7 Up-and-Coming Artists You Have to Know | The New Class of Pastelists

Pastel Journal recently asked a few movers and shakers in the pastel universe to tell us about up-and-coming artists who’ve caught their attention this year. And the pastel artists they included in their must-watch lists so far certainly know how to turn heads.

Have we peaked your interest? You can be ahead of the curve by getting to know these seven rising artists of 2017!

Melodie Cook

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Melodie Cook | Artists Network

Nancy Trotter Landry and Bobby—Giffords Circus by Melodie Cook


Melodie Cook began her artistic career in the Italian fashion industry. After 18 years, she left to set up a design studio. There, she worked on art and illustrations for children’s books, stationery, ceramics and glass.

After a few years, she returned to England to study fine art in London. Cook was elected as a member of The Pastel Society U.K. this past spring.

Ivan Hoo

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Ivan Hoo | Artists Network

Goldendoodle by Ivan Hoo, pastel, charcoal and ink on plywood


Ivan Hoo is a self-taught artist out of Singapore. His hyperrealistic paintings of fuzzy bunnies and friendly dogs have been featured in The Huffington Post.

The artist also paints still life. But he favors the everyday objects of a 21st-century consumer, such as spilling jars of Nutella and crushed Starbucks cups, for his trompe l’oeil treatment.

Anne Strutz

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Anne Strutz | Artists Network

Hanging Out in the 21st Century by Anne Strutz


A lover of art from an early age, Anne Strutz pursued this passion throughout her work as a designer, teacher and artist. Her works in pastel have been accepted into several major shows, including the International Association of Pastel Societies’ 28th Juried Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.

Claudine Gévry

Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Claudine Gévry | Artists Network

Winter Lights by Claudine Gévry


When not spending time on her own fine art painting, Claudine Gévry works as a children’s book illustrator. She has contributed art to more than 70 books so far.

All of her illustrations are done with soft pastels, which has helped her develop her techniques in the medium.


Antonio Abad

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Antonio Abad | Artists Network

Dunes, No. 1 by Antonio Abad (19¾x27½)


Antonio Abad’s body of pastel work, shown widely throughout Spain, includes landscape and seascape, and still life subjects, excecuted with a painterly touch.


Gary Rupp

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel | Gary Rupp | Artists Network

Serenity by Gary Rupp


Gary Rupp’s interest in art, which he studied in college, was reawakened 10 years ago when he began taking classes again. Now retired, he is been able to focus full-time on pastel painting.

His work has appeared in a number of local and national-level exhibitions.

Glinda Schafer

7 Up-And-Coming Artists | Pastel Artists | Pastel Art | Glinda Schafer | Artists Network

Cocodrie Saltwater Marsh (24×36)


Although she has made her home in a variety of locations, Glinda Schafer has always lived near the coast, and her love of water has been a major source of inspiration and a recurring theme in her artwork.

Who are some of your favorite pastel artists? Be sure to share them with us in the comments!



The post 7 Up-and-Coming Artists You Have to Know | The New Class of Pastelists appeared first on Artist's Network.


31 Days of Drawing, Doodles and Fun Art Ideas

@JakeParker via Instagram@JakeParker via Instagram

Inktober Sketching Inspirations

It’s finally here! October means Inktober and that means 31 days of drawing and sketching. Share sketchbook pages, drawings, napkin doodles and more on social media with #Inktober for all to see. And, what’s more? Be sure to include the official hashtags (#inktober and inktober2017) and tag us @artistsnetwork on Instagram with your drawings for a chance to win some great prizes throughout the month!

Started by Jake Parker in 2009, this month’s movement is meant to motivate artists of all skill levels around the world — including you — to practice art every day. Join in!

Get Ready to Draw

#InkTober inspiration | ArtistsNetwork.comIf you’re new to sketching, you’ll appreciate these quick and easy art ideas from Grant Fullerto get you inspired and ready to point pen to paper right now.

