Pastel workshop renders colorful evening

Marie Owens listens to instruction as she picks out a blue pastel for her drawing.

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff


Drawing and painting are often some of the most relaxing and rewarding activities in which one can be involved.

However, they can only truly be relaxing when an individual knows the right way to approach them.

On Thursday, April 4, a group met at the Sherborn Library to learn how to properly use pastels to make a masterpiece in a workshop taught by Gregory Maichack.

Maichack is a trained artist, known for his portraits and work in pastels. The workshop he taught was just one of many, but it didn’t make it any less vital. Maichack brought all the supplies his students would need with him: paper, rulers, pencils, pastels, and most importantly, a plethora of knowledge about art and a good sense of humor.

Maichack began the demonstration by putting three pastel drawings up on the display easels at the front of the room. Each of them depicted a sailboat, with a blue sky and a grassy background - a scene one may see when visiting the beach. These drawings were what the group members would be attempting to replicate in their own artwork. Participants were each given a piece of paper and a ruler to help them as they attempted to make their own pastel masterpieces.

Maichack gives advices on how to properly blend two shades of blue in the drawing.

Maichack gives advices on how to properly blend two shades of blue in the drawing.

The event was filled with not only knowledge and advice from Maichack, but a great bit of humor. “Someone pointed out that I only painted one person in the sailboat,” recalled Maichack as he showed participants how to render the first part of the drawing. “He told me he would have been very lonely.” After that, Maichack began adding a second person to the boat.

The group then came to the main part of the demonstration: learning to use pastels.

For this, Maichack made the assembled break some brand new pastels. “I find that it’s easy to break stuff that isn’t yours,” he said, cracking open the box and having each person break a pastel in half and hand it to the person across from them. “We’re going to start with the blues,” he said, showing the group how to properly color their picture. As they took their time to color in the oceans of their pictures, Maichack offered yet another quality joke. “I was at a demonstration a few days ago and someone asked me if I thought it was cold in the room,” said Maichack. “I said no, that it was fine. Then, he asked me why my hands were blue.” Everyone in the room chuckled, as they looked at their own blue colored hands.

In just a few hours, everyone attending the demonstration had created their own masterpiece. They finished off by blowing left over pastel dust off of their papers. Some rolled up their creations, while others carried theirs out flat. Though they were all mimicking one particular picture, everyone managed to create a unique pastel portrait.

Most importantly, they left with the knowledge that they could all be artists.

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