How to Draw Scenery | Pastel landscape Art Lessons with Barry Mason on Colour In Your Life
G’day viewers, my name’s Graeme Stevenson, and I’d like to invite invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour in Your Life. There’s an Artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an Artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles, and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best Artists in Australia, do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) G’day, Barry. (Barry) G’day, mate. (Graeme) How are you mate? (Graeme) Good to see you. (Barry) What are you doing here? (Graeme) Yeah, I road all the way in the rain to get here. Did you hear the harley coming up the street? (Barry) Oh, it took me ages to get down. (Graeme) With a house this size it must have done. Can I come and have a look at what you’re doing? (Barry) Ah, no. (Graeme) Oh, thanks very much. I rode in the rain to get here, you know that don’t you? (Barry) Come on in. (Graeme) Thanks pal. (Barry) Good to see you. (Graeme) You too. (Music Plays) (Barry) We begin. (Graeme) Excellent. Ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to an amazing Artist: Barry Mason. Barry, thanks for being on the show today. (Barry) Pleasure. (Graeme) We’re going to go through a pastel painting with Barry today. This man without a doubt, is a master of light as far as I’m concerned. Your work is quite extraordinary. (Barry) Thank you. (Graeme) Before we move on I’d like to know more about your history. Boy from Orange, started your own graphic design company in eight-two. Was it 1982? (Barry) Yes. Yes, eight-two. (Graeme) This was really the cusp of when computers started to come in as well. (Barry) Exactly. (Graeme) And photographer as well. (Barry) Yes. Basically my Art career with graphics was right throughout my whole life (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) after I left Orange. And it became a very handy background (Graeme) Sure. (Barry) for me to do my painting when I retired. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) But I’ve always loved to draw – (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) cartoons, illustrating. But I’ve always had an infinity with the Australian bush, (Graeme) Yes I can see that in your work. (Barry) and the coast line too. So each year I’ll spend about a week out in the bush, (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) just traveling around gathering material, and coming back and putting it into Art. (Graeme) Well the fact that you’re a talented photographer as well, that obviously helps you to sort of reinforce the fact that you’re getting the images that you want to portray in your pictures as well. (Barry) It certainly does help. (Graeme) You really are a master of oils, pastels, just about all of the mediums from what I can see. But as I said, the thing that I am amazed about with your work is your ability to capture light with paint; it really is just wonderful. (Barry) I just love painting. (Graeme) It’s just wonderful. (Barry) Thank you. (Graeme) Now when you start these, this is the image we’re going to be working on today, but you, you actually start from a pencil drawing. Now and you use your photography (Barry) Yes. (Graeme) to take your shots, but you use those photos to obviously transfer them onto a pencil sketch using your artistic licence, to design an idea to bring back to the situation here. (Barry) I like to change the photograph (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) to what I feel is a right composition, what – how I feel I want to portray the painting. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And to do that I need to change composition, put different elements into it than what’s in the photograph. (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) I can show you if you like. (Graeme) Lets go and have a look. (Graeme) Alright mate, well here we are. You’ve taken your photo. And this is, where about would this actually be, this particular photo? (Barry) It’s out at Lismore – I thought I could be something with it. (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) So I just took a photograph; I have manipulated it a bit on the computer (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) to enhance it a bit more. But when I look at it, I think to myself well I need to do a sketch of it, (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) because I need to change some of the elements in there. (Graeme) What type of paper are we using. (Barry) Oh it’s just an ordinary sketch pad which is a very common sketch pad you can buy anywhere. (Graeme) Okay, sure. You’ve got your gum rubber, (Barry) Yep. (Graeme) and what type of charcoals do you use? (Barry) They’re just charcoal pencils – they’re called Pitt, (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) and they’re all different brands and they have different weights. