I have some big pastel commissions coming up so to help switch my mind from watercolor to soft pastels I have been doing some smaller pastel paintings. I figured it would turn this little painting into a tutorial for those who interested in learning how to paint and draw with pastels.
With it being in middle of winter here in Montana I wanted to paint something warm and sunny. I found my reference photo on pixabay.
Before I start any pastel painting I look at my reference photo and I pick out the pastels I am going to use to paint it. This just helps me stay in the zone when painting because Im not constantly stopping to sort through hundreds of pastels deciding which ones I want.
When picking out pastels I make sure to grab some harder pastels like the pastel pencils and Nupastels from Prismacolor along with the softer ones. The harder pastels are great for the base layers of the painting because they don’t fill in the tooth of the paper as easily. With this painting being fairly simple and smaller in size I knew I wasn’t going to be doing as many layers as normal so I didn’t grab any of my super soft pastels like my Sennelier or Schmincke . The softest pastels I used for this were Jack Richeson pastels which I find to be about medium softness.
Another thing I do when gathering my pastels is to grab several values of each color. Pastels aren’t like watercolor where you can just add water to it to make it lighter or more paint to make it darker. You need to make sure you have a variety of values in each color. These are the colors I picked for my pastel painting and when I was painting I ended up needed more darker tones. I will show you in the video how I worked around that but if you decide to do this painting I would pick some darker cool blues, greens, and violets.
After selecting my pastels I gathered the rest of my supplies.
For this piece I used 6×11 inch UArt sanded paper in 600 grit. I really love Uart paper because it can take a lot of layers really well. It is also easy to tone the paper yourself using watercolor or with pastels and rubbing alcohol (which is my preferred method).
Some other tools I used with my painting include some old paint brushes and rubbing alcohol for the underpainting. The Ink is for blocking in the darks of the painting. I like to use rubber shapers and plastic pallet knives for blending the pastels. For this piece I only used the rubber shaper with the rounded tip which i found really helpful in shaping the clouds. Not pictured is a T Ruler that I used to draw my horizon line with.
Here is the complete list of supplies and tools I used and links so you can look into them in more detail:
Stabilo CarbOthello Pastel Pencil https://goo.gl/qgq9ew
Jack Richeson Soft Pastels https://goo.gl/kPCgvn
Dr Ph Martins Bombay Inks https://goo.gl/sJvcui
Uart Sanded Paper https://goo.gl/2Uf46y
Krylon Workable fixative https://goo.gl/aKKaVn
Rubber shaper https://goo.gl/rhDSEk
Plastic Pallet Knives https://goo.gl/nskzKU
Oil brush https://goo.gl/t2SVof
White Taklon Brush https://goo.gl/oNrgWj
I hope you learn some new skills from watching this tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below.