I  know that it takes some guts to share your work, especially if you aren’t on solid ground, but trust me when I say that you won’t be sorry if you do. This website is a place of supportive, creative incubation. I won’t let it be anything else! ​
-Marla

12x12 on Uart - I did this as a paint along - it definitely pushed me in terms of color. I then did another from the references that Marla included. The third one is from a photo in Marla's bonus package. It's 18x24 on Uart. It took a while to get the background mtns and the tree line to work, and I think that I need to fix the temperature shift in the sky. I'll put the 2nd and 3rd pieces in as comments when I can.
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The paint along - On Sennelier La Carte - buff. 12x16 I think. Not wild about this - the cloud shapes seem contrived and I should have made the dark trees larger. The photo is pretty contrasty - the clouds have better gradations irl. The second one (Uart 400) I like better. I did a violet alcohol wash first. I wanted to keep things cool - I'm wondering if I should tame the violet in the bg mtn but really like how it reflects in the clouds so have decided to let it stay. Thanks for your input! ps - My first post here and I can't tell if both images are attached or not.
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Most of my landscapes have had blue skies, because I couldn't paint clouds. I was determined to learn how to paint clouds and your video gave me the guidance I needed. The painting I did from the video was done on Art Spectum Colourfix ( elephant?) and I just used my sticks. The others are done on Uart 400 grit paper and started with a Pan Pastel underpainting. After doing the two 8x10 studies I decided to do a larger painting. The last painting is 16x20 (the largest painting I have ever done😁) and I felt so good about it I entered it into the regional show for the art group I belong to. Haven't heard back yet if it made the cut or not, but even if it doesn't make it into the show I still feel good about it. I think the clouds make it more interesting than it would with just a blue sky. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. Thanks!
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I am struggling a bit to get used to new sanded paper and softer pastels. Thirty years ago I briefly used Rembrandt’s and Nupastels on Canson Mi-Tientes while taking a very basic class drawing class. So I am starting at the beginning again. I decided to share my attempts at this lesson even though I am dissatisfied with my current ability to transfer what I am learning to paper because hopefully I will improve as I go and can pointer progress later :-)
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First portrait - it is of our granddaughter when she was 3. It is done on velour and pastel chalks
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I wanted to make my version somewhat different in design and format, but still apply all of the instruction and palette.
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Here is my latest painting from this month's lesson. One of my goals is to learn to see hidden color and to amplify it in my paintings. This lesson is teaching me that and I'm excited to take what I've learned from the last two lessons into a photo of a nearby pond with spring's emerging marsh marigolds along the shoreline. I'm so inspired! Thank you, Marla!
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Loved this lesson, though I'm not sure I did it justice. I'm completing part 2 now to put my own spin on it, so fingers crossed it goes well :)
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My version of lessons 5, Clouds. I had a great time, though I find colour difficult. I am keeping it much looser than I used to. I am thoroughly enjoying the lessons. Very good value.
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Hi Marla, I've been painting as much as my busy work and family schedules will allow. Practicing a lot and completing a small number of pieces. Your classes and prompts have been invaluable iand n bringing me back to creativity! Here are a few pieces if have completed over the past few months or so.
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Marla , This was SOOOO much fun! I was on a roll and did all 4 in 2 days! I first did Lobos with you , then used pastel mat for the others as well with the acrylic underpainting. I made myself work fairly fast with pretty big strokes for me! I think it helped me stay a lot looser and I loved using all that color! The 2 paintings with rocks are from my float trip down the Big Fork River in Montana this summer. the other is of Big Bear Dunes in Michigan.
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I chose to go bigger (15x15") to have more fun with broad strokes and a variety of marks. Again, I struggled with finding the right colors and I counted the sticks when I put them away after finishing this—a whopping 50 of them! I strive to use inventive layered color in this way on my future pieces. I'm really pleased and feeling like I'm starting to get the hang of pastel painting. Thanks, Marla!
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This is done from a photo taken in my village during the summer, the light was lovely and the scene was asking to be painted, so I battled my 'landscape demons' and had a go. I used Fisher 400 paper and a variety of soft pastels.
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More haning on to my local coloring.
