1. Introduction


This site is intended as a resource for beginning and intermediate level artists seeking to learn or refine chalk pastel painting skills. Pastels fall into two categories, oil and chalk pastels. The two are completely different. Here we will focus on the latter. The terms "soft pastels" and "chalk pastels" refer to the same thing. Pastels also come in the form of pastel pencils and "hard pastels". It's just a matter of the proportion of binder to pigment that makes a chalk pastel soft or hard. Soft pastels blocks are best for blocking in and blending subtleties into the image, while pastel pencils/hard pastels allow for detail and contrast and help the underlying construction of the drawing to hold true. You might use only hard pastel pencils if you are making a pastel drawing as opposed to a full-color painting.



The first step in making a good pastel painting is in picking the right supplies, the first of which is...

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