Tip #4 Drawing the first sketch
I prefer to do the initial sketch in brown tones of either a pastel pencil or hard pastel ~ Using light ocher for highlights. My reason is that either a pencil or charcoal can show or bleed through the pastel. It can take a lot to cover that up. Not so with the browns.
More on Underpainting and Thumbnail sketch -in another tip
Tip #3 Choosing the right paper
The paper’s color and texture is suited to your personal tastes and techniques.
Unless you are going for an overall color undertone, for example a blue snowy night, I like to stay with neutrals such as grey or tan. This aids in adding to the middle tones of your painting.
I feel it is best to stay with an all rag, or mostly rag paper. The archival quality of this paper keeps the colors from changing or darkening over time.
The tooth or the roughness of texture is another consideration. A rough tooth will take more pastel. I prefer a smoother texture such as a vellum, I love the way I can work in the details. My paper of choice is Rives BFK in tan. (See photo)
How to hold the pastel stick
One problem when working in pastels is that you can smudge the work by lying the heal of your hand on your paper. To help avoid messing up your work, use your pinky as an anchor to hold your hand above the painting (see photo). Then hold the pastel stick between your middle and index fingers.
Your pinky also acts as a pivoting point to help you move more freely when applying the pastel
With pastel painting, I find it best to work from top to bottom.
As pastel dust falls, it will cover less of work you have already done and you are less likely to smudge worked on areas with your hand.
I will try and offer random tips about using pastels and pastel painting
Please feel free to comment and to offer your own tips!!!.
If you are into pastels or are wanting to start, I hope you will ask questions. I will be more than happy to answer - as best I can!
This blog will offer regular (I hope) tips about pastels and pastel painting that I have found useful over the years. Just random thoughts and comments.