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Simple Pastel Techniques You Can Easily Master

broken pastels

This is a list of pastel techniques, tips and hints you can easily follow to get the best out of your pastel painting hours.

Pastel can be combined with water color, with the latter serving as an underpainting.

Flat or slightly graded washes indicating the main areas of the subject can be rendered in water color on toned or white paper, and pastel then used in a direct manner until the picture is completed.

By using pastels in just the dark areas of the picture at the start, the general pattern of light and shade is immediately achieved.

If you use your fingers and thumb as an aid in blending colors, be sure they are free from grease.

Try not to handle the kneaded eraser any more than necessary, as its oily content will soon leave a greasy film on your fingers.



A resilient and sympathetic working surface can be obtained by tacking pastel paper over a stretched canvas.

A sheet of water-color paper can be tinted with a colored wash preparatory to working over it in pastel.

Black emery paper will receive pastel very well.

It is an excellent background for making notes of sunlight breaking through wooded or forest subjects.

Passages that have gone dull or are too dark in a water color painting can be given life and lightened by a few discreet touches of pastel.

Care must be employed not to make this correcting device too obvious.

Heavy brown wrapping paper can be used as a substitute for the more expensive pastel paper.

It possesses a good working surface and the brown color makes an excellent background.

Fine sandpaper is another surface that will receive pastel very well.

I hope you have found these pastel techniques and tips helpful. If you think you've mastered them, you can check out the pastel techniques for figure sketching. or go back to the Pastel Painting Main Page.






Rokeby Venus, by Velazquez

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