 07:54 PM
these are both well done! I find rocks to be a challenge!
05-25-2011, 12:14 PM
Thank you all!
The river scene is on my easel but I have not decided yet how to proceed.
I forgot to mention that Robert C. talked about using a counterpoint or accent color to create an area of interest other than the focal area, thus helping the eye move thru the painting. In the first painting the counterpoint is the streak of blue-green on the water. I'm not sure if the second painting needs an accent...
Donna, I was surprised at how easy the second scene went. Certainly some confidence was gained with the first one.
Ken,I see no point in going to a workshop and paint easy things. As you said, rocks might become a favorite subject. There are two quarries nearby...
Chris, It was definitely a good workshop. I'm very impressed with Robet's teaching ability. Is as if he knew exactly what each student needed and offered support accordingly. When he insisted that I continue working on the rocks it felt more like punishment at first- sometimes I do reach a point when I get tired and leave things as they are which is what almost happened here, so he made me go the extra mile.
Bill, The water is the only area where I did some blending with my fingers and with a pastel shaper. It's very hard to get smooth reflections otherwise.
Dianna, I'll definitely post the river scene when it's finished.
Derek, There was orange in the rocks in the reference photo. I must have use purple instinctively, but purposely stayed away from using pure white. Do you see the ladies in the rocks?:lol:
Nancy, Thank you!
fiannah, Rocks don't scare me now as much as they used to. It actually was more like lazyness on my part not wanting to paint them before.
Again, thank you for your comments!
05-25-2011, 12:17 PM
Stunning!!!! Both of them are stunning!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:
You really made the rocks glow and the colors and pastel strokes that are apparent make the eye roam over the piece.
I'm so impressed!!! You must be thrilled!!!
Love the choices of greens in the water on the top one especially.
And the lavenders...and golds... !!!
05-25-2011, 06:40 PM
:) Great work, and sounds like a wonderful workshop experiance. I have read about Carsten many times in different magazines etc., and know him to be a very informed and great teacher- - - as well as artist of very high leval. You should go as many times as you can to his workshops!! You are so lucky! but with your already talented ways with pastel, this can only add to your list of powers. Really really good work, and color.
05-25-2011, 11:25 PM
You definitely made the most of your opportunity! Two lovely paintings, and some valuable experience gained.
John Palmer Fine Art
05-26-2011, 02:38 PM
These are gorgeous paintings Adriana, beautiful colours in both too.
05-26-2011, 03:30 PM
Barb, NotherNan, John, Ida, Thank you guys!
Ida, I think Carsten will be invited back next year, and I'll keep on taking his workshops until I feel I'm not getting anything out of them. He and another local artist are the only people I've taken workshops with more than once, and I've noticed that what you get from each depends a lot on what goals you set out for yourself.
05-27-2011, 04:06 PM
it looks like you are not being a slave to the pix ,
and at the same time, finding nuance/subtlety ,
and that 'something' that holds the image together .
it's a gem that only glints, but is precious for that .
your marks appear fresh/crisp ... can the activity move around
by dulling the punch of the pastel crystals here and there ?
- almost a 3D thing ...
anyway, looks good !
05-27-2011, 05:03 PM
Stunning paintings!! The rocks are gorgeous and the water is wonderful, I'm very impressed by your work, love your colors and the movement of the water on the second piece.
Both excellent pieces, you have a lovely way with light.
05-29-2011, 05:21 PM
Ed, Etoiledusoir, Margaret, Thank you!
05-30-2011, 03:21 PM
Adriana: I find its really hard to come away from a workshop with something I'm really proud of because I'm trying new techniques and subjects. Your two pieces are beautiful. I love the river scene it looks so fresh and inviting. It doesn't look overworked or that you struggled with it at all. Thanks for sharing.
ps. I like your rocks too.
05-30-2011, 06:38 PM
Hi Merriel! So nice to see you here!
That workshop was the hardest simply because Robert made me work longer than I would normally have on the first piece. But it's not how many finished pieces you end up with, but what you learn after the whole process, and I have to say that I also learned a few things about myself.
Thank you for looking1
05-30-2011, 06:42 PM
Love the second piece. The running water has great movement.
05-30-2011, 06:49 PM
Thank you Brittany! I'm almost done with it and will post it again when I stop seeing things that need tweaking.
05-30-2011, 07:29 PM
They are simply fantastic! both of them and yet so different. The rocks really stand out and the gold stands out as little sprinkels of light shining through. fantastic works.
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