The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Small Space, Big Results
A single piece of furniture can be used for more than one purpose. The top of a low cabinet, for example, can be used as a palette. I place a large, thick foam board on top of two chairs to create a temporary horizontal plane for painting and drawing
The Pastel Journal3 min letti
Sweet on Suede
Ever since I started painting in pastels 15 years or so ago, I’ve been wanting to get my hands on one of those beautiful boxes with hundreds of pastel sticks inside. Even if I couldn’t possibly use all of them, just to be able to gaze at all those co
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Keep It Simple
A simple three-legged easel doesn’t take up as much space as the fancier easels do, plus it can fold easily for storage. I’ve been using such an easel for many years. I place it in the center of my studio and use it for both small-and large-scale pai
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
SURFACES: Gleim uses 400-grit UART paper dry-mounted to a ridged surface, such as Gator board or Rhino board. She also uses Ampersand Pastelbord. For larger works, she creates her own surfaces by applying Golden Pumice Gel to board. PASTELS: When dr
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Everything in Its Place
Whether you’re happy to work in a messy space or you need it to be tidy, taking time to organize your creative instruments is worthwhile. Having your tools in good order will make it easier to dive in whenever inspiration strikes. My art supplies are
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Cold Shower
Step 1: When using a light-colored surface, I begin with an underpainting to block in the lights and the dark masses. This step can be done with either water-based ink or watercolor (adding rubbing alcohol for faster drying) or with pastel. Step 2:
The Pastel Journal2 min letti
Painting on Vacation
It was the bucket-list trip of a lifetime. When a friend invited me to join her small group on a trip to the Provence region in France during the lavender bloom, I jumped at the chance. There was a catch, however— it wasn’t a painting trip. Only two
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Not a Literal Translation
The key to painting from photos is not to take them too literally. I use photos to determine structure, some color, perspective and simple shapes, but they only provide a flat view and that isn’t how the human eye views a scene. A photo is just an im
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Packing Supplies
I always want to bring art supplies with me on a trip, so I put together a small kit that fits into my backpack. I don’t use a tripod or easel. Instead I attach my paper to a piece of foam core and hold it in my lap or lay it flat when working. I l
The Pastel Journal2 min letti
La Foce Gardens
I photographed this beautiful scene while on a garden tour at La Foce, a breathtaking estate in the Val d’Orcia area of Tuscany, where I stay during my painting holidays in Italy. I made a quick thumbnail sketch to make sure this scene would translat
The Pastel Journal3 min letti
Tips for Painting Lavender
Observation is important. The time of day, weather conditions and quality of the light source will change the appearance of color in a landscape. Being aware of these variables will help your paintings look more authentic. If we aren’t paying attenti
The Pastel Journal7 min letti
Conjuring the LANDSCAPE
Conceptual art places emphasis on ideas, which takes precendence over concerns of aesthetics or materials in the finished object. It’s an approach that challenges what art is and can be. Its founder, French-American artist Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968),
The Pastel Journal6 min letti
Strokes Of Discovery
VIEWING ONE OF LAURINDA PHAKOS O’CONNOR’S paintings is not a passive experience. Lines and marks move in opposing directions, and you can bounce between seeing the artist’s every stroke and the scene as a whole in an endless loop without noticing the
The Pastel Journal7 min letti
Making a Home Through Art
You might not think that escaping a country in crisis would be an auspicious experience, but for Dalibor Dejanović, leaving behind his war-torn homeland of Yugoslavia marked a new beginning. “I lived in a small town on the front line from 1991 to 199
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Go-to Materials
Dejanovic favors the suede-like surface of Clairfontaine’s Pastelmat. In particular, he enjoys its softness and its ability to handle a wet underpainting. He finds many other pastel papers too abrasive. He also uses Canson Mi-Teintes nonsanded paper,
The Pastel Journal2 min lettiPsychology