  1. Professional instruction is important in developing good drawing skills, but it isn’t everything. Practice is free and you can do it right now. Take your pen and don’t waste any more time. Warm up with a series of nested circles or draw a series of dots and connect them. Get the ink flowing and more will come.
  2. Think of drawing as a pleasant pastime, a process of searching and exploring. If you view the drawing process as some sort of test, you will only increase the pressure and decrease the pleasure. Learn instead to think of the drawing process as a form of freedom. Grab a sketchbook, and don’t be afraid to scribble and play.
Sketching tips with Grant Fuller | ArtistsNetwork.com

Pen and ink drawing by Grant Fuller

Beginner Sketching Tips

Dozens — even hundreds! — of design applications are possible with pen and ink. Once you have explored some of the possibilities, you can begin to specialize. The pen-and-ink sketch above was done with a lightfast and permanent nylon-tip pen.

Many pens are labeled “permanent” but that refers to the non-smear property, meaning they dry fast and do not dissolve with moisture. This, however, does not mean they can resist fading from sunlight–those pens are labeled “lightfast.” Fine and ultra-fine are some of the tip sizes they come in. Choose many, choose often, and now you can choose wisely!

Use Hatching and Crosshatching to Apply Tone With Pen and Ink

Fine art subjects such as the marine scene here can be quite successful with pen and ink, but the usual tone application as done with graphite will not work with ink. Use other means to suggest a value other than black.

Use hatching, a series of close parallel lines, or crosshatching, a series of crisscross lines, to create a three-dimensional appearance. Small dots made with the pen at varying densities will also work to make tonal values.


Sketch by Marc Taro HolmesSketch by Marc Taro Holmes

InkTober Sketching Resources

You’ll find more books and resources, prompts, tips and projects on sketching from us this month and (always!) beyond. Let me start with Creating Textures In Pen & Ink With Watercolor from Claudia Nice. It’s the perfect match. Nice will keep you flush with inspirations and ideas for Inktober and you’ll be the creative powerhouse I know you to be, drawing and sketching everything from waterfalls and eyes to marbles and clouds! Enjoy!!

Nice will keep you flush with inspirations and ideas for Inktober and you’ll be the creative powerhouse I know you to be, drawing and sketching everything from waterfalls and eyes to marbles and clouds! Enjoy!!


P.S. Subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction and ideas, and score a free download > Drawing Sketches: Free Sketching Techniques and Expert Tips.

The post 31 Days of Drawing, Doodles and Fun Art Ideas appeared first on Artist's Network.

5 Watercolor Painting Hacks Perfect for Beginners

In Transit

Artist Kathryn Keller Larkins risks everything by embracing gigantic dimensions and a radically limited palette. She’s no longer a novice artist, but she still has some of the best tips for beginners to try.


kathryn keller larkins, artistsnetwork, beginners

Through Security by Kathryn Keller Larkins


Larkins’ work is distinguished by many things. It’s distinguished by her decision to use a highly restricted palette, to start. She uses primarily Winsor & Newton. Her paintings are dominated by grays and blacks, which she then augments sparingly with soft colors. These often serve as accents. They lift the work away from an insistent monochrome and suggest a world of color.

The effect is distancing — perhaps even alienating in some way — as though color has become little more than a memory in some sort of dystopian future. That’s why its use adds to the highly charged atmosphere of her work.

“I like how the eye begins to discern more and more color in a reduced palette over time,” says the artist. “Grays take on purple and yellow and blue casts, or a black can lighten into sepia or buttercup as it’s lifted or thins.”

Finding the Finish

kathryn keller larkins, artistsnetwork, beginners

494 I by Kathryn Keller Larkins


Eventually, Larkins must face the moment when she has to decide when a work is done. 
“I know it’s finished when the surface is developed enough to match the scale of the piece,” she says. “It must have a feeling of energy, which I think derives from contrasts. One of the many lessons I took from Ching-Bor’s class was a notion of areas of density and areas of openness in a composition. Especially in a large work, the ‘body’ or treatment or layers of the surface really has to increase to have a weight and contrast that carries at that scale.”

