Richard McKinley - The Pastel Landscape, from field-sketch to studio interpretation - Workshop Information

Workshop Info

Richard McKinley - The Pastel Landscape, from field-sketch to studio interpretation

November 13-16, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Early Bird (until September 26) - $500 LAAG members / $550 nonmembers
Regular - $550 LAAG members / $600 nonmembers

To register contact Betty Efferson at or 225-266-7064

Richard McKinley's Website


Pastel Society of America Master Pastelist and Hall of Fame Honoree, Richard McKinley, will demonstrate the techniques and fundamentals necessary to produce a successful location field-sketch painting and how to utilize various mixed-media pastel underpainting techniques in the studio to add excitement. Through individual attention, group critiques, and class discussions you will leave with a clear understanding of the universal basics of landscape painting and the exciting possibilities pastel has to offer. Having dedicated over forty years to teaching, Richard has a wealth of information to share, is tireless in this pursuit and his intensity, focus and energy are legendary.



Pastel Pointers: Top 100 Secrets for Beautiful Pastel Paintings, North Light Books. Richard's book will be frequently referenced throughout the workshop.


Photographic landscape material may be needed for reference when not working en plein air. Have an assortment to choose from. An iPad or similar digital tablet may be used.


A minimum (90 sticks) assortment of both softer and harder artist-grade pastels representing a full color spectrum and value range is required. Prepare any full-sized sticks for painting by removing labels and breaking them in half. Half-stick assortments are available from many popular manufactures. If possible, arrange them in a suitable travel palette by color family and value. Girault, Terry Ludwig, Great American Artworks, Schmincke, Sennelier, Unison, Blue Earth and Mount Vision are examples of softer brands. Rembrandt, Art Spectrum, Cretacolor, Nu-Pastel and Caran d'ache are examples of harder brands. For convenience, two selections of 50 Girault pastels each are available as: Neutrals & Friends and Plein Air Addition by Richard McKinley. A selection of 60 Terry Ludwig pastels is available as: McKinley Workshop assortment and a selection of Great American Artworks pastels is available as: 91 Half McKinley (half-stick pastels ready to use). A few miscellaneous pastels that will be very useful are: Nu-Pastel, 244-P (Blue-Violet) and 298-P (Bottle-Green); Cretacolor, 140 (Mars-Violet) and 239 (Payne's-Grey); Rembrandt, 548.3 (Blue-Violet). Pastel palette boxes from the USA: Dakota Art Pastels "Small Universal Deluxe Traveler", 888-345-0067, and Heilman Designs "Small Backpack", 530-778-3080,


Pastel Premier Fine (400) or Extra Fine (600) grit (white), UArt 400 or 320 grit, Fisher 400 paper are all suitable pastel surfaces. These papers must be mounted (glued) to a ridged support in advance of any water-based underpainting techniques. Here is a link to more information on mounting paper:

Ampersand Pastelbord (white), Multimedia Pastel Panels, or Homemade Grit Surfaces (information on preparing homemade surfaces is covered in the Pastel Pointers Book) are also suitable surfaces.

Sizes ranging from 9x12 to 12x16 are recommended for plein air painting (larger paintings are permissible). Alla prima "field-study paintings" will be demonstrated using Pastel Premier Italian Clay (this is a warm middle-value tone) paper in sizes ranging from 6x8 to 9x12.

Note: Comparative pastel surfaces may be found by other manufactures. Test them in advance of wet underpainting to see how they respond to water. White or very light toned surfaces are recommended for wet underpainting techniques.

Packets of pre-mounted Pastel Premier and UArt paper, as well as various other surfaces, are available from: Central Art Supply, 1-800-863-1444, Medford, OR.


GATOR-FOAMBOARD works well. Make sure the support is large enough to allow for a few inches of border all around the pastel surface. Gator-Foamboard is available in white or black (black is preferable for plein air). Sheets of tracing or glassine paper may be used to protect the pastel painting surfaces during transport.


An adequate field easel and pastel palette support will be needed. Richard uses a Camera Tripod as his Field Easel with a Heilman brand easel attachment mounted to the tripod's camera quick-release bracket via an accessory plate (both items are available in the USA from Heilman Designs: 530-778-3080, Richard's pastel palette is attached to the tripod with an Easel Butler ( from B.C. Canada. This is a good lightweight support arm that fits onto an A-frame easel or camera tripod. An umbrella for shading your palette and painting are optional when working on location.


A palette of assorted watercolors and oil/acrylic synthetic nylon bristle brushes will be used for underpainting techniques. Have a few colors from each of the basic color families.


Neutral colored Drafting or Artists Tape to attach paper to support, Black ph balanced Masking Tape, Sketchbook-Notebook, 3 Tombow ABT markers N15-N55-N75 (or other comparable brand), 2b or HB Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Denatured or Rubbing Alcohol, Soft Paper Toweling, Digital Camera (smart phone is suitable). Students are encouraged to bring a few photos of their recent work for review.

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