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Basic Techniques for Pastels


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Drawing With the End of a Pastel
Painting with Pastels: Drawing with the End

Painting with Pastels: Drawing with the End

Image: ©2006 Marion Boddy-Evans. Licensed to About.com, Inc.

The simplest way to use a pastel is to draw with the end, holding it as you would a pencil or pen. The resultant line has great expression, conveying a sense of the gesture you made.

Alter the thickness of the line by varying the pressure you’re applying to the pastel. The harder you press, the more pastel you’ll be putting down on the sheet. For thinner lines, press more gently or use the edge.

Tip: Use your whole arm, not just your wrist, as this encourages broader, looser drawing.

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