Thursday, September 19, 2013

Garden Path at Baltimore Woods, 12x9"

Garden Path at Baltimore Woods, pastel on board by Adriana Meiss
   This is the second painting I did during the Carsten Workshop early this month.
   I wanted the yellow grasses at the end of the path to be the focal area (highest contrast).  The hardest part was painting the cone flowers at the bottom. I wanted them to be distinctive but without much detail.Again, I used one of my own boards.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Green Gate, 12x9

The Green Gate, 12x9 pastel on board
   Last week and for the third time, I took a 3-day workshop with Robert Carsten.  He is in my opinion the best pastel instructor I have worked with.  Most students leave happy with what they have learned, feeling they have achieved something. The amazing thing is that he seems to teach something new each time.

   Since the workshop was taught at Baltimore Woods nature center in Marcellus, NY, I took the opportunity to paint outdoors. The painting above was my first one and the main purpose was to explore value contrast. It was also a good way of learning about color temperature in the foreground and how one can mix different colors in order to bridge the cool and warm areas.

   Fearing I wouldn't get some Ampersand boards on time for the workshop, I decided to make my own:
I bought a 4x8' tempered masonite sheet for about $13 and had it cut at the store in sections of 10" (for 8x10 boards) and 12" (for 9x12 ones).  At home I cut them in the sizes I needed by scoring both sides of the board. I also used a plain to remove the fuzzy edges. After giving the boards 2 coats of gesso on both sides I  applied a coat of Colourfix primer to the painting surface. I used a sponge brush because it leaves fewer streaks than a nylon brush, but in any case, the board can be sanded afterwards to remove any ridges. Doing this doesn't take too long, saves money, and you end up with a good surface in the sizes you want.