New Art Class: Plein Air Pastel Painting

Example of plein air pastel art by instructor Pat Duncan (photo by Pat Duncan)

Dale R. Farland

“What is plein air painting?” It is the technique of painting outdoors on location. This method contrasts with studio painting or academic rules that might create a predetermined look. SaddleBrooke Ranch resident Pat Duncan is the instructor for these four sessions, which will take place on four consecutive Thursdays starting Jan. 4, 2024. Each class will be three hours in length.

Patricia Duncan is a representational pastel and oil painter. She prefers painting plein air landscape scenes, figures, architecture, and still life. Pat pursued a fine arts degree at the University of Utah. Her art training background started with a solid drawing foundation in charcoal and pastel with instructors at the Edina Art Center in Minnesota. She also studied under Joseph Paquet (Plein Air Painters of America) in St. Paul for 12 years and with Jeff Hurinenko for seven years learning the Old Masters Danish/Flemish method of oil painting through still life and portrait work. All of these classes involved the experience of “working from life” and plein air (the French term of painting outside on location). One must work quickly outside as the light changes very rapidly, so the approach of working to freeze the light effect and then mass in the bigger shapes allows for finishing a painting in a window of time of two to three hours.

Over the years, she has had many opportunities to be juried into shows, exhibits, and plein air events.

Class description: Fundamental drawing skills for the plein air landscape will be emphasized.  This will help the student with understanding the value of the shadow shapes in a simple landscape pastel painting. You will learn three values of dark, mid tone, and light to approach your landscape subject. Application of the soft pastel directly to your substrate/pastel paper will be used initially. There will also be an introduction to the use of an underpainting technique.

Date for class: Four consecutive Thursdays: Jan. 4, 11, 18, and 25

Time: 1 to 4 p.m.

Class fee: $180

Class size: Minimum: 4, Maximum: 6

Payment deadline date: Thursday, Dec. 28. Check must be deposited five days after registering for class. Otherwise, you will not be considered registered.

Materials the instructor will provide: Metal easels

Materials participants are to bring: Landscape Soft Pastels (not oil pastels), 400-grade sanded pastel paper, foam board, artist tape, sketch pad, pencils, kneaded eraser, apron, gloves, and paper towels.

Registration: Go to GroupWorks. Click on “Events.” Click on “I’m Going.” Confirmation is depositing your check within five days in the lockbox outside the Art Room door. Please do not click “I’m Going” unless you intend to take the class.

Reminder: All participants must be a member of the SBR Art Club. To join the SBR Art Club, go online to GroupWorks. The membership application is located in the “About” section to download. If you have difficulty, contact Dale Farland at [email protected]. Membership in 2024 is only $25.