Pastels are layered color – powdery gems all over the paper (and my clothes and my nose). It reminds me quite a bit of the way I approach sculpting a relief. Building up color and depth instead of form and texture.
So… I loved it, but I was busy with classes and art shows through the summer and fall so I didn’t get a chance to dig into it until recently. I did read a couple books and watched a number of videos in the meantime.
The hardest part of starting out was deciding which pastels to get. They’re expensive, and I wanted good quality and a wide variety of colors for my first investment. (You notice that? I think they could be as addicting as clay)
I already have a set of 80 pan pastels * (Love them – both on paper and clay and I bought all of them after my initial set of 20), an inexpensive set of Dick Blicks (Nice set to start with. Good color but on the harder side.) and a set of Carb Othello pencils * (great for details like animal eyes). I finally decided on these Sennelier half sticks*. Aren’t they gorgeous? Luscious color in a box. 🙂
So first thing I did was grab a scrap piece of paper (ordinary shiny printer paper) and see what the colors actually looked like. I started with a really lovely deep blue. Then I grabbed a photo off the bookcase from our beluga encounter and started playing.
Not quite a finished painting… But on the right surface – with some more tooth to the paper – I think it could have become one. I really should have started with a real piece of pastel paper. Pastel paper ranges from about 400 grit sandpaper (really sandpaper) to thick textured paper similar to watercolor paper. You just can’t get much pastel to stick to printer paper.
Love the pastels and I think I’m really going to enjoy painting.
*Amazon affiliate links to what I actually bought