Choosing the Right Surfaces for Lively Pastel Landscapes: 3 Must-Watch Videos

Experiment with pastel surfaces for gorgeous landscapes with these video workshops featuring Chris Ivers, Richard McKinley, and Liz Haywood-Sullivan.

The surface you use when painting pastel landscapes can make all the difference in mood and atmosphere. Here are three video workshops designed to help you explore a handful of pastel surfaces for creating jaw-dropping landscape paintings.

Start by learning Christine Ivers’ simple approach to creating dramatic glowing lights by working on a black surface. Then, explore exciting underpainting techniques for landscapes, with the great Richard McKinley. Finally, paint dramatic sunsets with Liz Haywood-Sullivan as she demonstrates the affects of toned backgrounds on mood and atmosphere.


1. Go for Dark Contrast

In this first video workshop, you’ll fall in love with using pastel to paint cityscapes at night! Starting on a black surface, follow along with Chris Ivers as she demonstrates her techniques for capturing the high contrast of city lights against the darkness of night. Get a taste with the preview above and then watch the full workshop for powerful results!

2. Create a Strong Underpainting

Next, Richard McKinley shows you his best tips for establishing a strong underpainting that will lead to exciting finished results in pastel. Watch the full video workshop as he applies an underpainting and builds a landscape step by step. His approach will open creative possibilities in your own work. Plus, learn how to complete your scene with finishing details in pastel!

3. Explore Surface, Color & Texture

Finally, let’s head outdoors with Liz Haywood-Sullivan to discover how to paint a landscape en plain air! Check out the preview above and then complete the full video workshop to follow along step-by-step as the artist paints the same sunset twice, first on black, then on a white surface, to discover the various ways you can wield your pastels and achieve stunning results to create different moods. How fun!

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