VIDEO: The Pastel Society | In conversation with Michele Ashby & Curtis Holder

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The Pastel Society | Installation Images 2023

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The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2023

‘Pastel without Boundaries’

24 May to 3 June

To quote the Society's President, Richard Rees: “Drawing and painting can provide a time to reflect and lose ourselves in a creative process. As one of the great exponents of pastel, Paula Rego, once said, 'Art is the only place you can do what you like. That's freedom.' Pastel and similar dry media are the most direct way we can express our thoughts and whether on their own or in combination with other media, it has infinite possibilities.” 

Q&A with Richard Rees, President of The Pastel Society

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The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition is currently open at Mall Galleries and runs until Saturday 3 June.

We spoke to the president Richard Rees about the importance and relevancy of this wonderful medium, which arguably has been historically underrated.

Pastels are one of the oldest known artistic mediums, with natural chalks being used for prehistoric cave paintings, and the soft pastels we know today were developed in the 16th Century. Are you able to speak about the historical importance of the medium?

The rise of oil painting and watercolours in the 18th Century has masked the fact that during this period pastel was a more prestigious medium and commanded greater prices per work. Industrial scale production of the new pastel medium made them affordable, with paints becoming the medium of choice for artists. Great artists like Degas still saw the potential in pastels in the 19th Century and looking around our exhibition this year it can be seen that it lends itself to adventurous interpretation.

Sparks Lake, Oregon | Tony Allain | 50 x 65cm | £2,800

A unique medium with over a thousand vibrant colours immediately to hand, pastels have so many incredible versatile uses! Who are some of the members of the Pastel Society whose work you feel particularly demonstrates the vibrancy and versatility of the medium?

I think it slightly unfair to single out individual artists as everyone in the Pastel Society is selected by their peers and each artist has a unique approach. However, artists like Tony Allain have a striking approach. He uses soft pastel in a fast and direct manner with an intensely vibrant palette creating shimmering effects of light and shade. 

Norma Stephenson has a more subdued palette but she delivers beautiful soft landscapes with subtle colour harmonies showing her local landscapes in the north of England. Finally, Felicity House has an eclectic approach to subject matter but the same relaxed touch for each one where she conjures effortless drawing to the service of representing people, still lifes, and landscapes.

Garden Table | Felicity House | 48 x 38cm | £750

What draws you to pastel works and why do you feel it is an exciting and relevant medium?

The directness of the medium is astonishing to me. You can pick up a stick of colour and apply it directly and quickly, and the range of colours is so attractive. There are pastel colours available that you would have a job creating in oil and watercolour without a lot of thought. The medium is exciting and relevant due to its potential for this direct expression. It can also be used in a photorealistic manner as seen in Ian Rawling’s wonderful toy cars.

Aside from the artists previously mentioned, is there anyone’s work that you are particularly looking forward to seeing in the exhibition?

My colleague Simon Hodges, the Vice President of The Pastel Society, is a prolific artist and creates wonderful sketchbooks. He is sharing his sketchbooks and answering questions about his work and the pastel medium in various sessions at Mall Galleries during the run of the exhibition. Click here for a listing of the events including these sketchbook sessions.

Benjamin Hope is a great artist in any medium, and is primarily an oil painter, but his pastel work is always sensually attractive and demonstrates his appreciation of the medium. Another artist who works primarily in oils is Peter Brown, but his wonderful charcoal streetscapes create a deeply textured and lively view of his home town of Bath, which I've loved seeing on the gallery walls.

Broad Street, Bath | Peter Brown | 43 x 56cm | £1,400

What would you tell a collector, who perhaps hasn’t purchased pastels before, to look for when purchasing a pastel artwork, and what are the differences to note between oil pastels and soft pastels, for example?

Anyone buying a pastel, or any other painting should follow their gut instincts. The overall impression of so many pastel works will at first be quite overwhelming because of the intensity of colour that pastels present. Once the colour has sunk in, I suggest considering the other work by an artist that is attracting you (if there are any). This will help you make an assessment of how the artist’s approach is affecting you. 

