Art Mediums & Drawing

What’s your favorite fine art medium in which to work? Find what you’re looking for here, or discover something new! Our articles include works on pastel, watercolor, oil, acrylic, colored pencil, collage, mixed media, how to draw people and more. Learn a new art technique or enhance what you already know with our hundreds of art instruction resources.

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Plein Air Minded Pastelists | A Report From the 2014 Plein Air Convention

The act of painting en plein air, or “in the open air,” has its modern origins in the Barbizon school of painting established by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and further advanced by the French Impressionist painters. As art materials became more portable, more artists began to work directly from nature, creating paintings that better represented the...

Hope (pastel) by Libby January

Fast, Flexible, Forgiving Pastels | Libby January

Many artists yearn to express themselves in a freer, less representational way. One such artist is Libby January. The former primary school teacher, whose lifelong love of art took her back to college as a mature student, faced a long struggle to find an approach that satisfied her creative needs. “I did a lot...

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Sneak Peek | Pastel Journal June 2014 Issue Preview

Check it out! The June 2014 issue of Pastel Journal features pastel techniques and instruction for painting palm trees, making the most of your workspace, building a pastel with an abstract block-in, creating a painterly portrait and much more. Watch our video preview below for a sneak peek, and you’ll see pastel paintings by cover artist...

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Splash 16 Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 121 artists selected for North Light Books’ latest watercolor competition Splash 16: Exploring Texture! If you see your name below, please check your email accounts (and junk boxes) for instructions on next steps. You will receive an email from us with the subject line “Splash 16 Winner Notification” no later than...

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Pastel Impasto Impersonation

One of the great advantages of oil paint, beyond its inherent richness of value and color depth due the pigment's suspension in oil, is the ability to apply it thickly--to create an impasto surface effect. The term impasto originates from the Italian word pasta, which means "paste." When associated to painting, it signifies a...

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Pastel Pick of the Week | Pastel Wins Big at Academic Artists Association National Exhibition

Congratulations to Robert K. Carsten whose pastel, Insight and Inspiration, won the Best in Show Award at the 64th Academic Artists Association national exhibition, which opened last Sunday. The Academic Artists Association’s show is one of the oldest, continuing, annual fine art exhibitions in the country. It was established in 1949 by American Impressionist,...