I draw with pastels just like I do it in charcoal pencils and I paint in pastels just like I do it in acrylics, oils and watercolors ( but using my fingers as my brush). What are the best brands of oil pastel paper? ), I am pretty adamant about them not using blending (and I’m talking about finger blending not scumbling). But they have flat or tapered ends instead of hairs on end. The main thing is to keep learning AND keep painting!! In it, you’ll see very clearly how I layer my pastels (as well as many other things!). View my collection. I look at “to blend or not to blend” as just a couple more tools to use as well as personal preference. Interestingly, in this experiment, the blended version retains more brightness than the layered one, and there’s pretty much no sign of the dulling colour. The quality of nice blending and the very nearly shades are the advantages of the pastels. My bias doesn’t show tooooo much right? Aside from that, it’s super easy to use them in combination with other media: acrylics paint , watercolors , or soft pastels . Thank you for your blog, your smile and useful tips! And just see what happens. Oil pastels are heavy, and oils from them will seep into the paper you are using. Because for me, to blend is to mix pastel colors in order to get the desired result. Note that while some users commend its blending abilities, there are others who say they’ve had better luck with other brands when it comes to blending. The better the quality the better the end result. I agree that blending is an individual choice – you need to do what you need to do! (Someone tell me no, it ain’t true!) The right surface makes all the difference for your pastel strokes. I tend to blend skin tones in portraits, and sometimes blend or underpaint with alcohol if I want an area covered up, but usually like to see the strokes in the sky and landscapes and especially seascapes. I love the words of your teacher! Winsor and Newton also supply pastel paper in pads of various sizes. Some of the best brands of oil pastels are Holbein and Sennelier but besides knowing what manufacturers are best, it is also a great idea to learn more about pastels in general and what qualifies a particular brand as the best oil pastel on the market. As I said, everyone finds the method that expresses their voice and sounds like you have found yours . They are lined up in order of usage. When I teach a workshop (as many of my students will attest! And so I blend. Chalk pastel drawings should be done on an abrasive base which collects and holds the color. Nice to add it to my Pastel Society of America (PSA) one . At the same time, other artists used a paintbrush for blending colors. Happy Friday!! AND through that acceptance, I received my Pastel Artists Canada (PAC) Signature status! Thanks for your thoughts Nelvia. The hybrid pastel core also delivers a lot of good color without applying too much pressure on the paper, which is excellent for your hands. Learn how your comment data is processed. I realize this may be a great dark to use as an underpainting but as I say in the video, I am partial to seeing all the individual colours sparkling through! And yes, I can see how coming from the smooth glazed look of watercolours would have affected the way you came to pastels. You do not have to use a lot of effort to get a strong level of color with these pastels. Use a scrap piece or an old work you don’t like, one you would have discarded anyway, and play! It’s also helpful if you do any kind of landscape painting whether en plein air or in studio. Ideal for oil painting-like applications, blending and sgraffito, the quality and archival integrity of their pastels are just fabulous. Currently, the best oil pastel for artists is the Sennelier Luxury. The range of colors is extensive and perfect for artists on the move and sketching out in the field. Specializing in realistic animal art – be it wild animals or pets – I try to capture the individual character of every animal. Dominique, merci beaucoup for your lovely response. It can work well either in stick-blending or finger-blending. Pastel pencils vs. regular chalk pastels; Pastel pencils are like a ‘medium-soft pastel encased in wood,’ whereas the chalk pastel, on the other hand, have a … The pastel paper I prefer is also from the Winsor & Newton range of products. I have been rather confused by the responses of professional artists from all over the globe. I want to save as much of that for the focal areas as possible, for instance. One of the things I didn’t mention in my video was that when you blend pastels, you squish all the sparkly crystals of pigment and so dull the whole thing down. You are so right!! I just watched your video about blending, As a beginner I tend to blend, if only because I’m not confident about my work, but I have a great teacher who always tells me “don’t blend, let the colours breathe”. Caran d'Ache - these high-quality oil pastels are well-regarded for their smoothness and blendability. The benefit of using these is nice clean hands. There is a vast array of brands for oil pastel papers you can consider. Color Mixing Apply a rich layer of oil pastel then follow with another color applied on top (consider trying primaries first). How to use soft pastels is dependent on good quality materials. However, I am doing more pictures with areas that are not blended. Combine, mix, fuse, meld, unite, blend your oil pastels to create amazing effects that will make your piece pop with bursts of colour. For large areas, you can wipe or rub the chamois across the surface of your paper. https://www.howtopastel.com/schedule-a-call/, 21 Masters Share Advice To Help You Get into Juried Art Shows, Bill Creevy – Pastel Explorer – In Memoriam…, Putting Yourself Out There – Demoing in Public, Clarence Porter – A Colourful Outlook On Life, Heather Laws – The Commissioned Animal Portrait. There is a certain degree of difficulty in mastering working with soft and hard pastels, but while encased in a pencil form, they are easier to use