Thursday, October 17, 2013
Part 3, of My Review of Tom Christopher’s Workshop
The second day of the workshop Tom Christopher did a demo of snow. He gets to see a great deal of snow in Iowa. Since we don’t have much snow here, I painted from one of his many reference photos.
He started again with a very simple sketch. He didn’t rush, though, and put his plan down on his paper. He used U-Art sanded paper.
Without using any pure white, Tom worked toward a finish. By the way, Tom puts his paper and canvas on a wall at home to work upright. He has a door on the wall and uses that for his easel. It is good to work upright or even tilted a tiny bit forward so the pastel dust falls off your work. He says it gives him more room to step back and look at his work. (I always stand to paint when I can. I have more movement and can move back and forth so I don't get stuck in one place and start to over work any section. It is good to look at the work upside down or in a mirror, too. I take snapshots and look at them in black and white and flip them around on my computer.)
We then worked on our paintings with much individual help from our instructor. He has a great deal of patience and tunes his help and critiquing to fit the artist. He was very encouraging to the beginners and helpful with those of us that had painted before.
Here are a few more from the day. Some of us did more than just two a day working from his photos and personal photos.
Day three, we convinced Tom we needed a third demo. He painted a path in the woods and some rocks. Demonstrating that to lightly scumble different colors of the same value into the different areas, he could then use the various shapes to pull out the trees in the background, leaves on the path and the rocks. It was helpful to paint the rocks that way with just a few marks instead of trying to “draw” the different rocks.
After lunch our instructor critiqued paintings. He offered to do them individually or in front of the group. We chose having our work talked about in front of the group. Each of us could ask questions and learn from the other artists.
And finally my snow painting.
I like the light in it very much. Tom really liked how the snow drifts just worked themselves out in the scumble technique. This painting is 24 x 18 inches on Wallis paper. Very large for me. I really enjoyed spreading the pastel dust around so freely. I must do some more large work. Wallis paper has a lot of tooth and was good for the light scumble technique. It will make your fingers bleed if you are an artist who blends pastels with your fingers. It can eat up your pastels, too, if you use a heavy hand.
It isn’t practical to get too much larger in pastel. Glass and backing get very heavy. Frames get very expensive, especially if you don't work in standard sizes. Perhaps I will look into acrylic glazing. I do have some non-glare acrylic on my Ollas painting. It works, but doesn’t show the luminosity as well as museum glass in my eyes. It is a bit pricey as well.
The workshop was well worth it. Lou (Bag Blog with link to her post) and I had such a great time and we even learned a bit. Gene and Toby had fun. It was great to see David and Lisa and get my new shelf for the niche.
My funk seems to be on the run or more like slipping away. I have painted the cows since we got home, finished the apple painting which I haven't posted here yet and worked on the first painting we did at the workshop. I think it is finished. I will post those two paintings soon.
I'm working on a donation for the Family Crisis Center Gala. It was the Festival of Trees in past years. It is a beautiful fundraiser. I will tell you all about that, too.
I’m having fun in my studio again! Woohoo!
- Jo Castillo
- Bastrop, Texas, United States
- I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los Niños. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill
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