Pastel sec dessin executed with fragile, finger-size sticks of pigment, chalk-like in appearance, that consists of pure powdered pigments combined with a minimum amount of nongreasy binder (usually gum tragacanth before the mid-20th century and since then methyl cellulose) and often a gypsum or other inert white filler. The binder keeps the colors from sticking to one another and crumbling when applied to a support. Different makes of pastel are available, from inexpensive student-grade products to handmade, buttery professional grades.
Beyond the Crayon Box: Elevate Your Art with Professional Colored Pencils
Using a palette, and a piece of light-colored paper, experiment with blending techniques to learn how the different colours work together. When a colour is over-blended it can become dull. Try rubbing the surface of your drawing with your fingers, or the back of a soft brush to blend. You can also use a soft sponge or kneadable erasers. Avoid hard erasing, though, as this can remove too much tooth from the paper and make it difficult to create new layers on top.
Smearing is a great way to add texture and depth to your drawings. It can be messy, but it can also be liberating. Experiment with the different techniques and try smearing your paintings with a variety of external devises, such as a leather chamois or paper towel.
It is important to spend time practicing various pastel strokes, and experimenting with different compositions. It is also good to have a clear vision of the image you are creating before starting to paint. This will help you to limit your choice of colours, which can help harmonise the final result.