View Full Version : First time in this forum and first time using pastels!!!!!!!

08-16-2004, 02:59 PM
I'm a student of Fine Arts who wants to be an illustrator sometime. I love experimenting with different media...and I felt in love with Pastels a few weeks ago. I just bought a box of various soft pastels and I got a couple of books, but all this books give u the same advice..and I'm still confussed.
I tried to use pastels a couple of times, but I got the feeling that my pieces look just the same than my other drawings ( pencil, ink, or whatever)
So I would LOVE to get some tips on how to make my pastel paintings look better. After reading those books this are my main concerns/doubts
I'm not good at mixing colors such as blue or violet in order to get a good "flesh color".....how can that be possible!!!!
I'm also confussed about what pastels should I get to do portraits. Any tips on what colors should I start with??
Also....please can u critique or tell me what do you think that I have done wrong so far with my pastel pieces ??? I will try to handle your criticism with a smile.....because I really want to learn!!!!!

Deborah Secor
08-16-2004, 08:37 PM
Hi, and welcome to the pastel forum! I don't paint portraits so Im not the one to answer your flesh tone question, but I have to say that the portrait of the man you painted is quite nice. That direct stare is very bold and engaging.

One thing I'll suggest is that as you experiment with the pastels find colors that are the same or very similar in value (or tone) and lay them one atop the other. For instance here are some dark values:
In an area where you have darks you could lay down all of these colors over one another. If you don't blend them they will stay interesting--and usually the most forceful color is the last one placed on top.

Here are some mediums and lights that you could do the same:

So, maybe try some layering in your next painting! Hope to see more from you--and you'll get more information from our local portraitists, I'm sure!


Ruth Grinstead
08-17-2004, 06:54 AM
Newish myself so no real advice. I like the man best a feeling of a real person here.


08-18-2004, 01:49 PM
"So I would LOVE to get some tips on how to make my pastel paintings look better."

The same way you get to Cargegie Hall....practice, practice, practice..(I just love that old joke.)

Seriously, learning a new medium is not an easy task...I would be lost in a forum full of watercolorists. Let me encourage you to practice the exercises suggested by Dee. We have a Weekly Sketch thread in the Pastel Talk forum that is perfect for posting them as well as any other practice sketches that are within a 1 hour time frame (I gotta do a little advertising :evil: )..Look forward to seeing you there.

Your hatching techinque used in the gentleman's portrait is very nice. Many pastelists use this painting method to various extents. The effect you have achieved is pleasing to this artists eye. Seems your homework reading has paid off already!