Most of the work in the exhibition is soft pastel and there is not a lot of oil pastel but the latter is my medium of choice. It tends to be rougher than soft pastel because it is difficult to get a fine line in the medium, which can be attractive in its own way. I use a technique of acrylic ink underpainting which gives a contrasting sharpness to the overlaid oil pastel, which can be seen in my piece Laon Cathedral West Front.

Laon Cathedral West Front | Richard Rees | 47 x 31cm | £1,150

Are you able to speak of the ease of buying a piece from the exhibition if a visitor or collector is interested in an artwork? 

The pieces in the Pastel Society are terrific value for money and buying in the gallery is straightforward and simple. The Mall Galleries sales team is always on hand and can help you with any piece you may want to purchase. It’s also easy to buy works directly from our website

Who are some artists throughout history, such as Jean-Étienne Liotard that you would say have really mastered the art of pastels, and how do you feel they have influenced contemporary pastel artists? 

The pastel artist who most relates to contemporary audiences is Degas. His freedom of use of colour and textured surfaces give a lot of inspiration to modern pastel painters. Liotard, with his immaculate photo-realistic technique, can be seen to influence current photo-realistic pastel painters such as our own, previously mentioned, Ian Rawling. 

Ovaltine Van | Ian Rawling | 50 x 60cm | £1,200

Dame Paula Rego, who sadly passed away last year, was an Honorary Member of the Pastel Society, what impact would you say she has had for artists working in the medium?

Paula Rego’s choice of pastel as her preferred medium in her later work is a terrific boost to the importance of the medium. The way that she employed it is strong and fierce, as was the nature of her work. Her lasting legacy will hopefully transmit a curiosity and desire to use pastel amongst younger artists.

What is the importance of societies such as the Pastel Society in our current day and age, especially for younger artists, and for the reputation of the pastel medium?

The Pastel Society brings together a group of superb UK based practitioners in the art of pastel painting and therefore is a focus for new artists wishing to learn how to use the medium. Our exhibition is a study in a wide range of approaches and techniques which you won’t see anywhere else.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about The Pastel Society’s Annual Exhibition, and about the medium more broadly. The exhibition is open until Saturday 3 June, but if you can’t make it in person, it is also available to view online.

View the PS Annual Exhibition 2023 online

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Richard Rees Laon Cathedral

The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2023 | Award Winners

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The Pastel Society

Meet the award winners at the PS Annual Exhibition - congratulations to all!


  • The Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award

Rebecca de Mendonca, Through the Haze, 38 x 38 cm (49 x 49 cm framed)

A certificate and cheque for £50

"Inspired by a day at the races, and low winter sunlight." - Rebecca de Mendonca


  • The Artist Magazine Award

Fiona Carvell, Wonder, 40 x 40 cm (53 x 53 cm framed)

A feature article in The Artist magazine

"This piece is very much about the wonder of nature and specifically the excitement at a horse chestnut shell, opening up and revealing its content. I would marvel at this spectacle as a child and still find it fascinating. Added to this, the knowledge that something so tiny, can grow to become a huge, splendid tree. Incredible really. Drawn from life, I wanted to emphasise the textural differences within the composition with considered mark making and pastel application." - Fiona Carvell


  • Caran d'Ache Award

Olivia Dunn, Under My Wing, 24 x 22 cm (38 x 36 cm framed)


  • Frank Herring Award

Margaret Glass PS, By the Landing Stage, 40 x 50 cm (49 x 59 cm framed)


  • Henri Roche Award

Lucille Clerc, Moving Windows - Forest 1, 70 x 50 cm (74 x 54 cm framed)

"A series capturing landscapes seen from moving windows (cars/trains)." - Lucille Clerc


  • Mamut Award

Sarah Bee PS, Winter Sun by the Dart, 59 x 59 cm (69 x 69 cm framed)

"The low winter light fractured the shapes, thereby semi abstracting the riverside trees. I am always drawn to seasonal light effects. This landscape is painted on primed mountboard, float mounted on a white background and framed using a simple dark grey mouding and anti reflective glass. The work has an acrylic underpainting with the surface worked in soft pastel." - Sarah Bee


  • Pastel Society Catalogue Award: First Prize

Paul Murray, Arrangement on Black Table, 55 x 55 cm (75 x 74 cm framed)

