Pastel Painting

Pastel painting or pastel drawing starts with an implement of pigment mixed with chalk or clay and combined with gum to make a paste that is then hardened and made available as soft or hard pastels, pastel pencils, or oil pastels. Pastel lessons often discuss the medium in terms of both drawing and painting. It can be used to create broad strokes that appear buttery and solid like oil paints, but they can also be used to create precise lines and marks akin to any drawing implement. Further appeal of pastel painting lies in its wide range of colors and blending ability.

Discover all the blogs, step-by-steps, resources, and artist-instruction on pastel that Artist Daily has here, so you can take this dynamic medium to the next level in your art!

Pastel: The Self in Contemporary Self-Portraits

Several established contemporary artists have approached the subject of self-portraiture in different ways, depicting who they are or who they wish to be at various times in their lives. by Ephraim Rubenstein Self-Portrait, Matisse Printby Mary Beth McKenzie, 1991, oil, 32 x 26. Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Mary Beth…

Pastel: International Association of Pastel Societies Announces Award Winners

The International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) recently held their 11th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio, and award winners were selected by jurors Duane Wakeham and Urania Christy Tarbet. Painting Projectsby Sharon Will, pastel, 12 x 16. The International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) recently held their…

Pastel: Colleen Howe's Pastel Landscapes

View an online exclusive gallery of more work by July/August American Artist 2008 featured artist Colleen Howe. The Cowboy2007, pastel, 14 x 18. All artwork this gallery collection the artist. Cassis Boat Reflections2007, pastel, 18 x 24. Horses at Dawn2007, pastel, 18 x 36. Creek Bed2007, pastel, 28 x 22. Sunset Glow2007, pastel, 16 x…

Pastel: Janet Monafo: Pastel Still Lifes and Figures

Janet Monafo once tossed objects onto her studio floor in an attempt to paint a more random arrangement with pastels. “I really wanted to accept whatever happened, but in the end I couldn’t resist my need to carefully organize the shapes and patterns,” she confesses. “I had to admit my inability to deny my natural…

Pastel: Masters

Artists looking to work with pastel can learn valuable techniques and tips by studying artists who first explored the medium and discovered the possibilities the medium offers. by Naomi Ekperigin Although the work of oil painters and draftsmen is well known and thoroughly documented, the history of pastel has not been as well recorded. “The…

Pastel: Step by Step: Drawing With A Powdered Pastel 'Wash'

A noted artist and instructor demonstrates how he lays down a wash, then adds darks and lifts out lights to reveal an expressive drawing. by Robert T. Barrett In the process of developing my ability to see values correctly, I became aware that very few things in reality are white or close to white in…

Pastel: Denise LaRue Mahlke: Art as a Calling

Denise LaRue Mahlke believes that being an artist is a calling that involves preserving, celebrating, and sharing in God’s creation. That’s one of the reasons she challenges herself to strive for excellence as a pastel painter and a teacher. by M. Stephen Doherty Morning Peace2006, pastel, 12 x 15. All artwork this article private collection…

Pastel: Roger Ambrosier: Atmospheric, Pastel Landscapes

In the March 2008 of American Artist, pastelist Roger Ambrosier created atmospheric landscapes that stressed the essence and mood of a scene. We present more of his landscapes in this online exclusive gallery. First Light2006, pastel, 8 x 10.All artwork this gallerycollection the artistunless otherwise indicated. July 2006, pastel, 11 x 14. River Journey2007, pastel,…

Pastel: Critique: "The Old Man"

Modulate contrast to keep the attention on the focal point. by Dawn Whitelaw The Old ManPastel, 23 x 17. The artist has done an excellent job with this pastel portrait—the drawing and the use of color are quite effective. My only suggestion would be to lower the contrast on the ear. This adjustment would help…

Pastel: Sam Goodsell: Sticking With the Figure

In 1994 New York City pastelist Sam Goodsell returned to the art world after nine years away, determined to fully explore the challenging and rewarding genre of figure painting. His dedication is paying off.   To read more features like this, subscribe to American Artist today! by Bob Bahr Connie2007, pastel, 60 x 34. All…

Pastel: Sam Goodsell's Pastel Figures

  In this online exclusive gallery, view more pastel figures by American Artist April 2008 featured artist Sam Goodsell. Inner Dance-Jessica2007, pastel,54¾ x 43¼. Allartwork this gallerycollection the artistunless otherwise indicated. Knowledge isPower2002, pastel, 40 x 30.Collection Lila Gold. Reflections ofAutumn2005, pastel, 33 x 40. Traveler 2007, pastel, 72 x 40.Private collection. Andrea2007, pastel, 72…

Pastel: William Schneider: Painting the Mouth

Painting the expressiveness of a person’s mouth helps establish his or her likeness, personality, and vitality in a portrait, yet many artists have difficulty representing that facial feature. Here’s how I teach students to paint a mouth in either oil or pastel. To read more features like this, subscribe to American Artist today! by William…