Soft Pastels Question

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Soft Pastels Question

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  • Can't stand soft pastels
  • Soft pastel don't blend until

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  • 1 Post By Kayty

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    02-01-2012, 02:13 AM
Soft Pastels Question

For X-mas my sister gave me a set of soft pastels - they are the sticks.

I have now realised that I only have a month left before I am back at uni and have started playing with all of my X-mas gifts - the pastels are feeling left out.

BUT my question is, should I just give them a whirl, or do I need to get the pencils as well to produce some detail without making myself incredibly frustrated???
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    02-02-2012, 07:58 AM
I adore soft pastels, they are my medium of choice. I work primarily in pastel sticks, and will occasionally use pencils for very fine details such as whiskers, eyelashes and some detail within the eye if working small scale. I will also add some pencil strokes into the fur if I feel the need.
Pencils are just a bonus, not a necessity.
The only 'requirement' is that you work on a toothed or 'rough' paper - normal 'printing' paper won't hold the pigment and the drawing will fall off the paper. I used to work on Canson Mi-Tientes paper, which is similar to sand paper I guess, and have moved into using velour lately - which I would not recommend until you get very comfortable with soft pastels, as velour is extremely unforgiving.

The following portraits are the first I ever did in soft pastel, and were completed entirely with sticks, no pencils at all.

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    02-02-2012, 01:01 PM
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Kayty, soft pastels are oil based?
    02-02-2012, 11:00 PM
Nope Caroline, they are very different to oil pastels. Oil pastels resemble crayons (I can't stand using them!!), where as the soft pastels are more of a chalk. The hard pastels pigment is very tightly bound together making them more chalk-like than the soft pastels, which are more loosely bound.
    02-03-2012, 12:34 AM
Back_again you definitely have the right artist giving you pointers on pastels. That's kayty's area of expertise!
I unfortunately don't know anything about them. Charcoal, yes. Colored pastels? Not a clue!
    02-05-2012, 12:00 AM
Kayty - they look great!!! Especially if they are some of the early ones Thanks for popping by the thread.

I went out and got some pastel paper and have started working on something (I found the perfect picture, just hope I can do it justice) but then got sidetracked by another drawing for a family friends birthday present.

Another question - do you blend the layers of the drawing to get smooth transitions between colour. What I did was to lay down some base layers first and then started introducing the actual colours (i.e. Red base - brown coat colour) and the only way I could get something that showed kinda what I wanted was to blend the two together a little with those paper pencil thingos?? Do you do that or do you have a different method?
    02-05-2012, 02:27 AM
Yep you're doing it how I do! I never use straight browns, blacks etc. Its always blues/purples and sometimes reds for a base, and gradually build the colours up until they are the tones that I want.
I don't blend with stumps though, all my blending is done only with the pastels. I don't tend to 'blend' as such anyway, its more a matter of layering until I find the right colour combination.

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