How to Draw Like a Professional with Pastels

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How to Draw Like a Professional with Pastels

Artists use pastels to present brilliant colours in an easy flowing manner. Pastels allow artists to create detailed drawings more quickly than any other type of drawing method. By following a few steps, artists can learn how to draw professional-looking art with pastels.


How to Choose Pastels

The first step in learning how to draw like a professional with pastels is choosing a set of pastels. Pastels consist of pure colour pigments held together with a special binder. Artists can choose amongst hard, soft, and oil pastels based on the type of binder they want in the pastel. Hard and soft binders differ mostly in the amount of water mixed into the pastel, which translates into pigment intensity. Oil pastels typically require experience to work with, since oil binding pastels allow less room for blending error. Aspiring pastel artists should buy the largest set of pastels that they can afford to eliminate the need to blend colours. Some manufacturers group pastel sets by the type of painting, such as landscape, portrait, and seascape paintings.


Selecting the Right Paper

Pastels require the right surface. Artists should utilise paper that manufacturers produce for pastel drawing. Pastel watercolour paper possesses the right combination of oil content and acidity to hold pastel colours intact. Manufacturers create pastel paper with varying degrees of roughness and texture to account for different pastel drawing expertise levels. Artists who want to draw like professionals with pastels should consider less embossed paper, which allows artists to layer and modify drawings. Choosing the right paper for pastels greatly influences the quality of pastel drawings.


Learning the Shading Technique

Artists can draw like professionals with pastels by using different techniques. However, the shading technique is the easiest technique to learn and it easily creates professional looking pastel drawings. The shading technique allows artists to either hand blend or soft brush blend colours in a drawing. Hand or soft brush blending prevents pastel colours from losing vibrancy. Shading involves gently rubbing over the original colours to produce a thin upper layer of the original colour. Using a pastel stick, artists hand blend colours by moving the pastel stick from left to right and vice versa. Soft brushes create a much richer colour tone, especially amongst colours that contrast in brightness.


Using the Cross Hatching Technique

Although shading can produce professional pastel drawings, artists who have mastered line picture drawing should consider the cross hatching technique. Cross hatching requires artists to blend two lines that move in different directions. The colour contrast appears greater than the colour contrast created by the shading technique. For example, blending a light green line with a dark green line produces a significant colour change. The cross hatching technique requires a steady hand and creative vision for the drawing to turn out professionally.

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