Get Inspired by These Fantastic Fall Pastel Paintings


Fall pastel painting by John Hartman

John Hartman’s Place by Mike Kelly

And How to Avoid Fake-Looking Garish Colors

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year! Especially in the outdoors. The landscape comes alive with so much color–and that is a well-known challenge for many artists creating fall pastel paintings because we don’t want overblown, garish colors that look artificial. But those reds, oranges, and yellows of the landscape do need careful handling.

Here’s a gallery of exceptional fall pastel paintings–so you can see how to do it right along with a few pointers to carry with you. And if you are as excited by the season as I am, take the opportunity to immerse yourself in it before winter comes with Landscape Painting in Pastel: Fall Color with Liz Haywood-Sullivan. This video will inspire your creativity and give you easy, accessible painting and art projects to allow you to make the most of the season! Enjoy!



Bonnie Zahn Griffith with Storm From the West, fall pastel painting

Storm From the West by Bonnie Zahn Griffith

Harmony But Variety

See how the colors in the fields are harmonious with the colors of the hills and sky? Be mindful of allowing yourself a variety of colors but keep them from clashing and within each color — blend shadow shapes and texture so the painting feels lively.

Fall Colors by Susan Grinels, fall pastel painting

Fall Colors by Susan Grinels

Bold Wins

Sometimes you have to just unleash the color. Grinels avoids garish by keeping the colors bright but not clashing. There is also a folk-art aspect to the work that gives it permission to push the color palette as that style is known for patchwork swaths of color.

Yandoit, Autumnal Colors by Joanne Seberry

Yandoit, Autumnal Colors by Joanne Seberry

Increase Depth

You call always notch up the sense of depth and distance in your painting with additional color values—two or three different shades will do it.. 

Fall Marsh by Leslie Smith, fall pastel painting

Fall Marsh by Leslie Smith

One Exceptional Thing

The contrast of the golden sunlit field against that equally jewel-blue water? It’s enough to make Smith’s painting sing. Don’t think you have to overload. Edit and choose carefully and you will make something masterful.


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