LESSON 2 and work continues on preparing the textural underlayer that was started in LESSON 1 on which the pastel work is subsequently applied; the preparatory work for which was previously covered, as detailed below. Paul introduces you to the texture paste and brushes with which this textured underlayer is rendered and passes on a multitude of hints and tips for how to work with textured paste. Close-up shots allow you to see not only how Paul applies the texture, but also the resultant effect and how both the texture paste and brushes can be exploited and manipulated to their fullest to achieve myriad different textures. See this as an opportunity to experiment and discover for yourself how these tools could provide you with an invaluable source of creativity in your pastel work. As with all of Paul’s tutorials, he works on the basis of providing you with various techniques, with which you can move forward in your work, to develop unique styles and techniques of your own. Watch as Paul experiments himself with different approaches to ‘sculpt’ and mimic the textures that inspire him in the subject, which was deliberately chosen for its varied textural characteristics. You will see him stipple and scuff, drag and sgraffito, blot and smooth, using a bristle brush and a smooth brush, with directional brush-strokes and more. This is exciting stuff, imbuing the composition with energetic characteristics.
Having allowed the underlayer to dry completely you NOW MOVE ON TO CREATING THE DARK UNDERPAINTING – which is where the accents in the composition are established. You could work in watercolours, or acrylics for this layer. However, Paul now switches to SOFT PASTELS, which, once applied, are then strengthened and fixed to the surface through the use of acrylic medium.
For this dark underpainting he is also MAXIMISING COMPLEMENTARY COLOURS to create a vibrant contrast to the rather subdued colour palette that appears throughout this composition’s subject matter. Again, exciting and exhilarating stuff.
Again you will hear Paul encourage you to experiment with different approaches to this underpainting, both in terms of the method, the media, the technique and the colour choices.
LESSON 2 ENDS with the completed application of the dry soft pastels, in preparation of the next stage in rendering this dark underpainting.
TECHNIQUE – For the main composition you will be working with a three-stage system for creating physical texture. Physical texture may seem a little strange for pastels, which are generally simply applied to pastel paper or to a surface that has a ‘tooth’.
To explain this fully, Paul refers you to the study that was created for [Series 2], the view of an Italian village. In this you will see that all of the textures are created visually; they are ‘visual’ textures that rely solely on the texture of the ‘tooth’ of the surface on which the pastel painting is worked.
Imagine, if instead of simply relying on the tooth of the pastel paper, you could create and therefore control, the texture over which the pastel is laid. This would also allow you the opportunity to create a stronger base, one that would enable you to apply more layers of pastel – which, in turn, gives you the opportunity to exploit the richness of these pigments, much as you would when working in layers with the traditional technique of working from the darkest accents through to the super-highlights.
Furthermore, this controlled application would result in ‘structural’ texture, as opposed to merely ‘visual’ texture. For which I am using texture paste.
SUBJECT – we provide FREE-TO-DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PHOTOGRAPHS available from Paul’s official account on Flickr – https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_taggart_artist_and_author/
PREPARATORY COMPOSITIONAL WORK – is covered in our box-set ‘Composition Matters’, in which you can follow the reference gathering, thumbnails, tonal drawing and transference to the painting surface – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/techscompositionmatters
MORE USEFUL BOX-SETS from Artist & Author Paul Taggart…
‘Equipment Focus for Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 1]’ – http://vimeo.com/ondemand/awwptpastelsequipment
‘Painting Topical Techniques for Soft Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 1]’ – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/awwptpasteltechniques
‘Learn to Enjoy Painting in Soft Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 1]’ – http://vimeo.com/ondemand/artworkshopwithpaulpast1
‘Painting Topical Techniques for Soft Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 2]’ – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/pastelstechniques2
‘Learn to Enjoy Painting in Soft Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 2]’ – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/paintinginpastels2
‘Painting Topical Techniques for Sketching Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 3]’ – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/pastelstechniques3
‘Learn to Enjoy Painting in Sketching Pastels with Paul Taggart [Series 3]’ – https://vimeo.com/ondemand/paintinginpastels3