Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First "Alla Prima" painting...

Just wanted to share my experience at yesterday's painting class at Visarts Richmond! Instructor, David Tanner, set up this simple (and exceptionally colorful) still life...

Then we all proceeded to "draw" with paintbrushes and the try to "nail" the color...all in under 3 hours! Here's my exploration of the still life and color...definitely not finished...in fact, barely a second pass. Aacck!! (Still life photo was taken from a slightly different angle than my view while I was painting, accounting for the change in angles.) 

I wasn't quite sure what I was doing...but I sure enjoyed myself and learned so much! David is so patient and really knows color!! I spent a really long time with drawing and underpainting...which, unfortunately, left very, very little time to really explore the subtle colors and plane changes within each color. I'll be working on that before next week's class! And that's it for me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've been busy...

...toning canvas panels in preparation for some color studies in oil!

...and putting together my brand new Mabef easel! Kind of tricky...and had to resort to watching a video on how to assemble! LOL! But I did it! I think it will be great for pastels...both in the studio and when it warms up and I can take my pastels outdoors!! (You can see the pastel painting I'm working on along with Alain Picard's "Painterly Portraits" video.)

And that's what I've been up to so far today. Once I get this portrait done, I'm going to start a new still life in pastels...using pastels w/alcohol as an underpainting (following Stephanie Birdsall's video)!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Alla Prima Oil Class

...just back from my first alla prima oil painting class with David Tanner...and I'm so excited!! I have only played around with alla prima (all at once; a.k.a. "direct") painting...but primarily I've been learning about glazing techniques inherent in the "indirect" painting method. David reviewed materials...and then moved right into his 3-hour demo, painting a fun and colorful still life set up. Here are some pics...
Today's "still life" set up

Block in & values

David reviewing his color palette

David adding some finishing touches before time's up!
The three hour class flew by! But I learned so much...and had such fun! I'm really looking forward to next week's class when we'll jump right in and do some painting!! The goal is to finish one painting/color study from life each week!!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Just a quick post...with a couple of pics of my newly organized pastels! I purchased three Dakota Traveler boxes...one large and two small. Here they are...all clean and organized!!

Terry Ludwig, Great American, & Unison...plus a few Diane Townsend in large box!
Girault, Holbein, and a some Nupastels in small box!

Plein Air Box...with Holbein and Sennelier soft pastels
And that's what I've been up to! Now to reorganize my studio so I can take best advantage of the light!! Until next time....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Anse Marcel Painting - Update

Just a quick update...as I continue practicing with all of my "delicious" new pastels! I'm still working on my painting of a favorite vacation spot for Gil and me...Anse Marcel, St. Martin, FWI. I'm using La Carte paper ground 12" x 15"...and a variety of hard & soft pastels...including Terry Ludwig, Unison, Sennelier, Girault, Holbein, and Nupastels and Richeson hard pastels.

I've been trying a number of techniques to avoid blending with my fingers...my favorite is a technique used by Stephanie Birdsall (I've been watching videos on Artist Network TV!). Instead of using fingers or foam for blending, I've been using Holbein soft pastels and hard pastels on their sides to very, very lightly blend!

I'm looking forward to trying Stephanie's underpainting technique too...using Holbein soft pastels and an alcohol wash!! Have I mentioned how much I love working with pastels?! ☺️

Ok...that's it for now. But I'll be back soon with pics of my pastel collection! I'm in the process of organizing them into my three beautiful Dakota a Traveler cases!!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Time for another update...

It's been a while since I've posted...so I thought I'd post an update of what I've been up to!! I'm doing a little oil painting...and have been working a bit with soft pastels! Here are some little paintings done using the Alla Prima method of oil painting...with floral still life set-ups in my painting class...

And a couple of pics of pastel paintings I'm currently working on ...
A "painterly" pastel painting in progress.
(I'm following Alain Picard's video "Painterly Portraits")

Pastel painting (in progress) of Anse Marcel, St. Martin, FWI
(From photo taken in Sept. 2014 when we were on vacation!)

So...until next time!