Texas Pastel Society
March 2, 2013
Meeting started at 10:30 AM at the Tobin Library with 14 members present.
Mary Lopez announced several shows: the San Antonio Garden Club Flower show (April 13th and 14th), the Tobin Library show (later postponed to the September 7th), and a show in Bastrop (cards were available). The Tobin show will require bigger pictures due to the paintings being hung high up.
Virginia Carruth is scheduled for May. The meeting to be held at the Mission Library
The current show at the Candlelight Café is to be taken down Monday (March 4th).
Susan Carlin demonstrated pastel portrait painting. Susan started her demonstration with a brief biography. She found out at the age of 12 that you could make a living doing portraits. She started doing portrait sketches at a PX while in the army. After meeting a pastelist, she studied Daniel Green’s book and acquired a pastel set. Painted portraits in malls and resorts, but burned out after 10 years.
After becoming a Chiropractor, she set up practice in San Antonio. A client seeing her work in her office and asking for pastel lessons, revived Susan’s interest in painting. Attending Austin pastel meetings got her restarted in painting. She highly recommends being in a group (a “sweet group, not a stinky group”). She currently paints portraits mostly in oil, since that is what her clients demand 99% of the time. Also spending a lot of time developing the Whistle Stop Corner (to be a teaching studio) and running her gallery in La Villita.
Getting a volunteer from the audience, she spent some time in selecting the pose and adjusting the lighting. She pointed out “Rembrandt’s lighting”, the triangle of light under the eye. She stressed the importance of lighting and noted that one should not paint from a photo done with a flash.
One should first be sure that the portrait will fit a known frame size (plan ahead). Susan used a pastel pencil to first sketch the portrait, empathizing that the sketch was important before starting the use of pastels. Once the sketch was established she started with dark pastels, noting that most of her pastels are hard.
While working on the portrait, Susan discussed sales, noting that she and Brother Cletus agreed that poor sales were not due to the economy. Painters need to put joy into their work and get their paintings out where the buyers are.
Again returning to the subject of lighting, Susan demonstrated that the true or local color occurs where light turns to shade. Colors might be warmer in the light and darker in the shade. She suggested that the portrait should be simplified, leave out all the wrinkles, but put in the major features. Susan pointed out that a portrait is about the drawing and the values, not the color. Another tip was to make pastel sticks from pastel dust, by dissolving in alcohol, wrapping in Canson paper and allowing them to dry for 2 or 3 days.
Susan ended the presentation by urging everyone to jump in to portraits with both feet.
Roger Snyder, Secretary