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
Hello Marla It was most easy que i enjoy it. I like thé first one. Thanks Florence
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Another snowy piece that I tried. I copied a piece by Bethany Fields from the December 2017 Pastel Journal. This one came together pretty quickly, to my surprise!
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This was the independent assignment for "how do I paint clouds." I fixed the "bird cloud" in there since I took this picture. This was a tough one for me. Constructive criticism requested!
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I really love this one. I think it's my favorite so far. But I also know that it could be stronger. Thoughts?
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This one was fun and freeing for me to try a much looser style!
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I was feeling in the holiday spirit and decided to try copying a pastel painting by Karen Margulis. I think it turned out pretty well, but I had a hard time putting the pastels down on this one. I think I picked at it too much.
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I painted along with one of Marla's lessons on Youtube. I REALLY struggled with the trees on this one. I ended up wiping them out and starting over. I'm still not thrilled with them. The water was much easier than I expected and really like it.
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I can't believe how challenging clouds can be! I am pleased with my first attempt. I'll post my second attempt as well...not so great! I look forward to your comments.
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After trying Fall Foliage, I bought some sanded paper, and tried the assignment to draw green trees. Infinitely harder! I found the sunlight coming through the trees to be the most challenging part of this painting, however.
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I discovered Marla through the free lesson that she has available. This is my first pastel painting ever. I have had a little training in drawing, and have dabbled in acrylics a bit. I look forward to comments!
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11" Square Global Premier Paper. Paint-along lesson. There were some nuances in the grass I just couldn't replicate.
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I've never not drawn the shape of the vase for the flowers before, and just relied on shadow shapes. I was a very cool approach. For the assignment I tried the pink floral bouquet reference photo and got kind of lost in it. I am going to see if I can tweak it, or I may redo it. 'Cause I think if I can get the shadow/light shapes on that collection of pink flowers to make sense, it will help me with all future flowers.
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This painting was done while painting along with Marla. It was challenging and fun. I struggled to find the right colors and keep it fresh.
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Ok Gang,this is not a pastel but what a snapshot of my new little drawing spot in my kitchen nook that I've been working on for a few days. I really want to get back to drawing and make a commitment to it, so I thought I might be more inclined if I had a spot in the house, separate from the studio. Soooo, tonight I sat down for 30 minutes and drew. I'd almost forgotten what a profound joy it has been in my life to sit in quiet contemplation and simply draw what I perceive. I'm really proud of myself!!!
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This is the one I did on my own. I used my thumbnail sketch and tried to change up the color scheme. It turned out pretty similar though. Daphne
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I tried the alcohol wash with this one but unfortunately the wash got lost in the painting after I put the pastel on. I will have to watch that. I know all these pieces still need further work, but I needed to get them to you. Look forward to your review.
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Loved the colours in this one. I struggled a little with dimensions as I used 9 x 9 instead of the suggested 12 x 12. Overall I'm pleased with the outcome. I'm loving the lessons and I'm learning a lot!
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I never thought I would paint a winter landscape, as I hate it when we get snow in Illinois, and I hate being cold. However, for the past several weeks, I have been attempting snow scenes for the first time. I like this scene, but I need to work on different values for the trees. Going to try it again. Want to get a little more color in it as well.
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Hi, Marla! This drawing started off badly for me and got worse! I find it hard to follow drawing on the videos. Anyhow, things didn't end up in the proper places, but I muddled through. Thanks for looking.
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On 11X14 on Terra Cotta Colorfix Primer. This is a sunrise over Heron Lake at Raccoon River Park by my house. The reference photo was courtesy of my husband, Jim who got up early to get the shot.
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OK if you want a giggle...I have way to much product on to correct. (I tried for a light touch, I really did!) When I was all done and took a photo to share I realized it looks like attack of the killer maple leaf, instead of soft wispy clouds at sunset! ( A dedicated student would redo it, but I think I will move on.)
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i have been trying the lessons but find i need to do my own thing. i have completed lessons 1-2-3 and then went away on a short break. here are the results
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i have been trying the lessons but find i need to do my own thing. i have completed lessons 1-2-3 and then went away on a short break. here are the results
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Sanded Global Premier Paper 11X14".
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Paint along lesson 10. 11" square Global Premier Paper.
