How to Work with Pastel and Crayon

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Painting Techniques:
How to Work with Pastel Paint and Art Crayons?

Artists have many mediums they can choose from, and for many, pastels and art crayons are a preferred choice, as both of these mediums utilize dry pigments. Pastel paint is made of the same pigments that are found in other mediums, mixed with a neutral hued inert binder. Art crayons come in a variety of types, from oil crayons to watercolor crayons, and add a sense of brilliance to a drawing that is hard to match. There are many tips to help artists new to the medium get started, and the next few paragraphs will help provide those tips.

One similarity between almost all pastels and art crayons is that each can be blended easily after application to produce a beautiful and unique effect. This can blend the colors of the pastel palette together seamlessly and add a touch of realism to any drawing, dulling and muting sharp lines and edges.

Pastels and art crayons are a preferred choice for many artists

For artists just beginning to use pastel crayons, it is recommended to draw using the edge of the crayon. This provides a uniformity of lines, with better definition, and also helps the pigment to better adhere to the surface of the drawing.

Another tip is to adjust the pressure you put on the crayon depending on the intensity of the color you wish to portray. Gentler strokes result in a lighter line, while hard strokes will result in a bright, intense color. The simple adjustments in stroke pressure can create a number of colors and impressions from a single color on the pastel palette.

For blending colors, there are two unique properties of art crayons that intrigue artists. First, coloring over one colored area with a second color will result in a blended color, like coloring over a blue area with a yellow pastel would create a green area where the colors overlap. It is also possible to blend colors so that one seamlessly transforms into the other, rather than a sharp line dividing two colors. To achieve this, simply rub a fingertip around the area where the two colors meet. This will blend the two colors, creating a unique merging of color.

One benefit that artists of all skill levels tend to appreciate with pastel paint or art crayons is the ability to easily correct mistakes. A kneaded art eraser gently dabbed on the area will significantly lighten the color, making it easy to correct or color over without a discernible sign of the original color. It should be noted, however, that this only works with firmer paper and is dangerous to exceptionally thin papers.

In short, while there is no specific instruction for how an artist must use pastel art crayons, there are a number of tips to make drawings have a more blended and seamless appearance. Art is always subjective, and a pastel palette is simply a tool for artistic expression. How you choose to use it and what you choose to create is ultimately up to you.

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How to work with pastel paint and art crayon?