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Class Demostration

Teaching pastel painting has been my joy for the last twelve plus years. Living both in Florida and now in the Richmond, Virginia area, I have learned so much from my students and from the demonstrations I have given. For the students’ benefit I started doing demos in the last few years to show different methods and styles of working.

My “bag of tricks” consists of several brands of pastel pencils, mostly Carb-Othello and Conte and soft pastel sticks from the harder Nu-Pastels to softer brands like Sennelier.

In the shown demonstration paintings from classes you will see portrait, still life and nature paintings. Normally I work from my own photos, and NEVER from magazine pictures, but there are a few exceptions.

“Venice Secrets” - The class wanted to see architecture in a painting.

“Storm Front” - Painting luminous clouds is harder than you think.

“Still Life With Copper” - Copper seems so hard until you try it.

“Jazz” - Every now and then I have to review how to do animal fur, and this was a beautiful cat to paint.

“Copper And White” - painting white without using white was the challenge for this painting.

“Waterfall At Maymont” - class wanted to watch me paint water.

Lisa, pastels, 14”x18” This figurative painting was done to demonstrate arms and legs – and, of course, it’s nice to have a face and body go with them. For some reason the class was particularly taken with the sofa cushions.

Syncopation Iris, pastels, 8”x8” Painted on white sanded paper, I underpainted the background with blue and the iris with red to add depth to the background and vibrancy to the flower. I did not finger blend, but let the sticks do the work for me.

Ginter Japanese Gardens, pastels, 11”x14” With a warm underpainting on white sanded paper, the colors seem to glow. There is red peeking out here and there, which adds to the energy of the colors.

Evening Walk, pastels, 11”x17” This painting, on Canson paper, demonstrated working over a workable fixative sprayed underpainting. I decided to put the original reference photo aside and make the painting moody. The egret in the corner was added at the last to balance the painting.

The painting “Hopenhagen” was from a magazine photo that I couldn’t resist. The woman was shown with a white background, but for the painting, black was more dramatic. It was completed mostly with pastel pencils, Carb-Othello and Conte brands on black pastel paper with no background color added.

The photo for “Marina” was supplied by a friend, and the demo featured working small on a mostly square format.

“Shelley’s Rocks” was painted from the photo one of my students supplied so I could demonstrate rocks and water.

“Thanks Roz” was painted from life in class from an arrangement one of the other teachers had created. The flowers and bucket were painted on dark green paper with no background color added except for the shadow grounding the composition.

Also in class “Glass and Grapes” demonstrated painting grapes. To show the texture of the cloth, I used the rough side of the pastel paper and glazed over it lightly with greys, violets and white.

“Bess’ Table” was painted to demonstrate cloth and metal.



“Venice Traffic Jam” and “Venice Sunset” were both class demonstrations from photos I had taken. The sunset painting is loose, but captures the skyline of Venice from the bay. The traffic jam was painted loosely but tighter to get the feeling of the buildings and the distance from front to back.

I love painting horses, and “Polo in Blue and Gold” was supposed to be loosely painted, but I worked enough detail in to make it realistic.

“Patience” was photographed in the factory district of Richmond, and I did a colored pencil drawing of it in that setting. But for the class demonstration I used a photo of a cloud that I liked and invented the background and stone wall.

“Autumn Leaves” was painted from a photo taken in a local park. The class thought the original photo was boring, but it did come out colorful.

“Finder’s Keepers” - this painting demonstrates how one can accentuate or deemphasize a subject by the way you use color and value changes.


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