Along with general tips on making art, I like to introduce different art materials. Sometimes, even if we are experienced artists, we will still benefit by trying new things.  So today, it’s pastels!

Pastels come in several types. There are the oil pastels, which are pigment with an oil base. There are the chalk pastels, which have a drier, more powdery texture. There are also soft pastels that come in little tubs and you put them on with sponge or swab.  You can get pastel pencils too, which are encased in wood.

Paper for pastels should be stiff, at least partly rough, or even sanded. It can be fun to use fine grit sandpaper! You can also use stiff matting board, or light cardboard. The tooth, or roughness, of the paper has a big effect on how your lines look.

For blending, you can use a paper stump, or your fingertip. It’s important to make your blended areas thick and smooth, if you want to avoid patchiness.  An old grungy kneaded eraser can erase with chalk pastels. A latex fingertip cot, used for protecting cut fingertips usually, is good to protect your skin and makes cleanup easier.  There’s my tip for the day! has an awesome range of pastels at good prices.

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