The winning work featured in the exhibition catalogue

"Drawn marks and textures with collage based on pots, cups and a fruit bowl, all arranged on a black table top." - Paul Murray


  • Pastel Society Catalogue Award: Secnond Prize

Les Heywood, Between Showers Derbyshire Village, 35 x 45 cm (50 x 61 cm framed)

The winning work featured in the exhibition catalogue


  • The Pastel Society Young Artist Award

Manon West, Precious Time, 55 x 75 cm (65 x 85 cm framed)

A prize of £200 for a young artist, aged 35 or under


  • Schmincke Award

Ian Rawling PS, Ovaltine Van, 50 x 60 cm (58 x 68 cm framed)


  • Unison Member Award

Angela A'Court PS, Belonging II, 51 x 51 cm (57 x 57 cm framed)


  • Unison Non-member Award

Kaija Bulbrook, Thought Lines, 30 x 30 cm (42 x 42 cm framed)


  • Unison Young Artist Award

Ginny Elston, Archaeological Museum Garden, Piano di Sorrento III, 15 x 30 cm (30 x 65 cm framed)

Pastels up to £500 for the year, plus mentorship for 1 year by an Associate Artist of Unison Colour

"A view overlooking the archaeological museum garden from the nunnery Domus San Vincenzo, near Sorrento." - Ginny Elston


  • West Design Award

David Hunt, Earth and Air, 71 x 71 cm (78 x 78 cm framed)


  • The Yoshimoto Prize

Julie Lawrence, Shadow Crossing, 30 x 24 cm (46 x 38 cm framed)

A prize of £1,000 for an outstanding work, in any dry medium, by a non-member

"This work represents my own passage through the woodland section of a daily walk. The image portrays a momentary transitional perception of my own shadow crossing through the woodland pathways illuminated by dappled light. With a fleeting mix of memory and perception, my work leans towards notions of liminality and spiritual narrative." - Julie Lawrence


  • The Bob Last Prize

Jaana Fowler PS, Still Life with Green Grapes, 42 x 30 cm (53 x 43 cm framed)

A new prize for a work that celebrates the spirit of the late Bob Last (1932-2020), a long-standing member of the Pastel Society who was known for his imaginative use of dry media, excellent drawing skills, attention to detail, and passion to always present work that was different and innovative. With thanks to his daughters, Joanne Last and Jackie Jones, who will select the prize winner. Value £400.


Pastel Society Workshops | 4 to 6 April


The Pastel Society is pleased to offer a special series of Pastel Workshops for the amateur and professional artist

The workshops will be held at The Heatherley School of Fine Art, 75 Lots Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0RN from 10:30am to 4:30pm.

Fees are £60 per day or £55 per day if booking four; there are reduced fees for Friends of the Pastel Society.


Monday 4 April: 'Colour and Composition' by Richard Rees PPS

Monday 4 April: 'Stream and Pathways - Journeying through a Painting' by Katrina Wallis-King PS

Tuesday 5 April: 'Exploring Drawing through Portraiture' by Melodie Cook PS

Tuesday 5 April: 'Pastel Interiors: Museums, Galleries and Cafes' by John Tookey PS

Wednesday 6 April: 'Drawing in Dry Media' by Richard Rees PPS

For more information, and to book, please visit the Society's website.


Image credit

Richard Rees PPS, St. Emilion Roofs

The Pastel Society Prize-Winning Artists Encourage You to Submit Your Work!


The Pastel Society Call for Entries is now open, and we are seeking work for the 123rd Annual Exhibition. We encourage you to submit your work and we would especially like to highlight young and emerging artists who may not have had the opportunity to exhibit their work within a prestigious exhibition before.

Hannah Martin spoke to some of the prize winners from The Pastel Society's Annual Exhibition 2021, for some words of encouragement in the hopes that if you are reading this and feel unsure about whether or not to submit your work, you will now feel inspired to do so!

Caitlin Heslop

Caitlin Heslop won the Unison Young Artist Award for her piece ‘St Agnes II’. Caitlin is a young artist, and 'St Agnes II' was part of a series of paintings inspired by the ocean. This piece was made in the Scilly Isles in October of 2020. Caitlin explained this was one of her first times ever working from the sea as a source of inspiration as she usually works from botanicals, but she was captivated by the energy of the waves.

