Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pastel Workshop in Rockport TX - Spaces Still Available!

"Pastel in Miniature"
September 8-10, 2016
at the Rockport Center for the Arts in Rockport, TX

Celebrate the End of Summer with an Art Workshop!
My classic Pastel Workshop focuses on painting small and often to rapidly improve your skills and expand your knowledge. Grow your grasp of light, values, color and composition in a relaxed and fun atmosphere!
For Beginner to Advanced. 

To Register Contact Karen Marie Ernst, (361) 729-5519, ext. 105, or


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Portrait warmups

untitled, a 60 minute pose (pastel on Wallis paper, approx. 16x12 in)

Yesterday, finally, I went to the monthly meeting of the New Braunfels Art League portrait group. I hadn't been for several months; never seem to have the time. But this weekend I'll be in Valentine, Nebraska giving a portrait workshop so I thought I'd better warm up!

This was the 14-year-old granddaughter of one of the ladies. She sat very well, for 2 different poses. This pose was about 60 minutes total. Scroll to the bottom for the other pose (of 40 minutes) with some progress shots of both.
at 20 minutes

at 40 minutes

The first pose, at 20 minutes

 The first pose, at 40 minutes

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


"Rookie"  (pastel, 8x8 in)  click here to bid

This was my first demo from last week's workshop, and the last one to get posted, as I didn't quite finish it until today. I'm also running low on black & white names. Rookie is from "rook" which is a chess piece... in a black & white game.

I know, it's a stretch, but he's also a youngster, so can be a rookie cow. ;)

Tomorrow I'm going to post a couple of portraits I did in today's portrait group at the New Braunfels Art League - warmups for my portrait workshop this weekend in Nebraska.

Here are some progress shots of Rookie..

This was as far as I got with it during the workshop..

Monday, August 8, 2016

H is for Hippo

"H is for Hippo"  (pastel, 8x16 in) sold

By popular demand, I had to do the hippo as one of my demos last week!

(Trivia: Did you know that hippopotamus means "river horse" in ancient Greek?)

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Ranch Road #21

"Ranch Road #21"  (pastel, 8x10 in)  click here to bid

I usually try to work in at least one landscape demo in my pastel workshop. Here's the one I did this week. I do so few landscapes that I don't really have a consistent method. I usually underpaint landscapes with watercolor on a white sanded paper, or pastel washed in with denatured alcohol. For this one I stayed consistent with the rest of the workshop which was showing the students my warm-toned pastel primer underpainting.

See the progress:
 First a quick sketch of the main lines of the composition, then a couple more layers of the gold pastel primer. This is Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold fluid acrylic color mixed into Golden (brand) Fine Pumice Gel. The gel is clear, so the color mixture is semi-transparent, and gets darker on each application.
(The initial layer of gold I usually spread across large pieces of Gatorboard, then cut to the size needed.)

 Followed by a layer of the Art Spectrum (brand) Pastel Primer in the terra cotta color. I lay it into the darkest areas, then scrub and dry-brush it into the medium values of the gold to continue the value scale and add more depth to the monochromatic underpainting.
 I discovered recently that the Art Spectrum primers, mostly opaque colors, can be a little bit transparent if applied with a slightly damp sponge. I've been using this technique a lot lately to help extend the value range of my underpaintings.

 Then comes the pastel...

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Friday, August 5, 2016


"Saphed" (pastel, 7x5 inches) click here to bid

One of my demos from this week's workshop in Little Rock. Saphed means 'white' in Hindi.

Progress shots:

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