Friday, October 21, 2016

Painting from your iPad

I've been painting from my iPad since 2012. I've used my Soltek easel as a holder, I've attached it to my easel with clamps, and I've set it beside my work on my Hughes easel.

This week I officially retired my original iPad to the Studio to paint from. The holder is called Caddie Buddy and I learned about it from Jude Galbraith. It works great. I have it attached to an old, lightweight camera tripod. The painting I'm working on is the one I started in the workshop a couple weeks ago. See the progress of "September Afternoon" below.

I'm working from the top down and in a square format even though the reference is vertical.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to Ship Two Together

Yesterday, I packaged up two small pastel paintings to ship USPS Priority Mail to the East Coast. If you sell your unframed pastels through DailyPaintworks (or similar site) you might be interested in knowing how I do this since it has been a successful shipping method for me for national and international sales.

1. Attach the painting in the center of an 10 x 8 inch backing board using a couple spots of ATG archival tape.

2. Carefully slide the painting into an 8-7/16 x 10-1/4 inch poly sleeve (Impact Images B108).

3. Cut two 9x12 inch pieces of foam core.

4. Remove the protective strip from the flap of the poly sleeve and attach the sleeve (with painting inside) to one piece of foam core. Not show here is a small piece of tape I apply at the bottom edge of the poly sleeve to secure it to the foam core.

5. Cut foam core strips that that will act as a mat (they won't touch the pasteled area) and attach them to the second piece of foam core. When this "lid" is flipped over onto the painting and secured with tape at all four sides, it makes a great protective package. Keep in mind that I work on relatively fine toothed sanded pastel paper and my paintings don't shed much pastel particles/dust. If you work on a coarser tooth with a heavier application of pastel, you may want to eliminate the poly sleeve so nothing touches your pastel in shipment.

To ship two paintings in the same USPS medium flat rate box, I place one painting package on top of the other and bind them together with Duck brand Stretch Wrap. Then bubble wrap for shock protection, then a plastic bag for waterproofing. Air filled "pillows" go into the Med flat rate box then the painting then more air pillows, seal it up, label and mail. Voila!

Friday, October 7, 2016

From the West Unto the East

             From the West Unto the East, pastel, 13 x 14 inches                       ©2009 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Outside the kitchen door of the home my father built, the place I lived with my parents and siblings until I was twenty-one years old, there was an Italian prune tree. My father planted it there. It was one of the constants in my life.

Every September the ripening fruit coupled with the excitement of starting another school year. It was a source of food where I could eat my fill. I learned lessons of patience through eating green, unripe prunes and paying the price. After I left home to attend art school, a visit to my parents, especially at the end of summer, was also a reconnect to our prune tree.

As an adult with a family of my own, Mama saved bags of prunes for us. When my father was in his final days, I gave him a haircut outside in the summer sun beside the prune tree as he listened to me talk about Heaven. A few years after Daddy died, Mama hired someone to cut the prune tree down. I’m still trying to get over it. But, now I know it was the one thing that helped me cut my ties to the house on “M” Street when Mama moved to assisted living. 

A few shoots sprang up from the roots and my husband saved several. For many years Daddy’s prune tree lived on and produced in abundance in my own yard. Four years after my mother passed away, with a Bob Dylan tune in my head; I painted “From the West unto the East.” It is a painting of our prune tree. It is about life and death, change and adjustment. It is about being released or releasing yourself. This painting is in my private collection.

This painting is scheduled to be included in an upcoming book. The publisher asked about the story behind the painting. Thought it might be interesting to you.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

September Afternoon 80% complete

Reference Photo for September Afternoon

This is my Saturday Demo showing students how to begin with the lightest value pastel. The sanded surface is Canson Mi-Tientes TOUCH mid-value color, Sepia.

Next, I applied the darkest value. Now I have the three values - lightest, mid and darkest. It gives me a guide for selecting colors based on value. "Value does the work, color gets the glory." - quote by Richard McKinley I think.

I laid-in a few other colors. At this point I started visiting with each student and the time flew by as we talked about their paintings so I never got back to this in the workshop. Today, nearly a week later, I worked more on it.

Here it is at this moment - about 80% complete. Watch for the finished painting here soon.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Online Show Here, Now!

My pastel workshop for the NWPS is over. What fun and what beautiful work my "students" created.

Thanks to all who joined me and special thanks to the NWPS for asking me to teach and to Deb Cepeda our Workshop Coordinator.

I am honored to have met and shared three days with these artists. Enjoy this online show.
© 2016 Deb Cepeda
© 2016 Robin Charters
© 2016 Laura Deck
© 2016 Barbara DeMott
© 2016 Pat Doyle
© 2016 Jude Galbraith
© 2016 Alejandra Gos
© 2016 Annie Jones
© 2016 Sheryl Kempin
© 2016 Scott Landry
© 2016 Suzanne Masterson
© 2016 Bertha Moore
© 2016 Chris Towne

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A window for detail

I came across this photo of "Tomato and Marble," a pastel painting from earlier this year as it was packaged up to ship to its new owner. I remembered that at the time, I wanted to post about sprinkling pastel exactly where you want (and no where else).

