Enjoying pastels


Melinda Looney Ho

Try this easy fun piece of art. Draw or outline a large leaf using school glue. After the glue dries, fill each section of the leaf with different pastel colors. Spread the color using a tissue and enjoy your masterpiece.

Melinda Looney Ho

In the 16th century, an art form that allowed vibrant colors and mixing began to appear. Still used today, pastels offer a very versatile medium for a range of line thicknesses and surface treatment.

“I love making art with pastels because they produce brilliant colors and you can just dive in without needing brushes,” website writer Thaneeya McArdle said.

Many people enjoy using pastels. The color-sticks make drawing easy and blending hues fun. Various different types of pastels are available; each have some unique qualities.

Most commonly used, soft pastels provide a good introduction to this medium at any age. Soft pastels tend to be broader than other types of pastels, layer and blend well, and break up easily.

Hand in hand with soft pastels, artists use hard pastels. Their texture helps with detailing and maintaining harsher, thinner lines.

“I use hard pastels for the tiny veins and eyelashes when I draw eyes,” freshman Lalitha-Lavanya Konda said.

For a more paint-like finish, oil pastels, which are rich on wax and oils instead of chalk and gum, let the artist paint in thicker layers. The colors are intense; nevertheless, they can be difficult to use and achieve finer detail.

Working with pastels can be messy, so wear the right attire and work in a suitable place where a little mess is okay.

“When I work with art I have a special apron over my clothes” freshman Yasmine Guediera said.

Also, to avoid undesirable smudges, blow off the excess color bits on a separate piece of paper.

People of all ages are able to make art with pastels. It is a medium that has withstood the test of time.