Starting Out With....
If you are thinking of trying soft pastels (dry pastels) out for the first time but have no idea where to begin or what you need to start out, this page offers lots of pointers for pastel newbies. There are many different types of soft pastels out there and knowing what to choose for your maiden voyage can be rather overwhelming. Soft pastels come in a variety of forms: half stick, full stick, thin pastels, thick pastels, soft pastels and hard pastels, all this adds to the confusion of where to begin and with which one. Pastels are pure pigment with added binder which helps to hold them together and this pureness of pigment is what appeals to many artists around the world, adding to their popularity.
What can you achieve with soft pastels?
Pastels are vibrant and bold offering fast results and easy blending abilities. You don't need any solvents or mediums, there is no drying time and pastels can be erased or simply covered over if you make a mistake which make them an ideal medium for almost any artist starting out. Pastels are ideal for creating vibrant works of art and a background like a bright, blue sea on this Puffin portrait can be created within minutes using just two or three colours which can be blended perfectly offering smooth transitions and no hard edges, it is this simplistic nature of Pastels that allows you to have fun whilst learning!. Alongside the pastel blocks are the pastel pencils, creating minimal mess and allowing you to achieve high detail in your pastel portraits if you enjoy the challenge. There are numerous papers out there suitable for pastels but if you have yet to attempt a portrait with this medium, I would recommend the perfect paper for your initial trial which is PASTELMAT, a finer grit than many other pastel papers and holds the pastel well. A very popular paper which can be used with other mediums too.