Soft Pastels is a wonderful medium. This normally comes in chalk form, Chalk like soft pastels are more popular as they produce a beautiful, velvety texture and are easy to blend with your finger or cloth. Chalk pastels are made up of a pigment and held together by a gum binder. It has chalky consistency that produces intense color. They are easy to use and allow to layer and mix colors on the surface. Soft pastel drawing has many of the characteristics of a finished painting that is why it is also considered as Painting medium. This medium is also considered as a traditional medium for creating art.
They are available in the form of round or square sticks in the range of more than 500 colors! Soft pastels drawings need to be protected, either by framing under glass or by spraying with a fixative to prevent smudging.
Unlike oil pastels, they do not require any sort of solvents for clean up or blending purposes. Reeves soft pastels come in a wide array of colours from very bright to incredibly subtle meaning – you’re sure to find the right hue for your next masterpiece. The bendable nature of soft pastels makes them a versatile tool with a multitude of techniques to explore, not to mention plenty of scope to invent your very own techniques.
For beginner artists, soft pastels are the ultimate tool to not only master new techniques but to play around with colour and have fun with a new medium. Don’t be afraid of these magic colour wands, they are a great addition to any novice artist’s craft box.
Not all soft pastels are created alike! They are available in three different strengths, very soft, medium soft and not very soft (yes, that’s the technical term). When you are looking for soft pastels for beginners start out with medium soft pastels, from there, branch out to either end of the soft pastel spectrum.
Soft pastels can emit quite a lot of dust when they are being used so be sure to create your piece in a well-ventilated space when you are using them. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny outdoor spot, that would be ideal, especially when working on larger pieces.
Because soft pastels have somewhat delicate characteristics, having a fixative on hand to finish your work with is recommended. There are a number of different artist fixatives that will stop any smudging, flaking or damage to your finished creation. Adding a layer of fixative to a work in process is also a common technique (which you will learn more about later). If you are not sure about which fixative to buy, consider getting a cheap can of hairspray to act as a budget-friendly alternative. Hairspray is not going cut it for professional work and has its downsides but will do the job nicely for your initial experimenting.