Some of the most important breakthrough moments for artists occur with pastel or brush in hand. You might remember a time when you tried a new underpainting approach or perhaps used a familiar technique but on a new surface, and the results were surp
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Starting With Ink
Step 1: I’m most happy when I take a brush of ink to my paper, letting the drips and expressive quality of the fluid stroke take over. I also love the darkness of the ink as well as the subtle shades of gray that inevitably come out. Step 2: Once dr
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
The Pastel Journal
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anne Hevener SENIOR DESIGNER Brian Roeth SENIOR EDITOR Holly Davis MANAGING EDITOR Christina Richards Sylvie Cabal, Art du Pastel; Albert Handell; Liz Haywood-Sullivan; Janie Hutchinson; Isabelle V. Lim; Richard McKinley, IAPS; Rae Sm
The Pastel Journal7 min letti
Art In The Woods
Kathleen McDonnell’s landscape paintings remind one of walks along a quiet country road. The suddenly-heard song of a bird makes you stop to listen, but you also stop to see. A gentle beauty lingers in the meadow around you, and the rich color of the
The Pastel Journal2 min letti
Fighting Fire with Pastel Sticks
After wildfires caused mass destruction in her California hometown, pastelist Lisa Rico began an art project to raise funds for her community. “It was 3 a.m. on August 19th. We awoke to a ringing phone and found the sky red and heavy with smoke,” say
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Fields of Gray
McDonnell has created a series of pastel paintings done entirely in black, white and gray. The series, Fields of Grey, was inspired by a workshop with Richard McKinley. He had us creating value studies before we started our plein air piece, a practic
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
An Island Retreat for a Lake-Loving Pastelist
The International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) is hosting a pastel immersion retreat in August of this year at the Madeline Island School of the Arts (MISA) with a trio of all-star pastel instructors—Lyn Asselta, Aline Ordman and Dawn Emers
The Pastel Journal2 min letti
Two Palettes, Two Moods
1. Full-color View: Morning Walk is a pastel that I completed using a full-color palette. The light is just beginning to fall across the tree tops in this summer morning scene. 2. Reference Photos: Later I decided to create a pastel of the same view
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
What’s Online
Here’s how to set creative goals that produce an artistic road map for a year of creative growth and inspired painting. Award-winning artist Tony Allain shares 13 pastel tips and techniques for creating stron
The Pastel Journal5 min lettiVisual Arts
WHEN NOT AT AN EASEL, artist Lisa Gleim is a woman seemingly in constant motion. In addition to being a wife and mother of an active family, she’s continually traveling to places that inspire her work. Since childhood, she has been drawing, pursuing
The Pastel Journal2 min letti
Smile Of The French Enlightenment
No artist has handled pastel more adroitly than did Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704–88). His portraits, perceptive in characterization and brilliant in technique, represent a virtual who’s who of the French Enlightenment. La Tour’s facility was hard
The Pastel Journal1 min letti
Materials For A Winter Walk
SURFACE: UART 400-grit pastel paper, dry-mounted on conservation board PASTELS: Cretacolor and Prismacolor Nupastel to start—then Unison, Great American, Schmincke and Blue Earth added OTHER: Weber Odorless Turpenoid applied with a stiff bristle br
The Pastel Journal1 min lettiScience & Mathematics
Tips For Painting Snow
Kolasinski is unlikely to paint snow just by grabbing a stick of white. “Snow is very refractive, with many values and colors, so I make sure I observe the colors that it reflects from the landscape surrounding it. Snow will reflect the sky if there’
The Pastel Journal7 min letti
An Adventurous Heart
Halla Shafey has turned her studio into a “laboratory” where she constantly experiments. Her investigations include watercolor underpaintings, dabs of acrylic scattered like petals over the paper, and lines and scratches forming woven patterns. She a
The Pastel Journal7 min letti
Hold the Line
The seaside town of Youghal, located in County Cork, Ireland, is to the city of Cork as Coney Island is to New York City, with beaches, hotels and summertime amusements. Or at least it used to be, back in the days before cheap flights started taking
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