Monday, January 18, 2016

Pastel Society Workshops and events

One of the things I very much like about the national art societies that exhibit at the Mall Galleries is they always have a good range of events, demonstrations and workshops.

In February, the main gallery at the Mall Galleries will reopen after a major refurbishment and will be boasting a new energy-efficient heating & air conditioning system and more natural daylight.

The first two exhibitions to benefit from this will be:
Details of the workshops, events and demonstrations associated with the Pastel Society exhibition are now published on the website.

I've included a summary of them below - except I've added in links to websites and profiles and videos where available plus quoted how they like to work with pastels

Pastel Society Workshops

Events Page: a sample of the pastel workshops being held during the exhibition

All of the workshops:
  • take place between 11am and 5pm allowing people to travel to London from some distance. 
  • are priced at £60 for the day. 
  • Easels and drawing boards are provided by students are expected to bring their own pastels and drawing materials/supports. 

The tutors providing the workshops are all experienced artists and tutors and signature members of the Pastel Society.
I usually work from sketches made on site. I often take a Unison pastels colour chart, which I use to annotate my sketches with colour references. I also use a digital camera for back-up information, and for detail that I may have omitted to record at the time. I paint in soft pastel on either pumice paper, solid-core mountboard, to which I apply a coloured pumice surface, Sennelier pastel card or Canson paper.
My pastels are mostly worked onto mountboard using a watercolour or acrylic underpainting.

I draw and sketch from life, using pen and ink, pencil and charcoal. These works are often completed in-situ, then used to influence larger paintings, done in the studio.

Currently involved with teaching drawing and painting abroad and in the Berkshire area and tutor to the Medical Artists’ Education Trust at the Royal College of Surgeons, London
I prefer to make pencil, pastel, charcoal or graphite pencil over soft pastel drawings from different positions, if the eventual portrait is to be an oil painting. Sometimes these drawings are the main commission and so become a prelude to a more intensive study.
"The way I work is to launch straight in with colour, without any underpainting or other preparation that might interfere with my spontaneity and energy."

Pastel Society Art Event Evening

  • The Pastel Society Art Event Evening will be on 1st March - between 6pm and 9pm and is a ticketed event - with a glass of wine, live music and drawing.  Those attending can work alongside members of the Pastel Society.


All demonstrations are free with admission and in my experience the artists are generally very happy to discuss what they are doing, what sort of materials they use etc.

The artists giving demonstrations are:
  • 25 February 2016 - Ann Wilkinson PS her profile (b.1934, elected PS 2004) and website
Ann's aim is to produce a picture with an interesting surface pattern. She likes to achieve this with a composition that takes into consideration every shape, the objects and the spaces between. Ann uses a limited pallet and strong tonal variations to emphasise the overall unity.  
I use pastels rather like watercolour artists - by creating a pallet of colour and dipping into I using tissue paper and hands to apply the pastel. I use paper masks, all the time, rather like a screenprinter lays on different areas of colour. I love the blank sheet of card or paper and not knowing what I will end up with.
Roger will work on several pieces in order not to become to precious, and thereby more critical. In the studio he often uses sketches and photography to gain his first idea, and not to copy but to interpret.
  • 3 March Susan Relph PS See above for details of Susan. Come and watch her working, talk to her and find out more about portrait painting.

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