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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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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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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...