Mindy Lighthipe – Botanical Artist
July 10, 2011
Dawn Emerson – Mixed Media
August 19, 2012

Len Jagoda – Thoughts on PanPastel…

During recent email correspondence with Len Jagoda, a wonderful equine painter based in Georgia, we were discussing his use of PanPastel. Unsolicited, it prompted Len to put together his thoughts on how and why he uses PanPastel in many of his paintings. This is what he wrote:

“PanPastel Colors are ideal for landscapes and impressionist pastel paintings; however, that is not what I do. I do portrait work, mostly dogs and horses and in fact in a rather “tight” realistic style. One might then ask, why am I such a believer in PanPastel and how do I use them?

First the “how”. I have used PanPastel Colors in underpainting, glazing, for special effects on the background and for background landscape (most likely a more common application).  I apply them with the tools that go with the medium; but I also often “push them around” to create hard edges and/or transitions by using Color Shapers. It is amazing how one can drag a  Color Shaper through an area of PanPastel and create a fine whisker on a dog’s muzzle.


“Mr Jeffy” by Len Jagoda – Pastel on Stonehenge Paper  12 x 20″

I turn to them often and cannot remember a single pastel piece that I have completed since first trying them, in which I have not used this form of the pastel medium.

Now the “why”. PanPastel Colors come in a very unique form.  Because of that special characteristic an artist can get an effect that is different from what can be achieved from any other form of the medium. While my use of PanPastel has been selective, I am confident that because I have used them, they have raised the level of my work more than just one notch. Perhaps the best example of how much they have meant to my work can be seen in a vignette portrait of the fabulous Thoroughbred race horse and sire, Tiznow.  I used PanPastel to under paint and to glaze on his portrait and the piece received the Best Head Study award from the prestigious American Academy of Equine Art and a Best in Show at another event.  With that kind of success, what artist would not search for every opportunity to use their PanPastel. To me it is not how much I use them; it is where and how I use them. To me they are indispensible.”

Tiznow“Tiznow” by Len Jagoda – Pastel on panel 19 x 17″

We always love to get thoughtful feedback from artists, it is really important for us to understand why individual artists are using PanPastel. As we were developing PanPastel we knew the unique characteristics that the material would offer, however when an artist picks up a color, uses it and decides why and how the colors work for them, that’s all that really matters. Thank you Len for taking the time to send us your thoughts on this. For more information on Len and his work, visit http://backstretchstudio.com/