Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Perfectly Pastel Kind of Day

The luscious colors of the day
I first encountered the sublime pastel paintings  of Lyn Asselta  last October at the Painting the Region paint out. Lyn was one of a handful of artists using the medium of pastel. Her work captured me - the incredible colors  and textures made me want to put down my oils and pick up pastels again.

One of many mediums I've dabbled with, pastel appeals to me because you essentially draw. I draw constantly, so it's a comfortable feeling to draw a painting.

Pastel painting is highly portable, doesn't need to dry and can be framed on the spot, all convenient attributes for plein air work. When I saw a workshop offered by Lyn at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens, I jumped at the chance to participate and learn from one of the best.

Watercolor under-painting

Lyn starts her sketch

We learned so much from Lyn as we watched her demo. One particularly interesting step in her process is the watercolor under-painting in complementary colors - the step that makes the layers on top sparkle and sing.

Just as complementary colors bring out the best in each other, Lyn Asselta brought out the best in her students. If you have an opportunity to paint with Lyn, take it - you'll be painting with one of the best.

I don't have a photo of Lyn's finished painting. She may not have finished it - she was busy helping others. 
But here's my little effort on that lovely day in May.

Sunbathing 5x7 Pastel ©2012 Jaime Howard


  1. Jaime, I really like this post. I had never thought of starting a pastel painting with a watercolor base. Wish we could see the finished result. This all makes me want to go and work outside, looks like you're all having a great time.

    1. Hi Andrea,

      Good idea - I think we need the finished image too. I'll ask Lyn if she finished it and will send me a photo. Then I'll post it when I post her interview.
      Stayed tuned!


    2. Andrea, Check out the next post for the completed pastel painting along with an interview of Lyn Asselta.


  2. Hi Jaime - thanks for enticing me to try pastels!

    Your first photo with the chunks of color was the first 'come hither'...and your description (and more photo evidence!) of the joys of being outside creating pulled me right along.


    1. Hi Frances,

      I'm happy you're inspired to try pastels. Please keep in touch and let me know how it's going with a new medium.

      Thanks for stopping by,