Saturday, August 25, 2018

Berthoud Pass - A Mountain Landscape

"Berthoud Pass" Colored Pencil

While wandering below Berthoud Pass on a warm summer evening, the wilderness scenery was a sight to behold. It was Classic Colorado as a blue creek, born in the big peaks beyond, came crashing down through a thicket of tangled willows.

A giant, yellow fir captured my attention and led my eyes back up to the snowy mountains whereupon the ribbon of cold water carried my gaze back down. This complex arrangement occurred in a narrow valley enclosed by a forest of dark pine, forming a visual barrier that precluded retreat.

That carefully observed composition has become the centerpiece for a new colored pencil workshop I’ll begin teaching this fall. The two day, ten hour clinic will start with warmup exercises, progress to a simple step-by-step and then finish with the main demonstration - drawing the mountain landscape above.

My friend and fellow artist, Ann Kullberg, is internationally know for her exceptional portrait workshops. Her class has become so popular that she can’t keep up with the demand so she has invited thirteen of us to help in her crusade extolling the virtues of colored pencil.

I’ve been working closely with Ann in order to develop a certified curriculum that features my own style and subject matter. Now, after months of intensive construction, she has unveiled her Soar Workshop Network where she’ll be sending us out across the US and Canada presenting our unique techniques to anyone who wants to attend a class.

My first scheduled workshop is not until February at Keizer, Oregon but I believe a couple more may happen before then once the details are worked out. In the meantime, I’m toiling feverishly to finish an illustrated, step-by-step booklet that will be included in a packet that’s handed out to all students who take the class.

I’ve been working with colored pencils for 40 years so I’m hoping it will be a gratifying experience to share my knowledge and philosophy with other artists who wish to learn more about this wonderful medium. In my class you will learn some new things about drawing a mountain landscape in colored pencil.

You will learn how to construct a warm undertone that displays an accurate value study in preparation for the addition of future colors. You will learn how to build multiple layers of color in order to create beautiful neutral and bright tones.

You will learn how to do some basic shading by creating simple gradients that indicate the direction of light. You will learn how to create the illusion of vast space by using size, contrast, color and soft edges while employing the principles of linear and aerial perspective.

You will learn how to simplify while letting yourself break free from the constraints of a reference photograph by using it as more of a prompt. Taking such a risk empowers you to express yourself in a more creative, original and stylized manner.

If you’d like to know more about the Soar Workshop Network, please click here: Soar

If you’d like to host a Soar Workshop in your hometown, please fill out this short application form: Soar Application

Reference photo

Warmup Exercises

Line drawing for the main demo

My own style and subject matter

Keizer, Oregon

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