Get Pastel Journal, the Ultimate Resource for Pastel Artists

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.

081814-mckinley-pastel-pointers-square

Playing the Painting Game | What to Do When You’re Striking Out

Occasionally when I venture out to paint, especially on an extended plein air trip, I can do a lot of swinging (to use a baseball analogy) but never connect with the ball. Travel plans are made; the daily obligations of life put on hold; and an expectation of what will be creatively accomplished during...

081214-mckinley-pastel-pointers-square

The Importance of Art Critiques | 4 Tips for Receiving Feedback

While a passion to communicate visually lies at the core of the desire to paint, and the diversity of individual vision ultimately leads to great artistic expression, artwork cannot be created in a vacuum. The feedback, both positive and negative, garnered from others plays its part in our creative development. Having perspective on what...

080414-mckinley-pastel-pointers-square

The Power of Suggestion

The power of suggestion is a strong tool in the hands of an artist. When a painting is viewed, visual bits and pieces are processed and assembled into a recognizable image by the viewer. Often with only an indication, a viewer will be able to finish what the artist suggested and ultimately believe that...

1-Grand-Prize-Miles-to-Go-

How Does an Artist Spend $5,000?

If you received a check for $5,000 in the mail today, how would you spend it? Would you pack up your travel box of pastels and climb aboard the next plane to Paris? Venice? Vienna? Reykjavík? Mumbai? Would you head straight away to your favorite art supply retailer or pastel manufacturer and stock up?...

082114_mckinley-pastel-pointers-featured

Pastel Painting Transportation, Part 2 | Protective Sheets, Tape & More

In last week’s blog post, I started a discussion about the transport of unframed pastel paintings, starting with information about the importance of the painting surface support. As I mentioned there, Gatorfoam board has become a very popular product for this purpose. Here, I'll continue the conversation with a discussion of protective sheets, tape...

071414-mckinly-pastel-pointers-featured

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 most popular colors....

Atlantic-Afternoon_200

Negative Space in Painting | Embrace the Negative for Positive Results

Retaining a positive outlook when painting is an important factor to a successful outcome. As any athlete will attest, if you think you’ll hit the ball, you probably will. By keeping a positive can-do attitude as an artist, you’ll likely produce a more confident painting. Yet there’s one instance when a negative viewpoint may prove...

063014-mackinley-pastel-pointers-featured

Painting Perspective | Techniques Used to Accentuate Depth

In last week's post, I discussed the effects that linear and aerial perspective have upon the appearance of depth within a painting. Understanding the physics behind the two can give an artist the ability to manipulate them for creative purposes without compromising the integrity of the scene.

william-a-schneider-pastel-barn-cat

Pastel Pick of the Week | Small But Striking

Congratulations to artist William A. Schneider whose pastel painting, Barn Cat, received the Best in Show award at the Pastel Painters of Maine's 15th Annual International Juried Exhibition “For Pastels Only." The exhibition ran from May 17 through June 14 at the Saco Museum in Saco, Maine. The juror of awards was celebrated...