Without a strong composition, you can spend an enormous amount of time on crafting an accurate representation of your subject, but you will never end up with a work of art. Sometimes I find a painting in a museum that I can just sit and stare at for half an hour and always find new things to look at and enjoy. In fact, one of the criteria by which I judge the quality of a painting is how long you can enjoy looking at it. A painting that you can enjoy looking at for a half an hour to me has far more quality than a painting that you can only find interesting for 30 seconds or so. Much of this quality is due to how you deal with focal points and eye movement, two of the key units in this Building Block.

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When the winners of the 20th Annual Pastel Competition are celebrated in the April issue of Pastel Journal , the magazine will have showcased a total of 2, pastel paintings! To mark our 20th anniversary, we revisited the archives of Pastel paintings and selected 20 of our favorite prizewinners. Elegant, Fresh. These are just some of the words that have been used to describe these award-winning pastel works.

Take a look, soak up some inspiration, and then enter your own pastel art in the 20th Annual Pastel Competition here. What separates the great masters of painting from the rest? Desert Spring Suite by W. You have to make choices. Now it offers her endless opportunities for creativity.

You have to find your own way. Just be yourself. The colors artist Nancy McDonald likes to use is just about what she feels. They give a sort of buzz that comes through the whole painting. Thumbnail sketches help Sam Goodsell work out these issues, as he, at the same time, considers the negative space around the subject. Instead, her focus is on the shapes of the figure, the features and even the details. She proceeds from abstraction: Large, indistinguishable shapes are broken down into smaller ones, until something — yes, the likeness, emerges.

She credits Barry John Raybould, a self-taught oil painter, for teaching her how to find the underlying abstract design in a composition by creating quick light-and-dark studies notans. Tchoupitoulas depicts a once-bustling street, now quiet.

Brian Cobble, known for his townscapes, is often drawn to the unpopulated scene. When he came upon this part of the uptown side of New Orleans in , Hurricane Sandy was a disaster yet to come. Bernhard Silver Medal, Capture a Rhythm.

When she did the sketch for Ghat Women, Dawn Emerson responded to the rhythm and the patterns. Design is a big part of what I do. The composition was really important from the get-go. In his search for what this painting needed, Somers let his heart guide the way. I played the warmth of the oranges against the shadow on the snow, making it glow. I added reds, melding them into the background shapes, to make it interesting. Is It Spring Yet? She starts instead with a charcoal underpainting — to avoid letting the sketch become too precious.

To unify the contrasting warmth of the light with the coolness of the snow in shadow, Aaron Schuerr keyed all the values to the bright light at the horizon.

In the reference photo for his prizewinning landscape, the cyclist was with his girlfriend and heading away from town. But Ray Hassard flipped him around and edited out the second figure to strengthen the composition and the storytelling. Bon Appetit, No. Akhriev achieves the brilliant effects of light through a layering process. The splash of pink in the background suggests atmosphere and light without placing her in any particular environment.

Enter your latest, greatest pastel works into the 20th Annual Pastel today , and become a part of our anniversary celebration! Explore pastel painting en plein air with this video demo and see what this mutable medium is capable of in the great outdoors!


Author - Barry John Raybould



20 Pastel Works and Words of Wisdom from 20 Award-Winning Artists



Barry John Raybould's Page


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