DK Project: Gail Sibley, Tulips 1, pastel, Unison pastels on UArt 500 paper, 12 x 9 in


Use this form to get in touch. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Want to learn about Pastels?

Check out these great resources!

Instant Access to Learning

Pastels 101

A start to finish course on soft pastels. From materials and setup to finishing your masterpiece. It's all in here!

Pastel Painting En Plein Air

A step-by-step walk through of the ins and outs of painting on location with pastels.

Gail Sibley YouTube Channel

Watch hours of painting instruction, tips and interviews with master pastel artists!

Headshot of Gail Sibley

Learn More

Visit GailSibley.com to learn more about me and my artwork.

Join Us!

IGNITE! is an online membership with weekly lessons, critiques, demos and so much more.

Find us on Social Media

Schedule a Call

Free 15-min call to talk about anything art-related and lets see if I can help you!

Not a subscriber?

Click the link, add your name and email and I'll send you a copy when each new edition comes out.

Facebook Group

Be a part of the How to Pastel Facebook Group for fun conversation, learning, and community!

And remember what Gail says:


40 thoughts on “Contact me!”

  1. HI,
    I am a beginner doing pastels. I have been looking for some one to teach step by step in doing pastels. I am interested in doing flowers and small animals. Would you be working in this area? Thank you


    1. Thanks for you comment Donna.
      I plan to show step by step photos of the work I do on this website. Also, I am planning an online course for beginners where you will be able to follow along with me as I paint. I do paint flowers but rarely small animals. No matter, I hope what you learn will be applicable to anything you choose to do 🙂

  2. I love your work, your videos , your instruction, and your joyful spirit! When will you have the on line class? I have painted with pastels for awhile, but one always needs to return to the basics . You demonstrate those things one could only find in a personal workshop or class—like how to break new pastels! How true, it’s so hard to break the beautiful little sticks—am I worthy enough to use these treasures? You hit it right on all the time. Ilove to watch the videos over and over—I’ m a slow learner!

    1. Thanks so much Renee!!! Makes all the work sooooo worthwhile!

      As to those online classes, I have almost finished putting together a course on painting en plein air. Once it’s complete (soon I hope!!!), I will start back on the online How to Pastel course. I have some new ideas for it!

      Thanks again for your unbounded enthusiasm!!!

  3. Your December choices: initial scroll, I picked Ellen Eagle – she is the medium for pastel – her self portraits reveal her and I love the woven texture of her backgrounds. Then, I carefully looked at Anita Stoll’s recent work and understood the mature artists need for economy – a beautiful lesson. Thank you for your thoughtful choices.

  4. hi, i have been a professional pastel artist for 40 years and found cleaning pastels extremely easy with this technique. Take a box of dirty pastels outside (because of pastel dust ) and feather dust them, The dirt comes right off, This is so easy you WILL be laughing.

    1. Hi Joan, I am laughing already!! I wonder if you have written this idea in the comments under the video I did on cleaning pastels? Thanks for the tip!

  5. Gail, Thanks for showcasing the work of Takeyce Walker Her story is very inspiring to me and her work product of 30 days is phenomenally wonderful. She is truly a gifted artist. I come from New York and I could feel like I was home. Bravo to both of you.

  6. First…I absolutely love your work and the work of others that you share every month. So much inspiration for this beginning pastel artist!
    Second…I am going to try the 31 for 31. Clicked on the facebook link but I can’t tell if I’m a part of it. Am I?
    I look forward to your posts.
    Thanks for all that you do….

    1. Thanks so much Charlotte! And glad you are taking part in the challenge. If you clicked ‘Join’ on the Facebook Group page, I’ll accept and you’ll be in!

  7. Hi, Im from Argentina. I love your works, its no easy to understand english, but i understand artist language. In Argentina we have EUREKA pastels. I want to send a info of them. Really i don´t like at all, cause in the past was the best of the world, but now need betta corrections. For me its a good hard pastel, to draw the strong lines. But to paint i prefer Goya (that you can buy in Spain), Toison from Koh-I-Noor and Rembrandt from Talens. Great soft pastels (all of them). Oh, i wish Rembrandts now. Well expensive here (inflation, you know). The other ones that are interesting, Reeves. 😀

    EUEREKA are the best on oil pastels, not at all on chalk pastels. Next time a send a picture.

