Glastonbury Arts

The workshop focuses on the importance of understanding light and color in creating the illusion of 3-dimensional reality – defining structure, applying pastel, and understanding the importance of proportion, perspective, and composition.

The morning of the workshop offers useful exercises in preparation for completing a portrait n the afternoon.  The first exercises illustrate the light condition and structure of colorful wooden blocks with background drapery, concentrating only on color contrasts – no detail or concern for proportion at this stage.   The class will then work from a simple still life, applying the same concepts with different shapes including rounded objects.

Clayton Buchanan, Portraits in Pastel

Clayton Buchanan demonstrates how to build a successful portrait in pastel.

Students will work from a live model in the afternoon – starting with a color study similar to that done with the still life setup, applying the understanding and techniques learned in the morning exercises.  

There will be a constructive critique of works during the final hour of the workshop, highlighting accomplishments and suggesting directions for improvement.

During the workshop, Clayton works along with students to complete the exercises and the portrait in the afternoon.  Explanation of procedure and answering questions will happen throughout the day.  Handouts will be provided.  Personal time will be spent with each workshop participant to assure understanding of key concepts and techniques.

During the workshop, Clayton will emphasize how to view the composition; how to apply pastel to indicate the light condition/color contrasts; and how different lights change color.  Students will learn the effects of illuminating subject matter with a warm incandescent bulb vs. a cooler daylight bulb.

Sisters, Pastel by Clayton Buchanan

Sisters, Pastel by Clayton Buchanan

Students will learn how to define and simplify structures into basic light and shadow planes.  Application of color will be broad (using the side stroke of pastels), massing in the general shapes of light and shadow planes, focusing on the basic overstated color contrasts of the composition.  Overstated color in the beginning allows for forcing the light condition; subtlety can be added later.   Light and shadow planes will be painted in color variations, not values – warm colors for light planes; cool colors for shadow planes. Accuracy of proportion and edges will be addressed after these basics are covered.  The importance of working over the entire painting surface will be stressed, always relating one color area to another.

Download Supply List for Workshop