OVERALL ADVISE ON MATERIALS FROM STAN SPERLAK: Students spend far too much time with their supplies, carting in, setting up, breaking down etc. Consider what you are bringing, how important it all is, how it relates to the simple list of supplies below, and how much work it is to move and open up. Leaving pastels in 5 different manufacturers boxes is a recipe for organizational distress. You will be more worried about your supplies than creating art. Start with a box that you make up of a range of colors and manufacturers you know you use and enjoy.
Weather permitting, we will sketch and paint outdoors – so consider portability and comfort. See tips on plein air painting. Painting outdoors or from life, indoors, it’s all about speed, spontaneity, and exploration. The student isn’t expected to produce fully resolved studio works, on-site. The exercises we do are meant to train you for those masterpieces when you continue painting on your own. If you do find one working well, then by all means let’s finish it, but keep your mind open to learning.
In case we work inside due to inclement weather, bring some photographs of subject matter that you are at ease and enjoy painting. My reliance on photos is limited as we will sketch and do studies from our car if the weather is bad and return with them to the easel inside, as I prefer life or studies from life over photos.
Get ready to learn and have fun exploring!
As many soft pastels as you feel comfortable traveling with. Color range is more important than size of sticks. Devise a way to keep your pastels in one container so your access/set/up and travel is easier. Try to streamline your gear.
An assortment of papers mostly in 8×10/ 9×12 sizes. Fabriano, Wallis, la Carte etc, a few larger is OK. Canson board, UArt sanded paper, Dakota board, pastel boards, Art Spectrum, – your choice, all are fine.
Drawing pad or paper for notes and sketches.
Charcoal sticks/pencils and kneaded eraser, maybe some creta color or nu pastels if you have them. An old brush or two. Camera.
A back board slightly larger than your paper, white masking tape, clips, pins, and/or rubber bands to attach your paper to the back board.
A couple of extra pieces of foam-cor to place between finished works, slightly larger than your paper.
A small, lightweight easel is best. Another option is a small folding table and chair.
A knapsack or canvas bag to hold miscellaneous supplies.
A drop cloth in the event that we work inside due to inclement weather.
Optional supplies: Pre-made boards/grounds, specialty papers, isopropyl alcohol, fixatives, acrylics for under-painting raw sienna is nice, as are blues, grays and reds. A painting or two to share.
Personal comfort: Shoes that are comfortable and waterproof. Wipes for cleaning your hands. Medications/sunscreen/ bugspray/ hat. Water, a bag lunch, snacks.