Chair, Val Harris, made some announcements about out forthcoming exhibition and the status of our new website before introducing Les Darlow to give his presentation “Atmospheric skies in pastel”. Len started his first demonstration painting of a lakeside castle viewed against a colourful sunset sky. As he worked, he spoke about his choice of materials, recommending that we use the best that we can afford because they are easier to use and yield better results. He described his technique as he painted; he applies the pastel with a light touch, making full use of the chosen colour of his paper. Successive layers of pastel may be used to get the desired effect but he is careful not to overload the paper and is selective in his use of blending. The painting developed with the completion of the sky and the middle distance forest. The castle was dramatically lit with part in deep shade and part picking up the reds and oranges of the sky. The snowy foreshore and dark lake completed this striking painting.

Les used a paper with a slightly abrasive surface for his second demonstration; this was a seascape with a distant shoreline, foreground headland and expanse of sea and beach. He continued with his commentary, advising us to be flexible and creative with our references rather than copying them slavishly. The second painting was completed to conclude a very enjoyable presentation.

The next meeting will be at St. Luke’s Memorial Hall, Evesham Road, Headless Cross on November 2. at 7.30pm. when Matthew Palmer will give his presentation “Watercolour Seascape”

Supported by Redditch School of Art through Redditch Arts