My Pastel Class Started Today

My Pastel Class Started Today

My Pastel Class started today.  You can see my teacher’s work at Below the yummy pictures of dreamy pastels (his) are my helpful notes from the class. 

He said if you skip one meal a day for a couple months you too could afford to buy some pastels!  The definition of a starving artist, I guess.

pastel painting techniques

Pastel painting tips from the class

Start with:

  • where is the horizon line
  • look for big simple shapes
  • what is the darkest shape
  • where is the lightest light
  • divide the big masses
  • sketch with soft vine (or willow) charcoal
  • force yourself to work with the sides of your pastel for a while
  • start adding pastel lightly, adding more and more pigment as you move along

General pastel painting techniques:

  • try not to get closer than an arms length away
  • step back often to look at it
  • it is much easier to tighten up a painting than it is to loosen one up that is tight (stay loose)
  • work from dark to light
  • wipe your hands with diaper wipes between every color
  • create a variety of strokes
  • hard edges draw the eye and command a tremendous amount of attention
  • soft edges cause the eye to pass through so either blend or shift values by gradient steps: both will have the same effect on getting the eye to move through
  • every painting is an abstraction of nature
  • it’s all about relationships with neutrals
  • “nothing is interesting without those stable neutrals that hold everything together”
  • when you go over previous marks, do the next marks in a different direction
  • put thicker marks over thinner
  • don’t be stingy with the pigment
  • don’t blend anything until you are really far along
  • keep going and going and going until there is nothing left to do on it

    pastel painting tips

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


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