To get you started
There's not much you need to know about pastels to get started.
However a few points may help.
Pastels don’t have the glamour of oil paints, and they’re a lot messier than
pencils. But pastels have some unique advantages. Unlike paint, colors are mixed on the surface, meaning that
you get to spend your time focused on your artwork rather than bogged down trying to mix
the perfect purple on your palette! And they’re a lot faster than drawing mediums like pencils, as you can block in
areas of color very quickly. Pastels have a lot to offer. Here are some tips for working with
Pastels can be a very spontaneous medium,
but if you know exactly what you want to capture then there’s no substitute for planning. This is easy to do in
pastels through preliminary sketching.
For sketching you really need to use
something harder than your normal set of soft pastels, as soft pastels can’t put down fine enough lines. Hard
pastels are the most popular choice, or you can use pastel pencils or even an ordinary graphite pencil. Light gray
is a good color choice when sketching as it won’t show through in the finished artwork.
When sketching, work quickly and freely, get
the main shapes down, and erase if you need to. It’s really all about getting the composition of your subject(s)
right and trying out your ideas to see if they work on paper.
Take a break (Kit Kat
One of the pleasures of making art is that
it’s easy to get very focused on what you’re doing. It’s not uncommon to look up from your easel only to realize
that hours have passed, night has fallen and you’ve forgotten to feed your cat! For the sake of your artwork (and
also your pets) though, it’s better to take regular breaks from your painting. Standing up, walking away, and then
coming back to take a look at your work-in-progress will nearly always provide a fresh perspective that will help
you to see what still needs doing, or whether perhaps it’s time to stop.
Take a picture, it lasts
One of the best things you can do for your
paintings is to make sure that they contain a range of values, from light to dark. A range of values means
contrast, which will give your paintings definition and make them visually interesting and attractive. But how do
you know whether you’ve included a variety of values in your painting? The simplest way is to take a digital photo
of it and convert the photo to grayscale on your computer with an image-editing program. With color eliminated,
you’ll be able to see immediately whether there’s a wide range of values.