Caitlin Heslop, St Agnes II

Caitlin felt so encouraged to win the Unison Young Artist award. It made her feel like her work stood out - she felt like it was exciting when she was making it, but receiving the award confirmed that for her! She explains that Unison has been amazingly supportive, providing her with a mentor, and it has given her the encouragement she needed to apply for further exhibitions, which she has since been selected to exhibit at. 

Caitlin’s advice is as follows: ‘The submission process is super simple and worth a shot. Try not to think about what work others would love, but what work you feel is the most successful for you and that you are proudest of.’

Christine Watson

Christine Watson won the Schmincke Award for her piece ‘Fez Scaffolding III’. Christine has developed a love affair with Morocco, whose landscape and streets have inspired many of Christine’s pastels. She is drawn to piercing light, strong shadows, crumbling surfaces and vibrant colours. This piece captures a brief moment in time when she was exploring the back streets of Fez, representing a restless journey and a quest to see what’s happening around the next corner.

Christine Watson, Fez Scaffolding III

When submitting your work, Christine says: ‘take a look at previous years' exhibitions and try to imagine how your work might fit in. There are some exhibitions I would not enter as I could not imagine my work sitting comfortably with other exhibitors’ styles.’ 

She went on to say she was shocked but delighted to win the Schmincke Award and that it is lovely to be able to work with the high-quality pastels with such a broad range of colours and tones, that she was given. As well as selling her work at the exhibition, Christine received an invitation to exhibit at the Fusion Exhibition at Holt Gallery in Norfolk.

Charlotte Bullock

Charlotte Bullock won the 2021 Pastel Society Young Artist Award for her painting ‘The Beast’s Negative Space.’ Charlotte’s work explores human and animal identity, our relationship with the planet, and our effect on the environment. In this piece, she wanted to give negative space and waste a sense of life, representing life within destruction.

Charlotte Bullock, The Beast's Negative Space

Charlotte described the journey she had when submitting work: ‘I thought I had an idea of what The Pastel Society may be looking for, so I submitted some work I thought they might pick but also included a wild card piece, thinking they’d never pick it, but that I’d take a chance and see. The only selected piece was my wild card piece, which shocked me but proved that it is best to take a risk! It showed I must never compromise on the integrity of my work.’

Rebecca Hardaker

Rebecca Hardaker won the Frank Herring and Sons Award for ‘An Analogue State of Joy’. It is a large scale mixed media work predominantly made in soft pastels and oil pastels, which explores notions of youth, child play and joyful innocence. Rebecca creates a whimsical analogue world reflecting on childhood memories that often feel like projected coloured slides.

Rebecca Hardaker, An Analogue State of Joy

Rebecca says ‘I would enthusiastically encourage someone who is unsure about submitting their work. It was the first time I submitted, and to have my work accepted and given an award was a highlight in my career so far. Never hold back from putting yourself forward!’

Tom Hudson Davies

Tom Hudson Davies won the Yoshimoto Prize for his drawing ‘Self Isolation’. A self-portrait created during isolation in November of 2020 represents the time when days slipped into one another during the pandemic as Tom spent hours on end stuck in his bedroom sitting at his desk. This portrays his feelings of boredom, frustration and self-reflection.

Tom Hudson Davies, Self Isolation

Tom says submitting your work is worth a shot as it is an excellent opportunity to have your work assessed by experts and potentially be exhibited in an internationally recognised gallery. Winning the Yoshimoto Prize was a massive confidence boost for Tom. He says: ‘For someone starting out as an artist, winning £1000 provided me with the financial security and confidence to apply to many more open call exhibitions this year. The exhibition also enabled me to sell my first non-commissioned piece of work.’

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts works in pastels and paints his surrounding Welsh landscapes, working in a photorealistic style. He won the Faber-Castell award for his painting ‘Tree at Dusk’.

Dave Roberts, Tree At Dusk

Dave said: ‘As an emerging artist, submitting work to an event as prestigious as the Pastel Society's Annual Exhibition for the first time is pretty daunting. You look at the entries from previous years and think "Surely I'm not in that league?" However, what is there to lose? The buzz when you log in on the designated date and find out that you've been accepted is amazing!’

