MEMBERS of Lyme Regis Art Society enjoyed a demonstration of pastel painting by the talented Rebecca De Mendoca.
Rebecca trained in theatre design, working with several well-known figures before concentrating on her own work, teaching and running courses.
At this week’s art society meeting, she brought a depiction of rocks on Dartmoor, created with a wash of blue paint over primed paper with the rough finish best suited to pastel work.
Rebecca often paints over old pictures pre-washed with water then dried or mixes paint into the basic primer to start with a coloured base. Originally working in monochrome, landscape painting showed her that colour is essential to create depth and space. She visits the area she wants to paint to sketch and photograph taking easily-carried boxes of warm or cool colours from her range of unison pastels.
In her demonstration, charcoal lines added deeper pools of shadow and the suggestion of cracks and crevices in the rocks, making the mass stand out against a paler sky of softly blended blues with flesh tones nearer the horizon.
Rebecca chooses the more saturated tones of each colour and builds up several layers, often making strokes of different colours as a way of blending and twists and turns the edges of the pastel to create harder lines for finer definition.
She finds that an air-force shade of blue-grey is a good choice for features in the middle distance and “knocks back” greens there with blues.
She scrumbled in shades of green around the foreground with flecks of orange suggesting dried grasses and any loose pastel bits were scraped off with a very thin plastic card.
Pictures are double mounted with the smaller mount inside next to the painting so any dust falls down between the two mounts.
After tea, members were shown various ways of creating tree shapes and of methods of painting images of water.
A spokesperson for the group said: “Rebecca has a very lively and humourous style of demonstration so we not only had a very informative afternoon, but also a very entertaining couple of hours.”
Lyme Regis Art Society meets on alternate Tuesdays at the Woodmead Halls from 2pm to 4pm until the end of March. The next meeting will be on November 6 with a demonstration of by Simon Bramble entitled ‘Folk Art in Oils, Acrylics and Watercolours’.
Visitors and new members are always welcome. For further details, contact Sheila Stratton on 01297 445464 or visit www.lymeregisartssociety.org.uk