Painting with pastel is almost the same as any other medium, however, with different brands of colors combined to produce an extraordinary pastel painting, experimenting and combining different tricks results to extraordinary results of images from the best techniques for pastel painting an artist can produce. With pastel paints, there is a wide range of option to try so you can optimize the pastel paints characteristics and beauty.
Which technique should you learn first with pastel painting? Are pastel paints easy to manipulate? Do they have any issue a beginner in this medium must remember? How do you paint with pastel when you know nothing of a technique though? All of these questions are gonna be answered so read along and learn more techniques with pastel painting.
Best Techniques For Pastel Painting
As you move along with pastels, you will learn that learning the best technique for pastel painting comes from maximizing a single stick, good to know that you don’t throw anything of the pastel stick itself, be it a soft one, semi-soft and even the hard stick pastel. That is why their application techniques usually vary from how you will use the single piece of pastel stick for painting.
Draw With The End
This will be one of the best techniques for pastel painting that even beginners will master in just a few practices. It is commonly applied like you are holding your pencil for drawing and making lines with it. Adding texture to pastel paints with the drawing at the end depends on how will you pressed the pastel stick to the drawing surface, which means the more you push it through your desire painting surface or paper, will enable the toothy part of the paper to hold and absorb the intensity of the pastel paint itself.
With this technique, the best way to execute it to your drawing surface is to use the force from your whole arm, that means you don’t just draw with your wrist or but the whole weight of your shoulder to the whole arm.
Pastel Edge Technique
If you are using soft or semi-soft pastels, then this is the best technique for pastel painting that works best for you. Allowing the pastel stick to touch the drawing surface on a different side to create a sharp edge, which you can even use for fine and sharp lines too. You can also break the pastel stick in half and work with that side because pastels can be used even if they are small. This technique is for a quicker painting session as you are creating bigger patches of color.
Hatch and Cross-Hatch
Best suited when you are using hard pastel or those pencil type pastels. A very basic and easy technique which can also be considered one of the best technique for pastel painting, this is like you are creating lines with your pencil, for example, making a set of finely parallel lines next to each other is how this technique works. Cross-hatch will be the second step after hatching, this is basically creating another set of equally parallel lines just that they are opposite to the first lines that you had made. This technique allows a painter to do the first step for blocking into the drawing surfaces, means you can practice and experiment with different creations of pigments and tonal effects, versatile without finishing the whole image.
To produce a vibrancy to the after the image of the finished painting, this is one the best technique for pastel painting to use as it creates a luminous color that seems to transform when overlooking from different directions as if it is glowing or shining especially with the presence of the light. It is like semi-hatching with the use of smaller finer lines of pigments from pastel sticks.
This technique showcases the beauty and wonderful colors created by pastel paints, it is best to create this painting technique by using the softest of all the soft pastel sticks that you have. To provide the best advantage that no other medium can create is the complex and colors of pastel paints. Though the finishing result of this technique is most of the texture which you can achieve by carefully choosing harmonious colors altogether.
To do this technique of creating a broken like coverings from the new pigment that is applied over the last layer of pastels, you have to carefully drop and drag slowly a new soft pastel stick coming from your side of the drawing surface to the top layer.
Mixing Pastel Paints
Though pastel paints are not pre-mix like other mediums of painting, the wide selection of pigments allows them to be mix and blend in two different ways that suit your style as a painter. The first one is by your hand where you can decide if you will be wearing a protective disposable glove or not, or use the side of your palm for blending, you can also use your fingers to mix pastel paints.
The next blending style is by tricking the eye with your pastel sticks, usually and common technique for this one is the hatch and cross-hatch technique where the tricks are made directly from your drawing surfaces.
Mixing pastel paints with your hand has a good advantage thus allowing you to feel the texture that you are creating with your medium. Though extra precautions must be always on your mind especially that there are some pastel paints that may contain little to fewer toxins too. The best way is to check the ingredients that are made of the pastel paints and not just the color name, cadmium is added some times to some pastel paints and you have to be mindful of that, other painters who use pastel paints wear surgical gloves for protection.
There are other materials to use in blending pastel paints and some of them are just around the house, cotton wool or swabs are best to use for blending delicate fine colors together, paper rolls or stump will help you with mixing too, rubber is another alternative and to some up the other materials is any cloth that is soft to use for mixing too.
Pastel Dust Technique
A fun and creative way to execute one of the best technique for pastel painting is by dusting them off to your drawing surface. When you reach your desire dust particle accumulation then you can start using a palette knife to put much pressure to the dust into the drawing surface so that the dust from the pastel sticks will be absorbed by the tooth of the paper.
For best results on this technique, you can hold your chosen pastel sticks horizontally and start dusting them off to your drawing surface and press with a clean palette knife, that way they won’t get mixed up and you can achieve the desired design that you prefer.
There are many advantages pastel paints profess and one of that is their vivid variety of wonderful colors that can be chosen from. Pastel paints can stand alone and can also be mix with another medium, blend and creating different styles and technique does not end with all of the above techniques that were shared and tried. Over the years, artistic painting medium is paving its way for improvements and more discoveries for easier painting applications, so as the manufacturing of different brands and pastel paints characteristics and composition.
The main part of every painting medium is that you are having fun and enjoying what you are doing the most while exploring and experimenting to gain more knowledge of every medium that you are trying. Same as pastel painting. It is more likely to produce a happy feeling while you are expressing your thoughts over pigments and drawing surface.
Check out these other blog posts about the things you need to know about pastel paints. And another blog about watercolor painting, have fun reading! Share with us your most favorite best techniques for pastel painting as well so we can learn with you! We will be waiting!