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Information, Choices, Techniques and Advice on all Pencil Matters

COLOURED PENCILS - WATERCOLOUR PENCILS - PASTEL PENCILS

Over 150 detailed pages of information for beginners and improvers to help you develop your skills

PENCIL TOPICS

OCTOBER 2017    

WILL ALL READERS PLEASE NOTE

This is the OLD version of the topics web site.

It has been archived here at www.colouredpenciltopics.co.uk

as it contains old tutorials and charts no longer included in the new build of the site. This site is no longer updated

Pastel Pencils


Often regarded by artists who use the traditional wax or oil based coloured pencils

 as the messy variety of CP.

but

To artists who are fans of pastels, they are the clean variety of soft pastels.



This section looks at the brands that are available on the European market, how they differ,

What the ranges are, and to point up any major advantages and disadvantages.

Like the rest of this site, we have no sponsorship and tell it how we see it.


We also include the pastel sticks produced by the pastel pencil manufacturers.

We do not look at soft pastels and pastel sticks produced by non-pencil manufacturers.  

We have to draw the line somewhere !


It could be argued that the sticks which we do include, are not pencils.

The point of including them is that the content of the sticks

from people like Faber-Castell, Cretacolour and Derwent etc,

is identical to the pastel content in their pencil ranges and of equivalent hardness.  


The sticks can therefore be readily used to produce the base layers of a picture

and then have detail worked over the top with pastel pencils.

The pastel material is the same, just the tool to put it down on the paper differs


After fixing with a spray, the pastel pencil surface will also take final detailed working with CP

- but that is covered in more detail in the Mixed Media section of this site.


There is also a section included here which looks at different surfaces suitable for pastel

And one that looks at the main techniques


SEE BELOW FOR THE LINKS TO SPECIFIC TOPICS IN THIS SECTION

DEMONSTRATIONS -  There is a small step by step of a still life in this section which shows basic methods.  

There is also a more advanced step by step in the Mixed Media section showing the underpainting development in Pastel Pencil of a view at the Abbey of Bellapais, near Kyrenia, in Northern Cyprus.  

There is also one of the Underpainting method in ‘Cottage Entrance’ - in the same section


Annecy Reflections Detailed Step by Step  on two long pages

 a large step by step example of a Landscape subject in Pastel Pencils has been posted here with detailed explanations of the stages and the reasons for the actions.  

This exercise was completed for Caran d’Ache as a commission, and the notes were requested to accompany their product publicity.  

The pencils and pastel sticks used were from the pre-production line and were not the finished product, so no colour names were available at the time the picture was completed.

The new Caran d’Ache line includes 84 colours and is sold in sets of the full colour range, smaller collections, and also smaller dedicated sets of 20 Landscape colours and of 20 Portrait colours.  The Landscape and Portrait sets will have 20 pencils and 20 cubes in the boxes.

Details of prices and suppliers are given in the pages here on Pastel Pencil Brands)


Winter Village step by step

After the forthcoming beginners pastel pencil course on November 5th, I will post up the step by step of the picture that the students will have completed.  This will also be available as a download in PDF format

The picture is worked with a range of different pastel pencil brands and also some hard (carre) pastels as a foundation and is shown on Hahnemuhle Pastelfix dark blue paper.  Source reference is a photo by Michele Challaux of her local village of Corcelles les Monts near Dijon in France.

LINKED PAGES


PASTEL PENCIL BASICS    

 PASTEL PENCIL BRANDS      

PASTEL PENCIL SURFACES      

PASTEL PENCIL TECHNIQUES


Step by Step Exercise - ANNECY REFLECTIONS

PASTEL PENCILS & Hard Pastels Next Page

JUST FOR A  MOMENT LET US CONSIDER WHAT IS ‘DIFFERENT’ ABOUT PASTEL AS AN ART MEDIUM

It all comes down to the way it handles on the paper.

Traditional Watercolour or Acrylic stays mobile on the surface until it dries

It dries quickly

and it stays where it is put.

You can paint over it ( well, up to a point with watercolour which is not quite as ‘fixed’ as acrylic)

But Watercolour and Acrylic pretty much stays where you put it.


Oil painters have a totally different medium.

One which is mobile on the surface for quite a long time before it dries..

This gives artists a chance to work the surface, adding in more colour and blending colours together.

Unless you add mediums to make it dry quicker, it can take weeks to dry

Making it easy to go back and re-work and re-blend


Pastel has more similarities to Oils than to Acrylic.

You can work the surface and blend more colour into the existing image.

But being a dry pigment at the outset, it doesn’t need to dry.

What you put down on the surface is what you get.

It will always be workable - even years later.

This will always be a fragile surface

This is why we need to protect it from scuffs and handling.

Pastel is best behind glass, in a frame and mount, as quickly as possible.


It can be ‘fixed’ with a fixative spray which adds a coat of varnish over the image.

But this will also affect the colours and darken them.

There is less reflected light coming off the pigment when it is behind a coat of varnish.

The reflection of light off the crystals of pigment is what makes Pastels such a lovely medium.

It makes the images ‘glow’.


Using pencils to work a pastel picture gives us the opportunity to work much more cleanly

than working with traditional soft pastel

And in much more detail.


Pastel is a lovely ( if messy ) medium

Pastel Pencils have the advantage of being cleaner to use

Latest revision March 2016

NEW PASTEL PENCIL COURSES

with Peter Weatherill


Knuston Hall have scheduled new Pastel courses

Introduction to Pastel Pencils

The next scheduled outing is on Friday May 19th 2017


This last May 2017 ‘day’ is followed immediately by a weekend course from Friday evening through to Sunday Afternoon on May 21st 2017.

You can book the one day or the three days together.

Some accommodation is available for those who need to travel but the day courses start at 9.15am and finish around 4-30pm, so some students may be local enough to treat it as a day out.

All materials necessary will be loaned/ supplied.

You can bring artists grade materials if you wish, but the main item required is yourself.


The one day courses will be covering basic techniques and materials, the use of hard Carre pastels for underpainting, the framing and care of completed pictures

and the demonstration over the course of the day of a simple coastal / sky scene,

which students will have the opportunity of completing to take home

The weekend course will look at a larger and more finished picture and will allow more time for discussion on more advanced techniques


Contact Knuston Hall,  Wellingborough, Northamptonshire  on

(UK) 01604 362200 if you are interested



Pastel pencils are not regarded as a ‘Coloured pencil’ by the International Coloured Pencil societies.

They treat only the Wax variety of pencil as being the true Coloured ( or ‘Colored’ .. in the USA ) pencil.


As new varieties of coloured pencil are developed, the strict rules are regularly re-written, but the consistent cry through the years has been that Pastel Pencils are NOT coloured pencils.

However Pastel Pencils are certainly Pencils

and they are also Coloured.

So as far as this web site is concerned, they are ‘coloured pencils’

They are certainly different from wax pencils in how they handle, but that doesn’t mean that this site will ignore them.

There follows a Topic on Pastel pencils and Hard Pastels to give you some basic information on buying and using them.  ‘Hard’ Pastels have the same formulae as the pencils they match, they are simply without the wood cover. They draw the same and they work the same… they are just easier to use for the early blocking in layers of a picture and to cover larger areas

This section includes several Topics

You can reach them using the links below

This section is an introduction  to a set of pages looking at  the basics, the brands, the surfaces, and the techniques

JUNE 2016

This page is under

revision to include more data on hard pastels

Winter Village.   Pastel on Pastelfix support  2016