View Full Version : question from a newbie...

09-29-2000, 02:30 AM
<FONT COLOR="Navy">I would like to start painting with pastels but don't have the idea about what materials I'll need to do it. Are there any specific kind of paper and other tools ideal to work with pastels? Thanks 4 your help!!!!</FONT c>

Moniqui http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

09-29-2000, 04:47 AM
Hi, Moniqui and welcome to WetCanvas!! http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
There are a lot of different papers and pastels and I suggest you start with a medium soft brand like Rembrandt and a Canson Mi-Teinte paper with a color like medium grey-blue or sage green. This paper has a smoother side and a textured side, see which one you like best. I like the smooth side but it all depends on your technique and style. I actually don't use Canson any more. I prefer Ersta and use very soft pastels like Shminke.
Most of all you should experiment and find what you like best. Start with not so expensive materials so not to have the worry of wasting a lot of money....and get down to painting!!
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[This message has been edited by Rita Monaco (edited September 29, 2000).]

09-29-2000, 08:39 AM
Bah, Rita, you beat me to it! :P

I echo Rita. Start with med-soft Rembrandt and Canson paper, same colors. People may start recommending other brands -- we all have our favorites, mine is Rowney :P -- but most pastellists use Rembrandt for underpaintings and they are very cost effective on sanded papers. It's definitely not a waste of money. You'll still use them. I've got full sets of Schmincke, Rowney and Winsor & Newton (no one ever talks about those! I love them!) and partials of Sennelier -- I still use my Rembrandts a lot.

Experiment, have fun! Don't be afraid to blend (like with your finger), but learn not to blend! I've found -- and many will support this -- that the best paintings are comprised of both methods used where they do the most good. Not blending produces a fresh, powdery look, blending tends to produce a more even variation of color, but you lose the OOOOMF! and impact.

I love pastels! Any else get a small "rush" when they feel the weight of one in their hand? :P I didn't paint at all from December 1999 to April 2000 (we were moving :P) and I started DREAMING about holding a pastel, and making that first initial sweep of color on a piece of paper.

Ack, verbal run off! flee!


Mar sin leibh an-drąsda,
"Am fear a ghleidheas a theanga, gleidhidh e a charaid."

09-29-2000, 08:48 AM
Another inexpensive brand you could try to "get your feet wet" could be Nupastels. They have a good color assortment (ninety-six) and are good for the money. (around fifty dollars for the set) Later, if you get addicted to pastels (like some do http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif ) you could work up to the better sets.
Most pastelists start out with harder pastels then work to softer, using a light touch, so as not to fill up the "tooth" of the paper too soon. Good luck...Ken

(by the way, how's your painting club idea going?)

09-29-2000, 09:06 AM
<FONT size="3">OUCH OUCH!</FONT s>

Okay, I give! A lot of pastellists use Rembrandt and Nupastel :P


I actually did mean to say that. I fergot cause I don't use them.


Mar sin leibh an-drąsda,
"Am fear a ghleidheas a theanga, gleidhidh e a charaid."

09-29-2000, 09:15 AM
Oh, couple of other things people may or may not agree with me on:

1) a drawing board of some type. I have two 18x24 and one 24x36.
2) newsprint. For Canson and med-soft pastels you should have a reasonably soft surface or they may break if you press too hard. I have (even under Wallis!) around 10-20 or so sheets of newsprint thumb-tacked to my drawing board. Just rip off a sheet when it gets dirty. Also good for getting by filler grit should you encounter it. If you are painting and it feels like there is a piece of sand in your pastel, rub it on the newsprint.
3) Wet-wipes! For your hands, don't use them on pastels.
4) Something to wipe your pastels on for color changes. I use chamois for that -- and for my hands too.
5) An easel of some type or a raised surface. If you use pastels on a flat surface you're going to end up with dust and smudges all over the place. A cheap table easel works good when you are just starting out. If you have the means and the space, a wall works good, too. Just thumb-tack or tape your surface to a wall and put newspaper or plastic down to protect your floor. Better be a wall you intend to paint later, tho :P
6) Couple of good, stiff bristle brushes, a kneaded eraser (I prefer General) -- for removing mistakes :P

Hrm, books! Lots of them. I'll let someone else make recommendations there :P

Mar sin leibh an-drąsda,
"Am fear a ghleidheas a theanga, gleidhidh e a charaid."

09-29-2000, 11:11 AM
I much prefer working with pastels on white paper. I like a paper without too much strong texture, but it needs to have enough "tooth" to hold the pastel. One of the best papers I've found is called "Lana" paper, and is sold in spiral bound pads called "The Pastel Pad" by New York Central Art Supply, on the web at: http://www.nycentralart.com/

NY Central is a great source for pastels and paper.

As for brand of pastel, Rembrandt is ok for getting started, but IMHO, Sennellier is far superior, though more pricey. They are very soft and can be used either opaquely, or to just "breathe" a thin veil of color onto the paper. In this way, you can build up very subtle colors and textures.

09-30-2000, 01:26 AM
If you're like me and only want the good stuff, you don't really HAVE to start with lesser papers and pastels. I bought a bunch of Canson Mi-Teintes and a set of Nupastels when I started, and now they're just so much clutter. I rarely use them.

For pastels, I like Schmincke and Sennelier. The only cheaper, harder soft pastel that I really do like is Holbein. I've tried a few of those and I enjoy them. For papers, check out the Dakota Pastels website (can't remember the exact name, and I'll have to redo this message if I go look now) for the paper descriptions, and then you'll know what to look for in the nycentralart.com catalog.

09-30-2000, 01:27 AM
<FONT face="Comic Sans MS">Thank you very much to all of you for taking the time to reply my post!!! I'll start with pastels as soon as possible and I'll let you know what happens... ”GRACIAS!</FONT f> http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif