A Solution to Your Studio Chaos

Admit it... you have a problem, and it's gotten out of control. Your studio has become infested. It's as if these little critters have multiplied overnight, and now you can't seem to get a handle on them. Know what I'm talking about? Your pastels! 

In all seriousness, organizing your pastels can be overwhelming. Developing a simple system to access all those colors, brands and sizes so that you can paint with confidence and focus is not only important, it's critical to your next painting's success. Don't worry, I'm here to help. 

Just sit back, grab a peppermint mocha and watch this video. You'll be organizing your pastels in no time!

Traveling with Pastels

It's travel season here, with a number of art workshops in different areas throughout the country and abroad. Many of you have asked me what to bring and how to pack for a travel art workshop, especially when going abroad. In this video, I'll show you how to pack your carry-on luggage with all the pastel painting supplies needed for an efficient, portable painting setup. 

Simply click here for the Travel Supply List with a lot of products that I recommend.

Would you like to join me in an upcoming workshop? Are there obstacles to your creative growth that you'd love to overcome in an inspiring and encouraging environment? There are some amazing opportunities just around the corner. We even have a couple of spots left next week in my Capturing Light: California workshop! Check out my workshop schedule, and find a workshop near you. I'd love to encourage your creative development.

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5 Tips To Better Color

Are you wondering how to get better color in your work?

I have been asked by many of you for help with color. I certainly want my paintings to sparkle with fresh color, and I bet you do as well! This new video shares five tips that you can use right now to improve the color in your work!  I'm confident that if you do these five simple things, the brilliance of your paintings will shine through with newfound freshness.  

Once you finish watching this short video, clear a pathway to your easel and start practicing these five tips to better color! Then, look out for part two of this video, as I share the results of my own color exercise with you.

In addition to the video, we've created a worksheet that you can print out and tack up next to your easel. This way you can put these five tips to work for you right away! Click the link below to download the worksheet.

Looking for even more inspiration and creative support? Check out my workshop schedule to find a workshop near you! Now have some fun with color.


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Capturing Light Pastel Set

With the success of the "Capturing Light" instructional videos, I teamed up with Terry Ludwig Pastels once again to develop a sumptuous set of 14 warms and cools that pair perfectly with the DVD series. I had such fun hand selecting each color to suit this beautiful set of soft pastels. The picture below shows me engaged in the rewarding challenge of choosing just 14 perfect colors. Until now, this exclusive pastel set was only available by purchasing the Capturing Light Kit from North Light Shop. The Capturing Light Pastel Set is now available for purchase in our online store! 

Alain Picard hand-selecting pastel colors.

My Secondary Palette Box

This is my secondary palette box. This box of six rows is organized by color families from left to right. Beginning at the left and moving right you'll see cool violet/warm violet, red and orange, yellow/warm green,  green/blue-green, blue, and finishing with neutral grays. As always, I've placed light values at the top, and dark values at the bottom. This palette is wonderful for backgrounds to my portrait subjects as well as just about anything else from still life to landscape. My compliments to John Heilman for the great travel box from HeilmanDesigns.com

My Portrait Palette Box

This is my pastel portrait palette, organized by value and color, according to the 6 basic skin types. More on that in another post. Along with the rich soft pastels, there are small batches of hard pastels which have been sharpened to a point and organized in groups of neutral grays (far right), cool flesh tones (right), warm flesh tones (center right), and warm earth tones (upper left) within the box as well. I find these very useful for the small details of the face. As you can see, light values are at the top representing "tints", and dark values are at the bottom representing "shades". Neutral values are known as "tones". Compliments to John Heilman for the Original Box from HeilmanDesigns.com.