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Pastel Journal is the only fine art magazine devoted solely to the pastel medium, features inspiring art and articles about today’s best pastel artists. Learn how to paint with pastels and be inspired by the gorgeous artwork, tips, insight and creative inspiration from the best in the field.

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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,...

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Painting Blue Skies | Applying the Theory of Light, Part 2

Last week, I started a discussion on how best to deal with an extremely intense blue sky in an otherwise warm landscape scene. I emphasized the importance of representing light by indicating a full spectrum of color and talked about a method of selecting analogous hues of blue and painting them with fragmented strokes...

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Maggie Price Remembered | Newly Discovered Works by the Artist

Last year, on April 4, 2013, we received the news of the death of artist, teacher, author and mentor Maggie Price (maggiepriceart.com) after a short yet courageous battle with cancer. A year later, we continue to miss her, both as a friend and as an important advocate of pastel. Fortunately, we can continue to...

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Painting Blue Skies | Applying the Theory of Light, Part 1

Recently, while on a painting trip to sunny arid Arizona, I was asked by a student for guidance on how to handle the intensity of the blue sky—especially in a landscape enhanced by the earthen tones of the rugged desert mountains. As someone who lives in an area filled with tree-covered mountains and a...

Halcyon Afternoon (pastel, 12 x 16) By Richard McKinley

Best of Pastel Pointers | The Finish Line

How do you know when you’re done with a painting? This is one of the most frequently asked questions among artists. And most responses are ambiguous at best: When I have gone too far; when someone takes it away from me; when someone offers to buy it; when my teacher tells me I’m done...

Black Leaf (pastel, 29.5x22.5) by Jimmy Wright

Pastel Pick of the Week | Spring is Showtime for Artist Jimmy Wright

Yesterday marked the vernal equinox and indeed, we seem finally to be shaking off a very long winter and welcoming the first signs of spring! Galleries and museums are doing their part to welcome the season with new shows that celebrate light, flowers and gardens, and our own Jimmy Wright—President of the Pastel Society...

Midnight Frosting (pastel, 18 x 24) by Christine Ivers

Painter of the Night | Pastel Artist Christine Ivers

Having a chance to take an art workshop is such a treat. I firmly believe that none of us ever graduate as painters. There's always more to learn and every experience with another artist is a chance to broaden both technically and aesthetically. Recently, I had just such an opportunity with celebrated Connecticut pastelist...

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Pastel Pick of the Week | The Friday News Round-Up

Even as someone who deals with deadlines for a living, I'm still surprised at how quickly these annual exhibition deadlines come along! So, don't miss the fact that it's that time of year to enter your latest pastel masterpiece into the 42nd Pastel Society of America (PSA) Annual Exhibition, "Enduring Brilliance."

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Edge Intimidation | Two Tools to Overcome the Fear of Painting Edges

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...