Got one to sell?

Get it in front of 160+ million buyers.
Artists' Pastels

Make Art With Pastels

Artists' pastels allow you to experiment with the application of dry pigment on paper or canvas. Their low level of saturation makes it easy to blend colors and create shades and tonal effects with just the stick, paper, and your fingers. Using artists' pastels is a good way for a beginner to get started with different types of drawing and painting techniques.

How do you choose pastels?

When you're looking at different types of pastels, you'll notice there are different materials and forms available. To choose pastels, consider their:

  • Hardness: Pastel pencils and chalks are the hardest. They are ideal for sketching and detailed drawings.
  • Dryness: Chalk pastels are the driest type, and they are good for detail work and shading. Oil pastels are the softest, and they work well for gradients.
  • Form: Wax and oil pastels are available as a paste or stick. Chalk pastels come in stick form. Pastel pencils look like standard pencils and can be sharpened.
  • Quality: Artists' pastels have a higher pigment-to-binder ratio. Student pastels have a lower ratio.
Can chalk and oil pastels be used on the same canvas?

Yes, oil and chalk pastels can be used on the same piece of art. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Use the oil pastels or pastel pencils to sketch shapes.
  • Fill in the dark areas with the oil pastels.
  • For light areas, lay down a light layer of oil pastel.
  • Apply a light layer of chalk pastel onto the light areas and background spaces.
  • To create texture, use a toothpick or your fingernail to scratch away some of the oil pastel.
  • Use a dry brush to remove unwanted pastel.
Which application techniques can be used with wax pastels?

There are five techniques to use with wax pastels. You can draw with the point, like you would with a pencil. The second technique is drawing with the side, which works well for filling in large spaces. Hatching and cross-hatching create shade and texture with parallel and perpendicular lines in one or more colors. Blending is another technique. Use a pastel palette to mix small amounts of chalk, wax, or oil pastels. After mixing with your finger or a brush, apply the blended pigment to the paper or canvas. Scumbling is the fifth technique. To do this, apply one color, and then use a second on its side, rolling it over the paper or canvas.