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Old 05-31-2019, 10:02 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

It's June 2019 - and it is hard to believe that The Spotlight began in February 2010 - Almost 9 1/2 years ago. And, alas, this is the finale.

As I'm sure most of you have noticed, the number of participants in The Spotlight - and on the forum itself - has been dwindling. And after 9 1/2 years, it's also no surprise that perhaps it is time for something new. Not that we have anything new waiting in the wings, but if there is enough interest in some sort of activity thread here in the pastel forum, please let us know!

When the Spotlight began back in 2010, I was one of three hosts, but within a few months I began to do them all! And it has been a wonderful experience! I have been very grateful for all the wonderful feedback - and the many nice folks I have had a chance to interact with. And while many of The Spotlights were simply posting a number of reference photos on a single theme, many of them did involve fairly complex lessons. We had Spotlights on doing underpaintings, on simplifying, on edges, values, atmospheric perspective, blocking-in, on each color of the color wheel...on pretty much every theme I could think of regarding painting. Many of those Spotlights can be found in our Soft Pastel Learning Center here:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=439

Here's a little confession...

I think of all the folks that benefited from these lessons, I think the one who learned the most was...me. It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach someone else. I agree. Sometimes I really didn't think I had the knowledge to do a lesson on a certain subject, so I had to learn as much about it as I could. Then I had to organize my thoughts in order to create lesson for the Spotlight participants. Quite frankly, I learned a lot! I hope others did too!

While I have learned much in my time as host of The Spotlight - and here on WetCanvas in general - perhaps the most important lesson I learned about painting was how the color of the light influences the colors of the objects in a scene. Before that, I was always of the opinion that - as the saying goes - as long as the value is right, you can use any color.

If you've read that in some (or many) art how-to books over the years, please forget it! At least if you are someone who wants to use realistic color. When I learned about the importance of the color of the light, it made me realize why my landscapes up to that point (and we're talking about over 20 years of painting) just didn't look right! So, of course, I did a Spotlight on the subject!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=927533

Of course, others may find the subject of little interest - and find other subjects to be far more important! If you are fairly new to the Pastel Forum, I would definitely take some time to check out the Learning Center linked to earlier. Not only are The Spotlights there, but other very informative threads as well, by many folks far more experienced and talented than I!

Before I get too nostalgic and teary-eyed, let me leave you with a few photos that I have taken this Spring - a few final reference photos from The Spotlight!











Thank you all for the past 9 1/2 years of Spotlights!

Don
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:35 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Don I'm really sad to see this go....and to think you didn't reach 10 years! I had hoped to get my mojo back and try again...who knows...It might just be the right time...it's 2 years, on the 10th, since my beloved husband died...and I will try to do your last one in honour of Andrew.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:40 AM
kcwhitney kcwhitney is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

I am sorry to see this go, Don. I will miss this feature very much. Your reference pictures are all so beautiful, and perfect to experiment with. I understand that participation has been down lately on this thread, as well as the whole darn site. It is unfortunate. Luckily there is such a wealth of information from past years, it remains a good reference site for me. I can't think of anythng better in any media.

Again, all your pictures are just great, but I haven't participated as much as I wanted to, as I have spent more of my time working from my own (inferior) photos. My instructor is strongly recommends we work from our own reference works, and I can see that creating the original photo is a big part of the composition in the final work. There is only so much time.

I have looked forward to this thread every day, and will miss it. Please keep the olds one available in the reference section of the site.

I have had one question I have been meaning to ask you for a long time. What do you use for lighting still-lifes, to get a good tight focused spot? Everything I have tried just floods the whole scene with light, and blows out any shadows. Those great daffodils in this month's offerings (although clearly shot outside) are such a good example of terrific lighting. You seem to be able to capture that on shots done in a studio.

Again, thank you for all of the time you have put in to this feature. I hope you will still check in on the site. Your insight has always been valuable.
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Old 06-01-2019, 12:53 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Deirdre*
Don I'm really sad to see this go....and to think you didn't reach 10 years! I had hoped to get my mojo back and try again...who knows...It might just be the right time...it's 2 years, on the 10th, since my beloved husband died...and I will try to do your last one in honour of Andrew.

Deirdre, Thanks for your encouragement over the years! Yes, it can be very difficult to resume painting after such an emotional loss. After my nephew was killed in an accident in 2012, I didn't paint again for a few years. You'll know when you are ready.

Don
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:01 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcwhitney
I am sorry to see this go, Don. I will miss this feature very much. Your reference pictures are all so beautiful, and perfect to experiment with. I understand that participation has been down lately on this thread, as well as the whole darn site. It is unfortunate. Luckily there is such a wealth of information from past years, it remains a good reference site for me. I can't think of anythng better in any media.

Again, all your pictures are just great, but I haven't participated as much as I wanted to, as I have spent more of my time working from my own (inferior) photos. My instructor is strongly recommends we work from our own reference works, and I can see that creating the original photo is a big part of the composition in the final work. There is only so much time.

I have looked forward to this thread every day, and will miss it. Please keep the olds one available in the reference section of the site.

