I'm a professional artist who specializes in pastel landscape paintings of North Wales, especially Snowdonia. Born in Aberystwyth I now live in Caerwys, Flintshire (the smallest town in Britain!).
My work is the antithesis of how most people would imagine a pastel painting to be; they are bold and vivid with lots of detail. Customers appreciate the almost photographic quality of some pieces. Dramatic skies and water feature heavily and you will often find me up in the mountains at sunrise or sunset trying to capture the best light.
I'm a member of the North Wales Society of Fine Art and Wirral Society of Arts.
Used by artists since the Renaissance, pastels are an art medium in the form of a stick, consisting of pure powdered pigment and a binder. The pigments are the same as those in all coloured art media, including oil paints.
I love pastels because of the colours and effects they produce and because you work them directly on the paper with your fingers, not a brush - you really are at one with the painting. Also, you don't have the drying times you have to worry about with other media, especially oils.
Pastels can be considered to be the most permanent of all art media. They don't involve the sorts of chemicals and binders used in oil paints, meaning that they won't crack or darken with age. You can watch me using pastels here.
Degas, Cassatt, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec were all profuse users of pastels and their paintings look as good today as they did when they created them.