The event was conducted under the guidance of Russian painter Maria Chumak
Russia-born Maria Chumak is a woman who wears many hats — painter, fashion designer and author.
Ms. Chumak was in the city recently for back-to-back still life drawing workshops using soft pastel and dry pastel on the weekend under the auspices of Tasmai, a centre for art and culture.
During the workshops, the participants, who included adults and children, were guided through the process of doing life drawing from a live model using pastels.
On day one participants were mentored in colour usage, light and shadow application on simple shapes. Due to their fantastic blending properties, soft pastels are actually great for building up tones and shapes.
From the Renaissance
Pastel art has been used since the Renaissance. Initially used for portraiture, pastel art spread to all figurative and abstract genres. Despite the usage of the dry sticks, pastel is classified as a painting medium and widely used by artists and designers. Compared to other painting mediums — pastel colours do not faded with time and look brighter than oil or watercolours.
Essentially, it employs three techniques: blending, scumbling and feathering. Starting with a general undertone, adding colour and details progressively. The medium is especially apt for building up tones and shapes where participants start with a general undertone, adding colour and details as they proceed.
A medium for all
Young artists, especially, love this easy managing technique and will be happy to understand the light and shadow application, which gives immediate three-dimensional effect to the objects, according to Tasmai.
For participants completely new to the medium, all details would have looked difficult in the beginning and creating portraits and figure drawing with soft pastels might seem daunting.
However, under the Ms. Chumak’s guidance, they soon established a connect with the art of drawing from still life.
According to Tasmai, for over seven years, Ms. Chumak has been living and working in the South India, with the cultural diversity inspiring her to create a series of works in various mediums: painting, drawing, fashion and book illustrations, textile, conceptual fashion and many travel books.
The art tutor, who was born in St. Petersburg, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, with a major in painting.
She completed her study at the Claude Lapointe Studio at the Arts Décoratifs (High School of Decorative Arts) de Strasbourg in France, and later on added a degree in fashion design in Paris.