This lesson is has a quick tutorial on light and shadow, which might be review for you or maybe the first time you’ve been exposed to this. Either way, I hope it’s helpful. After that, a quick demo using value to render form. Next we get into using a bit of color to paint an apple. This is meant to be a simple way to jump into pastel painting. By keeping it simple, we don’t have to worry about composition or too much about the drawing. We’re focused in on using value and color to describe our object in visible light!

Who it’s for – This lesson is for beginning painters or painters that might feel a little rusty and want to work on the basics.

What’s it’s About – Describing the form of an object in light.

Set a Personal Focus – If this is new to you, be patient and just try to think about what’s in the light and what’s in the shadow. Keep it simple.

Set a Time Limit – Don’t spend more than 30 minutes or so on it.


  1. Your pastels
  2. A piece of 9 x 12 Sanded Pastel Paper (white or very light)
  3. Pencil (I used Cretacolor Monolith HB)
  4. An apple
  5. * A light and a table top for your apple

* try to use one light source on the apple. I suggest setting it up on a table-top with a white piece of paper underneath. A “still-life stage” is ideal, but it is not at all necessary!

Before You Start, a Few Tips on Following Along

  1. Stop the video whenever you need to – it’s one of the great things about learning this way. Plus, you don’t need to take notes!
  2. Don’t feel funny about copying my pieces! It’s a time-honored way to learn and I know you’ll develop your own “style” in due course. I give you lots of ways to take off on your own and expand on the demos/lessons.
  3. Take your time, but not really! I want you to speed up a bit so you can start to develop the “whole” piece all at once.
  4. Do it differently. If it feels uncomfortable, you’re likely on the right track.
  5. Remember the three “P’s” Perfection, Procrastination, Paralysis. There is no such thing as a perfect painting, so don’t even worry about it.
  6. If you have trouble, ask for help! My team and I want you to have a great experience doing the lessons!!
  7. There are 5 stages in each lesson. The beginning of each stage is a good time to pause the video, take a short break and check in on how you’re doing.

When You’ve Completed Both Part 1 & 2
When you’re done, click here to upload pics of your painting and I’ll send you a Personal Video Critique. I’m curious what you’ll come up with! The first critique request is a free bonus for you. If you’d like additional critiques, normally a Personal Video Critique is $97 but you can send a message my support team to get a discounted critiques package – I’ve already told them that since you are taking lessons from me, you get at least 40% off.

If you aren’t ready for a personal critique from me, then be sure to upload your work to our Community page where your peers can take a look. I often comment on the Community submissions as well – it won’t be a video critique but I really enjoy seeing your work and helping you when I can.

Capturing Form in Light
Download the Lesson PDF

Enjoy “Capturing Form in Light”!

To Download the PDF file:
Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
Right Click (PC) to download files.

Click Here to Download the PDF

Download the Images PDF
To Download the PDF file:
Ctrl-Click (MAC) and choose “Save File As”
Right Click (PC) to download files.

Click Here to Download the Images PDF

Skill Builder
Light & Shadow


Lesson 5