Category Archives: Soft Pastels

New mixed media

Quite some time ago I started working on a series of paintings relating to the South African landscape, for some reason I didn’t finish that work.  I decided to go back to one of them over the weekend and this is the result, might still do a bit more tweaking (as always!).  This area holds a very special place in my heart (and psyche).  It is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, glorious in any weather.  This is a view of the ampitheatre from the river below. (My own reference photos)


For this one I used acrylic inks, soft pastels, then oil pastels on mixed media paper.  Paper size is 16.5″ x 11.5″ (A3), painting takes up all surface of the paper.



New painting – with back story.

I’ve titled this one,  ‘On her way’ – it is inspired by the devastating mental health struggles my youngest daughter is currently experiencing after the birth of her baby almost three months ago.   These last few months have been extremely traumatic for all of us but last night, when I went to visit her with her older sister, it was like she was back to her old self again. There is still a lot more work needs to be done but it was the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel I saw last night, as she walked away from us down the corridor to her room.  She seemed to be surrounded by a golden glow and that’s what I wanted to get across in this painting.


“On her way”

Acrylics, inks, soft pastels on Daler Rowney system 3 acid free acrylic paper.

16 1/2″ x 11 1/2″  (not for sale)




Sennelier Extra Soft pastels and Canson paper – first impressions.

Unboxing …

Due to the nature of the extra soft Sennelier pastels, they were very finicky and tempermental, not robust like Rembrandt or the Art Spectrum brands that I use most of the time.  HOWEVER, the colour is completely unrivalled – it is pure pigment and applied to underpaintings using other soft pastels, or on top of a wash, the colours are luminous in colour strength, the pigment also adheres to the grooves or tooth of the paper and doesn’t dust off as readily as other soft pastels.


I had to do a lot more work with colour contrasts and layers to get the Rembrandt up to the same sparkling colour of the Sennelier apple subject above.  Sennelier only required a few dashes and swipes and there you had a perfect juicy apple.

I was rather underwhelmed by the Canson paper- I’d heard so much about it and was expecting a totally new experience.  However, I found it difficult to get the effects I wanted, so reverted back to my Daler Rowney Ingres paper – this sketch was to see how much working up I could do with the Sennelier soft pastels … I used a lot of other pastels to get to the greens I needed and realised fairly early on that I should have done a complimentary underwash of red or orange to get the greens to lift up and ‘sing’.


Eventually I managed to salvage a half decent study of the ancient oak tree in the field next to our house :


“The Ancient Oak at harvest”

Sennelier extra soft pastels, Rembrandt and Art Spectrum soft pastels on Daler Rowney acid free caramel coloured Ingres paper.

Painting size is approx.:  35cm x 25xm


Art Spectrum Soft Pastels

I am so pleased, Jackson’s Art Supplies have published the post on their dedicated blog featuring my review of Art Spectrum soft pastels.   Check it out here

If you enjoyed the article, I’d appreciate it if you would give it a ‘like’ or  ‘share’ it with your friends on Facebook or wherever else you join up with friends and family on the interwebs.



New soft pastel work

I don’t know about you but I’m getting a bit sick and tired of grey skies.  Here in South Norfolk we have the most gorgeous spring and summer colours – I’m dying to see powder blue skies,  brilliant greens, oil seed flowering in the fields and daffodils … all the happy colours that make your heart sing.   So this is a bit of a wishful whimsy …

‘Summer Field’

Art Spectrum soft pastels on Daler Rowney acide free dark brown Ingres coloured paper. Actual size of painting is about 30cm x 20cm

The paper size is  16″ x 12″ or 406mm x 305mm

Photo number two – to show stroke texture and third photo to show background colour of paper.