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Old 04-06-2012, 10:59 AM
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aguiar11 aguiar11 is offline
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Oh and Mollerman...I completely the agree. The alizarin crimson oil stain is showing through a ton in the foreground, which is a bit much. I was attempting to let as much show through as possible esp to create the warmth in foreground, but I do see now that I need to tone it down a bit.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:27 AM
Emmabear Emmabear is offline
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

these are wonderful!! i love the distance in the second one, i want to gaze at it for hours!!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:45 AM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Nice job. I've been to his workshop in the past as well and your assessment of him is dead on. As to the underpainting on the second one. Hey, it's a learning experience to get down what works for you. Richard will (has) told you that himself.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:45 PM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

These are really wonderful, Jacob. Beautiful work.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:01 PM
cchapin cchapin is offline
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Very, very nice. I love the looseness and the wonderful colors. Would love to hear more.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:36 PM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Beautiful work, it sounds like a wonderful workshop. I have a friend that has taken workshops with him, she highly recommends it also. He sounds like a first rate teacher. I'd love to hear more about your plein aire experience and his approach to field sketching. I also find it overwhelming, there is so much information to absorbe and distill.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:41 AM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Hey everyone,

I thought about it and figured I should ask Richard before I post anything just to be sure. I have a post written up with photos...is there anyway to save a post to add later? I'v already contacted him so I'm just waiting on the response
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Old 04-07-2012, 10:57 PM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Ok, sorry everyone for taking so long. Richard just responded. A special thank you to Richard for his generosity and letting me share this with everyone. So I'll break it down into steps like he does. There's no magic here, but it gives you a place to start and markers along the way.

1- Set up your easel under shade or use an umbrella to block the sun. He recommends using a black backing board, to absorb light rather than the white board which reflects most of the light right back into your eyes. This affects your perception of color and the pastel choices you'll make. Choose a subject you feel you can complete in about an hour (for a field sketch, not necessarily a finished plein air piece, but something you could work from back in the studio). He likes 6x9 for this practice, and especially likes using Wallis Belgian Mist, but any mid-value paper would work well.

2- Do a series of three thumbnail sketches. These should be 2x2 or 2x3 max, they're here to get the basic shapes and composition down. The first sketch is a pencil value sketch where you block in the basic shapes and shade them to the correct value. The second sketch is a value map. He uses three Tombow marker pens (N15,N55, N75). Now simplify the initial drawing into these 4 values (including white of paper). He starts lightest and progresses to darkest value. The third sketch is a basic notan, or black and white sketch. Basically here, anything with a value above 5 is white, and below 5 is black. Do you like the basic composition? If yes, you proceed to sketching on your 6x9 paper.





3- Use your thumbnail sketch, and the scene in front of you when needed, to do a contour drawing of your scene on the 6x9 with soft vine charcoal. Once again, you're looking only for the big shapes: large tree shapes with the largest sky holes drawn in, mountains, bodies of water, etc.



4- Block in those larger shapes with harder pastels if possible. Use softer pastels if you don't have the right color. Here you're trying to get the value and color close to what you see and consistent with your value map.



5- Use a Viva paper towel or a piece of pipe insulator to push the pastel into the paper. You want the entire paper surface to be covered. By time you're done with this step, the pastel should be very dreamy with soft edges all around. Be intentional with the direction of your strokes and maintain your composition and large shapes here. This is where Richard says you have to "make it, break it, and then make it again." We're momentarily breaking it by blending the underpainting.



6- Go back in now and reestablish your darks. Richard proceeds from dark to light. You're basically ready to resolve the painting now.



And voila you have a masterpiece:



*He suggests that you use the real life scene and your value sketch to do a majority of the field sketch. There comes a point though where you have to listen to the piece in front of you and do what it needs. You could even turn your easel away at this point.

This is distilled down to include the major steps. I hope this is helpful to those that are similarly plein air challenged.

Last edited by aguiar11 : 04-07-2012 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:32 PM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Thanks so much for the steps. Very valuable information. And your painting is really nice.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:59 AM
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Re: A few Pastels Done at Richard McKinley Workshop 4/2-4/4

Thank you Aguiar11 and a huge thank you to Richard as well. I look forward to giving this a try.
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