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And I like the charcoal because it’s free to use and you can get darks and lights and all sorts of things. (Graeme) You still got a little bit of work to do on this one. (Barry) I do, yes. (Graeme) Lets have a look. (Barry) I don’t put a great deal of detail in here, just maybe to emphasise where the light is coming from, and maybe where maybe the shade could catch. Put some darks and the light could also then catch. The light will be coming from this direction here, (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) I’ve determined that and maybe I might bring some light reflected from the sky through into the background to emphasise the buildings. (Graeme) Sure, sure. We can go from here now over to there, (Barry) Okay. (Graeme) and we’ll continue the process with the pastels. (Barry) Fine. (Graeme) Well here we are. Now black paper, obviously that is what a lot of pastel Artists use? (Barry) Not necessarily. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) A lot go lighter and work towards their darks by putting their darks in. I tend to prefer the black because it already establishes the darks for me, and I can then play around with the colors and use the darks, the black to inform the shadows. (Graeme) What type of paper is that? (Barry) It’s a simple Mi-Teintes it’s called, it’s French paper and it has two surfaces. One is a ripple surface, and the other is a smooth surface. (Graeme) And I’m noticing you’ve got a white pencil in your hand. (Barry) Yes. That’s a, what I call referred to earlier a Pitt pastel. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And it’s made by Faber-Castell, (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) and I find it’s perfect for for laying in just the rough details. (Graeme) You’ve got your pastels here. Now this looks, this is sort of very smick, and you do actually have smick colors in there as well don’t you? (Barry) Schmincke. That’s right, I do. (Graeme) And these are Winsor and Newton?(Barry) Winsor and Newton. (Graeme) And you’ve got some Rembrandt’s here as well. (Barry) Rembrandt’s. (Graeme) They’re just beautifully boxed aren’t they as well? Just magnificent. (Barry) Great box. (Graeme) Where do you go from here, as far as after you’ve sketched out your initial drawing? (Graeme) Well once I’ve got the initial drawing all established and I’m happy with it and I’ll rub out, put in, add, I then start to lay the in colors in very lightly. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And I’ll wonder all over the canvas (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) just establishing a color there, and color here, and very light tones. (Graeme) And you’re just really building the foundations. then. (Barry) I’m just building it up (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) very slowly. (Graeme) We’ll lets, I’m just going to take a seat and I’m going to watch what you do. (Barry) Okay. (Graeme) Do you refer back to the photograph a great deal? I mean cause there seems to be a lot of, a lot of information stored in your head right now? So will you refer back to that photo as a guide to get you through? (Barry) Very rarely, (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) I’m forming in my mind how I want this to appear. I’ve put rocks in which weren’t in the photograph. (Graeme) Aha. (Barry) Now they may stay in or they may not so it depends on what happens (Graeme) My question would be then is how do you get rid of pastel, do you just brush them off or? (Barry) Well I’d have to make up my mind at the next stage (Graeme) Oh, okay. (Barry) whether they stay in or not. (Graeme) Could end up being an old tractor before we’re finished. (Barry) Well that’s right. I enjoy this stage because I’m then turning it into my own work (Graeme) Aha. (Barry) rather than just copying from a photograph. I’m now putting my creativity if you want to put it that way (Graeme) Sure. (Barry) into this creation. (Graeme) An artistic licence is really what it’s about. (Barry) Artistic licence, there’s nothing like it. (Barry) We introduce a little bit of yellow down here so that, that gives me a very rough idea at this stage on the lighting, and where I want the lighting to form. And I want the lighting to come through here, and I want the light to come over here. So I’ll now wander down to the trees and start to get the basic of the trees in there. (Graeme) What inspires you most of all? I mean obviously the Australian landscape is a great passion for you, but what initial got you into Art? Was this a passion that you had as a child? (Barry) Oh yes. (Graeme) It was. (Barry) Yeah, cartooning was basically my main interest. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) Cartooning but drawing came after a bit more experience and graphics and commercial Art and advertising and marketing. Packaging is fine and all those sort of things. The Art was always prevlaent in everything I did, but since I’ve retired, the Art that I’m doing now is a release from that controlled, commercial Art that I use to be under in the graphics. Now I’m much freer. (Graeme) And I can see that you’ve got a piece of white tape across the bottom there. Can you explain why you actually taped that off in that position? (Barry) I’m glad you asked that question. (Graeme) I thought you might have been. (Barry) Glad you asked, the viewer might be wondering what it is. (Graeme) What on earth is that black line doing? (Barry) Originally I was going to do down to there – the whole painting. But when I