How to Use Chalk Pastels

Many artists use chalk pastels to create wonderful pieces of art. For those new to using chalk pastels, they can be intimidating. Chalk pastels are easy to work with and have the additional benefit of being able to remove mistakes easily. Below are some suggestions to help you work with chalk pastels.

Choose the right paper. The texture and color of your paper affects your art. Velour paper gives soft effects, while sanded paper provides textured details and soft details. Choose textured paper for a corrugated look for your art.

Use an easel. If you use chalk pastels, you are going to have loose dust. Using an easel allows the loose dust to fall downward due of gravity. Lightly tap your art paper from the back to shake off any excess dust. Do not forget to place multiple pieces of paper behind your piece to provide a cushion for it.

Create broad strokes by holding the chalk pastel between your forefinger and thumb. Use the broad side of the chalk to make a broad stoke.

Use a sharpened piece of a chalk pastel to draw thin lines. Hold the piece at an angle.

Increase your pressure while you draw with the chalk to make darker tones. This especially works if you hold the chalk and draw it sideways.

Decrease pressure while drawing with the chalk to create lighter tones.

Blend two strokes of color that are side by side with your fingers to create a burnished look.

Use soft materials to create different burnishing effects. Use cotton swabs, tissues, soft dry paint brush or a lightly wet one to create different effects.

Spray a fixative to hold your color into place. Some artists spray the fixative between layers as well as a final layer. Other artists just add a fixative layer when they are finished.

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