Dramatically Lit Landscapes by Jess Kilgore

A pastel drawing of a Vermont landscape with autumn treesOn Lone Tree Hill, pastel

Jess Kilgore is a painter and pastel artist with a background in architecture. Currently based in Vermont, Jess creates sweeping, dramatically lit landscapes that are inspired by 20th century landscape and figurative artists include the Group of Seven.

A pastel drawing of the light at sunriseSunrise, pastel


I really appreciate the softness of Jess’ pastel works. In particular, I like the way the artist uses pastels to render light. The slight blending, and the use of numerous different subtle colors in a concentrated area quite accurately mimics the way sunlight appears to the naked eye. The soft blending in Jess’ pastel works also lends a nice sense of movement to the scenes, particularly in areas of grass or clouds. Hazy figures seem to drift lazily across the surface of the artwork, as they would if one were to go outdoors and observe the same landscape.

A screen capture of Jess Kilgore's art portfolio websiteJess' galllery of paintings on his portfolio website


In Jess’ commissioned paintings and drawings, the artist often focuses more on a particular architectural structure. I like seeing how an artist with such a gentle, blended hand treats the hard lines of architecture, and in Jess’ case the structures seem to contrast just enough to create an inviting silhouette against a landscape background.

A pastel drawing of a camp building in rural New YorkGreen Bay Camp, Tupper Lake NY, pastel

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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