Pastel painting -
Nancie King Mertz, “Waiting on Wabash,” pastel, 34 x 16 in.

Help us congratulate Nancie King Mertz for the recent recognition of her urban pastel painting, “Waiting on Wabash,” which was chosen by the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS) as the Prix de Pastel — the top award bestowed by IAPS — in the IAPS 33rd Juried Exhibition.

We asked Nancie to tell us more about her winning pastel painting:

“Waiting on Wabash,” due to its size, was painted in my studio rather than plein air. I took a few pictures while waiting for the train, from the end of the platform on Wabash in Chicago. When I use a photo reference, I work from an actual 4 x 6 photo that I bend into the cropped shape I desire and often refer to similar photos of the same subject to determine the composition.

“I always start with my “tick-mark map” of vine charcoal to get the perspective correct and the layout indicated on the sanded surface. This takes just a few minutes, and then I lay in the darks. Once the darks are established, they are “brushed-in” with denatured alcohol to keep them transparent and loose. In a few minutes the surface is dry and ready for mid-tones, then lights, to refine.

“The process is very immediate and fast, as I like to get a painting done in one go!”

Nancie’s rapid technique can be seen on her painting workshop video, “Urban Pastel Painting.” Preview it below!

And, listen to Eric Rhoads interview Nancie in this PleinAir Podcast:

Like this? Click here to subscribe to PleinAir Today,
a free newsletter from the publishers of PleinAir Magazine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here