My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Mention pastels and Edgar Degas immediately comes to mind, with the work of Renoir, Whistler and Manet following suit.  Leonardo da Vinci also used pastels, mainly in brown and white, to create many of  his drawings.

Pastels combine permance with vulnerability.  The sticks often consist of pure pigment but their powdery nature leads to smudging and dusting.  Fixative, if applied, adds a questionable, unknown element in the long-term. 

For me, the attraction of pastels is the freedom and intensity they give to the sketch.  Here is a pastel portrait that I made many years ago of Tania and Trina’s half sister Trudy. 


  1. Fixatives always dissolved the pigments when i tried to use them in spray form. So I gave up using pastels altogether. This is a nice example of pastels.

  2. Mention pastels and Rowntrees immediately comes to my mind.