American pastel artist Rita Kirkman received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988. Meanwhile, in 1986 she began a 12 year career sketching quick portraits at amusement parks, and in 1988 she began a business drawing detailed pencil portraits from client photos.

Since 2003, Kirkman has improved her own style and technique with pastel through independent study and workshops with renowned artists each year. This effort has been consistently rewarded with major awards in national and international competitions. Her work has been featured in the Pastel Journal and the Pratique des Arts Spécial Pastel, and published in many others. She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a recipient of the Master Circle Award from the International Association of Pastel Societies. Her portraits and paintings are in private collections all over the world.

Rita is well-known for her sun-lit animal portraits; she has done more than 500 in the last few years!

The category for the April 'Get Dusty' is 'Animals', the challenge is 'Baby animals'. We think that spring is the right time to paint new life!

The category for May is 'Still life', the challenge is 'Still life with porcelain'. You may include others objects, but the emphasis should be on the porcelain, so no vase with flowers, please!

The category for June is 'Figure', the challenge is 'All dressed up!' We want a clothed female figure, either full or upper torso, in a historical, national, wedding or carnival costume. No everyday clothes, please!

I hope you'll rise to the challenge and enjoy it! Happy painting!

 

 

Although fairly new to pastel - he only started to pursuit art in earnest in 2011 -  Jacob Aiguar is already a rising star in the pastel world. Jacob studied with several well-known pastel artists like Richard McKinley, Albert Handell, Clark Mitchell, and Marla Baggetta. He is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a professional artist member of the Copley Society in Boston. He nowadays shares his time between working as a naturopractic doctor, painting and teaching.

For more information about Jacob and his work, please visit his website http://jacobaguiar.com/