How To Freshen Up Dull Paintings

“How can I get fresher color into my work?” 

Let’s admit it, we’ve all asked ourselves this question at one time or another. And in this week’s lesson, I’m going to answer the question by addressing what to do when it all goes muddy and dull. Take heart, fellow travelers, for all is not lost! 

As we develop our paintings, the work can get muddy or dull for a number of reasons. Let’s explore together how to freshen up an otherwise murky painting by using freshening strokes of color. To bring this lesson to life for you, I’m going to paint my way out of the mud. Will I be able to turn things around? 

Find out as you watch this lesson on fresh color.

How To Loosen Up With Painterly Edges

Do you find yourself asking the question, “How do I loosen up my painting?” I think we’ve all asked ourselves this question at one time or another. This lesson is my response to your question, empowering you to move toward a more painterly approach in your work by focusing on one specific technique—Edges.  

In this paint along demonstration of an apple, we’ll deploy a rich variety of edges, allowing for a more painterly expression of this subject. Be sure to download your “Painterly Edges Resource Guide” so you can paint along with me. In it, you’ll find a reference photograph, painting examples related to the lesson and clear supportive definitions for each type of edge that we’ll cover in this lesson. It’s going to be great fun to explore this lesson together! Are you ready to paint?

How To Draw Portraits with Dramatic Light & Shadow

Your excellent questions have led us to take a closer look at the subject of the portrait. In this lesson, we’ll explore methods for creating dramatic light and shadow effects in the portrait using only a few pastel pencils on toned paper to capture the likeness in a monochromatic approach. This timeless technique has been used by great artists throughout the ages from Michelangelo to Caravaggio. You can take advantage of this wonderful technique as well!

Enjoy this full portrait demonstration, as I answer many of your questions on the subject of portraits while we create a dramatic light and shadow drawing together. 

How to Paint Trees Part 1

Want to paint loose, impressionistic trees in pastel?


We’ve all struggled to convey those pesky little leaves at one time or another. And if we’re really honest, we'd admit that we have fallen prey to the perilous trap of painting one leaf at a time! 

Well take heart, because in this lesson I’m going to show you how to harness the power of suggestion by creating the impression of leaves without actually rendering each of them. Let freedom ring!

By the end of this two-part video lesson, you’ll know how to create loose painterly trees with wonderful color and bold fresh marks that sparkle against the sky. 

Make sure to sign up below to download your, “How To Paint Trees Step-by-Step Guide,” so you can follow along at each stage of development. 

Are you ready to be liberated from the leaf-induced shackles of painting foliage? 

Watch Part One of, “How To Paint Trees”!

P.S. Look out for part two of this video lesson coming to you on April 17, 2019!

How To Mount Your Pastel Paper

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received questions from artists asking me how to mount sanded pastel paper to board. While delegating the assignment to your local framer is a valid option, there is a DIY approach.

Sanded papers like UART are produced on rolls and have a tendency to curl up at the edges over time. It’s definitely no fun to fight those curls while you’re trying to paint, not to mention the problem of buckling the paper during washes! 

Well, get ready for buckle free bliss, because I’m about to show you my personal method for mounting pastel paper to board right in the studio without the use of an expensive dry mount press. By the end of this video, you’ll be empowered to mount your own pastel surfaces like a DIY pro. 

Want to create stable, buckle free boards that can take the abuse of wet underpaintings, and frame up beautifully?  Then be sure to sign up for the DIY MOUNTING GUIDE below, because it’s time to conquer the curl together! 

Let’s do this.