Barbara Benedetti Newton was born 1943 in Puyallup, Washington, and attended Art Institute of Seattle. Barbara began her professional art career as a fashion illustrator in 1965. Working exclusively in colored pencil for more than a dozen years, she became one of the masters of the medium and co-authored Colored Pencil Solution Book, published in 2000. In 2002 she began exploring other mediums and has been working primarily in soft pastel since then. Making the transition from a precise, time-consuming, transparent medium to spontaneous, fast-paced, opaque soft pastel has been a journey of discovery. With a change of medium, Barbara also departed from her trademark light-filled still life subjects to impressionistic landscape scenes. Barbara has authored articles in American Artist Magazine, The Artist’s Magazine and International Artist Magazine. Her work has appeared in all editions of the Best of Colored Pencil series and as a feature article in The Pastel Journal magazine. She is past president of the Colored Pencil Society of America, a Signature Member of the Northwest Pastel Society, the Pastel Society of the West Coast, and has been awarded Master’s Circle membership in the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).
Barbara is a very active blogger and has many interesting posts for general public. A pastel demo can be found at the Mighty Art Demos
“For me, painting is a journey of discovery from challenges of mastering the medium to contemplation about my message. I portray natural and man-made objects in a light filled environment. Presenting a variety of relationships is facinating to me – color to form, object to subject, shadow to light. I combine surface characteristics, color, and attention to detail to portray the spare elegance of ordinary objects and everyday scenes through contemporary realism. My most recent work has been creating landscape paintings through the luscious color and buttery texture of soft pastel.”
Dan F. Gray is an artist from Canada and he has worked in soft pastel since 1975. The great majority of his portfolio are an plein air landscapes of British Columbia, Canada, together with motorcycles and cars blended in colorful nature. He has very recognizable style and at least for me there is some similarity between Dan’s landscapes and some of the James Whistler’s Venice pastel works. Dan had a couple of interesting projects, he was following 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver with his pastel paintings and I especially like his project “2010 Figures” in year 2010. Dan was a host for Canada’s Master Pastelists Exhibition earlier this year and there was already a post about it.
Dan is one of Canada’s leading practitioners of the pastel medium, winner of the Silver Pastel Plate and a Plaque of Distinction from the Canadian Pastel Society. His work has been presented in many newspapers and magazines including Pastel Journal in 2008. On his website you can find 3 very instructional demos.
I was fortunate enough to visit John Pence Gallery in San Francisco and see the pastel paintings by Clark G. Mitchell. Beside a few smaller landscapes there was one huge beautiful pastel painting, bigger than me and I’m sure the biggest pastel painting I’ve ever seen. Clark is a pastel artist with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Colorado College. He has been the feature article on several publications such as American Artist and The Pastel Journal. Clark is well known for his pastel landscapes: a teacher for over twenty years, he conducts both studio and plein air workshops. His studio is in California’s wine county Sonoma. If you will be a lucky participant at the IAPS convention in June you can still catch Clark’s 2 day workshop.
On the Artshow site you can find one of his old pastel demos.
Betsy Kellum graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia, and later studied art at the Art League in Old Town Alexandria, VA. She has studied with the well known artists Burton Silverman, Robert Liberace, Albert Handell, Doug Dawson, Tim Tyler and others. Betsy balances her own painting with her love of teaching art and has served as a juror and judge for art exhibits and shows.
Betsy has achieved signature membership in the Pastel Society of America, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Maryland Pastel Society the Southeastern Pastel Society. She has received numerous awards in the international and national juried shows throughout the U.S. and has been published in the Pastel Journal. She lives with her husband, Joe, 2 cats, 8 fish and 4 chickens in Powhatan, VA.
On her website Betsy offers 5 step demo with the underpainting in a thin oil and turpentine wash. She does underpainting in a deeper value of the colors or in the color compliment of the color to be applied on top.
Judy is a pastel artist who is behind a blog iwant2draw and a youtube channel with many pastel tutorials. There are many interesting subjects, and if you like Yoda from Star Wars, Iron Man, Manga characters or want to know how to enhance your pastel painting with a Photoshop, check the blog. Her video below is a pastel drawing of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber.