Painting is basically discovering the divine world of colors and different style of paintings. There are many different kinds of painting styles and techniques that require different material and approach. Among them, all pastel painting is a bit tricky but easy to master. Generally, pastels are of two types, hard and soft, each has different use and require a different technique to paint. Like, hard pastels are good for sketching, outlining, and highlighting required elements in a painting. On the other hand, soft pastels are used to make bold strokes, broad line, and fin details. If you are a beginner in pastel painting, you will find it unique and quite different from other forms of paintings.

Either a beginner or an expert, adopting soft pastels techniques is an amazing way to expand your knowledge and grab expertise in a new form of painting. However, there are various things to take into consideration before painting with pastel colors. Some of the tips and tricks to painting are mentioned- below.

Soft Pastels Drawing Tips for Beginners

Understanding the soft pastels

If you are footing your step for the first time in the world of pastel colors then you must know what to do and how to paint with soft pastels. You must have complete knowledge about the medium you are going to use and its full potential also. In order to master a skill or technique, you need to go into its depths to know its formation and roots. This will help you to hone your skills better and get your hands on painting with soft pastels easily. Soft pastels are made using pigments of colors blended with soft binder together to hold it. Different from other pastels, soft ones have higher pigment and less binder that is why they are brighter and bolder.

Soft pastels paintings are an ancient past that people used to find in a renaissance. But, they became popular when many famous artists started to use this medium as a matter of choice in their paintings.

Selecting the surface

After getting a little knowledge about pastel colors now its time to choose the surface to make a fantastic painting. Soft pastels are very exciting medium to paint with but they blend easily after coming in contact with anything. Choosing the right surface to paint with pastel is not a daunting task, you just have to choose the surface with the right texture so that you can paint easily. Majority of your technique of using soft pastels depends upon the texture of the paper you are painting on.

Learning the techniques to paint with soft pastels

Now that you know everything about the pastel color and surface selection, its time to learn some tricks and techniques to master this art. There is nothing right or wrong in painting with pastels. Here are some tips to learn techniques:

Drawing with flat end

It is the simplest way to use pastel colors. The flat end of the pastel color allows you to outline the paintings. You can create smaller or thin elements using the edge of the pastel colors. Sketching is also possible using the edge of colors and also you can give shades and add detailing to your wall art of people with it.

Using the edges of soft pastel

When you want to draw broad lines, fill large blocks and work quickly, use the broad edge of pastel. It helps you to fill in colors faster and smoother. You just have to make sure to color in a straight line in order to paint line. For better result break the colors into two parts and then use the edge of the color. It will help in giving the perfect touch and color to your painting. In addition, you can create different versions with the same pastel by altering the pressure. It can only be done with soft pastel.

Learning hatching and cross-hatching

If you are an artist or familiar with the technique of painting, then you must have tried or heard of this technique. However, it best to try this technique with pencil and hard pastel. Hatching is the process of drawing a fine line close to each other. On the other hand, cross-hatching is just added to more fine line opposite to the hatching process.

Blending in

In contrary to other painting colors, pastel is blended after putting them on the paper. There are basically two ways to create variations in the colors- optical blending and simple blending. Optical blending is much similar like hatching where colors are blended keeping them nearby. On the other hand, simple blending is just mixing the colors on the paper. You can use different types of tools to blend the colors including cotton ball, brush, and rubber. Besides, soft pastels blend beautifully with the fingertips. If you want to protect your hands, you can even wear surgical gloves.
Pro tip: Do remember to clean the blending tool or finger before switching to blend the different color.

Learn the art of scumbling

You can achieve optimal vibrancy with pastel colors that are the best advantage of using these colors. It is one of the best technique to learn and if you master this method, nothing can beat you. Use softest pastels to try this method. Scumbling is dragging a soft pastel across the side of the already painted part.


Sometimes scumbling doesn’t work in many cases and people trying it usually blend the colors. So, in that case, try dusting. You just have to block the paper over the block of the color and scrape the surface of pastel to create dust. When you are satisfied with the density of color use a knife and flatten the dust on the surface.

In Final Words

Now that you know all about pastel painting you can create your own wall art of beaches. Master the art of pastel colors and become an expert artist.