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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Breaking Out of a Creative Rut

It's human nature for artist to look for answers—the so-called right way of doing things. When we see another artist’s successful paintings, we think that artist has a secret, and that if we had the same products and applied them in the same fashion, we too would produce masterful outcomes. While there's a degree...

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An Incremental Approach to Pastel Painting

As any artist that has worked with pastel can attest, pastel is an extremely versatile painting/drawing medium. The techniques used for its application are unlimited and easily reflect the personalities of those working with it. There are three major external components that affect application and appearance: surface tooth (how easily the surface grabs the...

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Organizing Pastels

The more pastels we acquire the more difficult it can become to keep track of them, especially once they are removed from original packaging and labels have been removed. Initially I tried to keep copious records of which pastels made up various working palettes. When there were only a couple of brands of pastels...

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The Legacy of Henri Roché Pastels

The World War I-era song, “How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm? (After They’ve Seen Paree),” could also describe how many of us felt after first using pastels manufactured by the legendary brands of France: Sennelier, Girault and Henri Roché. By the 18th century in Europe, pastel was very much in fashion...

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You’re Invited to a Pastel Family Reunion: IAPS 2015

On Monday, November 17, at 12pm EST (9am PST), registration will open for the 2015 International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Convention. This marks the eleventh biennial convention to unite member pastel societies from around the country and around the globe for a celebration of all things pastel. The 2015 event will be hosted again...

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Pastel East and West: 1st China (Suzhou) Biennial International Pastel Art Exhibition, Part 1

A delegation of 10 international pastel artists representing the United States, France, Spain, and Singapore have just returned from the 1st China (Suzhou) Biennial International Pastel Art Exhibition and Symposium. The city of Suzhou, in the Jiangsu Province of Eastern China, hosted the inaugural event. The city, which is near Shanghai, is referred to...

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A Visit to The Met, Part 2 | The Manet Effect

The name Edgar Degas is forever synonymous with pastel, but he was not the only French Impressionist to be utilizing the medium. Édouard Manet, whom Degas first meets while copying a Velazquez painting at the Louvre, did a considerable amount of work in pastel. Some of the best examples are on display alongside Degas...