Dave is only just embarking on his journey towards becoming a professional artist, so winning the Faber Castell award instilled a great amount of confidence in him! He said: ‘It really was unexpected, but what a feeling! Now I can truly call myself an 'award-winning artist'! And to think, I'd questioned whether I was good enough to apply at all!’

We hope that learning of the experiences of some of the last prize winners, including those from several young and emerging artists, has made you feel more confident in your work and that you will be encouraged to submit to the open call for entries! The deadline is Friday 3 December at 12 noon. Find all the details you need about the process, guidelines, and information here. We can't wait to see your creations.

Enter your work now!

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The Pastel Society 2021 | Visitors' Choice Award


Visitors to The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition were invited to vote for their favourite work in the show.

And the winner is... Tony Allain PS ARSMA, Pastel, 71 x 87 cm

Tony created this work during one of our live demonstrations on Facebook. Which you can watch again here


Discover more of Tony's work

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Image credit

Tony Allain PS ARSMA, Bennybeg Farm, Crieff

Pastel portraits in Lockdown


The lockdowns we’ve experienced over the last year have given many of us much time for reflection. This collection of portraits created during the lockdown shows loss, isolation and people simply lost in contemplation; however the human spirit endures

"During the past lockdown, I'm lucky to have been drawing with an Oxford online group - I'm other side of the country so wouldn't have managed it in normal circumstances.

This was Tom's first session before he went off to work in his local hospital." – Jane Hodgson

Jane Hodgson Tom before his Hospital Shift Pastel £360

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"Me, myself and my space.

After a long period in one place, inner thoughts had become repetitive, obsessive and confusing as more time went on.

Maybe I'll do some cleaning.

Maybe I'll watch videos about dinosaurs.

Maybe it's time to bring up that internal monologue again.

I still don't know how to feel about it all, but I've definitely learnt a lot about myself."

– Stefan Tiburcio

Stefan Tiburcio Lockdown Thoughts Graphite £2,800

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"Until Something Unexpected Happens is a black and white pencil and graphite portrait of Peter. A close-up study of an ex-military man with a sharp sense of duty, dress, mind and uncompromising sense of self.

He remains locked in during lockdown. With his deteriorating health, he remains marooned from his family, friends and neighbours.

Peter pacifies his time emailing his friends, scrolling through social media, completing the Times crossword puzzle and drawing on his iPad app. Daily he longs to see his grandchildren. " – Gavin Bowyer

Gavin Bowyer Until Something Unexpected Happens Pencil £5,000

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"This drawing has been a way for me to explore the reflections, the silence, the fears and vulnerability I went through during lockdown as well as the physical impossibility of doing anything about it.

The act of sitting and quietly listening to the murmurations of starlings seemed to me to encapsulate what this strange time meant to me.

This piece has also been for me, an exploration in the use of coloured pencils. I love using this medium as I find it is very "domestic" - it does not smell or stain and therefore it is perfect to be used inside and it underlines the domesticity of this drawing.

The study and exploration of tone and light is, as always, an important part of my practice and looking outside towards the light is for me a symbol of hope." – Cristina Celestini

Cristina Celestini Murmurations I Colour pencil & charcoal £1,200

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Lyn Gray Shutdown Charcoal & conté £600

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"My wife mourns a colleague

The desire to wail is met by her pillow

The psalms pass from grief to praise

One takes despair to chisel out a dark poetry

Languid shapes coalesce into shapes of light

Grace turns this darkness into a kind of brilliance


Just passing through." – Simon Klein

Simon Klein Face Oil pastel £695

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"This is a very personal portrait of my mother and seeks to portray her struggles after suffering from a fall.

She is normally a strong and resilient soul who cares for her husband with dementia, and I wanted to reflect how age can sometimes compromise that inner strength, with all the struggles and toils that life throws our way.

The fall happened early this year, not along after lockdown commenced."– Catherine MacDiarmid

Catherine MacDiarmid Bruised 1 Charcoal £550

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"We have all missed our friends in the past months, and think of them often. We support each other in whatever way we can.

When we meet again, we will feel such joy.

