View Full Version : My first pastel drawing (and probably last)C&

10-25-2013, 04:28 PM
So i mainly do automotive drawings, and so far i was doing it with pencil, ink and cheap color pencils, but i always had a wish to do it in pastels. Dont know why, but i liked how they blended well (from watching youtube videos). So the other day i bought a tin of 12 Derwent pastel pencils, bought some pastel paper, a colour shaper and started to work. Unfortunatly it is really hard(impossible) to get thin crisp lines which i need for my automotive drawings. That is the reason, i am probbably gonna go and buy some color pencils.

10-25-2013, 05:03 PM
Don't give up yet! There is a professional automotive artist that uses pastel pencils exclusively and he gets very crisp results. See here;


I suspect the problem is the paper you're using.


10-25-2013, 05:30 PM
:eek: My god are you sure he does that in pastel. Yeah i guess you can make details with pastels, but i have read that Derwent pastel pencils are quite big and soft compared to some other pastel pencils which are harder and thinner.

water girl
10-25-2013, 06:21 PM
Don't give up~ I wish my first pastel painting was half as nice as this one. It just takes a little experimentation with paper, and bit of practice. Why not try a little still life? You'll get the feeling of blending, and not worry so much about the details you find in a technical drawing.

10-26-2013, 05:14 AM
Dewents are softer than Faber-Castell Pitt pastel pencils. So a combination of both is helpful. The issue I find is getting them sharp and keeping them sharp. I have not found a pencil sharpener that won't break the pastel. So I use a very sharp utility knife to remove the wood then sharpen using either 220 grit sand paper or lately I have used drywall sanding screens over small Ball jars to capture the pastel dust. The dust can be used for under painting or I hear it can be reformed into sticks. Between sharpenings I strop the pencil on scrap paper to maintain the point. One last thought is using mixed media. You can use pastel, colored pencil, charcoal, ink all on the same rendering. Experiment to find out where they do not combine well. Good luck and I hope you stick with pastel. Bob

10-26-2013, 10:37 AM
I think you did excellent job. Back tire and fender are just perfect.

10-26-2013, 05:57 PM
You made a terrific drawing! Don't be discouraged; you may be moments from inspiration. Focus on what you did right and learn from what you feel is not working for you. There is a tentative period in the beginning stages of a pastel that it takes great courage to continue. Look how much you've achieved. Rev your engines and start up another!

Sarah Dowson
10-26-2013, 08:10 PM
Please don't give up. You will get there and it is such fun.
It is easier to get fine detail if you use a sanded paper and your pencils need to be very sharp. I use Derwents, Faber Castells and Carbothellos. I use a rotary pencil sharpener (like the ones we used in school). They are brilliant for pastel pencils.

10-27-2013, 09:08 AM
Thank you all for encouriging words. I am going to order a tin of 12 cretacolor pastel pencil pencil which are thinner and hopefully a bit harder. And i will draw with a bit more patience, maybe try with a bigger paper format, this was done on a A3 Cansosn Mi-tientes, i wonder if my local art store has some A2 size pastel paper.

I really like pastels beacuse of the softnes, richnes and opacity of their colors, and I also like that they dont have that shinny look like colored pencil, neither do they have problem with wax bloom.

Expect some more pastel work from me

10-27-2013, 09:51 AM
I have abother question for you pastel masters. i read that blowing off dust of a drawing is not really the healthiest way, I wonder how do you do it. Do you just shake it off?

10-27-2013, 11:59 AM
I use a rotary pencil sharpener (like the ones we used in school).

The metal ones that were mounted on a wall or table? Is yours an old one? I've often wondered about these. You know they're built like tanks, the old ones at least.

10-27-2013, 03:57 PM
The metal ones that were mounted on a wall or table? Is yours an old one? I've often wondered about these. You know they're built like tanks, the old ones at least.

I use one of these and have had good luck with it;


The sharpener must have helical blades, the kind that just use a single scraper type blade will break a pastel pencil every time.


10-29-2013, 12:48 PM
Nice job! I hope your new pastel pencils bring you years of enjoyment. And I definitely think your idea of working larger is a very good one, so I hope you will give that a try. But I also encourage you to get some pastel sticks if you do decide to stay with this. That way you won't drive yourself crazy trying to fill in large areas in the background :) Use a stick on its side and you will cover a lot more space a lot more quickly.

Meanwhile, see this page (http://www.penciltopics.co.uk/page184.html) for help with sharpening pastel pencils.

