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– Pastel –
..:: Definition: A crayon made of powdered pigments bound with gum or resin. ::..
Soft pastels have less binder in them, allowing for more of the pigment, thus making the colors brighter. It’s very easy to work with, making it the most common type used. Because soft pastels have less binder in them, they leave more dust, and can sometimes be messy. However, the dust is easily worked with to add more color by smudging it.
For fine details, you can use hard pastels. They leave less of a mess because they have more binder, but they aren’t as brightly colored. There are also pastel pencils that can be used for details.
A thicker alternative is oil pastel. Oil pastels are dense and fill the paper easier, though they are difficult to work with. They don’t blend easily, but can be thinned and worked with.
Pastels turned on their sides can cover a large area, usually for doing the background. Soft pastels are tend to be better for backgrounds. The dust left behind can be blended into the paper to add more color. You can use soft or hard pastels to sketch your drawing onto the paper, using soft pastels for the overall drawing. Be mindful of the dust being left behind, as it will smudge and can mess up your drawing. For finer details you can use the hard pastels, or pastel pencils. Keep in mind that they don’t blend easily.
Oil pastels can be used in a similar way to soft pastels, though they don’t usually leave a lot of dust. They can be layered easily, and with the wider range of colors, can be shaded without a lot of blending.
Pastels are another one of my favorites. In highschool I would often go to my art teacher’s room and work with pastels during lunch, my free periods, and even before school. They are such a hands on medium that I felt totally in control when using them. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to use them, and it saddens me. When I use charcoal, I add color with pastels to make it pop a bit. I truly enjoy pastels, and I really believe everyone should give them a try!
By the way, the images below were both assignments in highschool. The first one being a self-portrait, which I really dislike doing. Mostly because people are not my strong suit! The second one is a still-life made into fantasy. Both wonderful assignments though. Love (and miss) Mr. Harrington!
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Thanks for reading!
Last two are mine!