View Full Version : Question about pastel and colored pencil

09-07-2017, 08:06 PM
I have a basic, very old set of soft pastel sticks. I am doing a piece based on a photo by a friend that has sky, ocean, sand, and a bird on the sand. This is my first pastel attempt. I am doing the majority in pastels but plan to use colored pencil for the bird to get finer details. When I get to the sand and bird, should I do the colored pencil work first, or should I do the sand first, apply a fixative, and then do the bird? I'm brand new at pastel painting except for playing around with them briefly as a young teenager.

water girl
09-08-2017, 02:34 PM
Hello, April. I have never mixed pastels with colored pencil. Perhaps someone else has done it. The reason I've never mixed them is there is was in the colored pencils, so putting pastel over that you may find the pastel slips and does not adhere. Try this, though. Take a scrap of paper, lay down the colored pencil, spray fixative, then try the pastel. Then let us know what you discover.

09-08-2017, 08:28 PM
Coloured pencil and pastel do work together to a point, but its tricky.

Definitely you would have to do the pastel work first, CP on top. You will not be able to layer pastel over top of coloured pencil.

Do you have access to pastel pencils? they work seamlessly with pastels and make make your life a whole lot easier because what you're attempting can be tricky.

09-08-2017, 10:00 PM
Thank you both for your replies. I do not have pastel pensils. In a way, this is a practice piece to see if I even like it well enough to invest in the pencils. My preferred medium is graphite, but I use watercolor cp on occcasion, also.

Actually, the cp and pastel will not need to overlay. Only the bird will be cp, and the sand around him will be pastel. I finally decided it makes more sense to do the cp first then the pastel around it. Otherwise I would keep disturbing the pastels while trying to draw the bird in the middle of it.

I'll post an update on my WIP when I finish a graphite project I need done by tomorrow.

09-09-2017, 12:32 AM
Your process sounds like it should work. What you will find is that in order to get colored pencils to adhere to the paper you would need to literally scrape away most of the pastel from the paper with the pencil tips before they would make decent marks, so it would be counter productive perhaps to do pastels first then pencil.

If you work thinly and blend quite a bit with the pastels they should look OK next to the colored pencils but thickly applied, rich colored pastels may not "fit" very well next to the pencil.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.