A New Pastel Figure en Plein Air

Our “Painting the Museums en Plein Air” class had our final get together for 2014 on Wednesday morning at Spalding House on Oahu.

Michelle 2

Our model, Michelle, took a reclining pose…and we took advantage of superb weather and luscious surroundings to put in a couple hours with her before having our traditional Artist’s Holiday Bohemian Bacchanalia (Christmas Party).  We had a great time, and I’m happy to have been able to work with this fine group.

A straightforward approach to painting a pastel figure outdoors

As an informal demonstration, I decided that a small pastel piece that dealt directly with the subject in terms of color, shape, and value alone would be interesting. The piece was done without a preliminary drawing, but just as a seeing project.  Simple, mostly squarish strokes ( I refer to them as “tiles”)  of the appropriate color and value placed selectively and as simply as I could.  Very clean color can be had this way.

Michelle sleeping

I fussed with it a bit after, but essentially it’s a direct-from-nature piece, 7 1/2 x 10 inches on some pale yellow Ersta paper I have.  I have plans to frame this one rather soon for a small show, so the frame, mat, and glass are waiting.

If you are interested in finding out more or joining us, you are welcome to check the schedule for our upcoming class here. 

Two Watercolors from the Honolulu Museum Visit

Our class “Painting the Model en Plein Air” had the opportunity to do some painting within the grounds of the Honolulu Museum of Art two weeks ago.

The curator and all of the staff were welcoming and as obliging as could be, and about a dozen of us spent over six hours in two sessions in their remarkable Mediterranean Courtyard.

Everyone worked diligently, but I’m just now tweaking-up the two paintings I managed to get done while  teaching.

Tamara in the Sun 9 x 7″ watercolor

Can’t wait to do this again, it was fantastic.                                         

Friends Painting 11 x 15″ watercolor

“Painting the Figure en Plein Air” first demo

We had an absolutely delightful time starting up our plein-air figure class at the Spalding House campus (formerly known as the Contemporary Museum) here on Oahu, Hawai’i.


We had a very nice turnout of around 16 eager students, my terrific model Tina as our first subject, and all arranged on the beautiful, tree filled acreage overlooking Diamond Head.  We got to work right away with sketches in various mediums, and a fine time was had by all.

The small (8 x 10″) sketch above was my introductory oil demonstration piece, hammered out a bit at a time over our three hours together.  Can’t wait for next week, it’s too much fun.