Category Archives: Dry Pastel


Color strategy exercise with the wonderful Anita Lehmann.

(7″ x 5″ soft pastel on watercolor paper)
Displayed artwork © 2019 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.


Friday Chickens

Happy Friday.  I hope you’ve flown the coop for some weekend fun.

(Click to enlarge)
chickens(12.5″ x 5″ mixed media on paper)
Displayed artwork © 2019 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Sketches are GOLD

You never know where a 20-second sketch will take you. And you can never make enough sketches. They are GOLD to flip through for developing future compositions, remembering places, and feeling good about all those times you picked up a tool and made marks in your sketchbook.

While attending a group event at an instructor’s studio earlier this year, I discovered her cache of sketchbooks—a TREASURE TROVE chronicling her moods, surroundings, experiments…  It almost felt like I was violating her privacy, but she assured me she left them out for that very reason. I would have sat there all night turning her pages, but for the guilt of appearing unsocial. Back to the party I went, eventually.

Where will a preliminary sketch take you? ANY WHERE! Pick a favorite simple drawing, then use other media to draw/paint it again and see what happens. You’ll get something quite different every time.

Have fun!

A one-liner ink sketch, used as source.    (click any image to enlarge it)


Charcoal and conte on tinted paper.


Eyedropper+ink with watercolors on hot press watercolor paper.


Different one-liner ink sketch, used as source. (imagine that: another bunny)


Crayon sticks on Canson paper.


Markers and dry pastels on colored, textured paper.

Displayed artwork © 2015 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Drink + Draw at Gage

I had my first “drink + draw” experience last week. Many artists attend these on a regular basis. The venue might be anywhere from a pub to an art opening and the models are sometimes heavily costumed. Gage Academy of Art in Seattle hosts these gatherings and you simply drop in. FREE!! Well the “drink” portion is pay-as-you-go, but there were free munchies and free art supplies on loan from DickBlick available to all.

The gist is: You just DRAW. There are short poses as a warm up to get your arm moving, then a series of 20-minute poses to practice stroke and technique.

Our model, Isis, was a lovely limber lass who struck some poses with positive attitude. Two hours of getting covered in graphite, charcoal, and pastels accompanied by amazing background tunes (yes, there was a DJ) and good vibes from 25 other artists is a pretty sweet way to end the week. Thank you Gage and Blick.

(click image to enlarge)

(12″ x 18″ each, graphite, charcoal, pen, pastel on sketch paper—Blick supplies)
Displayed artwork © 2015 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.


This guy’s been framed and on my wall for a few years now. I love animals as  subject material because they emerge on the paper so easily. Don’t ask me why.

Tambo is the beloved pet of a dear friend. Tambo doesn’t warm up to me when I visit, which is funny because I am a ‘cat’ person. Tambo is Tambo. And, frankly, Tambo is weird. When my dear friend sent me a photo of Tambo in this pose years ago, it was easy to warm up to him artistically, even though he will never warm up to me.

(click image to enlarge)

(22″ x 15″  dry pastel on Canson paper)
Displayed artwork © 2009 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Three Pears

It’s been three years since I started this blog! I give you three pears. There is no significance to this other than it’s a 3-for-3. Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me this far.

I had an incredible urge for mixed media play the other night. I pulled out a piece of cardboard that was already gessoed and lightly washed with watercolor over a year ago. I had three delicious pears to look at. There were colored oil markers to grab, Pan pastels I had never opened, and the omnipresent black permanent marker. I was in heaven. Still haven’t eaten the pears.

May we all have a delicious 2015.

(click image to enlarge)

(9″ x 10.5″  watercolor, color oil markers, Pan® pastels, permanent black Sharpie® marker on cardboard)
Displayed artwork © 2015 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Figure Drawing Workshop

Terry Furchgott

Terry Furchgott

Yesterday, I attended the workshop:  Degas Dancers Figure Drawing at the Lisa Harris Gallery, taught by Terry Furchgott from Gage Academy of Art.

Having never done live figure drawing, I felt completely intimidated. Let’s face it, the human body is really hard to draw. Just look at Michelangelo’s David… the hands are enormous. But, judging from the murmurs in our group, I was not alone in garnering the courage to remain planted — this was going to be okay.

Terry is a delightful instructor. She directed us through several 15-min. timed sketches, each preceded with her at the easel sketching the live ballet model, while illustrating her use of tools, discussing spacial relationships, and the importance of contrast. She emphasized Degas’ techniques and shared some of his wonderful masterpieces. Everyone’s sketches noticeably improved through the 3-hour workshop.

I can now say with confidence that figure drawing is incredibly difficult, but this was the best way to spend a rainy Saturday!

(click each image to enlarge)

(11″ x  17″ each, charcoal and pastel on various paper)
Displayed artwork © 2014 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Under The Pink Bridge

I abandoned this overworked monotype until I saw faces in it. I couldn’t resist bringing them forward and reworking the piece. Still overdone, but fun.

(click image to enlarge)
(8″ x 10″ acrylic monotype, ink, dry pastel)
Displayed artwork © 2013 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.

Lepus californicus

Not a fluffy cotton-tail, no. This long-eared, American desert hare — aka black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) wishes you a happy Easter.  (click image to enlarge)

(18″ x 26″ watercolor and dry pastel on hot-pressed paper)
Displayed artwork © 2013 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.


A portrait of my stepmother, Sarah — more of a sister or ‘confidente du coeur.’ I have always been drawn to her focus and beautiful hair.  (click to enlarge)

(6″ x 6″ mixed media: gesso on cardboard, watercolor, photo transfer, Sharpie ink lines, dry pastel)
Displayed artwork © 2012 Kim Reading. All rights reserved.