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Pastel Technique - Plein Air Setup

Today I headed out to the Pittsfield Preserve off Marton Road in Pittsflield Township. A sunny day with temps about 65 were perfect conditions to start a plein air painting.

Here is my setup; a great deal on this easel - $25 - off Craigs List. I stored my most used pastels, figuring that those would be the ones I would likely use outdoors.

Given the limited time available to paint on site, I found these "rules" to help:

  • Don't walk too far to find your site. Best to park nearby if possible.

  • Focus on defining the values (and getting them right), then the basic hues.

  • Broad strokes to capture the values and hues, then a quick alcohol wash (that will dry within 5 minutes).

  • Take the time to select the specific pastel palette for the scene

  • Start laying those pastels and details.

The easel folds up into a suitcase, with a strap to cart around. Cover your painting with glycine (or tracing paper), taping it closed.

I also took several photos of the scene, as I have returned to my studio to finish the work.

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