Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chatham Record Article and Carolina Woman mention...

Surprised to learn from a facebook friend that there's an article about me (who knew?) in the Chatham News, week of July 18th, Section A, page 5.  They wrote about my two wins at the 2013 NC Statewide Pastel Juried Exhibition, quotes from my blog and from the judge. I am so honored and blown away. They posted a 4 x2 1/2" photo of the "Queen of Swords. "

I blew this up so maybe you could read it.....?  Oh well, but it was quite a surprise.  Didn't know papers did this without letting you know!

Meanwhile Carolina Woman magazine has color photo of "The Lookout" and my Best of Show win info.
I had no idea about the Chatham News story but did submit news to Carolina Woman over a month ago and forgot about it ... did not know they ran it either .... with a color photo!

So you never know what you'll find happening when you get up in the morning!

Could this be my 5 minutes of Fame moment?  :)

Kim Werfel

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Fall "Intro to Pastel" Class at the ArtsCenter

It's that time of year again.  The ArtsCenter of Carrboro has just asked me to confirm my dates for my "Intro to Pastel" Class starting September 5th, so I wanted anyone who reads this blog to get a heads-up to know about it first.

(my semi-organized pastel box)

Here's the text for their catalog:

Explore the world of soft pastels! Learn how pastels combine your drawing and painting skills to create successful, expressive paintings without the need of brushes or water. Enjoy learning pastel painting techniques and the diversity of papers and pastels now available. We will discuss the importance of lines, shapes, values, edges and color choices. We will first work from a simple do-it-yourself still life set-up, and then from your own photos. Students new to pastel painting as well as returning students are welcome.Obtain materials list at The ArtsCenter front desk, prior to first class.
Kim Werfel 
Thursday, 10am-12:30pm, September 5-October 3 (5 weeks) $125 public, $113 Friends

Not listed yet, but will be soon.  

The ArtsCenter of Carrboro is located at 300-G East Main Street, Carrboro, NC  27510.  
Phone is (919) 929-2787   

Returning students are welcome and can work on their own projects as in the Continuing  Pastel class.

Until then.....keep cool during this hot/humid Summer by painting indoors with a cool drink nearby!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Bill Schneider's Demo at IAPS

Another pastel portrait demo I was fortunate to witness was Bill Schneider's demo of a young woman's portrait with her hair pulled back into a braid.  His approach had similar measuring and temperature ideas, but his pastel application was much different, as was his approach to color.

Using a Kitty Wallis Belgium Mist grey paper mounted on a board from Dakota, he applied a creamy color on the forehead, warm reds in the center cheek area and a green for the lower third of the face, then blended them into the paper with a gloved hand.  He had a mix of Unison, Terry Ludwig and Sennelier pastels.

Our Model

After the initial blending of color, he started measuring from the inside out.  He determined the center line, and the angle of the tilt of the head (the line wasn't just straight up & down).  He measured the inner corners of the eyes to the mouth, the bottom of the lip to the chin, the thirds of the face; he then took care to get the angles of the chin, eye width, head shape, etc. all drawn lightly in charcoal over the pastel.

Bill took care to mention the five main shadows of the face:  eye sockets, under the nose, top lip, under the lips, and under the chin.  He started the shadow under the chin with a warm brown, which he will then modify later.  Other good advice was to find the lightest light, the darkest dark and the hardest edge....may be in the hair, on the shoulder, in the clothes, etc.

"Value trumps temperature, trumps color."  Bill also mentioned shapes first, then values, color temperature and edges.  Design is everything.  I believe he used the blue around her face as the light temperature was also contrasted nicely with the warmth of her face.

"Squint down to where the hair joins the head....very soft."  He cooled and modified that warm chin shadow..."the eyes are very soft....the pupil is the darkest.  Make the upper surface of the lower lids light....purpley pink light on the upper lid due to veins and blood vessels.  Eyes and lips are always in motion - soft.  Don't paint them too sharp or they'll look pasted on.  He worked as he taught, making sure, confident strokes and explaining why.  A camera projected his work so the crowd could follow.

"With the facial plane changes, so the temperature changes from warm to cool.  Also slight value changes or half-tones within the value family.  Don't put highlights in the middle of eyes...they'll look like cataracts."

