Pastel Tips Tutorial

The term “Pastel  Painting” is a popular oxymoron used by the art world.  I often wondered “How can a pastel drawing also painting?”

I got my answer from the video 10 Pastel Tips posted by the Virtual Art Instructor.  The application of the pastels – the process of layering and mixing colors –  is considered painting with pastels.   The painting is in the process not the materials used. Got it!

If you have about 8 minutes, watch this tutorial of 10 helpful tips to improve your “painting” with pastels.


  • CONSIDER THE SURFACE:  I haven’t purchased pastel paper yet.  Using some leftover watercolor paper for a more textured surface.  Love the amount of layers I can apply.

Wilmars picnic_2017 - Card

  • BLEND AND UNBLEND:  OMG! I can be a blending fool – smoothing out every mark. I experimented with this tip in this picnic scene.  I’ve blended sky, flowers and cloth. But left the layered marks on the basket and grass unblended.
  • STAY LOOSE AND WORK QUICKLY:  This tip helped me to start loose at the beginning of the drawing just to get the  the color on the paper.
  • BE PATIENT:  It is OK just not to rush to try to finish in one sitting, just let the art develop.  I can always return to it later.
  • FIXATIVE IS OPTIONAL: I’m now spraying fixative midway in the process before adding details.  Afterwards I don’t feel compelled to spray a final coat.  OK, maybe a spritz or two just to be safe.