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Some General Tips on Using Pastels

Pastels are in general, a fragile medium. They require a sanded durable surface because the pigments need texture to grab onto when painting in layers and when blending repeatedly.

For the pastelist using hard pastels, soft pastels, oil pastels, and pastel pencils, use our Pastelbord which was designed with all these qualities in mind. In addition, try using water soluble pastels because Pastelbord can be used wet or dry without the fear of curling or buckling. Pastels must always be framed behind glass because when they are sprayed with a fixative, the colors can be made to appear dark and dull.

Tips on Using Pastelbord

Pastelbord is a sanded absorbent durable surface. Pastels may be used alone or in combination with other media on this panel. Pastelbord works well with all types of pastels and other paints including oil and acrylics.

Try these tips to get the maximum results out of Pastelbord. It is easy to combine painting techniques with also dry drawing techniques for diverse and interesting surface control using this tip. Lay down a watercolor or acrylic wash before using your pastels. Either work over the washed surface while wet or after it has dried. For blending, use a wet brush to go back in and soften edges and blend colors.

For maximum detail, try using pastel pencils in the finishing stages. The color of the panel may be altered by applying light washes of acrylic paint or by airbrushing a new color over the surface.

To save your expensive soft pastels, start your piece using hard pastels and then cover with the soft pastels. You will use less pigment this way and achieve great results.