Two Countries in One Portrait

My Self Portrait with Dog was painted over the course of the months November 2017 until January 2018, although the seed for it was planted way before that still. In the painting I wanted to incorporate a few things as well as show my inspiration and influences. Yet the painting could not be an ode to some old masters;

Bitesize Blog: Van der Helst

Van der Helst’s portrait of cloth merchant Abraham del Court and his wife is all about her stunning white silk dress. Van der Helst was a true master of painting drapery and this painting is no exception. Despite the painterly brush marks the effect is extremely realistic.

Steal Like an Artist

Steal like an Artist is a little book full of pearls of witty wisdom by Austin Kleon. An author who draws, as he describes himself, but he is also full of practical, funny and down to earth advice for any creative soul. Read it. Keep it. Worth it.

How to Avoid Overworking a Painting

Overworking is a very widely used word amongst painters. People often worry they have overworked something and tutors warn for overworking a piece. But what is overworking and is it something that should be avoided? Can you overwork a pastel painting as well as an oil painting and so does it apply to all painting?

Sophie Ploeg Studio

Working for Free and Getting Exposure

Overworking is a very widely used word amongst painters. People often worry they have overworked something and tutors warn for overworking a piece. But what is overworking and is it something that should be avoided? Can you overwork a pastel painting as well as an oil painting and so does it apply to all painting?

Sophie Ploeg Pastel

My Top 12 Pastel Colours

A single brand of pastels will have over 400 colours in their repertoire. And as we have seen, there are dozens of pastel brands out there. A ‘Candy-Store’ trap many pastel artists fall into is to keep on buying all…

Big Plans and a Small Change

This is not your normal blog post. This is an exciting announcement!

I have big plans for this website and blog  …. and since this blog is for you, that means I have big plans for you. I hope you will like it!

Sophie Ploeg pastels

Best Pastel Brands

After another lovely day of teaching students the dusty joys of pastel I thought it might be useful to write a blog post about all the different pastel brands available. Well,  I have not tried them all. But I can…