    1. Hi Fernando,thanks for sharing the pastel world from Argentina (where one day I will visit and dance tango!). I have never heard of Eureka but have heard of the others. They are all relatively hard compared to others like Unison, Sennelier, Schminke, Mount Vision, Terry Ludwig, and Great American. I think the price of good pastels anywhere is pretty high but when you think of the amount of pure pigment there is in each stick, it’s understandable. Mind you, knowing that doesn’t help much at the check out counter!!

  8. Hello Gail, How do people send their pastels to you? I find they don’t travel well; the powder can come off ans soil the matting. Or they send photos?
    Warmly and thanks for you super site.
    Nancy Malard from Paris france

    1. Hi Nancy, if you are referring to the critique service or working one-on-one over the internet, then yes, please send photographs by email. Happy to hear from you in Paris 🙂

  9. Hi Gail, I loved the article on Florence Rodway, very inspiring. How do some artists produce highly detailed work ( Jonies Ponies) with pastels, are they using pastel pencils?

    1. Hi Keith, Glad you enjoyed the article on Rodway.
      To answer your question, some artists use pastel pencils while others are highly skilled at taking a stick of pastel and creating amazing detail!

  10. Hi Gail, just wanted to respond to you re life drawing groups. I attend a life drawing group in Hobart Tasmania ( Florence Rodway country!) The group meets 3 times a month and we usually get around 12 -18 each time. A mix of ages, but mostly 40 – 70 age group, and 80% female artists. I am in the other 20% !! So, why do i attend? This group has been going for approx 20 years. I joined in about 8 years ago. Every one gets on well with each other, there is a mixture of medium used and the format seems very similiar to the one you mention. No formal tuition, but tips are freely shared between all artists. I suppose it is because the group has a good vibe. There is no formal management structure to the group. However we do have a main organiser, but there are several ” lieutenants”, who organise if the need arises through holidays, sickness etc. So we are a mixed bag of talents, ages and genders who enjoy each others company and the joys and tragedies of trying to get the right artistic result. Like some of the other comments others have made……I would be happy if you cut back on the amount of “news letter” information you supply. You do a great job, but give yourself time to smell the roses and give yourself a bit more “Gail time”. Thank you for all that you do .

    1. Hi Lindsay, thanks so much for sharing info about the life drawing group you are in – sounds like a very supportive community.
      And thank you too for your caring comments about my wellbeing. I do try to take to paint, and have ‘Gail’ time but I am pulled to write and share in the blog. Still, it’s nice to know I have a forgiving audience 🙂
      Thanks again for taking the time to write.

  11. Dear Gail,
    Thank you very much for including me in your June post. I appreciate your comments. One of the reasons why I love to paint the sky is because of the abstractions. Your comments are right on target!
    Katherine Irish

  12. Hello Gail,

    I’ve never painted or worked with pencils, and I know I am not talented. But a couple of weeks ago I decided I should give it a try. I bought some colour pencils and also pastel pencils. Buying some books and surfing the internet for instructions for beginners. And after struggling for some time I am still and again convinced that I am not talented, maybe foremost because I am not capable of making fine and delicate lines. I can not make a straight line, a circle, can not draw what I see. Really hopeless.

    Stumbling on your wonderful website, and seeing a lot of marvellous pastels, most of them not very precise in detailing if I may say so, I asked myself if it is possible to make that kind of paintings not with soft pastel but with pastel pencils. And if so, how one should do this.
    Hoping that this kind of painting/drawing is a way for me…

    I am looking forward for your answer, sorry for my bad English.
    And thank in advance.

    1. Oh Kees, I winced when I read what you wrote, so sad to hear your words especially the part about being “convinced that I am not talented”. I am glad that you found my website and I hope you’ll be able to find your way through to feeling confident in your ability to translate your feelings into painting. I’m afraid to say I don’t have much experience with pastel pencils. My love is soft pastels. I want to say that not being able to make a straight line is, as far as I’m concerned, a good thing – straight lines remind me of mathematics!
      Thank you for sharing your feelings and hope you will continue to express them. I see that you joined the Facebook group – I know you will find LOTS of encouragement there. I look forward to your participation there.

  13. Hello Gail,

    I’m new to pastels but enjoying the process of creating a thick texture on the paper with two kind of pastels. I do find, however, that sealing the pastels is a challenge. Can you suggest on the best way to seal and secure the painting? Also, how to ship unframed soft pastels? The medium just smears all over and often some pieces just fall off the painting and if the pastel is loose, what can hold it in place?

    Your website is very informative, thank you for sharing your art and ideas.


