Q&A: Loes Botman

“Two Swans”  2013  13046    36×59″ (91x150cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

Dutch artist, Loes Botman, talks about how she incorporates PanPastel in her work. Also included below is an article she wrote in Dutch magazine “Atelier” last year on using PanPastel including step-by-step images. (All paintings shown here were painted on wood panel).

Tell us about your background as an artist.
Drawing is my passion. As long as I can remember I have loved to draw! It has always been this way. I want to feel the lines, the colors as they come right out of my hands.  In 1994 I became a fulltime artist, after finishing the Art Academie (Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten The Hague).

However, regarding drawing with pastel, I’m self-taught, I didn’t study that at the Art Academy. That was considered old fashioned and not relevant according to the teachers. For me it was a challenge. The beautiful colors but especially the opacity of the material interested me, as if the sunlight disappears in it.

“Horse”  2010  10097    47×59″ (120x150cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

Describe your artwork.
My work is pretty realistic with a “cheeky” touch because I sometimes use colors that are not realistic. Like a blue rabbit for example. Colors that have nothing to do with real life.

I always look around me and let myself be inspired by everyday things. Like the colors of the vegetables that I cut. Or different color cars side-by-side waiting for a traffic light. My work is always about living nature. Living nature around me touches me deep in my heart. That inner urge is so great! I just have to draw it.

“Hollyhocks”  2013  13146    36×59″ (91x150cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

What excites you most about your life as an artist?
My life as an artist enriches me more and more. I can be incredibly happy when I make a drawing, which I myself am surprised. A drawing that surprises me! In a way that I cannot believe I made it myself.

“Calf”  2013  13124   28×32″ (70x80cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

When did you first begin using PanPastel Colors?
I used to draw with pastel sticks. However I am gradually using PanPastel more frequently in my work. PanPastel significantly increases the possibilities. I can apply much thinner layers over each other through the use of PanPastel. Which allows me to create more shades. It’s about three years since I first discovered and started using Pan Pastel.

“4 Little Owls”  2013  13059    11×19″ (29x48cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

How do you incorporate PanPastel in your work?
Because the color strength is so great, I can use it in many situations. I always use it in combination with pastel sticks because I love the lines. I use PanPastel on paper, just normal drawing paper, and on wooden panels. Using the sponges on wood means they can wear out faster, but I take that for granted. The main advantage of PanPastel for me is being able to work in thin layers. I can work more accurately and colorfully.

“Peacock”  2014  14013   39×32″  (100x80cm)    PanPastel, charcoal & pastel sticks

In 2013, Dutch magazine “Atelier” featured an article by Loes, describing how she uses PanPastel, including step-by-step images.The full article can be downloaded here.


Loes illustrated the children’s book “Hello Farm How Do You Do?” which was published in 2012 (Floris Books ISBN 9780863159626), and another book with 60 drawings by Loes will be published in Sept. 2014. Several postcards featuring Loes’ work are available at her website.

Loes exhibits and teaches workshops frequently in The Netherlands and Belgium. Details of upcoming workshops and exhibitions can be found at her website www.loesbotman.nl

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