View Full Version : Beach sand texture

02-28-2017, 02:02 PM
Hi folks!

I'm really puzzled. I have a reference picture of seashell on the beach sand. And this is my puzzle - how to draw a beach sand texture with pastel pencils?
I tried to avoid it and to do only colour, but it doesn't work.
Does somebody have an experience? Please.

02-28-2017, 07:41 PM
If you could provide us with a bit more detail and the reference photo, if possible, it may help. Does your paper have grain or texture? Do have have any stick pastels or only pencils? Keep in mind that texture is normally just a pattern of lighter and darker values. if your paper has some grain, perhaps just holding a darker valued pencil as sideways as possible and lightly going over the grain might create the illusion of texture.


03-01-2017, 12:06 AM
Yes, you are right. I will upload a picture.

03-01-2017, 12:06 AM

Sorry, you are right. Here is the photo. I use pastel pencils only. Paper actually has some texture, but not much. It's Canson M-T-something. :) Thank you, Don!

Donna T
03-01-2017, 11:10 AM
I found this information on the "Painting My World" blog by Karen Margulis. She has traveled to many sandy beaches and she has some good tips for painting sand. I would guess that most of this applies to pastel pencils, especially when you use them on their sides like regular pastels and on a paper with some texture. (Thank you Karen!)

"How do you paint sand that looks granular? How do you know what colors to use in the sand?

There is actually a simple answer to this question. With pastels we usually work dark to light and it is no exceptions for painting sand which tends to be a light value.
•The problem we often have is that we start painting the sand with a color that is close to what we want or the local color. Then we end up with a big area of very light value sand color and it looks flat and boring. Remember....dark to light!
•So I like to start painting my sandy areas with a darker and more intense color than I plan on ending up with. I layer the colors getting gradually lighter ad brighter. I also sometimes do an underpainting in a brighter bolder color.
•Then when layering the pastels I use a very light touch so that the darker layers show through. These darker bits are what gives the granular look to the sand. LIGHT TOUCH is the KEY!

How about choosing sand colors? Remember that the colors of the sand will vary greatly from beach to beach depending on the make-up of the sand. Coral based sands can be pink or white, shell based sands can be golden or bleached white. There are grey sands, peach sands even black sand beaches.

Once I decide the color of the sand I choose several values of the color so that I can build up my layers making the rich texture I discussed above."

03-01-2017, 02:07 PM
Thank you, Donna!
That's exactly what I'm looking for! :clap:

SAS Designs
03-07-2017, 10:07 AM

I LOVE Karen's work. She usually has a new post several times a week.

03-25-2017, 10:19 PM
It would be easier with sticks than pastel pencils, but putting the darkest sand color first and slightly blending it, then roughly scumbling lighter sand colors over it would give a lovely beach sand texture. Using a soft stick, brush it lightly on its side over the previous color so the under-color shows through and it makes speckles. To finish off, take the lightest color and scrape it with a butter knife to make pastel dust, just shave off specks at random over the lighter areas. Press them down with a clean spoon or something. Or tracing paper and a burnisher. They stick. Same technique as snowflakes on an evening sky that last.