Introduction to Pastel, Wednesdays, February 23-March 23, 6-8 p.m.

In this five week course, we will explore the tools and techniques of soft pastels. Soft pastels have both qualities of painting and drawing media, and they can make both linear and painterly marks, with vibrant colors, but unlike paints, pastels do not require any drying time. In this class, we will explore pastel techniques such as:  scumbling, broken color, optical mixing, gradients, and side strokes on a technique board. The class will be divided up into class sessions, in which we study the elements of art, value and color to create a realistic apple still life. Within the context of simple exercises, such as color wheels, gradient scales, and projects, we will explore value scales, and color theory. The final projects will demonstrate how to  draw with light and shade, in a monochromatic still life of an apple, and a full color apple still life to make the connection between value (the lightness of darkness of an object), and color (the hue, chroma, saturation,  and value of a color). Beginners are welcome, although some drawing experience can be helpful. We will be looking to the master artist, Claude Monet, using the techniques of broken color, and impasto in our projects to emulate an impressionistic style of art in our projects. Jodie Schmidt, $110 ($121) materials list provided

Course Objectives:

  • Apply 1-2 techniques from the technique board to your finished still life, such as side strokes, and broken color.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of value through the creation of value scales and gradients.
  • Show comprehension of color mixing by designing a color wheel.
  • Create 2 simple still lives in monochromatic value (using black and white pastels) and a full color still life of an apple, with a variety of pastel colors. These projects will reinforce the concepts of value and color by applying them to a finished art work.
  • Students will learn to give and receive constructive feedback to foster a deeper understanding of what makes an art work successful, and to feel more engaged with their work.

Art Historical Influences

  • Impressionism- Using paint or pastel to depict an “impression” of an object, person, or landscape.
  • A concept developed in the 19th century by European and American artists such as, Claude Monet and Childe Hassam. The beginnings of the impressionist movement were in Europe, specifically Paris, France.
  • Impressionists used specific techniques such as broken color, to depict brush work with an emphasis on texture, using impasto (or thick) brush work.