Maryland Pastel Society newsletter


Winter, 2010

Winter 2010

Example of Black/White value study

Welcome to 2010, everyone! We have officially begun the second decade of the new millennium: ain't that amazing? As I write this, there's still almost two feet of snow in my yard from the record-breaking December snow storm, and the birds and squirrels are hoovering up birdseed faster than we can put it down. I spent that snowy Saturday happily painting in the studio – I hope you all were able to enjoy the same pleasure.

As I embark on the next two years, I am very much aware of the responsibility I have inherited and the tradition of excellence on the part of our past Presidents that I must emulate. I am deeply grateful for your trust, and sincerely hope that, two years from now, you will be able to say that it was not misplaced. I am also aware that, with such a talented and committed Board at my side, it'll be hard to go wrong!

Example of value study using three values
mps 657

For starters, we're planning a busy meeting in January. Michael Skalka, Conservation Administrator at the National Gallery of Art, will talk to us about color theory and will also give us an update on the development of a lightfastness standard for pastels. Then we're going to have a mini-workshop on the "Value of Value Studies." We'll show you how and why investing just a few minutes doing small value studies before starting a new painting can really pay off! You'll get some background and a short demo, and then you'll have a chance to play with these value studies at your worktable, to see for yourself how easy they are to do and how they can help you sort through and find the best compositional options.

You'll need to bring a few things with you, all of which you already have:

A small sketchpad (or some paper);

A small ruler or straightedge;

An eraser (if you bring a pencil); and

Either a pencil (4B or softer would be best) or a few neutral (no color) markers, in no more than three values (dark, medium, light).  
You can also bring a few photo references with you, if you like, or you can work from photos we'll supply. If you bring your own photos, make sure they're in color and have good value contrast.

And as always, bring your latest pastel piece and a tasty snack to share: we'll be drawing names for the "food prizes"! That's Saturday, January 23, noon to 4pm, at the Glenwood Community Center in western Howard Co. See you there!