Larkins’ finished paintings are both spectacular as tours de force of watercolor technique and deeply affecting as evocations of a contemporary landscape dominated by technology and haunted by the ceaseless movement of human beings. Hence, they work with a power and physical authority that’s rare in watercolor.

“One thing I’d love to contribute to is a growing sense that watercolor has possibilities well beyond a sketch medium or delicate translucence,” says the artist.

Below, Larkins shares her five watercolor hacks every beginner artist should know. Enjoy!

5 Crucial Watercolor Hacks for Beginners

kathryn keller larkins artistsnetwork beginners

Ground Support by Kathryn Keller Larkins


1. Working on rough-pressed paper, using tools such as stiff-bristled oil paint brushes and a spray bottle of water offers a chance to lift or reconsider marks. And, it results 
in interesting textures. This removes the fear or
 hesitancy that can happen when using watercolor.

2. Tube paint with very little water behaves quite a bit like charcoal or pastel. Add a bit more water, and it will make a textured, rich surface. These contrast beautifully with areas of a light wash.

3. Embrace watercolor’s movement and look for beautiful things that happen within the traveling of the paint.

4. Working on more than one piece at any given time prevents overworking any one piece.

5. A hairdryer moves things along considerably.


kathryn keller larkins artistsnetwork beginners

Be Not Afraid by Kathryn Keller Larkins

Don’t miss the full article on Larkins’ work in Watercolor Artist‘s December issue.

The post 5 Watercolor Painting Hacks Perfect for Beginners appeared first on Artist's Network.

6 Abstract Painting Prompts

Starting Is No Longer the Hardest Part!

I’m out of practice in the studio. All summer and for most of September I was off my regular schedule — travelling, working, walking around enjoying the weather, catching up with friends, eating well but not holding myself to any kind of art regimen. If that wall of time has built up for you too and you aren’t quite sure how to get into the swing of painting or drawing after an extended hiatus, take my recommendation and start with abstract painting.


Abstract painting by Jodi Ohl

Abstract painting by Jodi Ohl

Why Abstract Painting?

Do you remember when you were little and you went back to school after a summer of doing as few school-related activities as possible? I always remember how weird it felt to hold a pencil again. And my penmanship? Horrible on that first day. Like I was all thumbs! It can be the same in your sketchbook or on your canvas.

You feel unconnected and awkward making marks because you are out of practice. With abstract painting, that’s okay. It can even be a plus. Marks will vary and be unexpected. Let them! Start abstractly, get your rhythm, and take it anywhere!


Abstract painting by Jodi Ohl

Abstract painting by Jodi Ohl

6 Abstract Art Prompts to Jump Start Your Creativity

  1. Connect 7 dots. Literally dot your surface seven times and get started connecting them with pattern and texture, color and any kind of mark that comes out of you. All are welcome.
  2. Use your non-dominant hand to start. This way you know that you will get some unanticipated marks. You can always switch back once you feel like you’ve got some inspiration flowing.
  3. Alter your surface. Crumple your paper. Smear it with a wash. Flick paint at it. Put something unique down first and it might adjust your vision so that you work in a different way.
  4. Only one color. Now you really have to work on texture and forms to get creative.
  5. Only one tool. That means one brush. And remember a brush has one traditional way of being used but several nontraditional ways of being used.
  6. Close your eyes. Or blindfold yourself. If you are at home, no one will see you. You get to start fresh and see with your mind’s eye. Surprisingly enough it will likely set your hand free.


Art journal page from Jodi Ohl

Art journal page from Jodi Ohl

Prompts, Projects Inspiration and Fun

Splatter, stamp, scrape, repeat. Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink is a quick-start guide for beautifully layered and textured abstract painting and drawing! While there are many approaches to painting abstract art, Jodi Ohl’s philosophy is to simply start.

In this book, the successful, self-taught artist helps you dive in with an open mind and fearless heart. Everything in this resource kick-starts your creativity. Enjoy!


The post 6 Abstract Painting Prompts appeared first on Artist's Network.

Hyper-Realistic Art You Have to See to Believe

Are These Portraits For Real?

