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Jane Radstrom: Mixed-Media Painting (Vol 1&2)

Publisher The Art Department | Price $20 per volume | Format Download | Web www.theartdepartment.com

There are no epic fantasy battles or sweeping alien vistas in this two-part download. Jane Radstrom has something more modest in mind as she crafts a simple study of a semi-clothed model, with negative space defining her seating. Each volume more or less works on its own, but you’ll get the most value if you splurge on both.

In volume 1, Jane spends an hour blocking out the composition in pastels. Although she’s working only from photo reference, Jane’s clearly using the experience of many life-drawing sessions as she defines the figure in line, paying attention to areas where overlapping forms establish depth. Next is the application of bright pastels such as turquoise to indicate colour temperature. As areas of light and shadow are built up, you’ll see how Jane uses contrast to separate forms.

The second, longer volume focuses on detailing, with fine pastel work combining with paint-thinner washes and oil-paint accents to create a figure that possesses mass and energy. Jane’s never afraid to re-examine her earlier decisions, correcting anatomy even in the later stages of the session.

Throughout this piece’s development, Jane explains her thinking with precision and passion. She offers a pragmatic philosophy for creating art, where knowledge of principles and techniques is in the service of creating an image that works. That makes her insights applicable to a broad range of disciplines, not just the large-scale, figure-based art she uses as her example.

If there’s a single flaw in this excellent video, it’s the sound: the room acoustics make following Jane’s thoughts quite hard on occasion, especially when the occasional snippets of background music are mixed too high in the recording. But don’t let that put you off: there’s a lot to be inspired by here. 

Rating: 4.5/5