Pastel Realism, Smoother Gradations, and More

A recap from Day 2 of the Pastel Live virtual art conference:

Wow! Many of us are still swimming in the new information we’ve taken in from Day 2 of Pastel Live! Today’s sessions included a realistic floral still life demo with Vera Kavura (if you loved this, you’ll want to check out our next event – Realism Live!); and workshops with Richard Suckling, Michele Ashby, Bruce Gomez, Carol Peebles, and Nancie King Mertz. At the end of the night, we continued the fun with a new paint-along scene and more storytelling and friendships in the making.

We’d also like to give a special shout-out to today’s sponsors, including Susan Kuznitsky with Savoir-Faire; and Julie Swanson Davis with Blick Art Materials.

Pastel Live Highlights from Day 2

Ukranian artist Vera Kavura joined us by painting her favorite theme – a realistic floral still life in pastel. She always paints from a live bouquet using natural light; her work “begins with the composition of a bouquet, with the selection of flowers based on their form and color.”

From Vera Kavura's floral still life painting demonstration
From Vera Kavura’s floral still life painting demonstration

The best way to know what colors to pick and choose for your pastel painting is to “play with the color,” said Richard Suckling, explaining that it’s an intuitive process that’s often based on feeling to lead you to the correct color. He added that the more often you do it, the better your sense of color will become.

From Richard Suckline's landscape painting demonstration
From Richard Suckling’s landscape painting demonstration

Using pastel pencils for a still life from her “Little Moments, Big Memories” series, Michele Ashby explained how to use light and shade to add realism to a number of basic shapes; how to apply various shadows to emphasize a 3-dimensional look, and blending techniques for smoother gradations.

From Michele Ashby's still life painting demonstration
From Michele Ashby’s still life painting demonstration

Pastelist Bruce Gomez is self-taught, coming to us with degrees in political science, romance languages, and constitutional law concentration. He notes that these have nothing to do with art, and that “if I can do it, anybody can do it.” In his demo, he went over his pastel surfaces, the grid process he uses, and his “double sketch” technique.

From Bruce Gomez's landscape painting demonstration
From Bruce Gomez’s landscape painting demonstration

Carol Peebles focused on getting a likeness from life in the classical realist tradition. She began by working from a live model, and later from a reference on her phone so that her demonstration was from the same vantage point as those of us who followed along with her demo.

In this photo, Carol Peebles is explaining how to use quadrant marks to check your progress.
In this photo, Carol Peebles is explaining how to use quadrant marks to check your progress.

Since perspective is a common challenge for artists, Nancie King Mertz led us through the various types, including atmospheric, linear, one-point, and more.

From Nancie King Mertz's demonstration on perspective
From Nancie King Mertz’s demonstration on perspective

Remember, it’s not too late to join us for the remaining days, and replays are available! Simply visit now and register for several more days of personal instruction and live interactions with artists from all over the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here