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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Pastel Pointers | When Memory Gets in the Way

During a recent visit to the Goleta Slough in California, I noticed that the bank of eucalyptus trees that lines the crest of the coastal cliffs to the east had changed. In many parts of the state there's a movement to eradicate the trees since they aren't native to the region....

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So, What’s Your Hook?

Knowing the hook—or what it is that attracted me to a certain scene—is key to producing a successful landscape painting. It's the concept. If I don’t know why I’m doing it, then I won’t know what to do. Following this concept is also useful in terms of knowing when a painting...

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Pastel Painting Transportation, Part 1 — Pastel Supports

As marvelous as the medium of pastel is for painting on location, there's one issue that has to be addressed to make sure our efforts survive: Transportation. Small travel-sized pastel palettes have made our lives vastly easier, as has the introduction by most major pastel manufacturers of half-stick assortments of their...

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Reaching the End | When is a Painting Finished?

It seems that most of us—even when we have mapped out a destination for a painting—still find it hard to know when to put down the pastel stick and stop working. In fact, one of the most commonly asked question in one of my workshops is "How do you know when...

Artistic Driver’s Education

When we first attempt to paint, the bulk of our energy is focused on learning how to handle the medium we've chosen. In many ways, it's similar to learning to drive an automobile. At first, we are not as concerned with where we are driving but how we are driving. As...