Cut a window flap in your b/w reference photo. Place it over the painting and open the window to sprinkle to your heart's content. See pages 92 & 93 of my book, Pastel Drawing: Expert answers to the questions every artist asks

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Desperate Measures 5x5

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches on U NOT WORKING

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN and brush it off

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches DARK GREEN ACRYLIC applied with a paintbrush over the ghost image. Finally, I am excited about the surface and I begin to imagine a scene. CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE.

Rock Creek Series: #4, pastel, 5x5 inches SPRAY WET PAINT with water, sprinkle salt, add pastel to creek and sky

Rock Creek Series: #4 ©2016 Barbara Benedetti Newton sold

Monday, September 26, 2016

Photo Reference Rainbow Hill

In response to yesterday's post, I have received requests to see the reference photo. This is a photo we used in my July Studio Landscape Workshop and it is not an easy scene to paint. How much detail? Where is the focus? How does the viewer travel within this painting? All the colors of the rainbow - what to include, what to leave out, how far to push a color?

Photo Reference for Rainbow Hill, ©2015 Barbara Benedetti Newton

Rainbow Hill, pastel, 6.5 x 4.25 inches ©2016 Barbara Benedetti Newton
Yesterday I posted it as 7x5 inches but when I removed it from the backing board on my easel I realized it was not that size.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Paint with me - Rainbow Hill

At our Friday afternoon painting group I started a paint-along-with-me with another artist. This limited me to the colors and only hard pastels that she had. By the time I got home I was losing interest in the piece so I brushed it off and began again.

Rainbow Hill, pastel, 7x5 inches

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rock Creek Series: #2 - Texture

Rock Creek Series: #2, pastel, 7x5 inches
I've been working with alcohol mist for texture. Click image to enlarge.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rock Creek Series: #3 - Painterly

Rock Creek Series: #3, pastel, 7x5 inches
Brushing the pastel off as well as smashing and moving the medium with a plastic spatula gives a painterly look.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Defining my process

Photo Reference for Rock Creek Series
Rock Creek at Abrams Road, pastel, 6x4 inches image
My challenge today was to paint from a reference photo and try to stick as close to the scene as
possible. Not easy after painting all week without a reference.

In the middle of this challenge, it occurred to me that I have developed a somewhat unique approach to pastel painting based on my need to enjoy the process of creating.

I have painted in pastel for many years; I know the medium very well and occasionally I become a little bored with the "traditional" pastel painting techniques. When that happens, I switch to another medium OR figure out new, challenging ways to approach pastel.

My current technique is to brush a painting off - sometimes repeatedly. Depending upon the surface, this gives various effects. I also push pastel around with brushes, Colour Shapers and flexible spatula tools. This week I've also spent a few days exploring alcohol mist.  Changing-up the usual process of working with pastel keeps me engaged and inspired. Brushing pastel off began as an act of desperation when a painting wasn't working but it has become my process. Many times the pastel is moved around so much it loses the attributes of a dry medium and begins to take on the look of oil paint. I will be posted more about my technique in the future.

Each post on this blog that is some sort of pastel tip or trick is labeled with HOW TO PASTEL. If you click on the HOW TO PASTEL label at the bottom of this post, all the tips will come up. There are nearly 100 posts that have some sort of pastel instruction. Some may be useful to you. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Drama Queen

Drama Queen, pastel, 5x7 inches
Fall is in the air and I feel like I am back in school as I prepare for my workshop next week. I'm contemplating the lesson flow for the 3 days we'll be together. It was much easier when I taught all the time and had a 3-ring binder for each workshop. I'm reinventing the wheel but it is challenging and fun.

I'm painting without reference photos until the end of the month. This one, Drama Queen, began with a reference photo last week but it became boring and I got stuck until I put the photo away, brushed most off and began again. Scene of a tree across the lake from us.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My Blue Heaven

My Blue Heaven, pastel
Yesterday I was reviewing all posts on this blog looking for HOW TO PASTEL tips and tricks and I accidentally hit the "publish" button on a post from years ago. Here is the completed painting.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pratiques des Arts Special Landscape Issue

I am very happy to have my work included in the 2016 Pratiques des Arts Special Landscape Issue!

Roberts Road, pastel, 13 x 13 inches,
at American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
Winter Sunrise, pastel, 5x7 inches, available for international purchase sold

Thursday, September 1, 2016

another goodbye

This is an acrylic wash over a painting that never made it to framing. The painting below had a nice part in the middle but nothing else so after trying to add a foreground (which didn't work), I had to say goodbye.  I wiped the whole thing off and applied a blue acrylic wash. Hopefully I'll have a better incarnation of it to post tomorrow.