Online Workshop – Painting the Urban Landscape with Pastels

Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz
Nancie King Mertz


Painting the Urban Landscape with Pastels
Nancie King Mertz

The urban landscape is a rich motif to explore composition in value and color. Pastels give us the direct immediacy of a drawing and the rich, organic pigment of oil paint. Through the Zoom platform, Nancie will share her rapid methods for simplifying cityscapes to get past the complexities of this sometimes intimidating motif.

Then with the basic composition established we can look at how structural perspective, atmospheric perspective, value & chroma shifts work together to create the effect of distance on a city street. The morning begins with a demo, break for lunch, then we paint all afternoon as Nancie shares time-lapse videos of suggested corrections for students’ work. Finally we share a group critique during the final hour each day. Plan on 21 hours of instruction over the 3 days.

Nancie King Mertz

Nancie King Mertz

An award-winning artist, Nancie has spent her lifetime painting in oil & pastel.  Education: Univ of IL–BFA in Painting, where she was a James Scholar; Eastern IL Univ–MA in Painting, served as Instructor of Art 3 years; named 2009 Distinguished Alum of the Graduate School and 2016 Distinguished Alum of the University.  She was awarded the Master Circle Medallion by the Int’l Assoc. of Pastel Societies in 2015, their Eminent Pastelist distinction in 2018, and is also a Master Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Chicago Pastel Painters. She teaches across the US and internationally and is on the faculty for the Plein Air Convention and the IAPS Convention.  The Jack Richeson Co. offers her Urban Landscape Set and Atmospheric Landscape sets of 80 hand-selected pastels thru their site.  Streamline Publishing filmed 3 videos of her painting techniques for Lilidahl DVD release.  She has been named the 2020 Guest of Honor by the French Pastel Society, where a show of her work will be featured in Giverny, France.

Mertz has traveled to nearly 20 countries and around the US for inspiration, however, Chicago remains her favorite city to explore and paint, where she was twice named “Artist of the Year”.  Collectors marvel at the beauty she finds in the urban setting and have said she “softens the edges of the city”.  Nancie produces approx. 150 paintings each year, most on-site. Her work was featured on the cover of Pastel Journal in Feb. 2015, along with a 7 page article on her work and a feature article was in Plein Air Magazine.  She was the 2011 Artist-In-Residence for the IN Dunes Nat’l Park System.  See her work on many of the Chicago-themed TV shows such as the Good Wife, Chicago Fire and others. Her husband, Ron, publishes her sold originals in Giclée prints & cards and they own ArtDeTriumph & Artful Framer Studios at 2938 N Clark in Chicago, open 7 days a week.  Visit for hundreds of paintings of Chicago & the World.

 She offers destination workshops around the world and local demos, and serves as a juror for gallery, magazine and online shows across the country.

Required materials:

Assorted soft and hard pastels

• Sturdy fan brush (#6)

• Closed container of denatured alcohol (hardware store)

• Shallow jar lid to dip fan brush into alcohol

● 3-6 rigid pastel panels or pastel paper taped to a rigid board, suggested 12×16” or smaller (I use UART #400 or Ampersand pastel boards)

• Vine charcoal

• Waxed paper or glassine and painter’s tape to wrap your finished work for transport

• Wet wipes (I recommend the facial cosmetic ones) •


If purchasing pastels, my 4 Signature Richeson sets are available from our shop for $175 each (list is $279), or 2 for $315: 773-832-4038  sets can be viewed on my website for color choices. We also sell the set of 18 Richeson hards for $29 & the #6 fan brush for $10.  Shipping is additional.

Dakota and Judson Outfitters also sell my Urban and Atmospheric Landscape sets.  

Cancellation Policy


  • Each student must enroll individually
  • Students may register online or by calling the Sedona Arts Center’s Administrative Offices in the Art Barn, toll-free at 888-954-4442 or locally at 928-282-3809
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express are accepted or student may pay with cash or check by registering in person during office hours at the Art Barn

In-Person and Online Workshops

  • A student may pay in full or place a $125 non-refundable deposit to save a space in the workshop
  • Any unpaid balance is due at least 30 days prior to first day of class
  • If a student cancels before the 30-day cut-off, the balance is refunded (or cancelled if not already paid) – the deposit is non-refundable
  • If a student cancels within the 30-days prior to class, no refund is given and both deposit and balance are forfeited
  • If Sedona Arts Center cancels the workshop for any reason, all payments made will be refunded in full

Important Message

The Sedona Arts Center is not responsible for providing make-up sessions or issuing refunds, credits, or transfers for courses missed as a result of illness, emergencies, or other events beyond our control. There are absolutely no refunds after the cut-off date for any reason, unless the Sedona Arts Center has to cancel the workshop, then all fees paid will be refunded in full.

"Your instruction was "easy" to try and absorb. Not easy to implement always, but simple in steps and then you relied on individual help to get us through our perspective, value and cool/warm challenges! Please take the word "easy" as a compliment: you didn't overwhelm us verbally with everything you know, but offered just enough information that we wanted to try something totally new." Ellyn

"The workshop was personally rewarding for me as it brought the creative energy back that I had lost due to a couple of major life changes. It's good to be energized & excited again" Rita

"I know I will enjoy your video and learn from it...thank you for an amazing workshop and all you do for others" Audrey