Soft pastels are ideal for painting the landscape. We’ll break the process of landscape painting into steps, from initial value sketch to completed study, working outdoors inspired by the beautiful grounds of Emandal. You will learn to “design with light,” make every part of your painting sing, and know the why of what you are depicting. This workshop will help you connect with nature in a deep way, learn to see better, and discover the joy and immediacy of the pastel medium. I’ll show you techniques for working quickly in changing light, and working with a limited palette, as well as layering pastels to create luminosity in your landscapes.
After morning teaching sessions, you’ll have afternoons free to paint and explore on your own, then we’ll get together in the evenings to share our work.
All levels of students are welcome.
Highly recommended: a landscape set of soft pastels (also called dry, or chalk pastels) made by Girault, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, Unison, Great American, Mt. Vision or Richeson. A great starter set is the Sennelier Landscape set of 30 Half Sticks, which is around $50 at dickblick.com.
Your budget will determine how many sticks you get and the quality. If you have a set of another brand, bring it and you can supplement with pastels the instructor brings.
Instructor is happy to consult on which set to buy. You can also add to your sets with pastels priced individually, all available from Dakotapastels.com.
Note: If you aren’t ready to invest in a set, you can make do with the loaner set included with materials fee.
Easel: An easel is not required for this class but really helps in allowing you to step back from your work. You can attach your pastel box to a French easel, or, as I do, use a box that attaches to a tripod with a quick release. I use the Heilman Pastel Box which is especially good for working plein air and is available at http://www.heilmandesigns.com/.
1 roll of masking tape
Pen or pencil for taking notes
Smock, apron or clothes that can get dirty
Baby wipes to clean hands
Most important: A sense of humor and a spirit of adventure!
Lightweight Chair or stool for sitting during outdoor demos
Hat/sunscreen for working outdoors
Artist Umbrella. I use the “Best Brella”
Additional Supply Fee:
$50 covers pastel paper, glassine, several essential pastel colors, use of brushes, loaner pastels and other materials.
Thanks for changing the way I view the world. Everywhere I look, I now see color and light in new and richer way.—Sarah
The three days were just terrific.Your instruction and emphasis is excellent and clear. —Ellen
I had the most transcendent drive home from Emandal! I know it had so much to do with how I was looking at the landscape as I drove through it. I want to continue the explorations in light and shadow and color and see where it takes me!
thanks for such a fabulous course! —Loren
“I absolutely loved Erika’s beginning pastel class. I do not consider myself an artist and was rather nervous to take this class. But Erika led us through basic pastel techniques and materials in a painless and fun way. Erika has an amazing way of demystifying the painting process, encouraging our inner artists, and inspiring us to get out and paint!By the end of the weekend, the whole class had become a community of aspiring pastel artists.”– Miriam S.
“Erika lures both experienced and novice artists into a lush exploration of form, color and expression. Although I was new to painting,she put me at ease, stretched, and encouraged me. I left her class seeing the world through new lenses with a desire to keep painting.” – Mary G.
About the Instructor
Erika’s style and appreciation for nature is rooted in a deep connection to the land. Her formal training as a biologist, and many years spent working in the field as a naturalist, researcher, park ranger and outdoor educator allow her to infuse her paintings with a keen understanding of natural history. She has been fortunate to study with some of the country pre-eminent painters. Erika’s award winning work has appeared in art publications, galleries,many juried, invitational and solo shows, and is widely collected. She has been painting and teaching for over 30 years, including workshops, art fellowships, teaching residencies in schools and recently in Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks. For more information visit her website at erikaperloff.com