Pastel Painting Lessons & Techniques

Soft Pastel Demo

By Dan Gray

A Calm Day

The scene , set up and weather

DF Gray

I use a portable Italian easle with a drawing board that holds various coloured paper and the finished pastels. This size is made to hold Canson Mi-tientes paper (a standard support for me). The old TV tray straps to my board which slings on my back (strap also holds easle to ground, log or fencepost in wind). Two wooden boxes for soft pastels of various brands which fit in backpack with tape and moist baby wipes.

DF Gray

First step I mark an x on the tape or corner of my paper indicating the direction of my light source. I warm up by drawing just with my hand(no pastel) to feel the flow of the composition and seeing the horizon line without marking paper(also there is muscle memory that is set) find my lights and then darks using a light touch and broad strokes this tonal study sets the composition.

DF Gray

Going in heavier with the pressure of my stroke and introducing local colours. While working I am recording the sounds, smells, movement, temperatures that provide me with ammunition to record my emotions of this day.

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