Practise making marks and blending with pastels. If you have time, use the techniques you’ve discovered to make a simple picture.
I experimented with soft pastels and Conté crayons and Conté pencils and tried blending them with a brush and water and also (separately) white acrylic paint.
I did a quick painting with pastel and water of two Art Deco ladies holding dishes above their heads (from a statue). It’s not great but I’m glad to have had a go and it leads me to think there may be more mileage in this Art Deco statue with an improved composition, perhaps a single lady or three with their heights staggered and a little more overlapping of the images. There is something pleasing about the relationships of the repeated arms and legs.
- I enjoyed the experiments and the fact that when working with water the pastel could be layered and was slightly transparent.
- I had trouble with achieving any fine detail. I found that the Conté pencils didn’t blend in the same way as the crayons.
- I and trouble achieving any density of colour but I guess this could be achieved by more patiently working with several more layers.
- Different pastel colours can be mixed on the paper and create interesting ‘variegated’ tones.
- I like the way painting with pastels enables you to use the ‘dust’ and work it into the picture.
- A background of pastels washed with water could provide an good base for a drawing or painting with pastels.
When I I’ve bought some turpentine I’ll have a go with oil pastels. I’m sure the effect will be very different.