Pastel Pencil on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes Paper

I love starting a new unit in my art classes.  My students are always so excited to move on to something new with the belief that a personal masterpiece is on its way.

Today I introduced my second year students to the joys of working with pastels.  I adore pastels.  I love that they involve drawing skills combined with vivid colors and layers of mark making.  Pastels are messy and that's part of the fun.

This year I decided to help my students ease into pastels with a fun exercise.  Long ago I discovered that you can run pastel paper through a computer printer set on a low ink setting and then "color" your image with pastels.  I've used this trick before and my students like starting a challenging new medium on a predrawn page.  This way, they get to play with the new medium without having to worry about drawing out their subject matter (which comes next.)  It takes a few attempts for most people to understand pastel techniques and its also a challenge for beginners to apply color theory.  Students get to practice both in what is a familiar coloring page.

I found a free coloring page of a sun, printed it on light blue Canson paper and turned my students loose to create using soft and hard pastels.  This is my example/demo piece.  I brought my personal pastel supplies so my students could see the variety of brands I like including my set of pastel pencils.


magic smith said…
love your blog, thankyou! i'm finding it so inspiring ive even had a go at the sun picture and a self portrait using pastels and its so much fun! the colours are beautiful. thankyou x

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