So last week was my first “Power of Pastel” Workshop at Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

We had a full class and I was honored to have many attendees travel from Toronto, New York and Philadelphia to attend. Yay! Go me!

Here is a rough recap from the three days…

The first day we spent painting still lifes set up in a single light source- Why? Well, because a painting is basically “building a lie” – we are creating something – (a portrait, landscape etc) and “breaking the picture plane” – creating a 3-D illusion on a 2-D surface. The best way to do that? Understand light completely – how it acts, what our brains are wired to understand about space and then render that light to represent reality.

Once we understand light on something simple like a ball- (ha! simple!) then we can begin to understand how light acts on the complex topography of the human head.

Day two saw us recreating our “find the light stage” (in yellow) with our awesome models.

Day three was all about color. Looking INTO color and interpreting it… don’t have the right color? Well, that seems to be a curse with pastellists, right? Never the “right” color, but do we need the perfect color to create something beautiful?

We found ways to exaggerate color and see INTO it. Then slowed down and really looked at what we were painting… can we put those colors onto the form without breaking the law of light?

Here is my travel box and a few of my paintings in the background.

Whew! Workshops are intense, but I had so much fun. Although when I am done with a workshop I am lucky I can say my own name. I channel 110% of myself into teaching. I know of no other way. It was my pleasure and honor to work with so many fun and dedicated artists… a few of their pieces are below.

Until next time!