The Pastel Guild of Europe, Library Challenge!

A nice surprise – my Lake series won the Lib challenge!Lake Challenge, may 2015I believe that anyone who begins to paint must start by allowing herself / himself to copy good paintings and photos. After a period of replicating, when you have learned the technique for your medium, color theory, composition, rules of proportion, etc. you then have to let go and begin to compose yourself to get further with your artistry.

Here The Pastel Guild of Europe’s, (PGE’s) Image Library is an example of a very useful source of images. Any member can use the free Library photos. If you need good images you will find photos of all types to work with, and those who want to start composing their own motifs will also find material here. I wanted to show these possibilities with my series of Lake paintings.

I liked Dorothea Schulz’s photo of the alpine lake. It was perfect to create something a little different from, and still maintain the original image to some degree.

First, I changed the picture to a portrait orientation. I cropped the picture, in other words.


My first version was my interpretation of a fresh and perhaps a bit chilly late summer landscape (Figure 1).

Image 1
Image 1











Image 2
  Image 2

For the second version, I decided to change the colour scheme completely, and wanted to create a night scene with a completely different atmosphere, (image 2). I wanted to show that simple means can change the mood of a seemingly similar view, and therefore I chose the more dramatic and bold colours.

Picture No. 3 shows the same view again, but now with a lighter, softer, more dreamy colour scheme.

Image 3
Image 3












Finally, I decided to return once more, this time with the cold winter feeling (photo No. 4).

Image 4
Image 4

All 4 paintings are painted on Pastelmat, with a dry value underpainting. I use a variety of hard and soft pastels, Rembrandts, Winsor&Newtons, Petersburg, Unison, Sennelier and Blue Earth. I often start with the harder ones, then go for the softer, and often blend with a hard Conté stick. Finishing touches with the softest ones!









I hope this can inspire someone to attempt a similar project. Do not just copy, but learn to use simple means, such as changing the colour scheme, cropping the subject, add or leave out details, etc. to change the subject into something that is your own interpretation.

Thank you very much Dorothea Schulz, for choosing my Lake series as the winner of the Lib Challenge!



One thought on “The Pastel Guild of Europe, Library Challenge!

  1. This all looks very good, Annika. It supports the feeling being o an artist’s blog.

    good to know you are running a wordpress – blog. So we are at least three of us who know how to post in wordpress.


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