Pastel Landscape Mastery: Water

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Lesson Discussion

    • Hi Ricardo,

      Yes, that would be a good approach. There will be less contrast between the dark and light values in this case, but they will still be present. The marks that are made could also be a bit rounded and less angular. As with anything else, you could test in a small area, and see if this approach works for your application.

  1. Hi Matt, im having trouble with the pastels. I have oil pastels, and they dont blend nicely like you do in the video. Not even with fingers or stumps. What do i do?

  2. I’m starting back into art after a 30 year break. Spent all day on this lesson and finally had a result I was happy with. Unfortunately the matte finish spray completely altered the colors and ruined it. I’ll be doing this again and hoping for even better results. What do you recommend for a fixative? I used Blick’s Matte which says it’s okay to use on pastels. I really don’t want to have any more work ruined. Thanks for your help and thanks for the wonderful tutorials!

    • Hi Linda,

      I don’t use fixative for that very reason. It always changes the values and colors when I add it, so I decided to never use it again unless absolutely necessary. As long as you store your work with a cover sheet or frame it when it’s finished, you may not need fixative at all.

  3. In using the pastel pencils to get the detail in with the foam and lines in the water, I’m wondering how your white is remaining so white. Mine seems to be mixing in with the color beneath it and getting muddled. Do I need to apply more pressure? More layers?

    • Hi Linda,

      What brand of pastel pencil are you using? Some brands are not very strong with pigmentation and will not cover as opaquely. This could be the issue.

      • I’m using Stabilo CarbOthello. I did go with a less expensive set to make sure I wanted to continue with the pastel pencils before getting a more expensive set.

  4. I just got this course and I love it! However, this video lesson on water seems to have a problem with playback. I’m moving on to the next and I’ve downloaded the ebook but if you can repair this module that would be great.

    • Hi Jennie,

      The videos appear to be playing normally. If you are having trouble streaming the video, you may try turning off the HD. To do this, scroll over the video and click on the HD icon. This will help to prevent buffering.

  5. HI, you usually say which color toned paper you use, in this one you didn’t. Does it matter which color we use? Will it make a difference in the overall feeling?

    • Hi Patricia,

      The color of the paper can affect the finished piece when bits of it are left untouched. In this work, the paper is completely covered, so it is used basically to make comparisons in color and value as they are applied. The color of the paper used in this module is a medium gray.

  6. Another great lesson. I did the lesson with the pan pastels, using a nupastel at the end to get the wave crests & spray. Really fun when the painting turns out nice.

  7. Hi, Matt
    I am just back from a 630ml walk round England’s SW Coast path and am keen to turn some of my photos into paintings so I searched out this lesson – superb! The previous one on rocks will also be of great help. Any suggestions on how to decide on which one of hundreds of fantastic photos to start with? Should I go for my favourite or look for perfect composition?
    I will send you my first finished work for a critique – don’t hold your breath as it may take some time!!
    Keep up the great work!

  8. Glad to hear that there are some pastel artists who don’t use fixative. I myself have been feeling very uncomfortable with fixative. Now I decided I would not use it unless necessary.
    Thank you for the helpful discussion!

  9. I live near the Atlantic ocean and waves fascinate me especially just before a major storm rolls through our area. Thank you for your critique in Member’s Minute episode 248 I learned so much and am going to start the same painting again following all your suggestions. I am excited to make the changes especially to the water along the creek bank. The Virtual Instructor course has been my best investment in my art adventure. I hope you will find time to add more lessons in the pastel section during 2020. Happy Holidays.

  10. Great work Matt. I have two questions:

    1) Usually, how many layers of pastels do you apply to consider a painting finished?

    2) When do you consider a painting finished?


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