Painting the National Parks | Doug Tweddale’s Pastel Painting Tour

Doug Tweddale has two passions, painting and travel. So, when it was time to retire, he knew exactly what he wanted to do. “I envisioned teaching workshops and ultimately doing a series from painting the national parks,” he says. “At first, I figured I would take multiple trips over the course of a few years, but then it dawned on me that I could take an extended trip by RV.”

So, after his official retirement in the winter of  2014, Tweddale and his wife, Sue, began to plan. Their “National Park RV Tour” was a four-month extended painting trip throughout the American and Canadian West, which they took during the summer of  2015, and which you can see documented in the latest issue of Pastel Journal.

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Virgin River Flow (pastel, 20×27) was painted in Zion National Park, Utah. “A storm the night before caused the Cottonwood tree in this painting to fall into the rapids,” Tweddale says. ” This reminded me of how powerful the Virgin River is as it continues to carve its way through the park.”

Traveling Light
For such an extended time of travel, it’s important to keep your toolkit light and portable. Here’s what the artist carried with him:

  • Surface: Pastelmat in 20×27-inch sheets of dark gray and brown. “I enjoy the velvety texture of this paper and how well it holds pastel. It reminds me of the handmade ground I used to make with pumice and gesso,” Tweddale says.
  • Pastels: “I use Nupastels for my first layer, because they’re a harder pastel that fills less tooth. I follow with softer Terry Ludwig pastels, which I love for the buttery creaminess and brilliant colors.”
  • Other: The artist carried his pastels in a large Heilman pastel box and used a Jullian French easel.
Mt-Vimy-Doug-Tweddale-Painting-the-national-parks

Mt. Vimy (pastel, 20×27) was painted in
Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada.
“This view was from the front door of our trailer,” says Tweddale. “The mountain was lit up by the evening sun and striking in its luminosity.”

Read more about Tweddale’s 16,000-mile painting the national parks tour—and see a number of the paintings that resulted—in the August 2016 issue of Pastel Journal.

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Niagara (pastel, 8×12) by Doug Tweddale

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