Friday, April 20, 2012

Richard McKinley Ojai Pastel Workshop

The artist and the photographer
see the mysteries and the adventure of
experience in nature.

~Ansel Adams

In my life I have been blessed with some great teachers. Some I've gotten to work with for an extended period of time and others ... it may be brief, but just as impactful. This was the second year I've done Richard McKinely's 3 day pastel workshop in Ojai and once again I got so much out of it! Last year I missed my Italian midterm so I could attend!

He is so generous with his knowledge (both in technique and in theory) as well as with his time and energy. He is also very supportive of everyone in the group, regardless of where you land on the experience scale. If you are a pastel artist, I would highly recommend his workshops, (he travels all over) as well as his book Pastel Pointers. Can you tell I am a huge fan? :)

I wanted to run off with his pastel box. Just look at those yummy colors!!! Seriously though, I want a Heilman Box. They are the Mac Daddy, Ferrari of wooden pastel boxes. I cut out a picture of one from the Pastel Journal magazine and pasted it on my vision board. I am working on it!

Richard doing a demo the first afternoon in the Ojai Nature Preserve.

Getting in the big shapes ...

This is his sketchbook of Thumbnails. Good idea to make a small thumbnail to see how the composition will work before you commit to your field sketch. You can also see his value (light and dark) thumbnail and his "Notan" on the bottom left, which is the composition simplified down to only black and white. Preparation people!! ;)

please click to enlarge if you need to better see what's going on!

Getting into a little more detail ...

Finished field sketch ... The light was kind of crazy out there to photograph. It was a beautiful little pastel painting!
ta daaaaa!!!

Field Sketch by Richard McKinley

In nature there are few sharp lines.

~A.R. Ammons

Richard's pastel box again. Can't get over it.

That afternoon we did our own field sketches (I will share later) then the next morning he did another demo, a larger piece, working from his field sketch.

This time he worked on mounted Wallace paper and did a watercolor underpainting.

Check out this underpainting! It's already so gorgeous and yummy before he even puts any pastel on it!!

And here is the almost finished piece. I say almost because I think he added a couple of little things but it was pretty close to being finished. Sorry it's slightly blurry. If you ever get to see his work in person, it's absolutely gorgeous and the light sings! Sings, I tell you! It's as if light is emanating from the piece.

Pastel by Richard McKinley

To see more of Richard McKinley's work click HERE. Every year we have a little pizza and vino night and he does a slide show of his work. This piece HERE, is one of my favorite pieces! If you are interested in seeing my post from last year, out at Lake Casitas, click here.

His blog Pastel Pointers Blog is very informative, so if you are into pastels or plein air painting, definitely check it out!

Art will never be able to exist without nature.

~Pierre Bonnard


Ruthie Redden said...

How delicious, I always longed to work in pastel, but have only ever once been actually brave enough!I love the freshness of McKinley work, beautiful and those pastels - yum! ps: I loved your sharings of what brings you peace on my blog, thank you x

rjerdee said...

The colors in that pastel box look good enough to eat!

What a fun way to go...I always love watching artists work.

Tammie Lee said...

wounds like you had a wonderful time. looks like it too.
i am also drawn to your photos of his pastel box, all the shades of beautiful color!

Cobalt Violet said...

I felt the same with pastels. It was really helpful to have some guidance in, especially in the beginning! You are right about the freshness of Richard's work. It's always struggle to not overwork something!

Cobalt Violet said...

You are right! They do look good enough to eat! :)

Cobalt Violet said...

I did have a wonderful time. Funny how you can get worn out though by all the concentrating! Very inspiring few days.


very beautiful pastel lucinda ..i love popular trees're lucky to attended such an inspiring W/S...spring and garden photos all to be painted .

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Smithha said...

Are those chalks? Pastels are oil based right ? Can someone educate me on this plz ?
Curious coz I love colours