Sunsets, the smallest shifts in water hues and slight lines etched across an aging man’s or woman’s face are the types of subtle changes you can pick up as an artist while using pastel pencils. The best pastel pencils have smooth colored cores. They also are bendable, yet strong. Light fast colors in the pencils do not fade easily. If you’re looking to tone or stump objects in drawings or sketches, choosing to use a pastel pencil could prove to be a very smart decision.
The spectrum of colors and tints in pastel pencils at Plaza Art allow you to achieve a velvety finish. Other advantages you get while using the pencils include a powdery texture and detail. You could use a razor or small knife to sharpen the pencils. This technique allows you to get a jagged edge when applying detail to sketches and drawings.
Artists like Peter Weatherill have used this sharpening technique successfully. He’s sketched and filled in ocean side houses with his pastel pencils. Michael Pearce is another artist who is known for drawing with pastels. When discussing a sunset drawing he created, Pearce shares with The Wichita Eagle that, “I made it to the Wildlife Loop just in time to watch the settling sun work its magic. For a while the sky was so brilliantly orange it could have been stamped “Sunkist,” and it eventually mellowed into a procession of pastels with peaceful purples, reds, blues and brassy golds.”
The brand of pastel pencils artists use vary. Among popular brands are Conte, Derwent, Faber-Castell and Stabilo CarbOthello. Some brands are known more widely for being water soluble, while others are known for being opaque. This combination allows you to use the pencils similar to how you use watercolor pencils.
A benefit some of these major brands offer is more pigment; this allows you to add more color to detailed lines or fillings. As a tip, the more pure the pencils are, the smoother the pencils are. While using these quality pencils, you may feel as if you’re creating fluid strokes.
Furthermore, just as you can work with a soft pastel pencil, you will also find it advantageous to work with hard pencils. Hard pastels are made with clay binders. While working with hard or soft pastels, you may want to work from dark to light colors. Although both types of pencils offer a myriad of benefits and advantages, you may find that colors in the pencils are not easy to mix with liquid paints during the pre-mixing process.
If you do use the pencils with paint, mix the colors on paper using your finger or another durable tool. Let the paint dry and determine if the mixed colors give you the tint, texture and hue you want. Do the same when mixing pencil colors. It can keep you from putting an hour or more into a project only to discover that certain blends are keeping you from getting the pigment, detail and texture you need to create your best work.