Two day painting course

two day painting course

dessin du modele

A two day painting course in my studio with Anna posing, gave provided an occasion to go deeper into the complexities and pleasure of working directly from a model. It is always interesting how much each person’s personality expressed in their work, particularly the rapid drawings. These short, 8 minute poses can seem intimidating, but they are perhaps like musicians practising their scales. it’s valuable to allow ourselves the freedom just to draw intuitively and not always worry about the results. It can happen that after a few ‘goes’ we begin to work in a more intuitive way. It helps to stand back from the easel, to work with the whole arm (not just the hand) and to try to express the essential movement of the body in line.

Here are some, amongst many, nice pieces of work done by the students.



stage avec modele vivante


Working with colour

In pastel painting one of the initial choices we have to make is the colour of the paper we are going to work on. This will dictate the whole basis of the finished piece. The choice is free. there are so many good colours to choose from, and sometimes I like to tint the paper with gauche or acrylic. A dark toned paper gives great possibilities for adding lights and a sculptural quality to the body, a lighter paper can give a more restrained and harmonious image.

It seems to me imperative to bring some of the background colour into the model, and equally some of the ‘model colour’ into the background. Given these objectives we can play around quite freely with colour while largely respecting thetonal values which create the illusion of form.

lunch in the garden

stage de pastel à Catus


On the second day of our Stage, as well as finishing off some of the nude pictures, Anna posed for some portrait studies. I demonstrated the basic proportions of the head and the positioning of the features. (A constant tenancy for those with a three quarters view is to try to turn the head as if it is facing us) I placed a strong light to the right of Anna which helps to show the volume of the head and avoid a purely flattened ‘cartoon’ type image.

Congratulations to everyone for their hard work and to Anna for her commitment and patience!

l'atelier à Catus









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