And we know we will always be friends." – Jocelyn Rossiter

Jocelyn Rossiter We Will Always Be Friends Oil pastel, black ink & black and yellow acrylic lines £580

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"The 2020 COVID pandemic - a unique year in modern times. I have made a 2020 series of 3 portraits, the subjects deliberately cover a wide age range - 69, 19 and just 2 years old. Richard (69) and Alex (19) are shown ‘reflecting on 2020’ while Finn (2) is simply ‘looking forward’ to his future. The three are treated differently, Richard - charcoal only on linen, Alex - charcoal with soft pastel highlights on linen and Finn strongly coloured soft pastel on paper.

In this portrait Richard is lost in thought, eyes cast down, reflecting on the upheaval to his life caused by the pandemic.

The work is charcoal on linen, allowing the texture of the material to become part of the drawing." – Jan Stephens

Jan Stephens 2020 Reflections - Richard Charcoal £1,200

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"This is one of a series of drawings of Adrian made during lockdown.

I have worked with Adrian for a number of years, and this collection of drawings has developed from recent oil paintings. I used Faber-Castell Polychromos coloured pencil, Bistre tint for each of these drawings." – Adele Wagstaff

Adele Wagstaff Adrian Colour pencil £650

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"This drawing attempts to capture the fickle nature of self-isolated self-reflection and boredom.

Self-isolated, time becomes warped and a sense of control is lost. With the disruption of typical routine and structure, self-identity can shift and subdued characteristics can surface. 

Self-reflection can take over with thoughts spiralling down rabbit holes.

Then comes the stillness of boredom. The realisation that nothing has really changed. 

The room you've been in is the same.

That is the same lamp.

That is the same mirror.

That is me sitting at my desk." – Tom Hudson-Davies

Winner of The Yoshimoto Prize

Tom Hudson-Davies Self Isolation Pitt pastel on paper £300

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Michael Lang Nocturnal Lockdown Self Portrait Charcoal £450

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Discover more Portrait & Figure works from The Pastel Society

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Image credit

Stefan Tiburcio, Lockdown Thoughts

Urban scenes in Pastel


The portability and immediacy of pastels that makes them ideal for capturing the countryside while out on long walks, also makes them perfect for documenting the urban.

Now that more of us live in urban areas than ever before, and with the current restrictions on movement meaning many of us are exploring closer to home and finding the beauty in settings we previously simply travelled through to get to The Countryside, it seems the perfect time to collect together works from The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition that explore the Urban and Industrial.

Elizabeth Nast specialises in urban scenes. By depicting the ordinary in life, people going about their business, disused buildings and graffiti-covered walls, the artist seeks to show the world, that the ordinary in life can be both interesting and beautiful. 

Elizabeth Nast Bradford, End of the Dark Satanic Mills Pastel £695 

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Elizabeth Nast Whitechapel Disappearing Pastel £895

Side street off Whitechapel Road, set to disappear with the building of a new Whitechapel Station.

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"Opposite my studio in Redruth, Cornwall is an old mining area called Great South Wheal Tolgus. I find these old buildings fascinating as they sit on top of the abandoned copper and tin lode below, in varying states of decay.

I love the contrast between the dark stone walls in shadow and the puddles reflecting the sky. The buildings are due for demolition as part of a redevelopment of the area and another part of our history will be lost. I really enjoyed exploring the site on foot and with my charcoal and graphite in the drawing." – Andrew Barrowman

Andrew Barrowman Waiting for the Bulldozers Pencil & Charcoal £595

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"Drawn during this lockdown period from sketches I made on location and photos I took of New York a couple of years ago. In this quiet time, I miss the hustle and bustle of cities, I wanted my marks to convey the movement and energy of the place and its people, this drawing looks towards a time when this will be the norm and we can travel and visit cities once again." – Jeanette Barnes

Jeanette Barnes Ticket Booth Grand Central Station New York Pencil & Charcoal £2,400

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"This is when I feel that home is within touching distance when we cross from the south to the north on Tower Bridge. We are all tired after two days of driving through the snow and it's good to be back whatever the weather." – Shelley Bewtra

Shelley Bewtra Coming Home Soft pastel £800

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"One of the unbelievably vivid sunsets which happen across the river near to the city of Detroit, Michigan." – Ann Dangerfield

Ann Dangerfield Detroit River at Sunset Pastel £545

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"The view of Trellick tower from a moving train." – Stuart Jarvis

Stuart Jarvis Trellick Tower Charcoal £500

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"This is part of a series exploring the interaction between city and trees in the urban environment they are placed in and sometimes constrained by.

