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Heading Up The Valley - Video On Demand Soft Pastel Workshop
Today we are off for a little tramp up into the mountains. This is a little quiet valley where you follow a little ghyll up to the top of the valley to look at the fantastic view beyond.
Now if you have taken any of my other workshops you will realise that mountains are a passion of mine and as such play an important part in my paintings but lets face it they provide fantastic subject matter for us artists and todays painting is no exception.
This workshop is all about drama & atmosphere and how to get that into your work with as little fuss as possible. The painting itself does not have a fantastic amount of detail in it at all in fact it is a relatively simple painting but that is where it’s success lies as the painting is not about detail it’s about the drama & atmosphere.
WORKSHOP DURATION: 39 Mins 53 Secs
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Below you will find a list of the materials I used for this particular workshop including links to where you can purchase the materials if you wish to use exactly the same as me:
Although I have done my best to ensure that you have the correct colours indicated on screen throughout the workshop please note that these are for reference only.
Why? Well very simply you may not use the same brand of pastels as me (Unison Coloursoft & Conte) and even if you do you may not have all the colours that I have used in your collection.
The good people at Unison have very kindly put together some pastel sets for me containing the colours I list throughout these workshops which you can purchase on my website (links below) however I hasten to add here that unlike some other artist/tutors I do not expect you to be going out and purchasing a set of pastels just so you can take the workshop.
Please note also that very occasionally the colour I have used in a particular area of the painting may not actually be the colour I have listed on the indicator but will be a close equivalent. This is because the first thing I do when I get new pastels is to take all the labels of so very often I haven’t actually got a clue what colours I am actually using so all the colour indicators were added in the editing stage based on experience and in some cases a little guess work.
More importantly though I would much prefer that you adjusted the palette of colours to suit your own tastes enabling you to create something that is unique to you. Always bear in mind that the most important thing to pay attention to in a painting is the tones - not the colours.
So use the workshop as the guide I intend it to be and as a stimulant for your imagination and above all have fun!
(Please note that due to screen differences the colour indicator that pop ups at the top of the screen may differ slightly in colour to the actual pastel colour which is why I have included the colour code for you as well.)
The colours I used for this workshop were:
UNISON COLOURS: A49, A51 | BG6 | BV1 | CB2 | G6, G9, G11, G27, G28 WHITE | GN14, GN15, GN35 | LT5 | OB9 | Y9 | YGE16
CONTE COLOURS: BLACK
PASTEL PENCIL COLOURS: BLACK
I used Canson Mi-Teintes Touch paper for this pastel workshop and if you haven’t already would encourage you to give this fantastic paper a try - it’s lush!!
Not only does it hold an astounding amount of pastel allowing you to layer up to your hearts content but it also eliminates the need to use fixative which is something I discourage anyway as it kills the intensity of your colours.
With regards to paper colour I usually use a mid-tone paper which is as close to the local colour in the painting as possible. Local colour is a colour that is apparent all through the painting so for example if you were painting a picture of summer trees in a meadow the local colour would be a green of some description. If you were painting a snow scene the local colour might be either white or a light blue or purple.
Using a local colour for your pastel paper is a great idea as it saves you time and pastel as you do not have to constantly be going in and adding this colour with pastel because it is already there on your support.
That said if you prefer to use white or even a complimentary colour for your support then feel free to go ahead and do so - remember it is your painting!
These are some other bits’n’pieces of kit that I find it helpful to have to hand when I am working in pastel.
- Koh I Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencil Sets
- Pastel Pencil Sharpener or a Craft Knife
- Fan Brush & Stanley Blade - For removing excess pastel from your painting whenever you may need to
- A Small Box or Tray - This is to put the pastels that you are using in/on so you don’t lose them by putting them back into your pastel box. I have hundreds of colours in my pastel box and if you like me take the wrappers of your pastels then the chances of you finding the same colour again amidst all those pastels is fairly slim so it makes sense to keep them to the side when you are painting. This little tip can save you literally hours!
- Self Adhesive Framing Tape or Drawing Board Clips - This is to make sure your paper does not move about on your board whilst you are painting. I like using tape as it gives me a nice white edge around the painting when removed.
- Hand Held Hoover - Use this regularly throughout your session to remove excess pastel dust from your work area - pastel dust gets everywhere! A cautionary note here would be to make sure you don’t use it directly on your painting as you may end up sucking your painting up the hoover 🤣😂
- Tea Towel, Wet Wipes or a Damp Cloth and a Pack of Blue Tac - All in an effort to keep your hands as clean as they can be when working in this fantastic but very mucky medium.
- Water - This is for you! Pastel dust is very fine and gets everywhere including your gob so make sure you drink plenty of water. We should all do this anyway but even more so when working with pastel.
Need some kit? Here are links to some of the various materials that I use which you can purchase at a discount directly from me through my website:
Greg Howard Unison Pastel Sets: CLICK HERE
Canson Mi-Teintes Touch 350gsm Paper: CLICK HERE
Clairefontaine Pastelmat 360gsm Paper: CLICK HERE
Koh-I-Noor Gioconda Pastel Pencil Sets: CLICK HERE
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