Painting Weather in Pastel

It’s fascinating how the same landscape can change depending on the time of the day, season of the year, and the specific kind of weather. We asked three pastel artists—Don Williams, Margi Lucena and Margaret Evans—about painting weather in a landscape.

Is there a specific kind of weather or atmospheric condition that you especially enjoy painting?

Margi Lucena: A fresh blanket of snow! Under cloudy skies, snow in a painting is hardly ever expressed as “white.” The shadows and bounced light give such great opportunities to use an array of color—often an entirely different palette than you might expect.

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Winter Contrast (pastel) by Margi Lucena

Don Williams: I’m fascinated by the fog that occasionally blankets the landscape around Sonoma. When it appears, I get my camera and drive the backroads looking for something that might make a good painting. When the fog is really dense, you’re never sure what you’re seeing as shapes start to appear and then fade back into the cloud. It’s a wonderfully strange and mysterious world and pastel is the perfect medium to use to depict it.

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Dense Fog (pastel) by Don Williams

Margaret Evans: I love sunrises and sunsets, because they create a magical mood of things to come; and watery subjects, like Venice in the rain where there can be double reflections to paint. The weather is so important to a painter, but I’m not always looking for bright sunny days – I’m more excited about clouds and mists for painting which create more mystery.

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Loch Earn Blues & Golds (pastel) by Margaret Evans

To read more about painting weather conditions in pastel and to learn about the techniques and materials used to create the compelling work of these three artists, check out the October 2016 issue of Pastel Journal.

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