Gateway Gallery will conduct its very first online art workshop via Zoom on May 15, 2021, from 9 am to 12 noon. Titled Pastel 101: Paint-Along with Julius Legaspi, this special digital art session will teach beginners, from teens to adults, the basics of the oil pastel medium. Seasoned artist Legaspi will discuss pastel and its materials, as well as demonstrate the techniques often-used in oil pastel painting.
Pastel 101 is an art demonstration online session. Though an artwork or output is not required from the participants, Legaspi encourages the students to paint-along with him. This way, the students will have a more intimate experience with the medium and be able to come up with a moody waterscape painting.
Legaspi is a graduate of the UP College of Fine Arts and is one of the leading advocates of the pastel medium in the country. He and his artist-friends started in 2015 the Philippine Pastel Artists, Inc, which has been active in promoting the use of the medium among Filipino artists through regular events and annual conventions. His last and fifth solo art exhibit Maynila: Pook at Tanawin was held in Gateway Gallery in January 2020.
Gateway Gallery interviews Legaspi to revisit his art and his practice:
GG: What led you to focus on pastel as the main medium of your art?
Legaspi: Among the many art mediums, it is pastel that challenges me the most in creating super realistic pieces. In addition, it is readily accessible and easy to prepare.
GG: Who are the artists you look up to, local or foreign, especially in terms of pastel drawing/painting and why?
Legaspi: I really look up and admire Mr. Fernando Sena, who is my mentor during my high school days, and Nestor Redondo, the comic artist, for his impressionistic strokes and color harmony.
GG: What do you think are the strengths of the pastel medium? Pastel painting?
Legaspi: Pastel is easy to handle. It is not intimidating. I can create super realistic pieces with just a stick and a paper. Also, there are no long or elaborate preparations needed before you can start painting. The quality brands are not so expensive, almost similar to student-grade price, and the output can be as expressive as paint mediums.
GG: Having founded and led the only pastel group in the country, the Philippine Pastel Artists, Inc., what concrete directions do you want the group to take to further the growth of the medium?
Legaspi: My wish is for the group to discover new pastel techniques and to produce new pieces in the highest level or quality possible.
GG: What do students of Pastel 101 will expect from you and the session on May 15?
Legaspi: I will introduce them to pastel as one of the major mediums in art-making. That it is a credible medium and not just for poster-making; and that it can be very expressive and practical at the same time. They will learn how to work with their hands to achieve different effects while getting to know the medium and its materials.
To sign-up for Pastel 101, message Gateway Gallery through its Facebook (GatewayGalleryPH) or Instagram accounts (gateway. gallery), or email at email@example.com. Send the full name of the registrant/attendee, email address and mobile number, then pay the session fee of Php 800 via bank transfer or deposit.
Gateway Gallery is located at the 5th level of Gateway Tower in Araneta City, Quezon City. It is closed indefinitely at the moment in compliance with the government’s pandemic response, though it remains active online to serve the art and cultural needs of its audience.