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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > March 19 > Exploring the landscape with pastel

Exploring the landscape with pastel

Cheryl Culver demonstrates how to bring a landscape to life and achieve life-like textures and rock forms in pastels

I have always been fascinated with structure and patterns in the landscape and I think my drawings reflect this. It is not a conscious awareness when making the drawing, but structure and patterns seem to be a powerful part of my landscape compositions. The landscape provides these patterns and, as an artist, I create an edited version, an interpretation that’s more a matter of some omissions than loads of additions.

Rocks in the landscape have a similar grain because generally they were all formed at the same time by the same geological event. They have facets and grooves, can be sharp and angular at the edges or softened by the flow of water or the prevailing winds. Lichens and moss grow on them, tufts of grass sprout from cracks where soil has settled. But when painting them don’t get bogged down with all that. Just believe you have painted a rock that feels and looks heavy and is definitely not anything else. I don’t subscribe to photographic imagery. Photographs never seems to tell the same tale as the one I see, and I do think I have some rights over my painting and how I translate the landscape. My wish is that the end result communicates with someone with enough conviction to make them want to buy it.

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About The Artist

Take your drawing and painting to the next level with inspiration, guidance and advice from this month's top contributing artists and tutors. Cover artist, David Parfitt, shares how it's possible to work through a non-productive period to paint your best painting yet. Haidee-Jo Summers invites you to paint everyday, unarranged objects to discover more about design and composition. We also include demonstrations showing how to apply the one-stroke watercolour method, use a variety of techniques to enliven your watercolours, paint silver objects and reflections in acrylics, achieve the texture of rocky landscapes in pastels, use photographs as a memory aid, bring a portrait to life in oils, capture animals' expressions, and much more. Whatever your subject matter or preferred medium, there's something for everyone, and when you've created your best work, enter our 2019 open competition for a chance to see your work exhibited, published in The Artist, and win one of 40 prizes worth over £17,000!