In 2020 I took part to weekly art therapy classes. During each session I challenged myself in doing a landscape drawing with soft pastels. This medium was new to me, so I started copying some drawings in the book “Pastels. The beginner’s guide” by Angela Gair. After this workout, I felt ready to try with original subjects.
With soft pastels on rough-textured paper I found a way to make vibrant landscapes with similar effect to painted ones. The process of layering and blending pastel colours reminds me of when I was creating oil-painted canvases. I like them very much!
If you would like to have a go with soft pastels, these are the basic materials and equipment you need and some tips for the technique.
You will need
Soft pastels sticks
You will need a different stick for each tone. They can be mixed and blended on paper.
Soft pastel paper
It should be textured. You can use a specific soft pastel paper in different shades, or watercolour paper. You can also colour white paper with a thin wash of watercolour or acrylic paint.
Charcoal is used for the initial drawing.
They are useful to have your fingers clean as you work.
A pastel drawing can be easily smudged, so it is recommended to protect finished drawings with a fixative.
I learnt to…
- First of all, if you have white paper, colour it with a thin wash of watercolour or acrylic paint. Let it dry.
- Draw the subject you have chosen with the charcoal.
- Start rapidly laying broad and light-weight colour strokes before adding the details.
- Continue overlaying thin, loose strokes of pigment, one on top of the other to create tones and hues, gradually, without overworking the surface.
- Finally accentuate the details with stronger marks and thicker colour.
Here are some drawings of mine.
Contact me if interested in a landscapes with soft pastels in size A4. I am open to commissions.
For my latest artworks head over to my artistic accounts on Instagram and Facebook.
Activity for kids – Drawing with soft pastels
Let your child explore the powdery smoothness of the soft pastels!
Remember to use a table cover and have hand-wipes handy because soft pastels tend to get hands and surfaces very dirty!
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8 thoughts on “Landscapes with soft pastels”
Wow! Those are gorgeous! I’ve recently discovered oil pastels, but never tried a landscape. I will have to, though!
Thank you! Very different from oil pastels, I like them too.
What do you draw with oil pastels?
I draw still lifes, mostly. Here’s a link to some of my oil pastel drawings: https://clarahridings.wordpress.com/2021/06/08/my-favorite-oil-pastel-pieces/
I had a look at your drawings and I found them interesting. I use oil pastels for abstract/geometic designs, that I’m going to show you in one of the next posts…
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