Pastel Art Blog

Using brushes to apply Panpastels

Use brushes to create soft focus backgrounds and base layers with Panpastels

Art should be fun, it's great to experiment and after floundering for a while in the world of pastels I decided to find my own way of doing things and that meant trying different, easy, inexpensive but fun ways of using this fantastic medium.

One of the things I experimented with was how to apply Panpastels, sticks and pastel pencils. I discovered that pastels can be applied like paint using brushes.

Brushes, unlike sponges, don't wear away or become bitty and damaged from sanded papers or vigorous application. Brushes can be cleaned off super easily just by brushing then onto rough kitchen roll to remove pastel dust and immediately you're good to go with the next colour.

I've found that watercolour brushes are just perfect for getting into small spaces but the action of brushing the pastel on seems to push the pastel into the surface of the paper too (especially sanded papers like Pastelmat). This helps keep pastel dust to a minimum but also gives the soft and smooth effect.

Watch the video below!

Blending make-up brushes are amazing to create soft focus backgrounds, giving and air brushed look and really makes a detailed subject stand out.In fact brushes for pastel aren't a new thing, I've found Royal Sovereign actually make various sizes of pastel brushes with an angled brush head. The larger sizes are again, great for backgrounds and the smaller ones are good for laying down base layers of subjects.

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apply pastels with brushes

If you've painted with watercolours, oils or acrylics, you could easily move over to pastels using brushes and then build on using pencils on top for the details, it would make an easy transition from a wet to dry medium.So for any of you not sure of where to start with pastels, just try whatever you feel like, if you only have pencils, get a sharp blade and scrape the end to create some loose pastel then apply this with brushes to try it before you buy Panpastels or sticks, see if it's a method you would use.

In the meantime, Happy Pastelling!

PS. Let me know what you struggle with on your pastel journey, I can make a little video or post about it to help you on your way!

Categories: panpastel


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