I am delighted to announce that my book “Painting with Pastels” which had been out of print for a few months has now been re-issued in a new edition entitled “Start to Paint with Pastels“.
Painting with Pastels received some great reviews on Amazon and Artbookreview.net. but one of the few criticisms – that some of the step by step images were too small to see in detail – has been addressed in this new edition by adding 16 more pages and enlarging many of the stages. Students will really benefit from the colour chart which now shows the precise colour references.
Start to Paint with Pastels brings you a wide range of landscapes with a strong emphasis on creating interesting moods and lighting effects. It is more than just a guide to producing a copy of what is in front of you, or a photograph. Injecting strong colours really makes your paintings sing and you will learn a lot more methods to improve your paintings from these pages. You will also find many useful tips on painting flowers.
If you are starting with pastel or feel you need to refresh your skills you will find this new book will inspire you try a range of exciting techniques for painting landscapes and flowers in pastel.
Quotes from reviews of the new edition:
‘With pastel books being thin on the ground, any new edition is welcome and this is a rather excellent look at what the medium can do as well as a well-thought out manual on how to do it.'” Review of the previous edition by Artbookreview.net
Publishers review:- “The new edition of Jenny Keal’s popular book Painting with Pastels is an inspiring and creative introduction to painting in this medium. Focusing on soft (chalk) pastels, this clear, simple-to-understand book encourages you to explore the materials and methods needed to get started with pastels. Jenny begins by introducing you to a variety of techniques, and looks at sketchbooks and photographs as a way of gathering source material. There are then five stunning step-by-step projects for the reader to choose from, covering a range of subjects from flowers to landscapes and coastal scenes, and designed to build on the basic skills covered in the earlier sections of the book. Here you will learn about creating atmosphere, colour, tone, composition and perspective, and before you realise it you will have all the skills you need to create your own beautiful pastel paintings.”
Sometimes it is a good idea to take a completely different approach to a painting. I normally start by painting the sky, background hills and trees and then painting the focal point, finishing with the foreground. There are practical reasons for this, as it is easy to smudge a focal point that you are pleased with when painting the area above it.
However, in the case of the painting illustrated here, a cottage in the Preseli hills, Pembrokshire, I began with the focal point, then painted the sky and trees ending with the foreground. The surface I am using is Fisher 400 art paper which has been tinted with a purple ink wash. This gave me a dark background and allowed me to leave some of the surface unpainted giving a unity to the work.
By adopting this order of working I found myself working in a much looser way, for example adding the light between the branches of the trees instead of the other way around, and painting the trees around the buildings rather than painting the building over the trees.
So experiment with your approach to a painting and see what happens.
I will be running a Pastel Workshop in the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough on 4th August, 2016. If you are interested in enrolling please contact Edwina Pearce on 01672 512071.at the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough.
Cottage at Lynmouth, (Photo)
I know David has already blogged about this gorgeous old cottage in Lynmouth that we both sketched on our recent course for Alpha Painting Holidays but I cannot resist also featuring it in this, my first blog for some time. Circumstances have prevented me finding time to blog lately but it is time to rectify that.
Lynmouth (watercolour sketch)
Cottage at Lynmouth, Pastel by Jenny Keal
Those of you who know me are aware that old buildings in the landscape are my favourite subject and our recent trip to Exmoor gave me the perfect opportunity to seek out some of the best examples in the UK. This old cottage, perched high on the hill above Lynmouth harbour, seemed to almost grow out of the hillside giving it a timeless feeling.
The watercolour sketch I did included a number of the other cottages which descended the hill towards the harbour but for the final painting, which was done as a demonstration for the painting course, I decided to leave out the majority of the buildings and to focus on the one that interested me the most. The direction of the light in the photograph was confused by shadows cast by the trees so I decided to simplify things. The background and foreground were suggested with colour rather than detail.
I will be demonstrating a building in the landscape in pastel at the Sandpiper Studio on the Wirral on Friday 20th June, 2pm – 4.30pm, (scroll half way down the page for this event details) tickets are still available at £13 per head including refreshments from Julie McLean, booking details are here.
My entry for the Cox & Kings competition is finished.The final stage of any painting is a dangerous time. The temptation to put in every detail is great but it must be resisted. In the photograph which I posted on 28th October, (you can see this if you scroll back through my blog) there were a lot of trees and bushes so these have to be simplified. Also the hillsides were dotted with scrubby bushes but to include all of those would be spotty and distracting.
There was no obvious pathway leading the eye into the painting so I created one that led towards my focal point, the building. I had moved the building closer to the wadi so that it fell in a more pleasing location, directly below the main peak of the mountain and within the Golden Section. The strongest tonal contrast is on the building and I have added a figure, a Berber woman in bright clothing which I had found in my 1993 Morocco sketchbook.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this exercise and I want to thank Katie Parsons of Cox and Kings for inviting me to take part. It was the incentive I needed to get painting again after a long absence. I wish my fellow competitors good luck.
Yesterday I made more progress on my painting for the Cox & Kings Morocco competition: Stage 2 – Sky: When painting landscapes, I generally work from the top of a painting downwards. This serves two purposes. Firstly it helps prevent the heel of your hand smudging the work where it rests on the support and secondly it helps create a sense of recession. If you think of the landscape in terms of distance, the objects farthest away are usually lighter in tone, cooler in colour and less distinct. Translating this into the painting process means that you use paler, cooler colours in the distance and less detail. By working down the support you can remember that meme in your choice of colour and tone.
Stage 2 – Sky
Stage 3 – The mountains: The sky was painted down over the drawn lines that defined the mountain tops. This is to ensure that there are no gaps between the sky and mountains and also to give the impression that the sky is, in effect, behind the mountains. Sticking to cooler colours and pale tones, the mountains are painted with sharp edges in places and softer edges in others so that there is not a hard line all the way across the painting. Soft edged cloud shadows helps define the ridges.
Stage 3 – the mountains
The next step will be coming soon.