Sunday, May 17, 2015

Landscape Studies with Pastel (Day One)

I'm taking a weekend workshop with artist/instructor Linda Carey. Check out this Painting Perceptions link to see some of her work and on the side bar a Recent Comment by much admired BSSS artist/instructor Ron Boehmer on artistic process.

Day One: Linda asked us to duplicate a Degas pastel of our own choosing using a limited palette on toned Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper. I'll post my effort alongside the original when I finish it--a truly humbling experience. There's nothing you can attempt artistically that is more illuminating than copying a Degas. I've heard more than once that the best way to learn pastels is to copy Degas, and the best way to learn color theory.

Linda introduced us to one book in particular I want to add to my shelf, Degas: The Nudes by Richard Thompson available at Amazon--lots of beautiful images.

Two new things I learned about Degas on Saturday:

  • He liked to draw the figure on tracing paper and use it in multiple drawings/paintings.
  • He sometimes started a representational figure painting and later turned it into an abstracted landscape or totally non-referential abstraction. 

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