Lots of good tips and advice....making it look so much easier than it is.  Thank you Bill Schneider!
To see more of his work and learn about his workshops and DVD's see his site here.

Thanks for following my blog.

Check out my website for my upcoming classes at the Artscenter of Carrboro soon at

Happy painting!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Leslie B. DeMille's Pastel Portrait Demo at IAPS

I was fortunate enough to sign up to see Leslie B. DeMille's pastel portrait demo at IAPS.  What an honor! This man is 86 years old and has been painting portraits and teaching for over 60 years.  He has a great personality which made it even more fun and enjoyable to watch him paint.

demo sketch from IAPS of Mike the Cowboy

He uses velour paper in a beige/ochre color - Hannemuhle, a German paper that is acid-free and archival. You can order it from Dakota here.  He uses about 10 sheets of newspaper beneath his paper so it has "give".  Pressure is important when working this way...the harder you press, the darker the pastel covers.

This is a character study, as the person is looking off into the distance.  He feels finished portraits usually look right at the viewer.  Demille is famous for his Cowboys and has work in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Here is a photo of "Mike the Cowboy" (our model in cowboy hat & scarf!)

Mr. Demille begins with Conte crayons and does a light overall sketch finding the features, measuring distances from the eyes, the enter of the chin, the angles of the face, etc.  He squints to see values.  I found it interesting that he said to squint by just dropping your upper eyelids down and not to grimace!

It was evident how much fun he has teaching and painting.  I was amazed at his ease and skill.

He uses 21 colors + white & black, Rembrandts and has his own portrait set from them.  See here

Using Rembrandts since 1960, he recommended them when he made his 13 episode PBS TV Series "Portraits in Pastel".  He can do any portrait with this set....I couldn't help but buy some of these pastels after watching him.

After the initial sketch, he uses warm Gray & White Conte to indicate warms and cools.  He likes to make cowboy hats larger than they appear to be....the same with eyeglasses....

He then uses color - blushing over the raw umber paper sketch with a light cadmium red and a "fleshy" cadmium red.  A little yellow on the forehead, ears and cheeks are more red, blue/green in the chin zone.  He is not concerned about detail at this point.  He never blends with his fingers, but allows the pastel strokes to glaze and correct colors.  (He makes it look sooo easy!)

The eye area is the most important part.  He likes to start and work from the center of the face out.  The upper lid casts a shadow on the eye - darker top lid (eye-liner he jokes)  Remember that the Iris comes out a bit from the eye - the lid covers it differently.  The only place he uses black is within the eye (pupil)  The pupil can go up into the shadow above the eye.  Soften edges - the eye is wet.  The lower lid is flatter and goes under the upper lid.  (This man knows what he's doing!)

This was the view from the projector screen - he had a large appreciative audience.

He gave tips about the shapes and shadows of the lips (corners are always darkest and warm, lower lip is lighter than the upper lip)...and that you should suggest the mustache and not paint in the hairs.

A very educational experience...I can't wait to try out Velour paper soon.

Thanks for following....stay tuned for my two other demo experiences at IAPS.

Have a creative day!

Kim Werfel

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vianna Szabo workshop at IAPS

While attending IAPS last month I had the pleasure of taking Vianna Szabo's workshop on painting children in pastel from photos.  She gave a nice presentation from her laptop and took us through some preliminary steps in her demo.

She starts out taking up to 200 photos and likes to work on UArt 400 grit.

She started out with a sketch for placement on the page and to find the large shapes and angles.

With her reference photo handy, she started by filling in the background.

She then went to the shadow areas first.....

Never blending with her fingers, she was always aware of color temperature and value.

This was as far as she went with this portrait.

I particular found it fascinating that she selected all of her colors before starting, dividing them into three values of Dark, Medium and Light.  She looked at how all of them looked together to determine color harmony before painting.

The workshop was just one day....I started painting a portrait of a young boy I had photos from a previous photo shoot.  Following her method was fascinating and much looser than I normally work.  I highly recommend her workshops.

To see more of Vianna Szabo's work click here.

More on my IAPS adventures soon.....

Kim Werfel

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