from the start. I don’t blend except sometimes when I am working on skies, clouds or water. I think it came because when I first learned to paint with watercolor and acrylics I learned to layer/glaze so I applied that to pastel and came up with that smooth look. I think the important thing is to know about different techniques and then experiment with them. For me, I use blending, hatching, pointillism, and any other possibilities the pastels will offer. Chalk pastel artwork is one of my preferred mediums – being more of a drawing art form than a painting one. Color mix or overlay your oil pastels. It seems to me that underpainting really improves the depth of the painting, but I’m not confident about my color choices. Let’s Get Blending. There is a right way to bring out the blended look in your painting. With pastels, that may mean having an easier time blending colors together or better color saturation by using superior pastels. I think when you’re exposed to all methods, you have a huge tool kit at your command – you can use what you need when you need it. Required fields are marked *. In this article, were going to highlight the main features of the best blending tools for oil pastels and why they are important when it comes to choosing the right one. Hi! These are the swatches on the Canson Mi-teintes paper. You can’t go wrong! You might want to give yourself or someone you love my online accessible-day-or-night online course, Pastel Painting En Plein Air. Make sure that the glass does not touch the artwork after framing. I usually don’t blend the foreground at all. Blend. These pencils may also be included in your pencil drawings basics kit for sketching and drawing. These pastel pencils have a smooth core with lovely rich pigments. I love hearing about when artists use the blending method. While these aren’t the cheapest of options, the price is reasonable enough, particularly considering the high quality of the pastels. Also, I’ll show you a closer look at each experiment especially on the UArt 400 sanded paper. Bonus Tip: Preparing Your Surface. Rembrandt offers these pastels in 218 colors – 61 with a lightfastness rating ranging from 25 to 100 years and 157 with a lightfastness rating of more than 100 years. Continue to blend/layer additional colors to achieve your desired hue. Layering retains the radiance and vitality of pastels (in my ever so humble opinion!). You can use the blending technique to either mix colors together or create a variety of edges.You can use a variety of tools for blending – either your finger, paper towel, a piece of cloth or a cotton ball! I treat pastels just like any other medium in painting – I draw and paint with them. Overall Best Soft Pastels: REMBRANDT Soft Pastels Basic Half Stick Set. These soft pastels have an intense level of color and are great for wiping and blending. Like a soft more relaxing painting? Generally, I purchase the Lana Range of Tints Pastel Paper which has a grained surface with a 160gsm weight. I rarely use this paper except for teaching and exercises but thought it was a good idea to show the experiment on a non-sanded paper. My style tends toward details and after all these years I am giving in and going with it, so I guess it works for me! Chamois is a type of super-soft and flexible leather that is excellent for blending colors with pastels. Tapered pastel shapers are mainly for detailed work. It would mean so much to me. I love both. I just discovered your work recently and am now going through your previous posts (slowly, as time allows, but also relishing). Sometimes a new technique will take one from frustration and questioning to a flow and happiness with pastels again! For me, blending is one of the great joys of pastel art. Betty, you are correct – there are no right answers, just right results Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And that’s it until next week. It’s much easier to blend pastels on this paper! JM. Finished drawings made with soft chalk pastels do require protecting with artworks needing to be properly mounted and framed under glass. Blending is an individual choice. The blended version to me resembles the proverbial mud. Glad you enjoyed the video Ruth! I like the true colors that come from painting without blending, but only in certain places. Learning how to use soft pastels is very easy if you have a solid drawing background and have dabbled in color pencils. It all depends on the subject being painted; I usually blend skies in the initial stages, for example, and finish with selected layering. £2.20 I think this is true of a lot of students as it is easier to blend rather than layer which takes some risk with colour, value, and mark-making. Color mixing is a process of layering oil pastels directly on the canvas. It’s interesting that you have made the connection between blending and your lack of confidence with the medium. And i also not blend in … Can you see why I prefer to layer rather than blend pastels? The versatility of pastels allows you to do all the things you mention. 3. And thanks for clearing up the culinary terms Now I’m getting hungry!! Caran D’ache Neopastel Oil Pastels Set is one of the best products on the market. They are very useful for getting into your drawing to achieve the fine detail you may require. Thanks for the video. The better the quality the better the end result. This is not a hard-wearing medium and has to be handled carefully to prevent bending the paper and smearing the artwork. Great for when you are out in the field and need a quick finger blending tool! In the video below, I set out to show, with sample swatches, why it is that I prefer to layer rather than blend pastels. For a long time I thought it was not a good thing to see the strokes, but I am beginning to appreciate marks that are left alone and I definitely like layering. 