Beginning Pastel Painting

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Join Marla Baggetta for this dynamic introduction to pastel painting!

Students will have fun completing 3 small paintings and one large fun and simple piece while learning about color, style, value, texture, and overall composition.

Beginners will enjoy trying their hand at a variety of techniques, which will include layering, controlling edges, and adding texture and depth for an outstanding introduction into the possibilities of the medium.

Start Date:

November 6, 2012

Course Length:

4 weeks

Tuition:

$149.99

Instructor:

Marla Baggetta (bio)

View Course Schedule

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Course Materials (included with tuition):

  • Pastel Pointers by Richard McKinley with DVD
  • “Going for 100” by Marla Baggetta, October 2009, pgs. 56-61 (Pastel Journal article)
  • YouTube video by Marla Baggetta: Pastel Landscape Variation Demo

What You’ll Learn:

  • Organizing and care of your pastel materials and setting up your palette
  • Basics of layering and mark making in pastel
  • Use of color, value, and texture with this medium

Who should take this course:

  • Beginners
  • Anyone interested in learning to paint in pastel
  • Artists who have worked in other mediums and have an interest in adding pastel to their knowledge base

ART SUPPLIES YOU’LL NEED:

  • A basic set of pastels; a good starting point is the Paris 120 half-stick set
  • Additions would be Terry Ludwigs set of Intense Darks II
  • A range of cool grey NuPastels to make a grey scale
  • Three 9×12 sheets of your choice of white sanded pastel paper (the instructor prefers the Professional Wallis Sanded Paper)
  • One 18×24 sheet of your choice of white sanded pastel paper (the instructor prefers the Professional Wallis Sanded Paper)
  • A backing board that is slightly larger than the 18 x24 sheet of paper – this can be foam core board or gator board
  • A pencil
  • An apple
  • A 2 x 8 inch strip of white Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper
  • A single hole punch
  • Photo reference of a landscape for extra work
  • An object from your house or studio

Register

Course Syllabus

Session One

Reading & Viewing Assignment:
Read book intro and chapter one (1) and watch DVD

Homework Assignment: You’ll be painting your apple in pastel. Don’t worry too much about the lighting or setting up a formal still life; i.e. the table top, light source. Do choose a consistent viewpoint or eye-level.

• Make a floating box about ½ inch from the edge of your paper
• Draw lightly in pencil to fill the entire piece of paper with the apple
• Be sure to give yourself a base (see Session 1, Figure 1 for reference)
• Start with the local color of your apple, (just because it’s an easy place to start)
• Move fast to capture your apple with several layers of pastel
• Get your background and your base in quickly, (you don’t want to wait until the whole apple is finished, (see Session 1, Figure 2 for reference)
• Spend a maximum of 40 minutes on this exercise!

Think About:

• This is all about play and experiencing the pastels, so don’t worry if your apple doesn’t look like the one you are looking at for reference
• This is also about building a vocabulary of marks to use in your pieces. So, experiment! If you usually make small linear marks, try some big strokes with the side of a pastel. Ask yourself, “how many different kinds of marks can I make?” Make marks with the whole side of the stick and the tip of the stick. Pretend the sticks are brushes and see what they can do!
• Use some colors that your normally would shy away from!
• Don’t be precious with this; you are just playing in a lovely playground!

DON’T WORRY ABOUT YOUR DRAWING!!

Take a photo at this stage and submit your apple.

Session Two

Reading Assignment:
• “Going for 100” by Marla Baggetta, October 2009, pgs. 56-61 (Pastel Journal article)

Watch the Pastel Landscape Variation Demo

• Practice mark making with the pastels to really get familiar with what each brand can accomplish for you

Homework Assignment: You’ll be recreating a simple composition (from the instructor’s Variation series). This will allow you to focus on the process without any need to worry about coming up with a unique drawing of your own.

• Make a floating box about ½ inch from the edge of your paper
• Draw the landscape composition lightly in pencil, (see Session 2, Figure 3 for reference)
• Choose four pastels; a dark pastel for the tree shapes, a middle value for the foreground shapes, a light value for the sky and stream, and one for the background hillside shape
• Move fast to the block in the shapes with these four pastels using the whole side of your pastel sticks, thinking of them as brushes and the blocking-in like laying down a wash (see Session 2, Figure 4 for reference)
• Once you’ve gotten your block-in, begin to layer more pastels to achieve some lost and found edges, texture and variety of marks (refer to the Variation video)

Remember you are still playing and by simply copying my composition, you are free to focus on the process and the application of the pastels.

• Try some color combinations that you might normally shy away from – what have you got to lose?
• Try to limit your palette for as long as possible. Less is more. If you have 20 different pastels, that’s probably too many!
• Once you have the initial block-in completed, remember to use a variety 
of pressure to put down the marks

Submit your version of the Variation.

Session Three

Reading Assignment:
Read chapters 2 & 3 of Pastel Pointers

Homework Assignment (2 parts):

Part 1: Make a six step in a value scale in pastel lightest light to darkest dark using Nu-Pastels. Refer to the value scale on page 94 in your book but note that pictured here is a 10-step scale. The instructor suggests you simplify to six!

• Mark off your 2 x 8 inch strip of paper (see Session 3, Figure 5 for reference)
• Tape off the edges
• Fill box #1 with pure white. Be sure to completely blend each swatch.
• Fill box #6 with pure black
• Fill box 2 through 5 with even value steps using cool grey pastels from your palette
• Punch a hole in the corner of each swatch

Part 2: Use a 9×12 sheet of paper to paint a landscape composition
• Choose twelve pastels; two from each of the six value steps
• Using a simple composition (see Session 3, Figure 6 for reference), paint each shape in the composition using the pastels you choose from your palette
• If you are feeling ambitious, paint a landscape from your own reference using only twelve sticks.

Submit the landscape composition.

Session Four

Reading Assignment:
Read chapters 6 & 7 of Pastel Pointers

Homework Assignment:
Just like the apple but bigger, fill your page with the object. The instructor knows this is scary and might feel like a waste of paper, but trust her!

• Make a floating box about ½ inch from the edge of your paper
• Draw the object lightly in pencil
• Block in the predominant value and local color of your object
• Move fast to incorporate the background. You can only make judgments until you have the whole to make comparisons with.
• Once you’ve gotten your block-in, begin to layer more pastels to achieve some lost and found edges, texture and variety of marks
• Spend a maximum of 2 hours on this piece!

HAVE FUN!!

Submit the object painting.

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