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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Diane Is For Sure... VIBRANT!

Diane Pike's artistic inspiration comes from the likes of Henry Hensche. She loves her works, whether oil or pastel, to have a strong light source and vibrant colors. That's exactly how she started out in her pastel landscape demo at our Tuesday night MAG meeting (11/13/12).

Her trees were initially done as large shapes with mostly dark and light hues of red, orange, yellow, green-blue and purple. She does not repeat colors... "close but not the same." Also, no black or white in her pastel palette. 

She normally works on Kitty Wallis paper (has "tooth" to grip and hold the colors) with soft pastels by Unison, Terry Ludwig and Sennelier. She will also use Conte and Rembrandt brands for the underpainting.

She started the demo with her paper taped to foam core wrapped with felt. She didn't blend with her finger or a stump... she layered the colors. She said she uses no fixatives or washes. Her landscape was already sketched out on the paper. She recommends using a proportional scale wheel and grids to sketch out an image on the work surface... after doing a value sketch. Her pastel sticks were kept clean with the ever present and constantly used old tee-shirt so the colors were always clean.

After blocking-in with strong colors, the trees were toned down "some" with shades of green, purple, red and blue. Street signs and telephone poles are welcome in her works... "breaks up landscape... like them!" She completed the work within an hour... vibrantly beautiful.

She gives workshops at her studio at 1515 Mint Street in Charlotte. For more information, go to her web site:

Diane's work after the block-in stage

Diane answers a question from MAG member, Marie Davis

The finished work... (sigh) so lovely



  1. For those of you, w/ an iPad or iPhone or other Apple device, interested in a proportional scale wheel ... there is an App for that! Type Proportional Scale in the search box and there's a Courtney & Company digital wheel device for artists. Sells for $1.99

  2. Diane Pike's presentation was excellent!
    So glad I was there!


    .......and MAC.........well, what a joy to have this resource in
    my home town.

    Mona H