Materials You Need

for Pastel Painting

Pastels are a great medium for an artist who loves to mainly use stroke work to create a masterpiece. If you are a beginner to this style of painting, you must have a good idea of the what you will need for pastel painting.

Since you need a larger collection of colors for pastel painting the first thing you need to buy is a set of pastels. To an artist who does a lot of painting outdoors, various shades of grays are necessary. A water or oil color artist mixes these grays himself. But in pastel these important shades come ready prepared. Pastels are available in sets of diverse sizes, beginning from a box of 12 sticks to a large assortment of shades running into four hundred or more. So to begin with, get a hold of a boxed set of between 12 and 24 pastels which will give you a good choice of colors, for the various color schemes.

Next in the list of what you need for pastel painting is a drawing board. Place a few sheets of pastel paper or even some newspaper under the paper you are going to draw upon, so that a soft and supple surface is created for easy painting.

Now that the drawing board is ready, the next item in your list ought to be pastel paper which is available in different colors. Pastel paper has a textured and grained surface over which a pastel can adhere with ease. You may also use charcoal paper for this purpose. Be sure to keep the sheets of paper flat and never rolled.

use for pastel paintingChamois and rags come next in that shopping list. While doing a painting, you may have to rub down or wipe off pastel areas. A soft rag will come handy at this juncture. If pastel is too heavily spread on a pastel area, you can use a chamois to partially remove the same. It can also be used to smoothen and blend colors.

Charcoal is another item to be included in your list. Primarily, sticks of charcoal are used to make preliminary sketches particularly when engaged in painting a landscape. Renderings of accents and details can also be made with using charcoal.

Let a portfolio also be a part of your shopping list. A portfolio can easily carry pastel paper. You can also use it as a sketching support while doing a painting out of doors. You also need soft tracing paper to cover your completed sketches. Keep them carefully in your portfolio, tying them firmly so that they won’t get smudged by moving about.

As the next item, let Fixatif be in that list. Although Fixatif is a debatable issue – some artists use, others don’t. But it is useful to fix the pastel between layers at the early stage. But be careful not to spray it too heavily. Do it lightly a few times and allow a drying interval after each fixing.

stumpsThe final item in the list is stumps. They are useful in blending colors smoothly. But use them only moderately. If they are used too often, the outcome will be a disagreeable slick effect.

There are more materials needed for pastel painting, but the above will certainly get you underway.

For more indepth knowledge about painting with pastels check out my books
Pastel Art Lessons

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Learn to paint with pastels