Pastel Painting Demo: “Quiet Day”

Hello all of my creative friends!

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday. My family and I are feeling truly blessed by having some time off to spend making memories with each other and doing some of the things we love to do—like painting! 🙂

To that end, today’s post includes a pastel painting demonstration with photos and video.
So, let’s get started!

My inspiration photo for this demo is of a scene in our backyard. This photo, as happens in many of the photos I shoot, has an interplay of light and shadow which piqued my interest. 

Inspiration Photo

When I started this painting,I made the decision to paint without a plan—dun, dun, DUN!!! 
What?! No thumbnail?? No value study?? 

I know, I know…Normally I would do those things to get to know my subject and to take a few passes at it in order to be better acquainted before jumping in to paint. But, not this time. Why?

Well, a few reasons. 

First, I was feeling spontaneous! For those of you who don’t know me well, I am not often spontaneous.
I am, in fact, a planner. But being spontaneous is something I value because for me, it is connected with PLAY.
And play is something I am striving to do more of, especially in the coming year.

Second, like many of you, time off is limited for me. I am not the kind of artist who likes to work in broken segments of time on a project—ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there.

Instead, I tend to like to work in longer sessions of at least an hour in length. When I work this way, I can get into and stay in “the Zone” more easily. And when I have time off, it’s actually possible to work in the way I prefer. For this painting, I just wanted to jump right in.

Finally, I wanted to challenge myself to work in a different way. Not having a plan is kind of like working without a net. Maybe something good would come out of it, maybe not. But I would definitely learn something along the way, and that’s a wonderful thing!

The photo below was taken at about the half-way point.

Blocked In

Here is the finished painting. I asked my brother to suggest a name for it; hence, “A Quiet Day.”

“A Quiet Day” pastel on Pastelmat 8×10

Here is the link to the video I made of my painting process. I did not videotape my final mark-making because I like to take a break from the painting before I make those final decisions. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it, and I hope you have lots of time to nurture your own creative play-time in the coming year.

Till next time friends,






8 thoughts on “Pastel Painting Demo: “Quiet Day”

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