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Degas has always been one of my favorite artists. Occasionally, one of his ballet dancers will cross my path and each time I am taken with the beauty, grace and color he captures. So, finally I have decided to dive deep into a study of his work and blend this knowledge with my own passion for figurative and mixed media art.

Our muse will be, none other than the beautiful ballerina. A perfect subject to embrace feminine beauty, color and movement.

In this very special class, you will not only learn about the wondrous world of Degas but you will gain new skills in figure drawing, composition and color theory, while expanding your pastel and mixed media expertise.

Whether you are a beginner or an seasoned artist, the techniques and style of Degas will inspire and delight you. His use of color is extraordinary and his meticulous dedication to his art is truly motivating. From my research, I have gleaned some exciting ways for us to study his work and put some of his methods into our own practice.

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Here's a tiny sneak peek behind the scenes, as I prepare for this class and get my pastels all warmed up! You will see my sweet kitty Leo pop in to check on my progress too! :) 

 

Here's a description of each of our special projects:

Degas, Three Sided Study

Academics & Exercises

As always in my classes, we will be drawing inspiration and knowledge from history! So, get ready to be transported to 19th century Paris as we explore the life and techniques of our dear Degas. 

In addition to our art history lesson, we will begin the class with several exercises including, figure sketching and gesture studies.


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PROJECT 1 - BACKSTAGE STUDY

Degas often depicted dancers behind stage, resting, adjusting their costumes and donning their ballet shoes. We will do a study of one of these works. Copying for the sake of learning, like so many masters did throughout history. This is a fantastic way to study composition, form, color and technique. For this project we will be working on tracing paper, which Degas used frequently!

 

Degas, Dancer putting on her slipper 1896

 

 

 

 

PROJECT 2 - PRIMA BALLERINA

In this project, we will focus on one dancer and create a portrait on toned pastel paper using a limited color palette and charcoal line work. A beautiful unfinished appeal will make this piece very special and akin to many of Degas' works.  We will focus on expressive line and values.

 

 

Degas, Ballerina on Point 1879

 

PROJECT 3 - OPENING NIGHT

In addition to backstage scenes, Degas loved to illustrate a lively scene of performance, color, light and movement. So, in this piece we will create a multi figurative composition, where expressive strokes and whimsical hues will take center stage. I will show you how to design the composition and incorporate the figures, beginning with simple shapes and working towards more detail.  We will be using mixed media and pastel for this project and working on watercolor paper. Plus, we will be selecting gorgeous color palettes derived from Degas works. It's sure to be a show stopper! 

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Who is this class for?

Artists of all levels who wish to explore the art and techniques of Edgar Degas while improving their figure drawing, composition and color skills. As well as any artist who would like to further explore or begin a study of pastel and mixed media techniques. Artists who adore ballet and appreciate the grace and beauty of the dancer will greatly enjoy this class too. 


What will you learn in this class?

I will be guiding you through several topics and techniques such as:

  • figure sketching and gesture studies in pastel and charcoal

  • how to break the human form into basic shapes

  • the history and inventive techniques of Edgar Degas

  • a study of composition and how Degas used it to strengthen his works

  • the use of soft chalk pastels, hard pastels and pastel pencils

  • the controversial topic of "fixing" your pastels

  • color theory and successful color combinations that Degas used

  • using pastels with acrylic paint 

  • PLUS MUCH MORE!


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ONLY $77.00 WITH LIFETIME ACCESS

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What kind of supplies do I need for this workshop?

Please use what you HAVE!  It is not my intention at all to have you purchase everything on the list.  Buy only what you think you will use. There are a number of essential materials needed as noted below but many things can be substituted. Let me know if you have questions.

 

 

 

Supply List

  • 12" x 16" cold press watercolor paper 120lbs*
  • Set of soft chalk pastels*

  • Tracing paper 11" x 14"*

  • Clear Gesso*

  • Acrylic paints/craft paints (I love Martha Stewart paints)

  • Palette*

  • mechanical pencil

  • Baby wipes/rags

  • Large sketch paper 18" x 24"*

           *essential for this class