Scribbling Like a Two Year Old

"Let the Wetlands Stand", pastel, 6x6"
I regressed to a two year old at the workshop I attended last week!

Robert Carsten led the workshop with enthusiasm, kindness and humor. He is the most wonderful teacher and I have to say, I tried many new things during the four days of painting at the Landgrove Inn, in Landgrove, VT.  I met so many wonderful artists (and ate way too many wonderful meals!)

I pass by this spot near my home frequently and I have painted it before, but I never tried this crazy under-painting technique...

First we did an under-painting using a light layer of pastel brushed over with rubbing alcohol. We kept close attention to values but used colors very different from the local colors of our scene.

Then we randomly scribbled all over the painting with pastels until our original under-painting nearly disappeared. We were to pick any pretty colors we were drawn to and we scribbled with the abandon and joy of a two year old! Here is a photo showing my under-painting with the early stages scribbling on top of it...

We then began to reclaim our original values with scribbling and moving toward other strokes to get to a place where we liked the level of reality, but still maintaining some of the under-painting/scribbling colors.

The results were often lively and atmospheric. All had a unity of color because we scribbled ALL over the painting with each stick of pastel.

I hope to bring Robert to my neck of the woods to teach next year. He is a very encouraging and gifted teacher!

Have fun playing with your pastels!


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