Monday, April 21, 2014

Marsh Paintings

Two new 6"x8" pastel paintings of the South Carolina marshland will be part of my exhibit at the Craving Art Studio, 121 Craven St., Beaufort, NC 28516 next month.  Reception is Friday, May 2nd from 6-8pm.

SC Marsh I, pastel, 6x8", ©KimWerfel

These paintings were painted from photos outside of Hilton Head Island a few years ago.  One of my students was painting a small cloud painting and it inspired me to try a painting of a large vista in a small 6"x8" format.  A nice change from painting pet portraits!

                                                                       SC Marsh II, pastel, 6"x 8", ©KimWerfel

My Pastel Workshop:  Explore Pastels!  follows the reception on Saturday, May 3rd from 10am-4pm.  

If you've always wanted to explore pastels, but were afraid to try, this is the workshop for you! 
Beginners to Intermediate.  $100 + $30 materials fee.  
Contact Heather Sink or Lisa Tuchek to register:  252-728-0243 or e-mail  

Questions?  E-mail me at

More info at my website page here 

Wouldn't a weekend by the sea in beautiful historic downtown Beaufort, NC and 
a Pastel Workshop be divine?

See you there!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Commissioned Pastel Dog Portrait

Meet "Yogi", a chow-mix that recently passed on, my new commissioned pastel portrait.  I never met him or his owner, one of the latest portraits whose business has been handled exclusively on-line.   Lucky for me she had many lovely photos to work from.

"Yogi", 11x14", pastel ©KimWerfel

This one was elusively challenging as he was a brown dog with very subtle shifts of value and temperature defining his face and fur.  A haunting sad and strong look in his eyes arrested me when I saw the photo and knew this was the one to work from.  

There was a photo of him in the snow and I wanted to put the cool colors in the background to bring the warmth of his fur forward.

Challenging, but rewarding. My favorite type of commission.  I'm pleased with the results.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yorkshire Terrier portrait commission

While at a local pub with my friends, I met a woman and started chatting.  Before long she had her iphone out, showing me photos of her recently passed Yorkshire Terrier named Bailey.  As tears filled her eyes she asked if I could possibly paint him from a not so very good photograph.

This is often an artist's nightmare...but I am a pushover for someone who really wants my art and is heartfelt about loving their pet.  So I said yes, and she e-mailed me the photo.  I struggled with enlarging it many times in photoshop, of course lessening the quality of the photo.  Various photos had different values and colors in the I did a composite.

The dog sat on a white blanket that did nothing for the composition.  I thought with all the warm golds, a purple background would help.  So I took out a 9x12" ampersand pastel board and sketched him out on it, giving the purple an underpainting with pastel washed with alcohol.

"Bailey", pastel, 9x12" ©Kim Werfel

Normally, I like to meet the pets....(if I can) and take my own photos.  But I realized that the owners are more interested in having something to remember their 4-legged friend, rather than nothing.  So sometimes a work of art is more of a work of "heart".

This was shipped to Ohio.  So now my work is finding homes in new States.  I find that kinda exciting too.

Thanks for following my blog and have a great day!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pastel Workshop!

Let's Paint At the Beach!!!  My two favorite things in one place - painting in pastels and being near the beach in Beaufort, my favorite little town :)

I'm kicking off Spring by teaching a new pastel workshop coming up Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 from 10 am - 4 pm at the Craving Art Studio, 121 Craven St., Beaufort, NC  28516.  $100 + $30 materials fee.

There'll be an Art Reception there the night before, Friday May 2nd, from 5 - 7 pm.

*Beginners: $30 materials fee for a set of 24 mungyo pastes, 9x12 pad of multi-colored Canson pastel paper,  kneaded eraser, two 8 x 10" sanded foam core boards, foam core backing board and tracing paper.

*Experienced students can opt out of the materials fee by bringing their own pastels, paper, etc.

Please bring your own masking tape, latex gloves, baby wipes, paper towels, a small rag, a smock and a smile!

Contact Heather Sink to register:  252-728-0243, e-mail at

Let's have fun this's been a long, cold, Winter!

Hope to see you there!


This one day workshop is for both beginners and intermediate students.  I'll warm-up with exercises and lead you through two pastel paintings....the Bird's Nest pictured above is a great one for Spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blue-Eyed Himalyan Seal Point Cat

Pretty sure I'm finished with "Tuskie", a new pastel pet portrait commission of a blue-eyed Himalayan seal-point kitty cat.  He's 15 years old and wasn't very interested in having his photo taken....but after 60 photos, we agreed on this pose.

Of course, I had to crop out the lovely owner that was holding he glared at me as cats will do when you force them to do anything!

I decided to use a new paper...a German velour paper called Hannemuhle.  It comes in different colors and I chose Ochre as I thought it would play well against his coat.  I've seen other pet pastel artists use it quite successfully.  It's great for depicting fur.  The paper is archival and acid-free as well.

I used this photo as a reference to show his paws, which I wasn't going to include originally, but thought it added a necessary grounding to the portrait.  This photo shows more warm colors in his fur too.

The result:  "Tuskie", pastel on velour paper, 12x16"©KimWerfel.

Thanks for following my blog :)


Friday, February 7, 2014

New Continuing Pastel Class Starts March 6th

Time is flying....I can't believe that my Continuing Pastel Painting Studio Class begins in a month!

(a student with work from a previous continuing class)

Course #2043 at the ArtsCenter of Carrboro, Thursday Mornings from 10am-12:30pm, March 6 - April 3rd.  (5 wks) $125 public, $113 friends of the ArtsCenter.

Register online here

To quote the ArtsCenter's description:

This course is for the intermediate to advanced pastel student who wants critiques as they work on their own subject matter. Students will explore different techniques in finding their own style with guidance from the instructor. Elements and principles of design are kept in mind as students learn to apply compositional rules to their work for maximum results. Classes start with group critiques and discussions with the rest of the class time working with individual help through class. Spending time working outside of class will be necessary.
  • Basic understanding of pastels or Intro to Pastel Painting is required. This class is not for beginners.

Click here for my materials list 

Let's all come out of Winter hibernation and create together this Spring!
Would love to see you there!

Happy Painting!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Dog Portrait Commission

Meet "Saidee", my lastest pastel dog portrait commission.  I think she's an Australian Labradoodle.  I didn't get to meet her, but got to choose which photo to paint from off of an's world!

The original photo had more of the pillow on her right side...which I edited out for a better composition.  She is mostly shades of gray, and the owner didn't want strong color in the background, so I kept it understated, letting the values and lines move your eye around the page with the focal point in the middle.

I haven't painted curly poodle fur was fun and a challenge.

Hope you enjoy my work.