Friday, August 17, 2007

Art Supplies: Pastels

There are several types of pastels, soft pastels, hard pastels, and pastel pencils. Soft pastels look like crayons, though they are not waxy. They are so soft that the artist can blend different pastel colors right on his paper using his fingers. Soft pastels produce very bright colors.

Hard pastels are not as bright or as soft as soft pastels. They do not blend or smudge as easily and are usually used for drawing outlines and details.

Pastel pencils are used for drawing fine details. They are like colored pencils with a softer lead. The colors are brighter than colored pencil colors but not as bright as soft pastels.

Edgar Degas, a French painter in the nineteenth century, used pastels a lot. They were perfect for creating the tutus of his many ballerinas like the ones shown here in Ballet Rehearsal.

You can buy soft pastels, hard pastels, and pastel pencils at most art supply store. If you can, try each type for yourself. Then draw a picture using all three types of pastels.

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