5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting 1

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting

Getting yourself to painting using pastels is a great choice as the materials and supplies needed are always around the corner, walking into an art shop is more fun than you can imagine, though you will feel overwhelmed at some point for there really are a lot of options, but getting first the 5 essential tools for pastel painting is the first step to a productive and enjoyable pastel painting sessions.

What should you get first for pastel paintings? Are you gonna grab some artist grade pastels, or will go over the student ones first? What should you be looking for? And the questions file up till you get really confused! No worries, we have your back, and we will help you decide what to get when you wanted to do pastel painting, read along and check all of this art materials and supply the moment you walk or order on a store or online.

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting


The first of the 5 essential tools for pastel painting is your pastel paints. You may find yourself in a dilemma on which to buy to a variety of pastel colors right now. There are available starter sets where you can choose which color do you prefer to use first. It is better to always go for the half stick sizes as this can give you additional options to pastel painting for wider colors to get rather than the big ones, you are beginning to experiment and know their qualities first.

You can even get a student grade pastel paints as they will be a great starting point and introduction to pastel painting and when you get additional knowledge to them, then upgrading to an artist level of quality will be your next priority.

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting
Abstract Pastel Painting – 5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting

The good news for pastel paints or sticks is, you can buy them per sets or even individually per color and sticks, it all depends which suits you and what you prefer as you know them more. The trick is, never limit yourself to practice and experiment with pastels.

Paper For Pastels

Now second on the list of the 5 essential tools for pastel painting is your painting surface. Though most painting media have specific painting surfaces, that does along with pastel painting. You can choose from a variety of different paper brands that all vary from their textures and how the pastel paints hold into their surfaces. There are many recommended paper brands and texture, however, the best ones will be those that suit your pastel painting style. Always grab that certain brand that you prefer, try new brands to compare and pick up that one pastel paper that really suits the needs of your pastel paints.

Tips for checking the best pastel paper and colors for you is to go personally on a certain art store that allows you to try few of their sample brands of pastel paints and especially their sample paper too. That way you can have a personal touch and interactions to them.


Aside from pastel paper, you can also use boards, those illustration boards of different sizes will be of great options for you in pastel painting and third on the list of the 5 essential tools for pastel painting.  Before grabbing the nearest pastel paper you saw on sight, try checking for the one that feels quiet almost the texture of a sandpaper, however, much smoother by texture than real sandpaper, this kind of toothy paper surface is great choice for pastel painting as they hold the pastel pigments in place than those smoother as they don’t get a good grip on the pastel paints particles.

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting
Pastel Board – 5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting


This supply will be best for experimenting and practicing what you want to do while learning more techniques and compositions of pastel paints. It is best to start doing and experimenting on sketch pads or paper to see how your pastel paints or sticks work while enhancing your skills to this medium too.

Pastel Fixative

Not all pastel painters and artists use fixatives while others do so, this always comes in preferences and which suits them better, though keep in mind that pastel paintings have a higher risk of getting smudge all the time, and the artist wants to protect what they had finished always. It is included in the 5 essential tools for pastel painting, however, there is pastel artist who doesn’t really consider using fixatives and we have other tools for pastel painting that you might already have on the next list, check them out!

The best thing to do with fixative sprays before spraying them thoroughly on your artworks is to test the first on a sample area where you can play around with pastel paints and paper. you can even check out a brand and their testimonials about the effects to their pastel paintings. That way you can have an assurance of how this brand or that spray work to you too.

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting
Pastel sticks – 5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting

There is another option for artist fixative on pastel painting and that is your hairspray, though you have to be cautious always in sing so, testing it in a sample paper with pastel will be a good option to see the end results, however, staying on an artist quality is still the best option if you decide to get pastel paint fixatives.

Additional Materials For Pastel Painting

Drawing Board

Always go for a wider and bigger size for this material as you will be working hand in hand with all your other materials next to you for convenience. Try checking around the house for any table that can be lifted up high, elevate o even tilt will be of best options too.  Make sure it is sturdy and can hold up your paper and paints properly while you are hands-on in putting colors.

Easel Stand

Though it is not part of the 5 essential tools for pastel painting, this is a perfect material in checking the visuals of your artwork, always consider the working place, if space is limited, then a flat drawing surface will do. You can always upgrade this overtime for convenience.


You can check off a larger size of binder clips or bulldog clips to secure your paper properly in place as to avoid it from moving every now and then so you can focus on your painting. You can clip them on your easel stand and even in the preferred drawing board. Other pastel painting artist even used tape to secure their working surface. You can check for those you can easily remove without damaging the edges of the paper, always free from any acid content.

5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting
Pastel Pencil – 5 Essential Tools For Pastel Painting


Avoid using dark tones for pencils, you have a variety of colored pencil options and always used that same color you will apply to your working surface as the same to your pastel paints. Using darker tones of the pencil may lead to an unwanted appearance on the under paints, so better use a colored one in under for sketch and drawing purposes.

Tools For Blending

The best part of pastel painting and how to blend them is quite easy to when you have the right tools, having a cotton roll, or even a cotton swab is a great option especially for pastel paints or sticks that are softer, rich and smooth texture. However, if you are using harder pastel paints or sticks, a rough paper, even a piece of folded scratch paper is a good option too, you just have to use the tip of that paper for best results. Though at some point, you can even use your own fingers to gradually mix and blend colors and textures properly as touching them adds a connection to the painting surface or paper and the pastel paints too.


There will be lots of instances that pastel paints will et into your clothes and if you don’t feel like getting a bit colorful and dirty at the same time, especially if you like that dress or shirt, the apron will save you from unwanted stains and colors from pastel paints. Though you can use certain garments or clothes for pastel painting, it is still best to keep an eye on keeping your clothes neat and clean too, though that seems impossible in every art painting sessions.


Knowing what is in the pastel paint is better than being in a risk from harmful ingredients, there may be some toxic and hazardous ingredients on some pastel paints to always check, prevention is always better than cure, Knowing if your set of pastel or a certain color is present in the ingredients such as cadmium, though sometimes they are just associated with the names of the pigments, it is always better to check first too. Having yourself to wear disposable gloves is a good option, this may be of double purpose as this can also protect your hands when handling pastel paints or sticks, but if you feel touching the pastel sticks when the painting is perfectly fine so as to always check the ingredients in them.

Optional But Not Necessary

Sanded Pastel Card

You can try this one for at least once to see how it feels working with your softer pastel sticks or paints. The best part of this sanded pastel card is, totally different texture from just the simple paper or drawing surfaces that you will be using, the rough part actually holds the pastel colors to the drawing surface and you can always add layers of paint into them too.

It may seem easier to use pastel than any other mediums, still it depends on how and what you prefer to use as a medium for creating a painting. Though this card cost more than usual pastel painting paper. Every session allows you to gain more knowledge of the process as you leave colors to the surface and by continuous experiment and practice then can you truly achieve what pastel paints have to offer you.


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