Pastel Painting Blog: Tutorials & Techniques from Richard McKinley

With more than four decades of experience as a professional artist and painting instructor, Richard McKinley is the perfect artist to turn to if you’d like to learn more about painting the landscape and painting in pastel, in particular. McKinley is an award-winning landscape artist and a Pastel Society of America Hall of Fame honoree. He is a best-selling author and this Pastel Pointers Blog is chock-full of practical tips and expert advice that address real-life painting challenges.

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The Art of Illusion | Use the Magic of Edges in Your Painting

Any creative who’s trying to depict reality—whether an author, sculptor or painter—must try to master the art of illusion. One of the most useful tools an artist can use to produce this magic is the manipulation of edges. The dictionary definition of “edge” is the line where an object or area begins or ends:...

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Warming Up to Painting in Winter

As we approach the start of the official winter season in the northern hemisphere, it's time to embrace what the season has to offer the landscape painter. Different regions provide variety, but the farther north you are, the more pronounced the personality of winter becomes. The leaves have fallen from the trees, exposing the...

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Best of Pastel Pointers | Value is Key to Effective Color

Most of us love color. We're drawn to it hoping to accomplish something expressive in our paintings. If the value structure (the relative lightness and darkness) in a painting is wrong, however, all the pretty colors housed in our pastel cases won't work, and the painting will fall short. If you're one of the...

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Best of Pastel Pointers | Handling Edges in a Landscape Painting

The handling of the edges within a painting can be subconsciously intimidating to an artist, which can have a subsequent effect on how product is applied. When the elements that make up the subject matter of a scene are visually recognized, we intellectually understand that they are separated from one another—that there is space...

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The Secret to Painting a Masterpiece

With the release of the new April 2016 issue of Pastel Journal, which celebrates the winners of the 17th Annual Pastel 100 Competition, it seemed a perfect opportunity to revisit a Pastel Pointers post by Richard McKinley in which he discusses the secret to painting a masterpiece—and your next award-winner: Know your purpose.

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From the Archive | Paint Like Leonardo

During the Italian Renaissance there was a contentious debate as to which was a nobler art form: painting or sculpting. Painters claimed that they had the harder task because they had to invent the illusion of everything within the scene, including the light. Sculptors claimed it was they who had the greater challenge, because...