stood back and looked at the initial outline, I thought to me self well, it looks better if I crop it off there and tighten up the composition. (Graeme) Aha. (Barry) So I’ll just leave that there, and when they frame it they can just cut that bit off. (Graeme) Not a problem, okay. (Barry) Okay. (Graeme) So you just sort of clean that up at the bottom? (Barry) I’ll clean that off at the bottom yes, (Graeme) Cool. (Barry) so it doesn’t look like part of the picture. (Graeme) Okay, that sounds great. (Barry) This is artistic licence. (Graeme) Again. (Barry) Again. (Graeme) Barry, well you’ve sort of really made some progress in putting all of those say base colors – foundation colors down. Where do you go from this spot now? (Barry) Just almost ready to move to putting heavier colors in. But first of all I think I’ll blend the sky (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) cause that will set the whole tone then for the rest of the colors. And this is the only part of the painting that I will smooth out. (Graeme) Yeah. Are you trying to get rid of all the lines or you want to keep some of those there? (Barry) Yes, I’m trying (Graeme) You are? Okay. (Barry) I might actually have to put a bit more color in there (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) to get it to interact more smoothly. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) Sometimes you’ll find that temperatures can react with the pastels that you’re putting down, (Graeme) Yes. (Barry) and find that you probably need a bit more color in some cases, just to make it work a bit better. (Graeme) To pick it up. (Graeme) So, Barry which of the pastels that you use is the one that you prefer most of all? Which is the one that gives you the best result out of all of them? (Barry) It doesn’t come down to a particular brand, it comes down to the softness. As I work toward the finish, I like to get a really soft pastel to give me those highlights that I can push into it without scratching. (Graeme) Sure. (Barry) And Schmincke’s one, and Art Spectrum, they also have a soft range. (Graeme) Yes. (Barry) And Winsor and Newton of course also have, so and but some colors will not do that. Some particular pastel will be constructed of a material that makes it so hard, (Graeme) Yes. (Barry) that it becomes a very scratchy type of pastel, (Graeme) Sure. (Barry) and that’s one I try to avoid. (Graeme) Fare enough, absolutely. Wonderful. Well as you can see, Barry’s been putting more colors down and working on that sky. That sky’s got a beautiful hue to it now, Barry; it’s quite lovely. (Barry) It’s starting to work I feel. (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) The color is now allows me to determine the colors right through the rest of the painting. (Graeme) Definetly. Where do we go from here? (Barry) I keep firming in, I start strengthening in the colors now. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And, and particularly the lights, I’ll concentrate on the lights first, and get some strength going in them, and then I’ll come down do the foreground and because the light will also be a part of that. (Graeme) From what I can see now, Barry that beautiful lemon green and yellow that you’ve got there is really starting to focus the painting for you. (Barry) Through there (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) it’s starting to bring the light through (Graeme) Yes. (Barry) onto these items. That’s where it’ll finish, and maybe a bit in the background. And then I’ll come through and put the light in the foreground which will be coming through this way. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) I think you can basically use artistic licence with light direction because light can be filtered through objects and fall in here, or in there, or there, even though the light might be coming from behind there, and still can bounce around. (Graeme) Yes, it’s lovely. (Barry) This is the intense part of the painting (Graeme) Aha. (Barry) were you suddenly think is that the right color? (Graeme) Yes. (Barry) And as soon as you put it on and you say not the right color, then you get a seach for the right color. (Graeme) Go back to your box of many colors. (Barry) Go to the box of many colors, exactly. No many how many pastels you have in your collection, you’ll always find there’s one that you need – another one that you need. (Graeme) Yeah. (Graeme) So the tank there or the hopper, whatever you’d like to call it – the roundness. The question always is Artists say how do you get the roundness in something like that. Can you explain to me please? (Barry) Yes, it’s light and color. The highlights will give the where the light is hitting of course, but then the shadow area is gradually blended so that it has a roundish appearance to it. