Richard McKinley’s Ah-Ha Moment

In his interview with The Artist Magazine’s Chris McHugh, pastel painter Richard McKinley shared the story of an important breakthrough moment in his art education:

“I had been doing a lot of portraits when I was young, probably about 18 at this point, and I was very arrogant and cocky—I knew everything! Well, I decided to take a sculpting class and everybody was very nice and I respected the teacher. I remember thinking, ‘Just wait till they see what I can do!’ We had this beautiful model and I was working with my clay with my painter’s mind, so I made the clay look just like the model. The teacher came by, and I kept thinking, ‘All of you in the room, wait till you hear what she’s going to say to me. Oh my God, I’m so good!’ So she leaned over my shoulder, and she moved the clay—and what I realized is that I had pasted the ears right next to the eyes because if you look straight at the model—the world of the painter being flat—that’s where they would go. And that was one of the biggest ah-ha moments for me: The painter has to think like a sculptor!”

Read more “out-takes” from The Artist’s Magazine interview on our website. Or check out the artist’s latest post on the Pastel Pointers blog.



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