How to add drama to your pastel artworks

Great artists such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio inject their artworks with a bit of drama and intensity, creating pieces reminiscent of the beauty and intensity of stage lighting. Pastels are a wonderful medium to capture this sort of intensity, particularly as you can work lights over darks, so that your subject emerges from deep shadows. Good quality pastel drawings have rich, moody colours as well as luscious, soft lights, with high contrasts.

In this workshop we're using a still life with shiny objects to show how to lay down layers of dark under-colours, then gradually introduce subtle hues to create lustre, and finish with highlights to add shine and sparkle – and a touch of Eastern magic.

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Rebecca de Mendonça

Rebecca specialises in pastels, producing lively and energetic work. She teaches around the UK and in Italy, and co-founded The New Pastel School. Her book Pastels for the Absolute Beginner, published by Search Press, is available now.