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Pastel is one of three main mediums I prefer to create my paintings in. I am very open to all mediums and hope to try them all!

Pastel holds a special place in my repertoire because of the unique qualities it possesses.

My painting practice will typically span across oil painting, watercolor (sometimes gouache) and pastels. Each medium has advantages and disadvantages that come along with their use in real life.

Pastels have always been attractive to me mainly because of the beautifully bold and sometimes intense colors they allow artists to achieve. More recently, I've been reminded of how much I enjoy them. After attending a pastel portrait workshop with Alain Picard, I took off on a journey that led me to create several landscape and portrait paintings in pastel in my studio.

Here are some photos of additional recent works I've completed in pastel.

In a recent post entitled "Learning New Skills & Rediscovering Old Friends" I described how pastels kept the doorway to creative exploration open during periods where my wife Janine and I were commuting 3 hours each day, working 50-60+ hours per week and building our lives together. Pastels offered a directness and convenience that other mediums do not.

Convenience = quick setup & cleanup. You can leave them out and get work done in between other things.

Directness = Painting results are immediate. No waiting for drying times.

Impact on Living Space = working in pastels doesn't require a lot of additional space. All you need is a flat surface to affix your paper to and go! One downside is the dust that is generated from pastels. This can be mitigated by frequently vacuuming up pastel particles, using a drop cloth or both.

Recently I've adopted the use of a homemade catch basin made from a recycled Amazon box (see image below).

I can simply vacuum this tray out from time to time and there is no mess. Whenever there is dust to contend with it is important to have good ventilation and air circulation too.

Pastel also requires finished paintings to be framed under glass. This can increase framing costs and complexity.

Despite these challenges pastel is my favorite medium to work with in the studio!

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