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Graham Oliver

12 November 2022

65 members and guests attended the monthly demonstration meeting at St Philip and St James Church, to see Graham Oliver in action and to hear the many hints and tips he gave about painting with pastels. 

Graham started by talking about the materials he uses, Unison pastels and Sait sandpaper with a very fine surface (which is quite expensive but can be reused by brushing off or even washing the paper.) If you are just starting your pastel journey, a cheaper paper is advisable.  Useful hint: To clean your pastels, put them in a box of ground rice with the lid on and give them a good shake.

He demonstrated the 'mark making' experience for people new to pastels and then talked about the 5 stages of painting:

1 Composition - planning ideas, sketching on scrap paper and finding the focal point.

2 Choosing the colours - to help with the flow of the painting

3 Laying the foundation - cover the whole paper with thin layers of colour, checking your composition and colours as you work

4 Rubbing in or blending - decide where to do this.  Make sure you have used enough pastel for rubbing in. Use a cloth, fingers, palm or side of hand or rubber stumps for blending.

5 Orchestration - adding the detail, the highlights, texture and cleaning up 

Graham does not like using fixative but gave members advice on looking after, storing and framing finished work.  A very interesting and useful afternoon for experienced and novice pastel artists.

Laying the foundation ...                                           Orchestration

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