The Pastel Journal

About Light and Color

“BEFORE I START A PAINTING, the abstract elements and representational images always appear in my mind, repeatedly,” says California artist Jian Wu, as he reflects upon creating pastels such as his captivating Richeson Pastel Silver Award-winning Dancing Light. “I’m planning the composition in my mind and thinking about point, line and surface as well as structure, color and lighting.”

Portrait & Figure Category Juror Cuong Nguyen says, “This exceptional piece won me over with its vibrant colors and powerful lighting. The artist has successfully delivered the emotion of the sitter without showing her face. I especially love the way Wu painted the lighting, which truly dances around the model with soft but powerful strokes. It’s clearly a winning piece.”

A Delicate Balance

“I think great paintings have … qualities that evoke deep emotional responses, touching the viewer’s mind and heart.”

“If what appears in tells it without words.” The model is still, with her back toward the viewer. “There’s no facial expression, no deep thought. It’s just about light and color playing harmoniously in delicate balance,” he continues. “We all live in a crowded world and lead busy lives, so I believe that a quiet scene with dancing light provides a pleasing place to rest our minds.”

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