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) And I’ve used an orange and a darkish red there to just give that light roundish effect, and I’ll probably just work on that a bit more just to refine it. (Graeme) Okay. (Graeme) Well you’ve really moved along there with it quite, quite well there, Barry. It’s really, I mean as you said you’ve put more light into the bottom corner here. It really looks very, very dramatic now, you can see that there’s shadows coming across, the blues in there, and the yellows and the oranges for the light. It’s become really quite a wonderfully subtle picture. (Barry) And I’ve decided to keep the rocks in. (Graeme) They were plaguing you for a while weren’t they – maybe yes, maybe no. (Barry) They were yes and no for a while. (Graeme) I said to him – he said, you look got rocks in your head if you don’t do that. (Graeme) They look great. So how much more do you feel that you’ve got to do with this particular piece now? (Barry) Well sometime’s I’ll um, I’ll keep going or sometimes I’ll just step back and I’ll sit it there. It could be a day, maybe even two days. And I’ll just keep walking by and just looking at it and thinking until something comes in my mind, and I’ll go back and I’ll say that needs to be lightened down a bit more; this needs to be finished off a bit more here. And of course I’ve got to bring the background through here. (Graeme) So reflections very important. (Barry) Yeah. Yeah, that’s right – exactly. (Graeme) It just looks wonderful it really does: beautiful scene. (Barry) Thank you. (Graeme) Tell me a little bit more about your photographs as well? (Barry) Well I exhibit, I’ll exibit my photographs, and I’m actually now putting them up on canvas – stretched canvas. (Graeme) Alright. (Barry) I’m a member of the Federation of Camera Clubs – as a judge. (Graeme) Right. So I go around to different areas, different clubs on invitation and judge the work, the way the photography’s coming through. I get a, still get a kick out of that because you see how progressive photography is coming along. (Graeme) Looks like you got purple flowers coming out there, or little – I’m not sure but I can see a lot of purple in there, (Barry) Yes. (Graeme) just in that corner down there. Yeah, just in there. (Barry) Yes. I like to try and get various colors in there. Try to get a bit of color into the foreground. (Graeme) Yeah. You can definitely see that wonderful effect of light as its moving across the picture. (Barry) Which I probably would even accentuate a bit more in some cases, (Graeme) Aha. (Barry) by just by putting a bit of warm color, (Graeme) Wonderful. (Barry) just lifts. (Graeme) Yes, it does. So what would you generally sell a painting like this size for? I mean you obviously have to have these framed being pastels. Do you spray your pastels at all? (Barry) No. (Graeme) You don’t? So that’s it as it is there. (Barry) Yep. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) As is. (Graeme) But generally what would a picture like that framed, what would you sell that for? (Barry) Well it’s twelve hundred to fifteen hundred, (Graeme) That’s very reasonable, very reasonable, yeah. A great price, cause I know that the framings very expensive anyway just regardless. But that’s just great. (Barry) Yeah, I think you clear about, out of a twelve hundred dollar painting, clear about seven hundred. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) If you sell it through a gallery, well then you’ve got to pay commission (Graeme) Yeah. (Barry) also. Maybe five, five hundred probably more really to list it through a gallery. (Graeme) Sure, but this is a, this is he beauty about Colour In Your Life, the whole country can see (Barry) Yeah. (Graeme) what you’re doing now. And they have access to you obviously through our website and if they choose to come in, and I use the word invest – particularly when you’re a professional Artist. Everybody that we have on the show are professional, practicing full time Artists, and as far as I’m concerned when they purchase your work they’re investing in your work. (Barry) Yeah. (Graeme) That is a much better way to look at it. (Barry) That’s a good attitude, yes. (Graeme) So when you go to frame your work there’s a bit of an Art in framing pastels. (Barry) Yes, the um, a good framer knows how to do it, and they frame it so the mask doesn’t come actually in contact with the painting itself. (Graeme) Okay. (Barry) So any loose pastel and there will be some loose pastels, where there might be a flick like that and it leaves a bit of a deposit, and it might eventually fall off and will go down behind the mask. (Graeme) Oh, so you won’t see it actually (Barry) You won’t see it in the glass. (Graeme) Oh, there you go, okay. Unless they tip the painting upside down for whatever reason, and it flows back the other way. (Barry) Jump back the other way. (Graeme) That’s too much. Well, Barry just a wonderful work, mate; you’ve just done a great job. Pastel – Master pastel Artist, Master light Artist as far as I’m concerned. Thank you very much for having us in your home today, mate. (Barry) Pleasure. (Graeme) It was a pleasure it really was, (Barry) I enjoyed every minute of it. (Barry) and you’re an extraordinary talented man you really are. As I, as I’ve said, if you would like to see more of these Artists, if you want to come and enquire about Barry’s work, you can come to colour in your life dot com dot au, and see all of these Artists great doing stuff in there. There’s some really wonderful things going on in the website these days, so make sure you come in and have a look. Until next time – remember: make sure you put some color in your life.