Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas

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There are wonderful ways to use pastel on canvas regardless of what type of pastel you are working today. In this article, we will breakdown the different yet wonderful ways to use pastels on canvas and give you helpful tips and tricks too.

What are the things you need to consider when working with pastels? Are there easy yet wonderful ways to use pastels on canvas that every beginner must know? Can you use soft or chalk pastels into your painting canvas like oil pastels?

The Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas

5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas
Pastel on canvas – 5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas

One of the most underrated painting media is pastel. Though there are easy and wonderful ways to use pastels on canvas, most artists have been using oil paints or acrylics on the surface of their paintings. The pastels are mostly used in pastel paper. Though there are proven techniques and tips on how you can make the most of them in a canvas as well.

Their convenience and vibrant colors allow artists to enhance their skills with this painting medium. Unlike oil and acrylic paints that need to be prepared and mix to get the colors that you like. Pastel painting is different, you have to mix your colors directly into your painting surface to achieve or get the colors that you like.

The ease of use that pastels offer allows the artist to experiment with them. There are different ways to achieve the right colors that you like. Because pastels are almost pure pigment, you can make sure that each stick, the more it becomes soft, the more pure pigments it is made of.

If you will try to compare pastels with the easiest painting tool or medium, they can be closely be compared to crayons but a lot special. The colors that pastel offers to most artists allow them to work on pure pigments itself. There are different ways on how you can mix pastels with other painting media.

Watercolors and chalk or soft pastels can work together. Same as watercolor and some pastel pencils to highlight your drawing or painting. Though there are materials that are specially designed for every painting medium. These materials can withstand what your painting medium requires.

Our Pick
Rembrandt Soft Pastels  

Made from the best quality, finely ground pure pigments
Rich color is thoroughly blended and uniform, end to end
Colors of unsurpassed glow and purity


For example, since pastel is made out of pure pigments, their adherence to the painting surface is not permanent. unlike oil paints and acrylic paints. It can be seen as a setback but it actually is not.

Chalk pastels are a great way to use if you are working with drawings and sketches. Though they retain their colors for years, they are also prone to getting smudge. One of the best ways to preserved chalk pastels, if you are working with them, is by using a fixative. Always check the product label before you apply on your painting surface.

Oil pastels are almost the same when it comes to oil paints. Though oil pastels cannot be mixed unless you use a paint thinner. The best way to blend colors together is by applying them on your painting surface and mixing them straight away. While other artists used a paintbrush for blending colors together. Each painting technique varies for every artist’s style and preference.

Important Factors To Consider When Working With Pastel INto Canvas

5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas
Canvas painting with pastels – 5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas

One of the important factors that you have to consider when working with pastels is the painting surface. There are surfaces that allow your pastel paints to hold firmly while others might just cause your paints to fall because of the less tooth to hold the pigments together.

Next is what type of painting style or technique will you be using. The type of pastel that you are working on depends on the style that you will do. Like for example, the layering technique is a great painting technique, to begin with, oil pastels. You can apply a great number of color combinations of pigments and blend them together.

When it comes to blending pastels, you can use your fingertips if you wanted to. Or you can use folded tissue paper of cotton swabs. Adding paint thinner can do the trick when applying pastel on the painting canvas.

There is some painting technique that requires you to preserve your painting surface. Like if you will be working with chalk or hard pastels. You will need to use fixatives or varnish to preserved the surface from getting it to smear.

Sennelier Artist Oil Pastel  

50 original colors designed by Pablo Picasso & Sennelier
50 Artist quality oil pastels
Usable on wood, paper, canvas and metal
Chosen by Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet, Bonnard, Soutine, Picasso, Modigliani, Kandinsky, and Dali
Best oil pastels on the market


Another thing to consider is the pressure that you use when applying your pastel on the canvas. Unlike working with watercolors or acrylics and other painting media, you will need to add extra pressure to your pastel to let them hold onto the surface.

When it comes to mixing pastels with other painting media, you have to take into consideration the difference in composition and characteristics. There are some rules to break and some to keep. That includes mixing oil pastels with another painting medium.

Other artists do not advice mixing oil paints with oil pastels. Though there are some who used them both together. But oil pastels have these characteristics that do not permanently dry no matter how much time it takes.

Dry pastels pigments from chalk, hard, and soft pastels can be mixed with watercolors and acrylics. To further understand this is to experience them personally. They will help you learn the different characteristics of each painting medium. That way you will personally know which one is s good go and which one is a no-no.

To help you secure your painting canvas or surface from stretching or getting damage while applying pressure, put on a plank of wood or cardboard underneath.

Is Canvas A Good Option For A Painting Surface For Pastels?

5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas
Soft pastel painting on canvas – 5 Wonderful Ways To Use Pastels On Canvas

Though pastel paper is the most required painting surface for pastel, there is always an exemption to the rule. There are different types of materials that you can use for a painting or drawing canvas. With every painting, the tool creates a variety of results. Whether you are working with charcoal or pastels, the best way to secure your designs and artwork is to seal them on the surface.

For you to have the best result to your painting surface with canvas, bets to prepare it first. There are different methods when it comes to pastels base on their types and kinds.

Preparing your painting canvas means you need to do a bit of work to make sure that pastels will work perfectly into the painting surface. There are different ways to work on your canvas. If you will be drawing with or outline on the canvas, best to wash or wet your canvas. The outline the sketched on the design that you will be working with.

It is best to always work on the lighter chalk or soft pastel color before jumping into the dark colors. You can let the white colors of your canvas stay noticed until you blend the colors together. Then work on your highlights by drawing them with a darker color pastel pencil.

If you will be working with oil pastels on canvas, best to use the darker colors first. Then the middle toned shades of colors, then lastly, the lightest color of oil pastels based on your reference photo.

Budget Pick
Colour Block Soft Pastel Art Set  

100 highly saturated soft pastels made with finely ground pure pigments for all your color needs.
Easily create sharp thin lines, soft bold lines, curves and tones.
This is a brilliant set for beginners, amateur and student artists to experiment and practice at home and in classrooms.
100 SELECTED COLOR SPECTRUM for your next landscape, portrait, seascape pastel creation.
Complete with protective inner foam cushion to help keep your pastel collections clean and protected.


There are some artists who used their fingers to blend colors together. Though there are some painting tools that you can use to blend your oil pastels without getting all the mess in your fingertips.

With mid-tone colors and dark colors already blend, you can work on light colors to mixed together. Then highlight your details into the painting surface. Once you are satisfied with the results of your painting surface, best to secure or protect them properly.

You can use either a varnish or a fixative. If you do not feel to work on this, you can frame your artwork or use glassine paper to protect the pastels from getting smudged. When you use a fixative, try it first on a sample paper to help you decide if it will not affect the overall appearance of your painting.


Products we recommend

Our Pick

Rembrandt Soft Pastels

Rembrandt pastels are made from the best quality, finely ground pure pigments in an extra-fine kaolin clay binder. 



Sennelier Artist Oil Pastel

We’ve taken the original colors that Picasso chose for his color palette and put them in this lovely wooden box set.


Budget Pick

Colour Block Soft Pastel Art Set

Colour Block Soft Pastel Set -100 PC comes with a wide range of vivid colored pastels to help you highlight, shade, and blend like a pro.


Choose your favorite pastel product that you will use on your project. Don’t forget to give us a comment on the product that you use. We are happy to read your feedback.

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Tropic Drawing
Tropic Drawing
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