All posts by Mario

Terry Donahue winner in Wildlife/Animal category

Terry Donahue "Fly Over Country"
Terry Donahue "Fly Over Country"

Terry Donahue won the first place in the Wildlife/Animal category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with his pastel painting.

“While on a road trip through Nebraska, Terry Donahue saw in the distance what looked like a “white tornado.” On closer inspection he realized the sight was a swirling mass of migrating snow geese. For the next three days, the artist photographed the marvelous creatures, and, from these reference photos, he created his winning pastel, Fly Over Country. The title is a wordplay based on a comment by a political pundit who described the Midwest as flyover country—dull and not worth a visit. Donahue, who returned to Nebraska two weeks after the snow geese migration to watch sandhill cranes in flight, clearly feels otherwise.
“I don’t do thumbnail or rough sketch drawings prior to starting a piece,” says the artist. “Some works fall together quickly, whereas others build from a particular vision or impression of mine and are continually forcing themselves in new directions. These works take a little more time to finish; Fly Over Country was one…”  Artist’s Magazine

More on Signing Your Artwork

Liz Haywood-Sullivan Cityscape 4
Liz Haywood-Sullivan "Cityscape 4"

Liz Haywood-Sullivan is giving some nice tips on how to sign your pastel work.

“This may seem simple but be sure to sign your artwork – redundantly. Sign your painting on both the front, AND the back. And on the back please write the name of your painting. And this is why…
I just finished hanging a show. As we went to label the show we ran into an issue. An artist had two paintings accepted into the show but we couldn’t figure out which piece was which so we couldn’t place the labels. The titles of the works didn’t give us a clue and there was no writing on the back of the paintings. The problem was that one piece was for sale and the other was NFS. We wound up making a guess based upon the titles but hope we haven’t made a mistake in case the wrong one sells! This may seem like a small detail, but to folks hanging a show it can become a problem and the issue could get lost in the confusion of prepping for an opening…”  Liz Haywood-Sullivan blog

PanPastel video by Deborah Secore

Deborah Secor "Dancing Sky"
Deborah Secor "Dancing Sky"

Great demo on youtube by Deborah Secor where you can see how Deborah is using PanPastels. You can also see it in the pastel video section on top-right of this page.

“This is the painting I did in the new video demonstration that PanPastels has produced. You can take a look at it here.
In the video I use PanPastels on my favorite paper, Pastelmat. You get to watch over my shoulder for a half hour as I paint and talk. I share a lot of techniques you can use with the Pans and a bit about painting the landscape, too.
So grab a cup of coffee and take a bit of time to watch me paint. I hope you enjoy it!” Deborah Secor blog

Hello Lamppost

Hello Lamppost
Charlotte Herczfeld "Hello Lamppost"

Charlotte Herczfeld, an artist from Sweden guides us through process of painting one of her beautiful colorful pastel paintings.

“The title of this painting is from an Simon & Garfunkle song, the one that makes you feel grooooo-vy. Coming back into the studio after a break, I thought “Hello Lamppost”, and then the song looped inside my skull for three whole days. The location is in my home town, Stockholm, in Sweden. Here, I decided to make the glorious yellow and orange foliage to be the backdrop for the bridge and the lamppost…” Charlotte Herczfeld blog

The Problem With Green, Part 1

A few years ago while I was on a painting trip with legendary pastel plein air artist Glenna Hartmann, the question of how to handle green was posed. After a perfectly timed pause, she quietly responded, “I avoid it at all cost.” The ensuing discussion was very interesting. It seemed that every painter there had an issue with green.

As the discussion unfolded, it boiled down to a few issues. One of the most mentioned was the pigment used to make green pastels. What we see in nature is light reflected off of a surface. It shares a relationship with its surroundings as well as the bias of the light source. In our paintings, we’re creating an illusion of what’s real. Since we’re incapable of placing real light on a surface, we have to use man-made colors that reflect light back to the observer, representing what we see.  link

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