Pastel Painting: The Wet and Dry Way

We’ll start with charcoal and neutral-colored dry pastels and then move to mono-chromatic underpaintings, followed by exercises in full color pastel and wet media. Applying techniques such as stippling, hatching, weaving and layering, we’ll explore palette management, mark making, surface treatment and composition.

One of the most difficult skills associated with painting is that of choosing and mixing color. Working with pastel sticks affords the beginner and experienced painter alike the opportunity to combine colors that have already been mixed. With that advantage, the artist is free to experiment with the joys of mark making, color-mingling and layering to create luminous affects. By starting the process with charcoal and other monochromatic wet and dry media, painters will learn to compose stronger, more confident value groups in preparation for the application of pastel color.

Choosing colors from a pastel box is just the beginning of the process, however. The way the artist prepares the painting surface and then orchestrates the mingling and layering of colors atop that surface describes a richer and more complex goal. Through a consecutive series of exercises, this workshop will explore different types of full-color wet media underpaintings as foundations for stronger compositions. Whether painting abstractly or realistically, this approach will bring greater confidence while creating focal points and meaningful pathways throughout the pastel painting.