This is my first pastel after teaching a four-day pastel workshop in Palm Desert. The workshop went great and the students did excellent work, not a lemon work among them. I did not even do a demo, but after seeing all the great landscapes it was a hunger satisfied to have empty time and space in my studio to do this pastel.
I chose a peach atmosphere with violet in the distance and ochre in the foreground. It is just crazy that my color theory works (that the light, forms, and depth can flow as a whole).
Decades ago after studying French Impressionists and having no classical training I would “punch” color into shadows by feeling, the results would be hit or miss, but when it worked the feeling is like a delicious swim in Greek cove on a July languid day. I am finding this feeling in abundance and often by implementing this color theory. (Integrating the color of atmosphere, light, shadow, depth, foreground, and the color of the things.)
Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 11/21/2020
Newberry Art Tutorials
Some Guidelines For Great Compositons
In my workshops students have plenty of time to compose the work, the line drawing set up before painting begins. The following tutorials show techniques you can focus on as you map out the painting’s composition.
The lesson in three words: Make interesting corners. In this tutorial I show how some of greatest artists of composition, Vermeer, Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh, Diebenkorn, and Velazquez make fascinating shapes and lighting in the corners. It is a very simple way to get the most out of your composition without having to remember a million rules!
Though this tutorial is not strictly about composition it will be helpful to see how one can organize abstract shapes in a compositional way. Using Rembrandt, Kline, and Monet I show how they group things into broader abstract shapes. This is an extremely powerful technique that gives the viewer an epic journey through the big picture.
A very surreal artist’s perspective but indispensable to give life to your painting is accenting the negative spaces of things. I go into detail showing how Monet, Rembrandt, Vermeer, myself, and William Wray manipulate negative space to create a sense of movement in the painting. If you can take a few seconds, while composing, to check the negative spaces it will add tremendously to making a powerful painting.
This is a very helpful article on how Picasso and Hefferlin arrange their compositions, and how Melissa manages to do so in a realistic way.
When you are taking a workshop with me you don’t have to hold all this info in your head, that is my job, but it is good to read up on these tutorials. I hope you enjoy them and I guarantee you that adding them to your technique will feel great and raise your art up a few levels.
For more about studying with me please introduce yourself and your work via email, mtnewberry at gmail dot com.