100 Reasons for Pastels

Every year, we invite pastel artists to enter their work into our annual Pastel 100 competition, now in its 14th year. And every year, we receive thousands of pastel paintings. I am always stunned by the fantastic variety of the work and the extraordinary level of talent. We celebrate the impeccable skill and infinite creativity of today's top talents with a selection of the "best 100."

Pastel Journal Grand Prize: Miles to Go by Elaine Lierly Jones.
Pastel Journal Grand Prize: Miles to Go by Elaine Lierly Jones.

This showcase of art can be seen in the April issue of Pastel Journal, which is making its way out to subscribers this week (you can get a copy here or look for the issue on newsstands beginning March 12).

To see the top five prizewinning pastels, check out this gallery of Grand Prize Award Winners. But, first, check my informal rundown of a few fun numeric facts from this year's competition:

• Total number of entries: 3,170.

• Percentage of entries by category: 43% Landscape & Interior; 22% Portrait & Figure; 14% Animal & Wildlife; 14% Still Life & Floral; and 7% Abstract & Non-Objective.

• Number of countries represented among the winners: 9. These include Australia, Russia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Iran, Italy and India, in addition to the United States.

• Total value of prizes awarded: $17,800 ($10,000 cash plus $7,800 worth of pastels and papers from our longtime sponsor, Jack Richeson & Co., Inc.).

Congratulations to all the Pastel 100 award winners and honorable mentions! And our thanks to everyone for sharing your best work with us again this year!


Editor, Pastel Journal


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Anne Hevener

About Anne Hevener

I have been writing and editing for art publications for more than 20 years. As the Editor of Pastel Journal, since 2006, I have been thrilled to interview and work with many of today's top pastel artists.

4 thoughts on “100 Reasons for Pastels

  1. You are right! These pastel paintings are awesome. I too, am a pastel portraitist. I have a website: carolwilks.net. I paint in various media such as oils, watercolors and acrylics. But I have been using pastels for years. I would love to know what you think of my work.
    Carol Wilks

  2. I need help with fixative : How to avoid the spray creating “raindrops” all over the painting, thus ruining the strokes , ruining the entire surface after I have spent days and days layering color with dry Sennelier pastels.