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I was delighted to be invited by Ed and Gary to demo at the Schmincke booth at the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) Conference again this year. What to paint? I had a few possible reference photos collected but just before I left home, my mum, excited about some Iceland Poppies that a neighbour […]

The post Iceland Poppies – My Demos At IAPS Using Schmincke Pastels appeared first on How to Pastel.

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As you probably know, I’m a big believer in the power of thumbnails. I create three-value thumbnails in black, grey, and white, namely, I use the extreme ends and mid-point of the value scale. In this way, I produce a very clear, high-contrast map of what I’m going to paint.  Students, however, are often confused […]

The post The Value Scale: How Thumbnail Values Relate To Your Painting appeared first on How to Pastel.

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Sometimes you come across a painting that keeps you looking beyond a cursory – oh-that’s-wonderful thought. I especially love when the deeper looking involves a painting (and artist) previously unknown to me. This is true of today’s close look blog post. Check out Les Confidences by Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean (b. 13 January 1958, Chevry-Cossigny, France – d. […]

The post “Les Confidences” By Edmond-François Aman-Jean – A Close Look appeared first on How to Pastel.

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Recently I received an email from someone going to Tuscany. Knowing I was also soon to travel to that part of Italy, she asked if I would mind making suggestions about what colours she should take, i.e. help her in choosing a colour palette for travelling. I answered her directly but thought that since it […]

The post Choosing a Colour Palette for Travelling appeared first on How to Pastel.

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Hedgerows and flower heads, skies and leaves, paths and vistas – welcome to the world of Judy Tate! I’m comforted and delighted by Tate’s abstractions of the Dorset landscape. For some reason, they recall images from my English childhood books. And so I looked forward to the day Judy Tate would (hopefully!) be a guest […]

The post Judy Tate – Abstract Wanderings: Working From Chaos To Order appeared first on How to Pastel.

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A plein air painting in 20 minutes? Why not! Ever had a burning urge to paint, to sit down and paint something, anything? I know the feeling really well! Yet so often we succumb to the excuses we’ve made like not having enough time. It’s amazing how we create obstacles to prevent ourselves from painting. […]

The post Plein Air Painting In 20 Minutes! appeared first on How to Pastel.

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I’m back from a wee holiday in our favourite village of La Manzanilla. This getaway was all about taking it easy, swimming, reading, catching up with the locals. Aaaaaaand, I also hoped to do a couple of pastels. As you probably know, laundry is a favourite subject of mine so our beach towels on the […]

The post Beach Towels On The Clothesline – My Mexico Painting appeared first on How to Pastel.

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Over the last couple of years, I’ve featured three pastel paintings by Michele Ashby in my round-ups. Each time was of a different subject: a spiral staircase, a dog portrait, and a figure piece. Such talent! Following Michele on various social media platforms, I’ve noticed that she posts a lot of paintings she’s done of […]

The post Michele Ashby – My Children As Muse appeared first on How to Pastel.

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Ambiguity in art: art work having several possible interpretations or meanings; of an uncertain nature. And why am I bringing this up? Think of the Mona Lisa’s smile. It’s ambiguous- we don’t know why she’s smiling and there are so many possible stories we could create. She’s kept us intrigued all through the centuries and […]

The post Ambiguity In Art – How It Can Benefit Your Own Work appeared first on How to Pastel.

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I’m excited to have Gigi Liverant as a guest blogger this month. I have featured her work in monthly roundups ( October 2017 and December 2018) and love her vibrant colour, bold compositions, and expressive marks. I know you’re going to find her process fascinating as well as inspiring. And I LOVE her insistence on […]

The post Gigi Horr Liverant – The Beauty Of Failure appeared first on How to Pastel.

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