For someone who had never picked up a pastel before she did very well. She’d watched the demo from close up and heard the teacher explain about theÂ special typeÂ of card that they were using thatÂ day, because it had a slight tooth toÂ itÂ that would hold the pastel to it. TheÂ pastels were something she had never used before so she wasÂ interested to hear about them. The subject of choice for the day was a photo showing the sun going down over some dark mountains, with a lake in the foreground, reflecting theÂ early evening sunshineÂ as brightÂ seering white on the surfaceÂ of the water. In the foreground were dark leaves of an overhanging tree so there was a lot of black in the picture – the leaves, andÂ mountains,Â but as the teacher explained, that made the sun stand out more, as a dramatic contrast.Â And that was why they were using black mount card as their surface, since it did half the work for them. She listened, and asked questions, and heard one of the other pupils say “What you see when you look through someone else’s eyes!” and the teacher looked around at that personÂ with a questioning look. “What do you mean?” she enquired, puzzled. “I can’t see the colours you’ve put there, from the photo!”. The teacher looked around at it again, and stated “Well, I can see them all, that orange, the bright greens here, the yellow, the pale salmon pink, the pale blue, the darker blue” and the other pupil nodded in understanding, as they were pointed out to her.Â After the teacher had finished the short demonstration, starting with a completely blank piece of card and finishing the pastel painting within half an hour, she sat down infront of the teachers picture and the accompanying photo for reference, and did her own interpretation of the piece. Every so often the teacher looked over her shoulder to see how she was getting on, adding advice where it was needed and exclaimed admiringlyÂ to her “Oooh, that’s very impressionistic!” which she thought was probably the teacher being overly kind, but no, the teacher explained, she thought she’d done a great job with the picture, particularly since she’d never done it before! And loved the purple that she had incorporated in the picture by using greys and greens intermittently across the water. For a first attempt, it was excellent! She felt that as she left at the end of the session, that she might invest in a set of pastels like the teacher had got….
Here’s a pastel I’ve completed earlier this year, and love the freedom of instant colour that pastel utilises.