    1. Hello Mitak,
      It’s tricky to answer your question without knowing the actual brands of pastels and paper that you are using. For instance, some papers won’t take many layers or thick pastel and yes, the pastel will fall off.

      For sealing a pastel, you can use fixative. I suggest either Lascaux or Krylon Fine Art Fixative. I have heard that Daler Rowney’s prefix is a good option too but I haven’t used it myself.

      For shipping, I always wrap the pastel in glassine then tape it firm cardboard then add another piece of cardboard on top. Depending on the size, I will often add another piece of cardboard on either side. Then I wrap the whole thing in bubblewrap and put in a box. If the painting is large and/or valuable, I may then put that box inside another one. Unframed pastels are a whole lot easier to send than framed ones!!

      Happy to know you find my website useful!!

    1. Thanks Hannah. Two ways to find out where and what I’m teaching:
      1) If you’re a subscriber to the HowToPastel blog, you’ll hear as soon as I know (this is the fastest way of hearing)
      2) Workshops are listed on my HowToPastel website under Instruction > In-person workshops and classes

  14. Hi Gail I’ve just join in and answering your question. (Biggest frustration)
    I’m working in soft pastel and oil pastels too and also watercolour, oil, acrylics, and colour pencils.
    My frustration with pastels is that they seem very fragile to me and when carrying them some dust goes in between the artwork and the glass.
    I’m working on velour, pastelmat or Uart I’m not a fan of pastelcard. I cant get details on it. Sorry for my english mistakes as it is not my usual language
    Looking forward to a reply
    Robert Rongier

    1. Welcome Robert and thanks for writing! You certainly work in a lot of media 🙂
      As to your frustration of pastel dust, I know what you mean. What I do now is tap the back of the painting to get rid of excess dust. Then I roll with a piece of paper towel and brayer (could use a wine bottle!). Then I may give it a light spray of Lascaux fixative. And so far, so good. I also work at an easel where the excess dust falls off the work.
      Hope that helps!

  15. This was an especially humble article that Schuerr wrote! He certainly cannot call any of those works failures. I wondered does he have some ACTUAL FAILURES? Because I don’t see any failure in his beautiful works, and for that reason, his ruminations strike me as odd. Now…if you want to see actual failures….
    I can accomodate!

    1. Ahhhh Bonnie, I don’t think Aaron is showing us his failures! These are successes for sure! We all each have a pile of artwork that don’t quite make the grade…the thing is, they rarely see the light of day so no one knows about them. And what we see on social media are our best outpourings wouldn’t you say? And all the pieces that don’t work so well, aren’t they relative to each of us and where we are on our journey? Let’s do the work and be open to our learnings from our mistakes and risks. Therein lies our growth.

  16. Hi Gail!
    You don’t know this, but you went to San Miguel de Allende w/ me for 9 days recently…. For my birthday, my husband paid for your course: Pastel 101. I decided to do a solo workshop experience w/ your course. I created a schedule for myself and I purchased all necessary art supplies that you suggested for the course. It was a fabulous pastel getaway and workshop!!!

    I don’t know if you have ever been to SMA, but is the perfect place for a an artist. The town itself is an inspiration. It also lends itself well to photo ops. Every morning after breakfast, I explored the town adding to my photo possibilities for paintings.

    Your instructional videos were truly awesome!! I love the shorter videos and the gamut of information that you provide
    (a kind of A-Z coverage of pastels). Each day, I watched some videos and did homework. I also worked on paintings. I came home w/ 5 new paintings, which was very satisfying!!

    I didn’t work through all of your videos and homework while in SMA, but will continue this while home. I have learned a great deal from you thus far. I so appreciate your passion and thoroughness….

    My mom has been an artist all her life and has actually made it her livelihood, which is very unusual. I am just now really taping into my artistic side, and am working to grow my craft! I absolutely adore pastels.

    Wanted to share this w/ you and express my gratitude for your VERY awesome course!! It’s a treasure…

    Holly Daley
    Estes Park, Colorado

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search the Blog

Scroll to Top

Love soft pastels?? Then join 7000+ other subscribers and get my tips, reviews, and resources all about pastels... it's FREE! Just enter your name and email address below.

Your information will never be shared or sold to a 3rd party. Privacy Policy

Welcome Artists!

Online Courses

Pastels 101

Use this link if you bought the course AFTER Sept 2022

Use this link if you bought the course BEFORE Sept 2022

Pastel Painting En Plein Air

Art Membership

IGNITE! Art Making Members