Hyper-realistic art can sometimes make us do a double take. Are we looking at a real picture? Is this truly not a photo? With colored pencil artist Jesse Lane, he infuses an emotional weight to his portraits that transcend them beyond their realistic qualities.


Hyper-Realistic Art | Colored Pencil | Jesse Lane | Artists Network

Echoes (colored pencil on paper, 20×30) by Jesse Lane


Lane begins with an idea, tinkering with variations in composition and lighting, and ultimately working from three or four photos.

“The information isn’t always in the reference material,” he says. His work took a leap forward once he began using Photoshop to adjust the lighting and colors and to edit the composition.

Once he has an image that interests him, Lane projects it onto the drawing surface to create a line drawing before he starts to lay in color.


Hyper-Realistic Art | Colored Pencil | Jesse Lane | Artists Network

Manifest (colored pencil on paper, 30×20) by Jesse Lane


Because the process is so time-consuming, Lane resolves that he is going to make each drawing the best he possibly can. “I ask myself if what I’m drawing is worth the time I’m going to put into it,” he says.


Hyper-Realistic Art | Colored Pencil | Jesse Lane | Artists Network

Reveal (colored pencil on paper, 19×28) by Jesse Lane


“My drawings capture emotions and stories wrapped into a single instant, a window to our thoughts and our own mystery,” says Lane. “The more I draw the human form, the more complex I’ve found it to be.”


Hyper-Realistic Art | Colored Pencil | Jesse Lane | Artists Network

Riptide (colored pencil on paper, 30×20) by Jesse Lane


“One challenge with chiaroscuro on white paper is judging values,” he says. “At first the dark areas appear most prominent, but in the finished piece, the light will stand out and the shadows will recede. The black background required willpower.

“I used an extremely light touch because black areas will show stroke marks. A sharp pencil is needed to get into every last valley of the paper’s tooth. A seam would have appeared if I stopped drawing midway in a black area; thus, I drew straight through for 61 hours. It was hard, but simple.”


Hyper-Realistic Art | Colored Pencil | Jesse Lane | Artists Network

Jesse Lane in his studio.

Jesse Lane was a finalist in our Annual Art Competition. Read more about Jesse Lane in our April 2017 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.

The post Hyper-Realistic Art You Have to See to Believe appeared first on Artist's Network.

Inktober 2017 Drawing Challenge | Draw, Share, Win!

Hello October! October means that it’s time for Inktober. What is Inktober? Inktober is a daily drawing challenge created by artist Jake Parker back in 2009. You can read our interview with him from last year’s challenge.

Taking on the Inktober 2017 Challenge

Each year Jake Parker releases an official prompt list. You’ll see the Inktober 2017 prompt list below. Save it, print it, keep it on your phone. The most important thing is just that you’re drawing! Anyone can be part of Inktober, you just need to grab a pen and get started.

inktober | inktober 2017 | inktober prompt | drawing challenge | art inspiration

First time doing the challenge and not sure where to start? Jake put together a video to help you participate in Inktober 2017 and years to come. Check it out:

Inktober 2016

More and more artists are participating in the drawing challenge every year. A ton of amazing art gets made every year. The hashtag on Instagram alone brought up over a million hits! So we wanted to do a little round up of some of the art that was created during last year’s Inktober challenge. Hopefully it inspires you to create your own!

A post shared by marcio gatica (@marciogatica) on


A post shared by Debanjonaa (@geekydiya) on



A post shared by Manu López (@manuroudi) on


A post shared by Adri Amaya 🐰 (@adramayart) on



A post shared by M I C H I K O (@michiko_design) on


Inktober Giveaway

If you’re participating in Inktober you have the chance to win prizes! We’ll have four weekly prizes as well as a grand prize for one lucky winner.

As you post your Inktober art on Instagram, tag @artistsnetwork and make sure to use the official Inktober hashtags. We’ll announce the grand prize winner after October 31.

Draw, share and you could win!

The post Inktober 2017 Drawing Challenge | Draw, Share, Win! appeared first on Artist's Network.