There are two different kinds of pastels. Oil and Soft Pastels. Pastels have been around since the 18th century during the Renaissance period. I think what was used back then differs from what we know today and may have been much more staining to the hands and clothes.

Pastels are made of pure pigment and a binder like gum arabic and gum tragacanth and pressed into a stick. Soft pastels leave a powdery mix behind. Now, I’ve found a use for the leftover powder that is left on the work surface or on the shelf of the easel besides the trash can. Using a clean paint brush I simply brush all of the left over pastel powder onto a piece of paper and transfer it into a small container with a lid. Over time when enough has accumulated you can add water and make a new stick for gray. Money well saved.

This first composition I did on mixed media paper made by Canson. This particular size 18 x 24 was about $22.00.


These other 2 pieces are abstract and are the same size.



The Owl was a challenge but it was a test run and an interesting experience to say the least. The Fruit was a test run as well and when drawling the tree I had to use a charcoal pencil for details.




Now this Psychedelic piece took a long time to create but it was well worth it. I made this for a friends Grand Daughter. I did it with sharpie markers and I think I’ll make a few more just for fun.


I’ll be dedicating the next several weeks to working with pastels both soft and oil pastels and develop a few techniques of my own.


These 2 compositions, ‘Hearts’ and ‘The Trees’ are on regular sketching paper 11 x 14 mounted on cardboard and framed with card stock. Done with oil pastels.



Inspired to draw an Owl I worked with a medium charcoal pencil and a dark brown pastel stick. This type of Owl is a Hawk Owl.


Again using charcoal and pastels I composed this picture of a blue and purple sky with a tree in the foreground. This picture took many layers of blue, purple, white and green pastels.



Tried my hand at another Owl. This kind of Owl is a Buffy Fish Owl. First I’ve ever hear of this type of Owl. BTW there are over 200 different kinds of Owls.


Just playing around with pastels in the picture with trees and a building.


Working with pastels to create a nice sky with an Eagle.


Happy New Year!





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