Christopher Reid was the demonstrator at our September meeting and showed us how he paints a portrait in pastels.
Christopher carries his immense knowledge of art with a casual confidence and believes that knowledge shared is beauty gained. He believes that art is a form of communication and that by embracing it in as many mediums as possible, in your studio and en Plein Air, one can speak beauty in its many intricate forms.
|Christopher Reid and his model for the evening, Belinda du Randt|
His love for pastel work came through loud and clear in his portrait demonstration. A self-proclaimed adult finger-painter, he showed us how to get into this medium, fingers first.
He encouraged the audience to poke at his art knowledge whilst he transformed a blank canvas into an almost complete portrait of his live model. He talked about different versions of pastels, suggested uses for each and how pastels are made i.e. binding mediums, pigments and fillers like chalk, and how this affects quality and use of the pastels. Christopher talked about using fixing medium on pastels, linking it to trying to fix a top layer of sand and taking away from the medium's ability to capture light particles in between the pastel dust.
Christopher believes in quick solutions to simple problems, and thus McGuivered together an adjustable easel from old tripods and a serving tray to solve the little issues that take away from focusing on making art.
Condensing his pastel stash into a single box makes getting out the door to Mother Nature, his main muse, so much easier. He strongly believes knowing your tools in and out makes you a better artist, and to make what you need if you can't find it on the shelf.
|Christopher's array of pastels|
He has an obvious appreciation for the science of art. He spoke about the influence of light (natural or controlled) on your eye, your model and eventually your canvas.
He debunked generally accepted art rules by digging into their origins and thus their usability.
He reinforced the basic skill of drawing and getting perspective and proportions correct to avoid frustrating the viewers' eyes.
He gave us tips on how to determine mid-ranges by putting down your lightest lights and darkest darks first.
He also taught out how to carve out details instead of filling in shapes only.
With a soft hand, a curious mind and a natural manner of imparting knowledge, Christopher drew us into his respectful dance with art and beauty.
|The finished portrait|
Special thanks to our lovely member, Belinda Du Randt who sat as a model for Christopher.
September Art Challenge “Spring”