Showing posts from November, 2013

10 Reasons to Love Pastel: Soft Impressions

I believe I've made it to number five of my 10 reasons to love pastel: it's a natural choice for impressionists!

If you're a fan of the Impressionist Movement, chances are you've enjoyed a few pieces created with pastel.  Pastel lends itself naturally to the quick strokes and dappled lights and darks of the impressionist style, and it's relatively easy to use in a plein air (outside) or alla prima (all in one session) painting setting.  The soft, smeary nature of dry pastel also makes it an ideal medium for paintings that focus on overall lights and darks without a lot of hard line and detail.
 I was lucky enough to visit Musee D'Orsay as a teenager (thanks to my generous host parents when I was an exchange student), and I couldn't wait to get a close-up view of all the impressionist art.  Being a ballet student and a sucker for all things Degas, I knew I would one day have to give the pastels a try.  I didn't get around to the chalk pastels until…