Thursday, January 30, 2014

Workshop Wrap Up - Terry Ludwig Pastels, Littleton, CO

Earlier this week I returned from a two-week visit to Colorado, which included a family ski trip in Winter Park, a few days of plein air painting with artist friends in Longmont, Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder, and teaching a three-day pastel workshop at Terry Ludwig Pastels in Littleton. I came home exhausted...yet energized! I just now had a chance to post some tidbits from the pastel workshop...

Following below are my three demos from the workshop...

Bright Spot, pastel, 11x14

Farm Road Curve, pastel, 11x14

Snow Covered Marsh, (100-stokes) pastel, 6x8

With "Bright Spot" I described my basic method for composing my painting and how I construct my thumbnails.

On day two, we did the "five-shape landscape" exercise, and I began "Farm Road Curve" by blocking in only five shapes to start the painting.

We practiced minimal stroke exercises on the last day. After some warm-up 20-stroke exercises, we painted small landscapes using no more than 100 strokes. "Snow Covered Marsh" was my minimal stroke demo.

There were several accomplished pastel artists among the students in this workshop. As they were blocking in their five-shape-landscape paintings, there were several very strong examples of well designed foundations, so I snapped a few shots. Most of them adhered to the 5 shapes. Some of them went with the "5ish shape" method, which still works. ;-) I hope they don't mind me posting them here.

Student examples of 5-shape block-ins:

Next month I'm off to Akron, Ohio (Feb. 26, 27 & 28) and then in March in the Chicago area (Mar. 14, 15 & 16), both pastel workshops. Last I checked, there were a few spots still left in Akron, but I believe the Chicago workshop is full.


  1. Your demo paintings are so beautiful, Barbara! Thanks for showing examples of the five-shape block-ins. Some of them look like they could be the beginnings of very interesting abstracts!

    1. Thanks, Donna! I like your comment about the student examples looking like abstracts. That's the idea behind the five-shape start to the landscape paintings...they should look like strong abstract designs before the subject matter is defined.

  2. Very nice and practical ways to teach. Often I start a painting upside down to focus on the shapes. The student examples are beautiful in their own right. As an artist and designer, much like yourself, these are great ways to break it down so the whole is covered first then the details fall into place. Love your work Barbara!