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Old 11-07-2017, 05:31 PM
Catlady62 Catlady62 is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks, I'm not familiar with some of the lingo used. What is WIP's?

Monica
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:31 PM
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CM Neidhofer CM Neidhofer is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady62
Thanks, I'm not familiar with some of the lingo used. What is WIP's?

Monica


WIP......Work In Progress
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:52 PM
Catlady62 Catlady62 is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks water girl
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:10 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Wow, there is a lot of good information contained in this thread! I would have really found this useful when I first started, and since that was only about a year ago I'm still considering myself a newbie, and find a lot of things the more experienced artists post to be really helpful. One thing about pastels is that there are so many different styles and methods, it is hard to categorize and give people solid help without knowing what kind of art they want to produce. It is also one of the most fascinating and wonderful things about this medium too! I would only add that if you are just starting out, try not to get discouraged too quickly. Keep open to trying new methods and materials until you find the ones that work best for you. Expand and try all the different tools and surfaces you can, and do simple exercises with each, if you are able. Be patient and try everything you find interesting, and try to enjoy it instead of allowing yourself to get too frustrated. The thing that kept me going in the beginning was the wonderful sensation of scratching out those beautiful colors, even if the finished work wasn't something I would ever want to market, or even show to people. The main thing is that I really had fun doing it. You may not find the right thing for you right away, but keep trying and eventually you will. It can get costly, starting out in pastels, and believe me that doesn't end! Once you get the bug you will probably become obsessed as I have become with collecting colors and different grounds. I'm always trying to find new colors and surfaces to work on! I ran my fingers over a bare plaster surface the other day, and thought that would make a great surface for pastels. Now I have to try that! I have a pretty good idea what works for me with the type of art I want to produce by now, but it took me a while. Keep at it, and I hope you can find the joy I've found with this medium.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:51 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

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Originally Posted by msgenie516
Hi Everyone!

This is going to sound really ridiculous to most folks, but I have no idea what underpainting is. I am nearly 70 years old and the first time I read about it was on this forum. I have and want to use a large set of Sennelier soft pastels (which I purchased not knowing they are extremely soft). I also have a set of Rembrandt but I feel they are on the hard side and I thought I could use them for the underpainting and I feel they are good to use for sketching. I also have a set of Faber-Castell Polychromos Pastels, which are also hard. I have various sets of pastel pencils for details.

You could say I really "dove" into this without doing much research. I was very anxious to get started because of my age. My husband wasn't too crazy about my interest in art but he passed away in 2015, so now I am free to do what I like. On the positive side, I started drawing when I was a child.

Any input you can give me about the underpainting would be very helpful because all along, I just drew what I saw. Thanks in advance, Genie

A nice informative video on youtube was posted by Karen Margulis about this. She uses some complimentary colors for underpainting her greens, using reds and oranges. She has it nicely demonstrated and it really works. I tried it the other day, and putting the greens on top of the reds and orange underpainting really makes them look more lively. It is counter-intuitive, for sure, but it works.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:32 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks for the suggestions. I usually work in oil, but have been asked to add some color to a piece I was going to do in charcoal. I think Pastels may be the answer plus I'd like to learn more about them.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:33 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Does the liquid gloves in the bottle work the same? I use it for oils because I can't stand the gloves on my hands.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:04 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Pretty much the same concerns I have. Did you find out about the fixatives?
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:12 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Help!! I'm a watercolor artist (of sorts) that wants to learn to paint with pastels. It's not at all like watercolor (to me) and I am struggling. Are there any tutorials here on WC or some good online tutorials that will take me from square one to actually making art? I need your help!!!

This is my first attempt at a larger piece, but I'm pretty frustrated with it at this point. I think I am pressing too hard and I've overworked it. I just don't know, so that's why I would like to get step by step lessons. I'm retired, so I've got the time to devote to learning!

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Old 09-30-2018, 10:30 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Welcome to the pastel forum. It appears you are doing just fine. It takes a bit of practice and your paper choice can make a difference. Begin with Pastels and explore the Learning Center and WIP (works in progress) There is a link for Materials as well.
If I were you, I'd go to Youtube and check out Beginning Pastels. Above all, don't be too critical, enjoy the process of learning a new medium.
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:47 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks for your help, Water Girl!, I've wetted my painting down, let it dry and have started over on it today. I need to straighten up the skyline, but so far I am much more pleased and using a lighter hand this time-making marks, not lines of color! Here is my progress!

