Pastel Art Techniques Painting Landscapes & More

Take your pastel art to the next level with everything you need to know about how to paint with pastels—from Maggie Price’s solutions for specific challenges to Richard McKinley’s invaluable pointers and instruction to pastel tips about materials and supplies.

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Must-Have Summer Resource | Pastel Journal August 2014 Issue Preview

Don’t miss this summer’s must-have pastel resource! The August 2014 issue of Pastel Journal features pastel techniques and instruction for how to: paint coastal seascapes. convey light in your paintings. create tone in your underpaintings. use everyday objects to aid your framing process. and much more! Watch our video preview link below for a sneak peek, and you’ll see...

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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 you are done?"

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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 technical ability improves,...

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A Fascinating Thing About Painting

Artists don’t paint because it’s an easy thing to do. It often takes patience, practice, and a concentrated effort to be able to paint to one’s satisfaction. In Pastel Journal Daniel E. Greene, who has built a hearty portfolio of breathtaking portraits, admits that painting is “a never-ending process of challenges and learning.”

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From the Archives | Shades of Green, Part 2

Last week, I discussed how perplexing green can be for pastel landscape painting. I mentioned how a warm complementary-color underpainting is a popular technique many artists use as a setup in advance of applying green. This week, I want to share a few more tips that may prove useful for the pastel landscape painter.

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From the Archives | Shades of Green, Part 1

Put two or more landscape painters together and inevitably, the topic of how to handle green arises. Skillfully finessing green requires an understanding of its relationship to and interaction with the other colors of the spectrum and ultimately a degree of theatrics. These skills are even more pertinent during the season of Spring when...

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The Quality of Color | A Tonalist Approach

Many painters are drawn to color like bees to honey. The kaleidoscopic array of intense color choices available today is due in large part to the introduction of new organic pigments, such as Anthraquinone, Dioxazine, Hansa, Napthol, Phthalo and Quinacridone. These pigments are capable of retaining a high chromatic intensity across a range of...

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The Contrast Effect | Important Rules for Landscape Painting

The term “simultaneous contrast” was first used by French physicist Michel Eugene Chevreul to explain a phenomenon plaguing the dye works at the Gobelins Manufactory in Paris. The colors of various yarns were appearing to change from project to project for no apparent reason. Chevreul was able to ascertain that the yarn colors themselves...

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Grumbacher and Rembrandt | Two Historic Pastel Brands

There was a very limited selection of pastel brands available to many of us who began working in the medium in the 1970s. This was an era before mail-order, let alone online retailers. Most of us had to rely on what was available at the local art supply store, an—if you happened to reside...

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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...