Have you heard? Jill Stefani Wagner has a new video out and I’m sure it’s going to appeal to many artists. Pastel Painting from Photographs shares Jill’s tips and process for creating a strong painting from photographs.

I was curious to explore what it was like to create the video so I asked Jill Stefani Wagner a few questions about the process. 

So let’s get going!


Jill Stefani Wagner-Final painting
Jill Stefani Wagner-Final painting.


Jill, what was the best thing about making this video?

“It pushed my boundaries big time! It helped me understand that I was capable of accepting these types of career challenges, even if they scared me at first blush.

Having owned an advertising agency for years, I was familiar with the process of scripting, filming, editing, and coordinating a video shoot. BUT… I had never been the person on camera before. I tell ya, it was a completely different experience! But the team at Streamline was professional and helpful every step of the way. They made the whole experience a delightful adventure.

The very best part was having the opportunity to teach to a larger audience. I’ve learned so much from accomplished art instructors over the years who kindly shared tips and techniques that improved the way I paint. I am grateful to them and I’m now honoured to pass on what I’ve learned over the years to aid students on their art journey.”


Reference photo.
Reference photo.


Love this Jill! Soooo, what was the craziest part?

“I was originally scheduled to film two videos in five days at Eric’s Texas studio, which seemed absolutely daunting. But, at the last minute, we decided to also film my “Pastel Materials” video for the very first Pastel Live Convention! I thought it couldn’t be done. I was wrong. With determination and a great team, miracles do happen!”

Hah – a crazy “eek” thing turned into an absolute positive. Funny how that can happen sometimes!

So carrying on with the behind-the-scenes theme, do you have a funny story to tell about the whole experience?

“Even though I obsessively prepared for this opportunity, there were times when I just lost it. Talking to a red dot on a camera was difficult and I would sometimes completely forget what I wanted to explain, stutter, or just stop in mid-sentence. The video team would pause everything, take me aside, and tell me hilarious stories about previous shoots. (I’m sorry, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy and can’t reveal those conversations. ) They were amazing guys!”


Cameraman Tony Carter
Cameraman Tony Carter.


Director Scot Young
Director Scot Young.


Scot Young, Jill Stefani Wagner, and Tony Carter
Scot Young, Jill Stefani Wagner, and Tony Carter.


Ohhhh to be a fly on the wall!

So let’s get to the content of the video itself. What are three highlights from it? 

“I think one of the most important parts of this video is learning what to do BEFORE you put pastel to paper. I talk about the beginning process that helped me create more successful artworks. I detail (in 5 easy steps) how I decide on my “big idea”  and follow it through to the finished painting. That includes revising my reference photo and deciding what to leave in and what to take out. And colour! It’s important to understand how muted colours make the bright hues sing.”


Jill Stefani Wagner pastels
Jill Stefani Wagner’s pastels.


So good! Jill, what’s the ONE thing you want students to come away knowing? 

“I think we often see a gorgeous piece of art and think that it “just happened.” I would argue that most successful paintings were created with a good deal of forethought and planning. Any painter can add those steps to their own process to improve their work, no matter the medium or subject matter.”

Such a good point! Speaking of improving work, how has creating this video affected your own work?

“Whenever I teach, whether in a workshop or online, it reinforces the steps I personally need to take to create better paintings. Sometimes we artists try to skip ahead…with less than ideal results. And I’m no exception. Creating my two Streamline videos also reaffirmed my dedication to “capturing the light” in my work. As creators, we have to do what makes our heart sing!”

This makes total sense. Teaching always can remind us what we instructors could be doing with our own work. 

Jill, is there anything else you’d like to share?

“A big thanks to Streamline Publishing for this opportunity! I hope artists enjoy and learn from the video and I welcome any feedback or questions.”

And a big thank you to Jill Stefani Wagner for sharing the inside scoop about creating Pastel Painting From Photographs


Jill Stefani Wagner - the video
Jill Stefani Wagner – the video.


Check out a preview of the course below.




The deadline is looming for Dakota Art Pastels third quarter competition


You still have time to enter the Dakota Art Pastels 3rd quarter competition but know that the deadline is 14 September – that’s next week! And if you’re curious (and I know you will be), the juror is Rita Kirkman. 

So get those entries in! 


Dakota Arts 3rd Quarter competition
Dakota Art Pastels 3rd Quarter Competition.


On the topic of Dakota Art Pastels competitions, you may be interested in my thoughts on last quarter’s winners.

And that’s it for this time,



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