(Previously Unreleased Bonus Tip at Bottom)
Pastel Painting Tip #4 - Train Yourself.
Some days it's just not convenient to be at your easel. So, keep a sketch pad and pencil with you and take a little time (on the days you're not painting) to draw. This will encourage you to really "look" at what you see and train your hand to actually portray what you are seeing through your artistic eyes.
I'm lucky because I have a cafè close to me and on a Sunday I go for a coffee with my sketch pad - I've got many great ideas for paintings from this "my time out" little treat.
Another thing when sketching - don't worry about making mistakes, don't be too concerned about the finer details as you begin. The whole purpose is to train your hand in the movement, getting the eye/hand co-ordination thing going and being relaxed with your art. I never take an eraser with me - I begin with light strokes and add depth as I work.
Pastel Painting Tip #5 - Aspect of Your Painting.
Sometimes it's difficult to actually "see" your painting - it may look fine, but you know there's something not quite right. I hope you are standing back OFTEN from your painting and sometimes it's good to move it into a different light. But another good tip is to use a mirror. Stand back from your painting a little with your back to it and hold up a mirror - you will get a completely different view and it should throw up anything that needs correcting.
Pastel Painting Tip #6 - Excess Dust.
A quick one here. Using the flexible hose and narrow nozzle on your vacuum cleaner VERY CAREFULLY, hold it about an inch from your painting and it will suck up the fine dust - especially good on rainy days when you can't go outside to bang the back of it!
Previously Unreleased Bonus Tip!
I only recommend something where I'm absolutely sure of the good result! Over the years I have found "Progresso" pencils to be brilliant for sketching (refer to tip #4 above). These graphite pencils have much better flexibility for light and dark, they don't break with pressure, are smudgeable (is that a word?) and are clean to use. I only have two grades - 2B and 6B (there are other grades to choose from), these more than adequately suit my needs.
Graphite pencils are made by other companies - Progresso is just my personal choice.
There are lots more tips in the Pastel Painting Secrets eBook or get one of
the "step by step" books