Exhibits

Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 908 Main Street, Bastrop Texas 512 581-1799 http://artconnectionsgallerybastrop.com/


See additional work on my website

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review of Pastel Class, December 9

This post is a review of the class I taught at the Bastrop Fine Arts Gallery, December 9.  I alternate months with Enid Wood enidwood.com 

The coming schedule:
January, watercolor under paintings with Enid Wood
February, how to edit pastel paintings, they are more durable than you think, with Jo Castillo
March, pastel underpainting fixed with Gamsol with Enid Wood
April, landscape paintings from photos with Jo Castillo
May, pan pastel under painting with Enid Wood

More info on the tab for Pastel Classes above.

Turning on the Light


How to turn on the light in a painting:



Class notes:
  • Start with pure color, no gray (reserve gray for the distance and some shadows, it makes the brights, brighter)
  • Use dark against light, light against dark, values
    Squint to find mid-tones, they are darker than you think

  • Natural light is cool with warm shadows and softer edges
    Close to sun the colors are warmer and lighter
    As you move away from the light it goes warm to cool and light to dark

  • Artificial light is usually warm with bold cool shadows and harder edges
    Fluorescent light flattens your objects

  • Still life is more dramatic with the dark where the light is coming from and lighter where the light is going.  This puts your light against dark automatically.

  • Use a consistent direction of light

  • Using a color wheel, a value finder and other tools can be helpful.

     

Johannes Vermeer - Young Woman with Water Pitcher

In Black and White
You can see that the Vermeer painting is just as dramatic in black and white.  It comes from the use of light and dark as mentioned in the notes.  Usually is helps to keep the dark areas connected.  If you squint you will see that in this painting.  If you take her hand off the window the light of her cape is against the light of the wall and it is not as dramatic.

I used the apples I painted in the last class for my demo:

 My original painting.

In black and white.
You can see that the values of the red and blue are very similar.  They stand out in color, but disolve into each other in black and white.


I used my Photoshop Elements to change the blue background and that helped some.  It is still not too dramatic.



I then used a dark green behind the apple on the left and a bright green on the right.  Quite a difference it makes.  In real life it was fun to see the immediate change.  The body shadows on the apples should be darker.  We ran out of time.

We then worked on a painting in class.

The models.

The start of my painting.  I will not finish it, but it was good practice.

I like this painting I did plein air this past summer.  My values are just about right!




Pump House
Pastel on U-Art paper, 17 x 13 inches
If you can, check a few of your paintings on your computer or put a value finder over them and see how they pop!


Painting "rules" help you get started in painting. They are really just guides.  Practice, practice, practice will help you find your style and your own rules.

3 comments:

Bag Blog said...

I was thinking the blue background was close in value to the apples. It was a good lesson to change the background and see the difference in the black and white. I love the painting from NM.

Joanna said...

I like the pump house painting too!

Jo Castillo said...

Bag Blog, for me the value lesson is good as I like color so much and forget value. I need to stop and look at a painting in black and white.

Joannna, thank you. It is my favorite painting from the summer. It will be framed and in my February show.

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About Me

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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