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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > December 19 > Pastel basics

Pastel basics

In the first of three articles, Robert Brindley discusses the merits of painting with pastels, including advice on basic techniques, and demonstrates a simple pastel landscape

Robert Brindley is a member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. He exhibits annually in Whitby, gives demonstrations and tutors workshops for art clubs. Robert’s book Painting Landscapes in Oils is published by Crowood Press,; his four DVDS are available from Town House Films, telephone 01603 782888;

Pastels are ideal for capturing light and colour. It was a desire to produce paintings with more impact, colour and contrast that attracted me to the medium. I took inspiration from the pastel paintings of other artists who were using vibrant colour on a black ground, in conjunction with bold mark making, and spent time experimenting in order to achieve these effects. For me, painting with pastels has been enjoyable and has more than satisfied the need to provide variety in my work.

Getting started

There is a huge choice of materials and equipment, so the following list is intended for those who would like to try pastels without spending a fortune. I suggest a limited range to begin with but try to buy the best quality that you can afford.

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About The Artist

Welcome to our December issue. This month consultant editor and acclaimed professional artist David Curtis reveals his approach to painting a recent portrait of his son, while Kathy Barker explains what to look for when painting lips in the second of her series on portraiture in oils. Amanda Hyatt shows how to simplify complex interiors and Paul Weaver advises on the colours to use and mix to create atmospheric greys to capture winter scenes in watercolour. Newcomers to pastel will enjoy the first in Robert Brindley's new three-part series on pastel techniques and landscape demonstration, Soraya French and Robert Dutton suggest myriad creative ideas for working in mixed media to paint flowers and expressive landscapes and Geoff Hunt and Michele Del Campo share how they work up a painting in the studio in different media and very different ways. Cover artist Bob Brandt shows why pattern is so important, while Richard Pikesley, Paul Brown, Charles Williams and Paul Talbot-Greaves all share their ideas to inspire your artistic development. Enjoy your painting with The Artist this month!