Judy Kasdorf

award winning pastel artist

About the Artist

JUDY (EPP) KASDORF is a Saskatchewan artist who grew up on a farm west of Langham, Saskatchewan where she enjoyed drawing and sketching from an early age. In later years she received instruction from the late Pat Grove and through Pat's enthusiasm and guidance, Judy found a real passion for painting wildlife and nature. This resulted in many winning entries as well as Best in Shows at the Reflections of Nature Art show held annually in Saskatoon, SK. Judy has also received awards at the Saskatoon Exhibition's Art Showcase, including Best in Show and Theme Awards.

Judy works in a realistic style and has utilized pen and ink, oils, acrylic, watercolor and scratchboard. In recent years Judy's medium of choice has been pastels, which lends itself well to wildlife subjects as well as floral paintings. She strives to bring you "up close and personal", whether it's the softness in the eyes of a deer or the play of light on the petals of a flower. In 2017 Judy was chosen as the Feature Artist for the Reflections of Nature Art Show sponsored by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Art Association (SWAA).

If you are interested in an original or prints, feel free to contact Judy.

My Pastel Painting Techniques:

What are Pastels?

Pastels have been used by artists since the Renaissance. Pastels consist of pure powdered pigment mixed with a small amount of binder and rolled into sticks. There are also pastel pencils for finer, detailed work. The color achieved is closer to the natural dry pigments than any other process. Pastels are the most permanent of mediums as the binder is neutral and not oil based - therefore pastel paintings are not susceptible to degrading over time, either through cracking or fading of colors. Pastel paintings must be framed under glass with either small spacers or a mat so the pastel does not touch the glass.

How I started:

It took awhile to appreciate pastels & I didn't really fall in love with them till I took a workshop many years ago. At that time I was introduced to a heavy weight paper by Sennelier called "la carte". The surface is a finely ground pH neutral dried vegetable flake and cork that is applied by hand, which is reflected in the price of this type of paper. The texture is like a fine sandpaper and this is the tooth that allows the pastel to "stick". I experimented with this type of surface and still use it, although I mostly prefer suede board, as it lends itself particularly well to wildlife and pet portraits.


I use archival quality surfaces. After transferring my drawing to the surface, such as suede board, I decide whether or not to put in the background first or work it in as I go along. In the case of pets or wildlife, I will often start on the eyes before going too much further. Somehow it gives "life" to the painting. As I work in a realistic style, it can take many hours to complete a painting. Working with soft pastels allows me to use many layers of color and build the light into the painting. I blend when needed to achieve a soft velvety effect. Sometimes those final details and touch ups can take much longer than the more broader strokes usually used for background areas, but it is all worthwhile when the painting is complete.