218 colours. What are your thoughts? And so I blend. Because for me, to blend is to mix pastel colors in order to get the desired result. The thing we love more about this paper is that it is available in 50 colors including White, Black, Grey, assorted colors, and earth colors. Light Pressure Blending Lightly add oil pastels on paper with little pressure. We have got the 4 best pastel for drawing and portraits listed below for you. In the future, look out for a pastel painting using that UArt test sheet! Please consider following me on Pinterest. If you are putting in big value shapes (the way I do), you might think of cool under warm and vice versa – that’s a great place to start! I love that you use them in many ways . Wonderful Janet! In class, I have been discouraged from blending and I definitely like the effect of layering better. Derwent pastel pencils blend very well to let you create an impressive range of hints and tints to achieve just about any artistic effect you want. Thank you for your wonderful addition to this conversation JM! I guess there’s no right answer as long as you achieve the results you want in your painting??? Maybe I’ll do a video! And thank you for taking time to go through my blog posts. On the UArt 400 sanded paper, some of the individual colours are seen in the blended version but the mark-making is less visible. Smudge and blend as much as you like, these pastel pencils are perfectly suited to layering. Great video, Gail! One thing I love in pastels is that you are painting with your fingers almost like the pigments leave directly from them. Charvin is a good starter set for anyone who wants to try hard pastels. Have to be careful about blending with fingers on uart sanded paper…Ouch! I use blending scantily when it just seems to call for it. So I guess I have compromised and now tend to blend using colors on top of colors, but still don’t have the big stokes. Look out for my monthly picks next week. It adds tremendously to areas of the art. The range of colors is endless which makes it interesting, and easy, to choose the right color for your subject matter. You can spray lightly with a pastel fixative to prevent smudging and hold the chalk in place when your drawing is complete. I actually like the blended look! The rough side with heavy texture is best suited for oil pastels while the smooth side with a lighter texture makes the best combination with pencil, pen and ink, color pencils, and permanent ink papers. You will find your own way as you work. And yes, tricky stuff blending on sanded paper!! I can see needing to fill in low areas of a heavily textured surface – especially one created yourself – with an underpainting. When you blend pastels, you squish all the sparkly crystals and so dull the whole thing down. To Blend Or Not To Blend Pastels, OR Why I Don’t! It’s hard to imagine needing anything else for your casual drawing needs. Thank you Mary for your wonderful words about the physical nature of pastel particles and how we see them. In the meantime, this week I made a video about why I don’t blend pastels. It provides a darker or sharper color when wet and it gives a different consistency when used dry. I’ll sometimes blend the background trees in a landscape or the edges of a painting with the midground edges blended, but not the center…. This makes soft pastel techniques very versatile. The comparison, with the making of a soup, you mention in your video is fabulous! https://bit.ly/2knBFZq Comparisons for shading: When it comes to shading, blending plays a big role in getting good results. Two of the standout features of these pastels are the rich pigment concentration and high lightfastness. That way, ones style evolves and grows – it doesn’t get stuck. Then I usually do an underpainting and wash it in with water or alcohol to fill in the low parts of the texture. Not always, but at times, when subtle effects are called for. I tend to agree. Flat pastel shapers help to blend larger areas, while tapered pastel shapers assist in blending small areas. Rembrandt pastels are a soft pastel but they are on the hard side of the spectrum. Happy to hear from you . Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a 3rd party. But you may be surprised!! Starting to work with pan pastels now and you get more of a smooth look with them. With Rembrandt Pastels, you need not worry about quality. This allows you to create and draw without having to worry about the product you are using. Holbein - recommended by the Oil Pastel Association of America, these oil pastels are more firm than the Senneliers and they can create a nice smoothness on your paper. On the other hand, you can achieve individual strokes, creating fur movement, as well as do hard highlights. It allows me to smudge and blend where required to create a soft muted look. The assorted color set of 48 has a good range of colors and a nice combination of firm and soft textures. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter Rae! OR Gail why don’t you blend pastels? However, you cannot mix oil pastels unless you use a paint thinner. Hi Cliff! I, too, like to see the layers of colors, especially when I put down my own ground with a brush, leaving brush marks and texture. I must say I’m much happier with my pastels since I’ve tried to follow that tip. When I paint on top of that, I get to see the underpainting in the low parts and the other color on the high areas of the ground. Blending of colours: Take different combinations of oil pastels just to see how these combinations look on paper while blending them together. