Thursday, 12 January 2017

Valerie Briggs - Pastel demonstration

A misty start to the day
Valerie Briggs produced two different pastel paintings during her demonstration of atmospheric landscapes. 

Her first is shown on the left. Both this and the subsequent painting were produced without reference materials. She obviously has an excellent visual memory which, I'm sure, is the result of well developed observational skills.

Before starting she gave us some useful guidance on types of pastels and the various supports available and how well they held the pigment. It seems the "dreaded velour" sheds the pigment rather rapidly. The demonstrations were on Canson Mi-Teintes. Looking at the images of the second demo painting I can see that the right hand edge of the paper is lightly embossed with the brand name - probably not something you would want to show up in your work.

For more on her work go to 

The second demo painting showed us how to paint a wintry sunset/sunrise scene. The boxing hares were sketched with amazing speed and simplicity. Apparently it is the female hares that box. The painting was not finished at the end of the demo so there is only an indication of snow.

Although the works were not finished, we gained a lot of insight into how to work with pastel.

Here are some images showing various stages of her demonstration.

Blocking in well under way

A start has been made on the trees

The mist is forming - much done with hard pastel

This is the result

A light pink and a yellow starts the sky

Red added foreground started

Trees begin to appear

Hares drawn

The stopping point

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