As for the dust, you can work at an easel (especially if yours has the ability to tip the work past vertical so the top is leaning slightly towards you) - then the dust will fall down. If you work flat or short of vertical, you can lift the work and tap the back rather than blow on it. It's not a bad idea to have some of those cheap paper surgical masks on hand - you can get those at the drug store. Not only helps keep you from inhaling dust, but also keeps you from blowing on the work since your mouth is covered ;)

10-29-2013, 03:07 PM
I deal with dust by turning the art upside down over a trash basket and snapping it with my finger. This knocks all the loose dust off. I got it from a post by Deborah Secor years ago and it's been so helpful. At most I have to do it a couple of times to get all the loose dust. I keep the trash bin right next to where I paint anyway so it's no inconvenience.

Sharp edges! I can see why you want sharp edges and where you do. I had an idea for that earlier today in the Pastel Talk forum. But for yours, you'd want a curved mask. Cut stiff plastic, take your line sketch and mark it on a thin stiff piece of plastic to make something like a stencil. Or take a curved plastic thing like a credit card and move different sections of the curve over different areas of the car (the same tool being used in different places.)

Work up to and right over the edge of your mask. Hold it firmly down and use it as a guide. Then finally neaten up your edge with a Colour Shaper. Colour Shapers can also be used to push color back over its hard edge and clean it up too.

Last, consider getting some hard pastels. When I want very fine hard edges, it's easier to get them with the sharp point or edge of a square thin hard pastel than with a sharpened pastel pencil. Pastel pencils don't sharpen to as fine a point as colored pencils do, though you could easily wear them down to a chisel tip by filling in the same-color areas before working on the edge or as you go.

Hard pastels have four sharp corners for tiny details and fine lines or hard edges, or you can use the edge itself. Wear it down at an angle and you have a sharp chisel edge to pull along a hard edge. Experiment with that. Also with shaping the point of your pastel pencils by not turning it while you do fill-in strokes.

Your soft edges on the bright shiny highlights on the car are wonderful. The rendering on the car is great. The background elements could get a little more work, especially using a bit of yellow or lighter green on those pines on their sun side to round them. The sky is nicely blended, well done on that. The distant hill with its muted values goes way back into the distance, though I might have blended that more too and maybe rounded it with some lavender shadows - just cool toward violet in a layer without actually going much darker than what you have.

I look forward to seeing more from you. Don't make this your last. Even a paper stencil may work for the hard edges you want. Or just working over them very carefully with a chisel-sharpened pastel pencil or a hard pastel stick or by applying color with the color shaper. There are a lot of ways to do it.

10-29-2013, 03:22 PM

well , there be gearheads here . :lol:

good tech info coming in , especially David's link in Post 2
( ironic that the artist uses a 2000 grit wet/dry for a working surface/' support ' ... :D )

yes , there is a brilliance with pastel that is unique , and attractive .

A3 paper converts to , what , 11 x 16 " or so ?
that can spread a 2 pc. pencil set pretty thin on paper and use them up fast , so
Grinner's post about sticks is a practical way to get colour/value mass on the support
and build an opacity ( with techniques to be learned :) ) much more quickly than pencils of any sort .

not to toot my horn , but my recent thread ' melacholy tide ' is a 4 x 6 " with sticks .
it can be done .

stay with us . :)


10-30-2013, 03:49 AM
Giving up so soon is NOT really an option, if you are serious about becoming an artist! Being an artist of any kind requires the three P's - patience, perseverance and perspiration!!! There are no short cuts, only time and TONS of paintings will get you to where you want to be.

You have been given good advice. Pastel pencils do have limitations; you need a set of hard pastels too, and you need to learn to sharpen with a knife, and use sandpaper to achieve a sharp point. After all, pencils are just hard pastels encased in wood. But you cannot use a pencil on its side, it has many limitations.

You also cannot work pastels flat on a tabletop, as you might with wax pencils. You need to have your board at a tilt so that the dust falls away. Shaking is better than blowing ...if you need to do this at all. I work at an easel, standing, and never have to blow or shake.

Great realism can be achieved with pastels, BUT IT TAKES TIME TO LEARN how to get there. Look:

Andrew Hemingway. A study of metal, in pastels. I have seen one of his original pastels. It was HUGE. I stood awe-struck at the realism he had achieved. I don't want to do it, but I was impressed. He apparently spends months on a painting, almost goes into a trance when he works.





This lady generously teaches her method here on WC, it is worth reading: