New Large Pastel Landscape Done in 200 Strokes (with Process Photos)

New Large Pastel Landscape Done in 200 Strokes (with Process Photos)
Large pastel landscape done in 200 strokes with process photos My Favorite Season at Huntington (pastel) by Polly Castor

This was basically an exercise to do a large landscape (18″x24″) in only 200 strokes. As a person that gravitates to pointillism, this was certainly a challenge. I made myself work only on the base coat for the first 100, allowing no dottiness until almost half done.

You can see the progression below, which took all sorts of restraint. Note that it took 50 generous strokes, just to cover the page! For this exercise, I counted a stroke as lifting my pastel off the paper, which it why I went for the scribbly continuous lines, to get more milage out of each stroke, which is something I don’t usually do.

The idea is to curb detail, go for only the more abstract essence of the scene, and to avoid over working the piece. I do tend to tidy and refine my paintings as they near completion, but with only 200 strokes, there is no budget for that.

You can purchase the original painting here.

Or get prints or merchandise of this image here.

What do you think?

25 strokes


50 strokes


75 strokes


100 strokes


200 strokes
I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Dilys 2 years ago

    It’s stunning! I love the colours and thanks for showing us the method you used each step of the way.
    You are a very talented artist and teacher. XX

  2. Carolyn J. Race 2 years ago

    Wow, interesting to see the progression.

  3. janell fiarman 2 years ago

    This post was really enlightening — seeing the spaces you had planned out before you started and seeing how the different strokes worked together. Thank you!


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