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Pastel Figure Sketching Techniques

Pastel Figure Sketching

Figure Sketching with Pastels

Pastel figure sketching is easy because pastel is an excellent medium for quick, crisp color rendering of the figure

Pastel is particularly effective for figures in brightly colored costumes.

The various textures, from light and shining to heavy and dull material, can be rendered quickly.

To your left is shown a fifteen-minute sketch from the model.

Charcoal on a gray paper was used to indicate the pose of the figure and the main lines of her costume.

Color followed, applied with the flat side of the pastel.

A red cont pencil, as a preparation lor pastel, is excellent when outlining a nude figure.

The warm red blends nicely with the subsequent layer of pastel.

The pose of the model is indicated with a few simple lines on a gray-toned paper.

Pastel color is quickly applied. This is a typical fifteen-minute sketch.

Landscape Notes With Pastels

Making landscape color notes with pastel is not a pastel figure sketching technique, but I decided to include it in this section because it offers many advantages to painters.

All you need is a pad and a small box of pastels, instead of the more cumbersome equipment needed when working with oils or even with water color or casein.

The pad you use for pastel landscape work should preferably be of a tinted paper.

Such pads are available and can be obtained with a variety of tints within a single pad. When sketching outdoors you can choose a color that is harmonious with the subject.

The simplest procedure is not to attempt to cover an entire area of the paper but to allow the paper itself to be part of the design.

Landscape Notes with Pastel

The illustration above shows a quick sketch rendered on a gray paper.

As you can see, quite a bit of the original paper is uncovered, but there are enough vital color notes to serve as references for a future studio painting.

Back to the Pastel Painting Main Page.

Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez


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