I am a painter. For the past several years, my chosen medium has been dry pastels on paper. I mainly paint landscapes and the natural world, tending much more toward the impressionist than the expressionist end of the spectrum. Previously, and occasionally, I paint in oils, in which case I tend towards surrealistic still life. It’s funny how the medium makes such a huge difference to the subjects.
Why do I paint with pastels? Because I like the simplicity and directness of the technique. Having a large range of colours set out around me ready for action allows for more spontaneity as I can grab the one I want instantly. Also, this facilitates an impressionist approach in which the colours are unmixed or only very slightly mixed – I think this adds vibrancy and vitality to the work.
Making the marks on the paper is the key to creating a painting. These detail images show how different types of marks combine together to create the total effect. It is, however, a one-shot, sudden death approach: if it’s not working, working on it some more won’t work. The only option is to tear up the painting and start again. Fortunately, this is getting less frequent with time!