7:00 pm July 5, 2017
· He used a 1/2” Coffman flat brush during the demo. He likes the brush because he has a good sense of how much paint it holds. He also prefers synthetic brushes, choosing to avoid animal hairs.
· Ken has thousands of pastels of all brands to assure a wide variety of colors and tints.
· Ken emphasized using professional quality watercolors for longevity of color steadfastness.
· Ken doesn’t like to use black or gray tints in his work. He prefers to mix grays with complementary colors that form the palette of a particular piece he is working on. He believes that black kills the life in a painting.
· Ken likes to push the application of color as far as he can during his work.
· Abstract painting is not an interest of Ken’s. He believes that every painting has pieces and parts of the painting that are abstract in their individual nature, contributing to the overall composition.
· Ken often searches and defines the darkest value in a painting as soon as possible. It helps to define the range of values within the painting, by which to measure other color values.
· Ken pointed out that oil-based pastels, such as Caran d’Ache, cannot be used with other pastels.
· Pastels are not chalk.
· When working with pastels, one’s hands must be kept clean and dry.
· Ken works hard to keep a balance of values in the overall composition of a painting.
· He works vertically with watercolors and pastels. When working with Yupo paper, one must work.
· Ken enjoys setting a mix of watercolors in the underpainting that form rich grays and then layering accents of bright pastels over these gray areas.
· He explained that it is critical to let the watercolor dry before beginning the pastel work to keep the pastel looking fresh.
· As Ken worked with the pastels, he would lightly blend the colors with his fingertips as needed to achieve softer or harder tones or edges.
· Ken explained that he checks the values of the piece throughout the development of his work. One thing he does is to squint, which blurs the detail into areas of color, allowing him to evaluate the values as he goes.
· Another trick is to view the painting in a mirror to look for shapes that don’t work.
· Ken will utilize a venetian blind to modulate the intensity of light hitting a painting as he reviews it.
· Ken also explained that it is possible to lift watercolor with dry brush before it is dry. Pastels can also be lifted with stiff brush or kneaded eraser.
· Upon finishing a pastel piece for shipping to a show, Ken uses Sennelier Latour Pastel spray fix. He warns that application of a spray fix should be a single layer spray. If too much spray is used, it can soak an area of pastel and darken the color in an undesirable way.