The Long, Hot Summer

Pastel Painting Advantages

The light of summer is a powerful and extreme thing. Getting effects of extreme darks and stark, searing lights is not something every painter can do. There’s an acuteness of vision that must come into play to see the color that resides in the light as well. When I look at the work of pastel painting artist Jane McGraw-Teubner, I see that kind of vision.

Take any one of her pastel paintings and there is a sense of time of day and seasonality present. This probably comes from the fact that McGraw-Teubner spends a good deal of time outside of her studio, painting the landscape outdoors.

End of Summer by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on paper, 11 x 14.
End of Summer by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on paper, 11 x 14.

You can always tell an accomplished painter by what they can do when they are painting outside because nothing is a given and there are challenges galore. McGraw-Teubner always seems to find an interesting vantage point that makes her composition stick in your head. And then there’s the way she uses color, light, and texture to reinforce a composition. For example, she might play with a diagonal direction in a painting. She’ll not only establish this with a physical element–like a tract of road or a field of flowers–but she’ll reinforce the direction or sense of movement with color contrasts or a pattern of light and shadow. Smarty!

Avalon Barn by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on pastelbord, 11 x 14.
Avalon Barn by Jane McGraw-Teubner, pastel painting on pastelbord, 11 x 14.

I’m also drawn to the way she incorporates different natural elements in her pastel paintings. There’s a sense of the land, but usually a waterway and patch of sky as well. All of these combined give a plein air painting a breadth and scope that is really welcome.

If you have an interest in pastel painting in the great outdoors and want to make the most of your time when you go, the Pastel Landscape Painting Pack Deluxe is definitely worth your time and attention. It delves into all the elements that make a great work of landscape art in pastels in all four seasons, and with so many exciting techniques from contemporary masters of the medium. Enjoy!

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

3 thoughts on “The Long, Hot Summer

    1. Hi April~ Pastel painting refers to how the pastel is applied to the paper. It’s referred to as painting when using the sides of the sticks to make strokes (like a brushstroke) rather than drawing with the ends. It also refers to painting shapes of color (shadow shapes, light shapes, etc) rather than rendering “things” (a bottle, tree, etc). Turp, water or rubbing alchohol can be used to dissolve thin layers of pastel as an underpainting but certainly not necessary. Hope that helps : )

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