Tricks When Using Pastels

Four simple ideas that will make 
painting with pastels easier.

The great thing about pastels is that they are easy to use, consequently numerous artists have fallen in love with them. The only other way to get such colour and artistic work is to paint with a wet medium.

Just before you start here are four pieces of advice that will help you with your pastel painting.

1. Choose older attire to wear.

When you're painting with pastels you will discover that they drop heaps of dust, just look down at the finish of the session and you will notice that you are covered in it.

Many people think that by using oil pastels, which doesn't shed the dust, they won't have to dress in the stained attire, but this type of pastels have oil and a waxy binder and it's not the sort of thing you want to be cleaning after each session.

2. You must have clean fingers.

It's typical that your fingers will get covered in dust when you're painting with pastels. When you are holding the same color it really isn't the issue, but change colors and you're asking for trouble.

It's a good scheme to keep a damp cloth on your easel in order to you can clean your hands between colors. Here's another trick, use a small piece of Blu-Tack and push your fingers into it - a great cleaning method.

3. Learn blending.

This is a very simple technique in pastel art. You need to apply the pigment on the paper then, with the blending technique, smooth and soften the color. Test this way and you will discover what it will achieve.  Check out the techniques here.

There are many ways you can blend, fingers (covered or uncovered), sponges, cotton sticks or kneaded erasers, but a really good tool is the paper stump which you can acquire at any art supply shop. As you blend with them they will become stained and rounded nevertheless, it's very quick to sharpen them with a pencil sharpener, also they are very economical and can be thrown away.

4. Use your pastels every day doing simple subjects.

When you are starting out with pastels it can be quite scary. There are things that might go wrong - like squandering paper. Don't worry, the answer lies in painting easy subjects, small and frequently. Application in this way often will allow you to build up your skills quickly and without trouble and you'll be painting pastel masterpieces in no time.


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Learn to paint with pastels