Vibrant colour is used to show the energy and life they introduce into their surroundings" – Teresa Lawler

Teresa Lawler Urban Tree 2 Pastel & graphite £1,050

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"Drawing of St Ann's Square, Manchester at Chinese New Year.

I have used willow and compressed charcoal with a small amount of Unison white pastel as highlights. The drawing is mounted with an offwhite mount behind glass in a black wooden frame." – Sarah Morley

Sarah Morley St Ann's Square Manchester at Chinese New Year Charcoal & pastel £550

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"5,000 Tonnes II is my second study of the High-Level Bridge in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a study of light, shadow, perspective and texture." – Jonathan Stockley

Jonathan Stockley 5,000 Tonnes II Charcoal £750

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"I am always struck by the contrasts that are experienced when viewing the Tata Steelworks in Port Talbot. At one extreme there are the dark black buildings of various shapes and sizes with their sooty residues and at the other the sudden bursts of white steam and bright glimpses of the sky penetrating the ironwork structures. I have used the charcoal to try and portray the excitement of this tonal variation. 

A blast furnace may not be an immediately appealing image but here I was fascinated by the patterns and subtle colours created by the pipes, platforms and staircases." – Andy Thornley

Andy Thornley Dark Steel Charcoal £600

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Andy Thornley Pipes and Platforms Pastel & charcoal £520

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Discover more Landscapes & Cityscapes in Pastels

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Image credit

Elizabeth Nast, Bradford, End of the Dark Satanic Mills

The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2021 Prize & Award Winners | Part Two


The Pastel Society and Mall Galleries would like to congratulate all prizewinners and give a special thank you to all our prize-givers. 

This year's prize-giving is exclusively online but with videos, audio, images, and statements by the winners to watch, hear, see, and read, you can experience and enjoy the prize-winning works wherever you are.

In the words of this year’s exhibition opener, actor Griff Rhys Jones OBE: “There’s nothing as inspiring as looking at this exhibition and seeing what can be achieved; I hope you enjoy it!”

The Prize Winners featured in Part Two include:

Henri Roche Award

Maximillion Baccanello

Portrait of Rania


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The Pastel Society Catalogue Award: First Prize


Unison Non-Member Award

Anne Magill


I made this drawing just after moving into a new studio in the first lockdown; for a number of reasons I had found it quite hard to settle in.

I instinctively felt that working on this large drawing would help me bed into my new space and happily it did.

The man in this portrait occasionally appears in my work, always silhouetted against the sky, I like how he looks directly out to the viewer, not confrontational but with strength & confidence. 

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The Pastel Society Catalogue Award: Second Prize

Janine Shute

Pink Tape Measure

The winning work will feature in the exhibition catalogue.

My work is a combination of colour, form, light and scale. I prefer the simplicity of a single subject in each drawing and use these four principles to create a striking drawing of an object usually overlooked but always familiar.

I keep the background free of pastel so the subject looks like it’s sitting on the paper and then float mount them so the paper itself becomes part of the artwork as a 3-dimensional piece.

There is a connection to the paper when using pastel, pencils and charcoal that I have never felt with other mediums and I continue to discover new techniques and influences that strengthen and enhance my work.

The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition is a great chance to see what other dry media artists are doing and I’m pleased to be recognised as runner up for the Catalogue Award.

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The Pastel Society Young Artist Award

Charlotte Bullock

The Beast's Negative Space

An award of £200.


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Schmincke Award

Christine Watson

Fez Scaffolding III


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Unison Member Award

Susan Relph PS


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Unison Young Artist Award

Caitlin Heslop

St Agnes II


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The Derwent Award

£1,000 worth of Derwent products.

Nicholas St John Rosse RSMA


The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition Prizes & Awards | Part One

Discover the whole exhibition now

Image credit

Anne Magill September