Techniques in Response to Landscape
M’s Denise LaRue Mahlke does a pastel painting demonstration for Winter 2011, Vol.1, Issue 4, pp. 69-73 of Plein Air Magazine.
Step 1: Working on a sheet of UART 500-grit paper mounted to Gatorboard, Denise sketches in the scene with a hard Nupastel stick.
Step 2: The artist continues to work with hard pastels to block in the major shapes, then she gently rubs the surface with Viva paper towel to fill in and soften the underpainting, being careful to keep each shape’s color clean.
Step 3: Denise builds up the painting surface with softer Sennelier, Terry Ludwig, and Unison pastels.
Step 4: The artist uses her fingers and a clean brush to remove loose pastel, soften edges, and blend tones.
There is a quiet thoughtfulness to the work of artist D. LaRue Mahlke. Her paintings evoke a sense of peace that connects the viewer to the landscapes that she loves to paint, taking the viewer into an intimate encounter with place.
Denise is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America, a board member and former president of the Central Texas Pastel Society, and a member of Plein Air Austin and American Plains Artists.
Photos were taken by Gayle Uyehara