Sanded Surface? Take this Tip!

A recap from Day 2 of the Pastel Live virtual art conference, taking place now through August 19, 2023:

On the second official day of Pastel Live, we saw lessons from Jeri Greenberg, Peter Adams, Laura Pollak, Christine Swann, Thomas Bailey, AND Bill Schneider – what a full day of learning, with plenty of spontaneity throughout!

In addition to the pastel painting demonstrations, we heard a major announcement about the next Streamline-sponsored epic online art event: Realism Live, taking place November 9-11, 2023 (with an Essentials Techniques day on November 8). You don’t want to miss it!

The Pastel Live faculty auction is still going strong, and is open to the public! It’s your chance to own original pastel paintings from today’s masters. It ends August 19 at midnight (EST), so click here to see the available pastel paintings from today’s masters – don’t wait because they’re selling as we speak.

Pastel art auction
A preview of the 156 images in the 2023 Pastel Live Faculty Auction & Sale

Highlights From Day 2 of Pastel Live 2023

Jeri Greenberg loves to make something extraordinary out of ordinary objects, allowing them to “have conservations” with each other on the surface. She’s inspired by shape, color, and as we saw in her pastel lesson on painting a still life with fruit, teapots, and plenty of stripes.

Jeri Greenberg Pastel Live
Feeling that “pastels are an immediate tool to express feelings” and the perfect way to both “make the ordinary extraordinary” and tell stories in her paintings, Jeri works to constantly get a deeper understanding of this wonderful medium.

“Jeri, your commentary during this demo is so valuable. Really appreciate that you are sharing your thoughts, and your reasoning and understanding.” ~ Lamya D.


When plein air artist Peter Adams paints, he takes (along with his pastels and other items) his 14 x 18-inch art board, his portfolio of the same size, and his paper – always a 19 x 25-inch sheet that he cuts down to fit within his portfolio and his frames.

We watched Peter take his setup to a beach for seven different pastels that he began on site in order to catch the light, atmosphere, and mood before him.

Peter Adams painting en plein air
“I am particularly interested in unique lighting effects and how these effects reflect, refract, diffuse and obscure detail. It is the ethereal quality of light that intrigues me. In painting natural or inanimate objects, I am constantly trying to discover and interpret interesting design, shapes, and color harmonies to stimulate the eye. Elevating the human spirit and arousing a sense of discovery is what excites me as an artist.” ~ Peter Adams


Whether you prefer to paint landscapes or abstract works, the foundational process is the same in order to “get the glow.” Laura Pollak gave a lesson on the use of design, value, and mark-making to demonstrate these concepts.

Laura Pollak Pastel Live 2023 abstract art
“My medium of choice is the permanence and vibrance of pastels. It is immediate, luminous, and direct,” says Laura Pollak. “What I’m best known for is creating an ethereal ‘Glow’, where the source of light comes from within the painting and emanates outward. It’s like coaxing out a flame from deep inside.”

“Laura’s work shows so clearly how the intentional use of value, temperature, and intensity can power your work! It’s not just about the hue of the color!” ~ Gail Sibley (Pastel Live faculty)


Coming to us from her studio, Christine Swann took us through the five layers that she incorporates into her pastel portrait paintings.

How to paint portraits in pastel
Known for her “personality portraits” she started as an illustrator and is now an award-winning artist on the international level, including winning the IAPS Best of Show “Prix de Pastel” Masters Circle Exhibition award in 2020 and in 2015.


Tom Bailey shared his personal techniques, tools, and thoughts, including what he looks for when looking for a scene to paint, the major steps from concept to completion, and more.

Tom Bailey Pastel Live 2023
Tom Bailey is a New England artist who describes his style of painting as ‘Inadvertently Impressionist.” He paints primarily in pastels and oils and is known for his vibrant textures and bold mark-making.


Tip: Wear a vinyl glove to protect your hand when you’re working on a sanded surface. Bill Schneider shared this and much more in his lesson on how to start a portrait from a photo reference, building in the coolness of the Caucasian model’s face with layers of light blue, orange, and pink. Bill shared that he created the reference photo using a program called Midjourney AI, which has free and paid versions.

“My life drawing teacher, Bill Parks, always used to say ‘You’re the artist; you’re in charge of quality control,'” Bill said in the chat. “We need to make our paintings look good…not necessarily perfectly accurate to the reference.”

How to paint portraits in pastel
Bill Schneider has a variety of art video workshops available through, including Pastel Painting Secrets; and Design Secrets of the Masters.

We want to thank today’s sponsors for supporting Pastel Live: Sennelier & Fabriano; Blick Art Materials featuring Susan Kuznitsky; and featuring Albert Handell and his Masterclass.

Remember, it’s not too late to join us for the remaining time, 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