Drawing with pastels

fabric study, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper

fabric study, pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes paper

Although I normally work with pastels on Wallis paper and create works that are best described as paintings rather than drawings, pastels can be used as a drawing medium to create loose, colorful studies and sketches.

The drawing above of some fabric was done on Canson Mi-Tientes paper in a light aqua shade. When working on Canson paper, you’ll want to use the side that has a smoother texture (the side with the label on it).  This will give you the best coverage with the pastel. Don’t expect to get the same result as you would with a sanded paper like Wallis or LaCarte.  You can’t layer the way you can with sanded papers, but you can get beautiful effects in a more subtle, sketch-like manner.

I like to begin with a burnt sienna and then choose a dark, medium and lightest value color. In this case I used a burnt sienna, followed by a medium aqua blue and some yellow ochre, plus a creamy off white for some of the highlights. I also added in a bit of violet blue in some of the shadows. I used the color of the paper to create one of medium values and let it show through in some places.

This is just another approach you can use with pastel for creating studies and sketches. You can acutally get a wide range of colors and do some intersting experimentation with temperature and value using this technqiue.


4 Responses to Drawing with pastels

  1. severnyproductions says:

    Cool artwork. i’ve worked pastils before. great effects but annoying sometimes

  2. Elise says:

    Hi, I love your drawings. Do you do ballet dancers by any chance ? Or do you know anyone who does ?

    I’m looking for a drawing for my website, and am hoping to find someone in the blogging community who can help. Much appreciated !

  3. kullaf says:

    thank you! pastels can be a bit messy

    Elise, I will email you about the drawing, I’d love to give it a try

  4. I am really enjoying your website. I’ve been painting on my own for a long time, and have only recently taken a formal class. Your drawings and demonstrations are very helpful to me. Thank you.


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