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Last edited by beebluefern : 10-01-2018 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:31 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Soft pastel sticks do become dirty when moving, so have a fabric to clean them off before light illustrating. It's usually simpler to work on a beautifully shaped surface area rather than on genuine white-colored. You can buy beautifully shaped document, or overall tone it yourself using an polymer or watercolour clean.

To avoid over mixing and smudging when light illustrating you can use a spray of fixative on that area. Beware: if the fixative is applied too intensely, it considerably dulls and darkens the dynamics. Do some fast test operates treating the fixative to research with the light spray strategy.

With these fundamentals in place, let's get began with pastel paintings.
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Old 06-29-2019, 04:27 PM
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Smile Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

What a brilliant idea to share the experience to help artists who are just at the beginning of their pastel carrier

I am happy to share my knowledge which I gained throughout the time working with pastel. This would be related to materials I am using, nothing to do with technique.

Straight away I would like to apologise for any grammatical mistakes in my post because I am originally from Russia but living in UK now. I am feeling quite comfortable with English Language but I am pretty sure I am far away from perfection

So ..., I use soft and hard pastels as well as pastels pencils and coloured pencils.

Initially I was using an Arboreta heavy weight off white paper. I know it is not a pastel paper but I found that it has got a bit of a grip (exactly what I needed) plus I was able to paint with my pastel on it, I mean that there no paper will be seen through.
This is the style I love, when you can not see the paper and as far as I know its called pastel painting.
The only problem with this was that I couldn't achieve very bright colours , sometimes you really need it to bring painting to life.

So I tried some other papers and after some time I found my favourite so far.
It is Tim Fisher 400 classic. I love it because it can take few layers on the top of each other, has got brilliant grip, I can use fixative on it (I am using Latour Sennelier - very good fixative, had to go through few before I found the right one). And the colours on Fisher paper are very vibrant and bright so it is possible to achieve very good results.

So, another advice would be to use fixative during the painting but do not use on the top layer. If you feel like you are happy with the painting and decide to spray it with fixative you may will get a bit upset because all the highlights will get darker. That's why I think its good idea not to spray the top layer but use it during the process of creating the artwork.

Well, as for the pastel itself - my favourite will be - Caran d'ache, Stabilo, Sennelier and Schmincke. I am sure there are plenty more great pastels and I am still exploring this amazing world.

Nowadays I buy my art supplies online but if you are a beginner I would definitely recommend you to go to the proper art shop and just try the pastels, feel them, see whether they are soft enough or look for any other quality you are looking for.

Another useful thing which I discovered is a pastel blender. I am not talking about big spaces (I still blend them with my fingers) but they could be really useful for the little details. Just do not buy the cheap one, they are no good. You can try to buy just one for the beginning and see whether you are happy to use it and may be then buy a set. They will last you forever!
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:58 AM
Hopskidee Hopskidee is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

I just love this thread!

I have in the past worked on oils and oil pastels and a little bit of acrylic and watercolor here and there (I found watercolor a challenge so I kinda stopped on it but Iíd like to give it a go again someday). Now I have always been attracted to how dry pastels (both soft and hard) look on a painting especially how translucent they can be, but...I havenít really done anything using this medium..up until quite recently.

I went ahead and dove right into working with the medium (I preferred the pencil form as itís less dusty. I bought the Caran díAche dry pastel pencils and would like to complement those with CarbOthellos) a couple of weeks ago and I find myself unlearning some of the techniques I use for oil pastels. Now as I come across this thread, it is giving me, a beginner in this medium, major guidance. Thank you! I canít wait to finish my first pastel painting soon.
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:36 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

One thing I noticed when I first started out was a need for some more detailed descriptions of the different brands of pastels here in Wet Canvas, so I took the time to put together some of my experiences with the different pastel brands and posted it under the title, "Pastel Brands and Descriptions". I don't know how to do a link to it, sorry, but if our newbie friends may find some of the information helpful. I scoured the pages of Wet Canvas when I began looking for more information on everything, and there were lots of comments about artist's favorite pastels, things like that. There are also some posts from Dakota and other stores about the softness of the different brands, but not very much on how they behave when you actually use them a lot, which is what I've been doing the last few years. This information is so helpful to folks starting out, and I welcome others to chime in on their experiences too. There are lots of different styles and types of artists represented here from all over the world, which is just so great. You can really get an honest interpretation of anything, and you are welcome to just ask anything you want as well. Don't be shy! We're all here to help each other with something that we love, and we're eager to share.
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