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Then enter your name and email address and get my weekly blog all about pastels ... it's FREE! What places this set of 24 among the best pastels for artists is the selection of colors. They have a beautiful color range and the texture is always consistent. Ruth you can always arrange a free 15 min call with me and we can chat about this: https://www.howtopastel.com/schedule-a-call/. If you are searching for affordable, high-quality, and colorful pencils, you have come to the right place. You can see the idea of using a piece of paper with random marks on it in my previous blog post where I paint a bathtub plug in 20 mins. There are a few different ways to blend your pastels together, kids can try out a few and decide which ones they like best. They are great for sketching your pastel pencil drawings as well as creating very detailed work. I’m really enjoying your videos and blog. When working with oil pastels working with heavier paper is your best option. Learn more of Schneider’s thoughts on blending, as well as the tool(s) he finds work best for getting the job done, in this issue of Pastel Journal. Chalk pastel drawings should be done on an abrasive base which collects and holds the color. This set of high-quality pastels comes with 30 tantalizing colors, which will draw in new and experienced artists alike. Click here for all the details on the course! You are so right about the versatility of pastels Pan!! Softer, gentler, kinder to my eyes….blending❤️. Mary, delighted you have found your way back to soft pastels! I frequently get asked the question – Gail do you blend your pastels? It looked unfinished and rough to my eye. A lot of people spray in layers and build the drawing up slowly. One of the most unique aspects of soft pastels is that you are able to blend the colors together. They are 55cm x 75cm in size which is very useful as you can use the whole sheet or cut it down to the exact size and format you want to use. PS. But in coulinary terms a “velouté” is a a tasty wonderful soup as well as a not blended “gaspacho”. I’m pleased as punch that two of my shoe paintings (done in the 31 paintings in 31 days challenge) were accepted into the PAC online show – see the exhibition here. This is the dark green over the red. Rembrandt is another marquis name when it comes to pastels. You can see in the blended pastels have a darker look than the layered one. It also gives this “impressioniste” touch the French are supposed to love! The methods on how to use chalk pastels are varied. Love pastels?? Blending or not, for me is a matter of your objective: Like a bold gestual painting? And I’m delighted you have shared how you use them with us. Remember, there’s a 15 day money-back guarantee. Therefore using pastel paper that has a grain or “tooth” for the chalk to adhere to and hold the pigment in place is advisable. So, if you want a set of oil pastels that are super … Layer more colors to achieve various values or even different hues. All the best from Victoria, Canada!! And i also not blend in some cases like highlights, lines or to put textures. Plus, these pencils are … There’s a place for it all in my work. It’s not that I’m against blending per se but I sometimes think there’s too much reliance on it especially when participants say they want to loosen up or work more boldly. Here is the swatch with three colours of the same value used. And finished “untouched” larger marks on top of the “greyed” small particles can yield a beautiful effect. This is off the subject of blending, but can you do a video or is there an existing video on the theory of color in underpainting? It’s just one of the things I’m confused about. Conte a Paris pencils are a different format of pastel that I make use of. A pastel pencil is the best medium for those who adore working with pastels, but need more control over their work. That’s why they are versatile! Actually pastels can’t truly blend….what you see is the degree of granularity and the limits of our vision to see very tiny prismatic particles. This shape also allows you to create distinct lines when you are using these pastels. Blending and layering are quite convenient and the pastels also work well for creating glazing effects. Product Features Go to site; Crayola Crayola, Oil Pastels, Art Tools, 16 ct., Rich Colors, Great for Blending Colors: Just like with the layering technique above, blending with chalk pastels works perfectly with the other techniques. Don’t blend. The beauty of pastels is that because the medium doesn’t “dissolve” in a liquid, those physical particles–large or small–refract light in such a beautiful way! This set is ideal for blending. Some artists find success using charcoal paper, and while the textured surface is excellent for oil pastels, this thin paper tends to tear if you apply dense layers of pastel to it. Now let’s have a look at the Mount Vision pastels I used in the video. If you want to utilize texturing techniques like cross-hatching, dry brush and stippling, perhaps a slightly harder set like NeoPastel, Mungyo … A large range of colours and a good price makes these pastels a great choice for all levels of artists. Christmas is coming! 2. How to use soft pastels is dependent on good quality materials. I’d love to hear so please leave a comment. They are much easier to use and smoother too. Someday, if you still feel like loosening up, you can put on some fun staccato music and paint along, promising yourself to make a mess!! Thanks for your demo! Take a look! I think that blending has it’s place, for sure, but not so much in the foreground. The brands mentioned on the list such as Faber-Castell, Strathmore, Sennelier, U.S Art Supply, Mi-Teintes, and Canson are some of the popular picks on the market. I’m a begginer im pastels so my opinion is not very important but here it goes: I used to do some soft pastel work a long time ago (high school/college art classes mostly). And you too will find your way and your own artistic expression. Which is your preference? Sometimes beginners offer the wisest words! Drawings made with soft chalk pastels do require protecting with artworks needing to careful! Blending plays a big role in getting good results course, pastel painting using that UArt test!. Starting to work best pastels for blending Pan pastels now and you too will find your artistic... Bold gestual painting???????????! It gives a different format of pastel particles and how we see them professional. Pastel particles and how we see them and framed under glass experienced artists alike Lana range of colors by! 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