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Hello Marla I Always paint with the vidéo because it's the night and the light change the colours. I like this lesson thé Yellow is great ! Thanks Florence
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Hi, Marla! For my artworks I used your references from HDIPC lesson and one mine. I'm trying to separate foreground, midground and background, but sometimes I don't know how to do it - like on the shore photo. And I don't know how to deal with sky - make it darker or lighter - consider it as background or midground - make it more detail or smoother? Looking forward for your critique:)
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Hi Marla, Here is one of the 3 pieces done recently, please give me your thoughts on the application of pastel, I know I’m still on the heavy side and it feels like there should be more soft edges I’m just not sure where Thanks
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I used Gamsol on the underpainting. This is on Global Premier Paper 14X14".
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Copy of Marla's painting. Used alcohol underpainting 14X14" on Global Premier Sanded Paper.
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This is a piece I did from a photo reference I took . It is 8 x 10 on Uart sanded 400 grit. Would appreciate any feedback from this great art community!
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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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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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On Art Spectrum Pastel and Multimedia Primer painted on watercolor paper. 11X14 in and 11X11 in.
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I watched the video entirely first then used the reference photo of Marla's piece to paint my version of it. I used a variety of soft pastels, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, and some Nupastel,on Colourfix light blue paper dimensions 12 x 12
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This is a glue painting on black construction paper. Once the glue dries i fill in the spaces. It's very relaxing. Turner Falls is a place I've been going to for over 60 years. I did an oil painting of TF that took me over a year to finish it. The glue painting less than four hours. After the glue drawing is dried, I fill it in with pastels.
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I think I may be obsessed with clouds. This is my version of the red and green abstract field with the rain clouds. For my independent project I also worked with a sunrise picture that I shot with my ipod mini through the windshield of my car while driving on the interstate. I wanted to paint the cloud shapes and colors. I eliminated the cars :-). I also did a second version using one of Marla's photographs in the mini-lesson 56 on Carlson's Theory of Angles (which lesson I appreciated) because I wanted to work on trees. I stayed faily close to it but simplified some of the trees a little. A lot of my work lately is really ugly to me but I felt that these turned out decently. I was happy enough with them to show them to others. I didn't get very colorful in the latter two but I was really focusing on how to represent clouds and trees because I find those difficult. I used UART 600 paper for these (new to me) and it felt quite a bit different than the Colorfix. The sunrise photo I shot myself, the other two photos are from Marla's lesson 7 Abstract fields and her Mini-lesson 56 on Carlson's theory of angles.
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This is my painting worked from the recent live paint along. 12"x 12'' On Pastelmat tinted with Red Iron Oxide acrylic
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I learned so much about sky holes and creating that misty glow of the sun shining behind translucent leaves. I struggled with using the correct values of yellow, building to the brightest to highlight those leaves in the foreground near the focal point. I used Colourfix at a larger 15x15 size I prefer. This was fun and I'm excited for my next lesson.
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I'm trying to do 10 variations and I am finding 10 a challenge, so it is giving me even more of an appreciation for the 100 series! I'm so excited! I figured out how to attach more than 1 at a time!
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One from your “Variations” demo and three working with trees. Desert trees are very loose and delicate and I’ve always had trouble with them. I watched your fall foliage video on YouTube before starting the lessons so am not exactly working to lesson sequence. These are all small, 9x9 or 9 x12 on sanded paper. Just starting with pastels (watercolor is my primary medium) so don’t have many colors. Struggling with color— with w/c I use relatively few colors and mix on paper.. Julia Graf Tucson AZ
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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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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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Today I planned to try to recreate what I did yesterday with an underpainting of the complementary colors to see how it changed it. But once my underpainting dried I kind of liked the flip in colors, so just went with it - it was very fun and freeing.
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Hi, Regarding the Fiji piece!,I tried to follow you but had real trouble seeing the actual color you were using on my computer. I’m not happy with the original one so I am submitting one I did on my own, using yours as reference material. I really like the sunset and was pleased how it turned out. The gentle path is also here, one watching you and the other , an area by my house with fall colors. Lastly, I submitted a painting from reference material that I have wanted to paint for the longest time!
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I set a goal of 10 for the week and only made 8, but still feel good about what I accomplished. It was a very good exercise and worth the investment in time. I have a couple of compositions of my own I'd like to try this with.
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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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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!

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