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Hi Marla, I admire your colors and wonder why I always fall back into earth colors. But with this example I wanted to try to be your shadow. The other one "lazy late Summer" is partly leaning on your coloring ideas, yet I felt a bit scary as you can see. I keep trying and hopefully gain more confidence.
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This was done from a photograph I took. I know there is lots of room for improvement. The list is long. I hope to get honest feed back. The more work the bettter I'll get.
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Hello Marla I love this lesson!! Thanks Florence
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Wallis paper 30-40 sm
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This was challenging. Sky holes are tough for me and I appreciate this lesson which forced me to work more on that. This is on the Elephant Colourfix paper, 12x12. I really like working 12x12 or 15x15 for a more painterly approach. I got some new sticks to fill gaps in my palette when creating scenes like this one. I'm excited now, after this lesson, to start working on some new pieces using my photos taken on seasonally changing marshes where I live. Fun!
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The underground for this pastel painting came in 3 steps.All 3 layers were in thin acrylic paint prepared and the ground itself was prepared in beige primer on carton, actually the back side of some drawing pad. It is done ac. a pastel video performance Marla did; I forgot the title of her painting.
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This pastel painting was prepared on carton (backside of a drawing pad) with dark brown primer, The final pastel painting reflects the fresh summer breeze at a creek in a gorgeous color rich composition. I did this one also as paint along with one of Marla's video presentations.
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This pastel painting is done plein air at the community garden where I live. (I was not sure if we can also post our own paintings which are not related to Marla's paintings. )
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On the canson paper on the sea in Sochi
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With permission from a friend, who lives in Arizona, to use her photo as reference, I painted this western scene today. I really struggle with clouds, so will continue to work on them often. Watching Marla's tutorial videos has been such an enormous help to me. I've also been so inspired by the talent of the artists who share here on this site. You're all so wonderful!
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I painted this on the last weekend in May when the leaves had just come out to their fullest here in Maine.
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This is a lesson I took with Marla this last week! I think I'm finally getting it!! It was so much fun! I watched the video a couple of times and then tried painting it on my own. I did my little 2x2" thumbnail and have started doing them on all my pastel landscapes! I've taken ton of photos from a recent trip to the Shenandoah Valley and can't wait to do a few on my own! Thanks Marla! PS. My sister-in-law saw and and insisted on buying it!! Yay!
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Theee a few other lessons included plus one of my own from reference material in Arizona
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Hi Marla, I was kind of stuck so I did this lesson and it was a big help. You suggested stacking them on a page, so I am sending two pages of miniatures. Linda
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The light and value changes in this work are stunning. I have a long way to go in my pastel learning but this work stimulated my desire for further learning
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Hello, Marla and pastel friends. I finally found time for this lesson which is reflective of my surroundings in the northwoods of Wisconsin where leaves are turning to golds, yellows, and reds each day now. As usual, I learned so much from this lesson and I look forward to painting some of our autumn beauty. I find it hard to know when to quit. I think I'm done then I see more I want to do. After I thought I was finished with the piece posted here, I looked at the original resource photo and Marla's original painting and saw more elements I want to incorporate into this painting — especially the aqua and purples at the bases of the trees, and a blast of orange in the red tree. I struggled with not finding the right reds or light yellows so did what I could with what I have from my "starter" set. It's time to buy more sticks and I think I'll be investing in higher quality Unison as well as that gorgeous Terry Ludwig Eggplant which was not included in his Dark II set. I am so in love with pastel painting and grateful for Marla's support. It was one year ago this weekend that I took the leap to try pastel painting, knowing nothing about it, and it grabbed me instantly. What a fun year it's been!
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Monthly Prompt

Each month I invite you to consider an idea, an exercise, a musing to cultivate and enliven your painting process. If you are moved to share your results, that would be excellent! If they simply give you food for thought; wonderful! ​

I'm always looking for ways to motivate, tease, bribe, cajole myself to the easel, so I hope these prompts help you to do the same!

Community Submission