APV BW2 DVD

Progressing with Pastel

Artist: Barry Watkin
Language: English 60 mins
Format: PAL DVD
   If you require NTSC copies please click here...
Price: £28.55 (Inc VAT where applicable + P&P worldwide)

Barry tackles four different subjects: a village scene, a seascape with breaking waves, an Exmoor view and flowers in a conservatory. Using his 4 key points to producing a better painting he takes us through from composition to finished painting.

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LEISURE PAINTER – February 1992

Pastel demonstrations

Pastel is a most versatile medium. Essentially for drawing, it can have both drawing and painting connotations and the term 'pastel painting' can therefore be misleading. So, whilst some artists begin their work with an underpainting in watercolour, acrylic or oils, or actually wet the applied pastel to blend colour and obtain a painterly effect, others achieve similar results using the medium in dry form. Barry Watkin is a 'dry' pastellist and, following Pastel Landscapes, this second excellent video covers four demonstrations of entirely contrasting subjects and shows how a number of 'key points' should be tackled.

With on-the-spot demonstrations of a sweeping Exmoor landscape, a pot of colourful geraniums, a testing perspective street view, and some dramatic coastal scenery, Barry takes us through the stages of working from decisions on content and composition to the final picture and its fixing and presentation. His admirable pastel paintings support his claim that this is an exciting, direct, permanent and quick medium to use. He introduces us to basic equipment, including the range of 15 colours he uses (a suggested range is printed on the video cover) and, using charcoal pencil and pastel drawings, explains his four 'key points': focal point; light direction; tone values; and recession.

Off then to glorious Exmoor on a fine August day and a marvellous view across heathery slopes towards Dunkery Beacon. Scope here for showing how to achieve distance and aerial perspective effects on colour, and also to make the most of lighting contrasts and capture the general character of the scene without getting too fussy.

Working from a sketchbook drawing followed by a tonal sketch on Canson paper and then on to Rembrandt card, we are clearly shown how to organise an idea, how to block in the lightest lights and the darkest darks, and gradually to develop the pastel painting. We are shown how to vary the way pastel is applied, with some intermixing of colours, accents and more defined lines. We become aware of a surprising amount of colour. The artist's technique is to use direct, mostly unsullied, soft applications of colour, working over general base tones. There is little smudging or working in and the consequent result is a freshness and purity of colour.

Back in the artist's conservatory an interesting composition of some geraniums is worked on glasspaper, again giving a lively and convincing picture without being too resolved.

Finding the right view and problems of perspective are covered in the third demonstration, a village street climbing up to the focal point of the church. For this, Canson paper is used. And so to the final location at Woody Bay in North Devon. Here the problems are distant hues and scale as well as capturing the dramatic scenery and mood of this beautiful coastline.

This splendid video will be much enjoyed by all pastellists and serve as a fine inspiration to those not yet convinced by the power and versatility of a very sensitive medium.
THE ARTIST - February 1992

Progressing with Pastel with Barry Watkin

Half-way between painting and drawing, the medium of pastel holds a particular fascination for those artists who feel they would really like to draw and paint at the same time! And we need only look at pastels by artists such as Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec to be convinced of its expressive potential. In this video Barry Watkin guides us expertly through the basics of the pastel technique. His commentary is relaxed, thoughtful and informative and he knows when to allow his actions - bold strokes, telling hesitations, deft touches - to speak for themselves. After some preliminary advice regarding materials and some general hints on composition. tonal drawing and aerial perspective. Mr Watkin allows us to follow in detail the progress of four compositions from preliminary sketches to completion: a landscape on Exmoor in the August sun and wind, a still life of geraniums (executed on glass paper), a village street scene in the mellow light of a summer afternoon and a seascape on the North Devon coast (useful advice here on coping with changing light and the shifting shapes of waves and water).

If you find the idea of working in pastels intriguing, this video should provide a sound starting point for your experiments.

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