2 Ways to Start Out on the Right Foot


By Debora Stewart

On drawing: Drawing is a basic foundation and many ideas spring from the act of drawing. I find it is a direct expression of what I see expressed on paper. It also slows me down and is a meditative experience. If I want to create an abstract floral or garden it is important for me to draw it first instead of relying on a photo. A photo has no real energy in it. I find drawing brings life to a subject. Drawing also helps to simplify a subject. Drawing also helps you find your natural mark, which is so important in pastel and paint.

“Bleeding Hearts #1” (pastel on Rives BFK paper with ground, 22 x 22 in.) by Debora Stewart

On color: I lay my colors out in order of value. I choose light, medium and dark pastels in complementary colors. Then I choose the neutrals. This prevents me from picking up too many different pastels for a work.

Previous articleWomen Get Real
Next articleAaron Schuerr Takes Top Pastel Prize
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here