I have had one question I have been meaning to ask you for a long time. What do you use for lighting still-lifes, to get a good tight focused spot? Everything I have tried just floods the whole scene with light, and blows out any shadows. Those great daffodils in this month's offerings (although clearly shot outside) are such a good example of terrific lighting. You seem to be able to capture that on shots done in a studio.

Again, thank you for all of the time you have put in to this feature. I hope you will still check in on the site. Your insight has always been valuable.

Thanks for the kind words! And, yes, I normally would also recommend working from your own photos, so don't feel obliged to work from mine! In fact, I am in the process of doing my first how-to painting video for YouTube (it's not pastel, but oils) and I do a long speech on recommending using your own reference. If you want to enter shows, it is almost always one of the rules. And you will feel more satisfied knowing that every part of the process - including the composition - is yours.

As for shooting still lifes?... Alas, I think most of the still lifes I used in the Spotlight over the years were probably photos from our reference library! I have no flash or lighting system, so all my photos are done in natural light for the most part. For outside shots, hazy sunlight is usually better than strong direct light. Probably true for studio lighting as well.

Don
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Old 06-02-2019, 12:36 PM
ColorEnthusiast ColorEnthusiast is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

A bit sad, but not really astonishing. It was getting very quiet here in the last months.
Thank you Don for all your great spotlight lessons.
For me this learning add on made the difference to all the other challenges in wetcanvas and was the reason why I began to participate here. And there were a lot of interesting themes.
For me it was also getting more and more important to work from my own references and try to put in what I had learned here.
So my contribution this month is meant as thanks to Don.
Sunset, hard pastels and pastel pencils on Mi teint touch (30x42cm)



C&C always welcome

Esther
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:20 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorEnthusiast
A bit sad, but not really astonishing. It was getting very quiet here in the last months.
Thank you Don for all your great spotlight lessons.
For me this learning add on made the difference to all the other challenges in wetcanvas and was the reason why I began to participate here. And there were a lot of interesting themes.
For me it was also getting more and more important to work from my own references and try to put in what I had learned here.
So my contribution this month is meant as thanks to Don.
Sunset, hard pastels and pastel pencils on Mi teint touch (30x42cm)



C&C always welcome

Esther
Beautiful, worthy last piece!
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:29 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Esther, your painting is a wonderful tribute to all of Don's hard work. Don, everyone appreciates all the time you have spent sharing your vast knowledge and searching for new information to inspire us. I think we all wish you had been our teacher when we began our art journey.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:22 AM
kedwards kedwards is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Esther, the picture is beautiful!

Don, thank you for all you have done here over the years. Although I'm an inconsistent attendee on the WC site, the Spotlight is always one of the first things I check. I have also gone through many of your old spotlights in the archives. I will miss it very much and am thankful that there will remain a treasure trove of information, great memories, and a large number of appreciative artists (probably far more than you even realize)
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:50 PM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorEnthusiast
A bit sad, but not really astonishing. It was getting very quiet here in the last months.
Thank you Don for all your great spotlight lessons.
For me this learning add on made the difference to all the other challenges in wetcanvas and was the reason why I began to participate here. And there were a lot of interesting themes.
For me it was also getting more and more important to work from my own references and try to put in what I had learned here.
So my contribution this month is meant as thanks to Don.
Sunset, hard pastels and pastel pencils on Mi teint touch (30x42cm)



C&C always welcome

Esther




Thank you so much for the kind words! Absolutely lovely painting!


Don
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:51 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by water girl
Esther, your painting is a wonderful tribute to all of Don's hard work. Don, everyone appreciates all the time you have spent sharing your vast knowledge and searching for new information to inspire us. I think we all wish you had been our teacher when we began our art journey.

Thanks, Karen!
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:53 PM
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DAK723 DAK723 is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by kedwards
Esther, the picture is beautiful!

Don, thank you for all you have done here over the years. Although I'm an inconsistent attendee on the WC site, the Spotlight is always one of the first things I check. I have also gone through many of your old spotlights in the archives. I will miss it very much and am thankful that there will remain a treasure trove of information, great memories, and a large number of appreciative artists (probably far more than you even realize)


Thanks, Kim!

Yes, there is a lot of good information in all of those old Spotlights, if I do say so myself! So, even though the Spotlight is ending, people can still go to the old ones for years (hopefully)!

Don
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:20 PM
ColorEnthusiast ColorEnthusiast is offline
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Thank you for all the kind comments Deidre, Karen, Kim and Don.

It was always a very supportive place here.

Esther
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:38 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColorEnthusiast
Thank you for all the kind comments Deidre, Karen, Kim and Don.

It was always a very supportive place here.

Esther

Yes, I must say that the Pastel forum has been - and still is - one of the friendliest, most supportive forums around. So, we hope to continue to see your beautiful paintings over in the Soft Pastel Studio and Gallery!

Don
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:39 AM
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Re: The Spotlight - June 2019 - Finale

Esther, that is a stunning sunset! Hopefully it represents not just an ending but the promise of another day.



Don, the lessons each month were wonderful to so many and I always learned something. Thank you for the time it took to prepare them and many thanks for hosting this activity for so many years!
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