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The Pastel Journal

The Pastel Journal

Summer 2021
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Pastel Journal covers topics of interest to working pastelists as well as those who work in pastel as an additional medium along with those who are just experimenting with the medium.

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United States
Peak Media Properties, LLC
$10.13(Incl. tax)
$38(Incl. tax)
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
good bones

A painting is not unlike a house. When a house on the market is described as having “good bones,” it usually means that the building is structurally and architecturally sound—that, although it may need some cosmetic attention, it won’t require major repairs to make it a comfortable place to call home. Like a house, an effective painting has good bones—a strong design that draws in viewers and then holds their attention. A super-sized painting can command attention, so too can a piece of art with flashy color or unflinching content, but a painting that’s well-composed doesn’t necessarily require any further bravado to catch—and delight—the eye. To build a solid foundation for a painting, artists have a lot of compositional tools at their disposal—among them are balance and proportion, movement and rhythm,…

1 min.
the pastel society annual exhibition 2021

Like many other organizations over the past year, in response to the pandemic, The Pastel Society in the U.K. chose to present its 2021 annual show exclusively online. Even so, the organization, which was founded in 1898, considered the event as successful as ever. It even broadened the scope of entries to include artists beyond its members and to add new prizes for emerging artists. The exhibition opened with comments from actor Griff Rhys Jones, who said, “There is nothing as inspiring as looking at this exhibition and seeing what can be achieved.” Halla Shafey, winner of the Artists & Illustrators award for her painting A Walk in the Fields (opposite), said this of her work: “This painting is inspired by my close connection to nature, my meditations, my philosophy in life—that…

1 min.
master pastels in your home studio

In Albert Handell’s new instructional DVD, the artist reveals his painting process, some finely honed tricks of the trade and more. Pause, rewind and watch as many times as you need—“Albert Handell Mastering Pastels” (Liliedahl, 2020, $117) will reveal more about the pastel medium with each viewing and is available as a digital download or as a DVD. With more than three hours of content, the film contains a full step-by-step demonstration, an interview with the artist, a digital gallery with some of Handell’s most celebrated work and a tribute video from his 2019 PleinAir Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award. Handell starts his demonstration by choosing a scene and walking the viewer through steps for finding the best composition. He also discusses organization strategies, such as his “hunter-gatherer” technique for pastel sticks. After…

1 min.
what’s online

How to Paint Underwater Scenes Michele Poirier-Mozzone shares her process for capturing colorful underwater scenes that are filled with dazzling light effects. artistsnetwork.com/go/underwater-scenes Brilliant Pastel Art From the Masters Get inspired by some of the most famous pastel artists of all time, including Edgar Degas, Odilon Redon, Mary Cassatt and more. artistsnetwork.com/go/famous-pastels 10 Dos and Don’ts for Your Pastel Art Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. Ready, set, go! artistsnetwork.com/go/pastel-rules…

1 min.
in memoriam: victor ambrus

Celebrated artist Victor Ambrus gained recognition for his work in a variety of media. A prolific illustrator of history, folk tales and children’s books, Ambrus also became well known for his appearances on the British television archaeology series Time Team, on which he rendered pictures of how sites under excavation may have once looked. A charming and modest man, Ambrus was an Associate of the Royal College of Art and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Painters, Etchers and Engravers. An enthusiast of pastel, he was active in The Pastel Society in the U.K., serving as its vice president from 2002 to 2007. His work was featured in the June 2012 issue of Pastel Journal. Ambrus had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but he…

4 min.
venetian reset

During the autumn of 1879, James McNeill Whistler went to Venice. His time in Italy was preceded by a series of high-profile misfortunes, including a characteristically spectacular falling out with a wealthy patron and the loss of his new home in London, resulting from the most famous trial in art history. In 1877, John Ruskin, the preeminent art critic of the 19th century, published a scathing review of Whistler’s painting, and the following year Whistler sued him for libel. Whistler, ever theatrical, envisioned the proceedings as a means of promotion. When Ruskin’s counsel established that the artist was asking 200 guineas for a painting that took only two days to create, Whistler parried, “I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime.” Whistler won his…