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!

Comparison between oil painting and soft pastels drawing at
Comparison between oil painting and soft pastels drawing

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.

Hand wipes

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…

  1. First of all, if you have white paper, colour it with a thin wash of watercolour or acrylic paint. Let it dry.
  2. Draw the subject you have chosen with the charcoal.
  3. Start rapidly laying broad and light-weight colour strokes before adding the details.
  4. Continue overlaying thin, loose strokes of pigment, one on top of the other to create tones and hues, gradually, without overworking the surface.
  5. 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

        1. 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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