Mood & Atmosphere in Pastel - Barry Watkin


Mood & Atmosphere in Pastel

Artist: Barry Watkin
Language: English 60 mins
Format: PAL DVD
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Price: £28.55 (Inc VAT where applicable + P&P worldwide)

Barry selects his subjects with care, showing us how to produce wonderfully atmospheric paintings. Working out of doors, he paints a building and meadow bathed in warm evening light and a panoramic view over the Quantocks on a hazy summer's day. In his studio and working from sketches, he paints a river at sunset on the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels and a dramatic view of Porlock Weir. This DVD explains Barry's techniques for painting buildings and the great outdoors in all its atmospheric glory.

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Atmospheric pastels

Four demonstrations make up Barry Watkin's latest video - Mood and Atmosphere in Pastel. All landscapes, they are painted either on site or from reference material back in the studio, and each poses a different artistic challenge.

Barry starts with a panoramic view from the Brendon Hills, looking towards the Quantocks. As with all of his demonstrations, the image is already sketched out before he begins working on it. Quickly blocking in colour, he explains elements of the composition that make it a successful painting, such as the subtle definition of the furrows in the foreground that lead the eye directly into the heart of the scene. After covering the glass paper with pastel, he shows how to blend the colour with the heel of his hand, noting the hazards of working on such a harshly textured surface! The result is a softened, atmospheric effect that he can then work back into. He advises putting a painting to one side for a few days after it has been completed, since this enables you to see its faults more readily and to improve it when you return to it.

The second demonstration is worked from a sketch of the Somerset Levels. It depicts a quiet river scene at early evening, under a glowing stratified sky, which raises the problem of painting water and its reflections. Here Barry chooses to use a blue/grey Canson paper that serves to unify the cool atmospheric colours, and he explains the slightly different technique it demands. The atmosphere is a great contrast to the third demonstration, which, although another evening scene, is very much warmer, and involves a view of his house set amongst a symphony of greens. Again by contrast, the final subject is a dramatic view of Porlock Weir, which shows a combination of steep hills, a collection of buildings and a fishing boat. He develops the image from a painting he had previously completed of the scene, but here he reworks the overall mood.

Being part of a series, this is a video for those with some experience since it moves directly into painting full compositions rather than revisiting the more basic technical instruction included in earlier films. Barry is an enthusiastic teacher who delivers a clear, well-paced commentary.

Mood and Atmosphere in Pastel by Barry Watkin.

Here's another highly enjoyable and instructive film with lots of good advice on creating mood and atmosphere, this time for pastellists. In this, his fourth video, Barry Watkin encourages us to take our sketchbooks and pastels and go out and experience at first hand the changing light and moods of the landscape in order to capture convincingly that fleeting moment. The four main demonstrations cover both location and studio work and include a panoramic view towards the Quantocks on a hazy summer's day, a dusk scene of the Somerset Levels, a house and meadow bathed in evening light, and a dramatic view of Porlock Weir.

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