There’s a place for it all in my work. They have a velvety texture and they are very soft. I frequently get asked the question – Gail do you blend your pastels? It’s also helpful if you do any kind of landscape painting whether en plein air or in studio. It allows me to smudge and blend where required to create a soft muted look. Their appearance is quite like paintbrushes. The right surface makes all the difference for your pastel strokes. You are so right!! Blending or not, for me is a matter of your objective: Like a bold gestual painting? Therefore using pastel paper that has a grain or “tooth” for the chalk to adhere to and hold the pigment in place is advisable. Make sure that the glass does not touch the artwork after framing. Look out for my monthly picks next week. Continue to blend/layer additional colors to achieve your desired hue. Smudge and blend as much as you like, these pastel pencils are perfectly suited to layering. Let Reeves take you on a journey teaching the best practices for blending oil pastels. Charvin is a good starter set for anyone who wants to try hard pastels. They are very useful for getting into your drawing to achieve the fine detail you may require. Rembrandt is another marquis name when it comes to pastels. The brands mentioned on the list such as Faber-Castell, Strathmore, Sennelier, U.S Art Supply, Mi-Teintes, and Canson are some of the popular picks on the market. Sometimes beginners offer the wisest words! Blending can give paintings the soft polished look (for lack of a better term) such as in works from old masters, whereas not blending can offer a more raw look such as that in impressionist works. However, I am doing more pictures with areas that are not blended. View my collection. If you are searching for affordable, high-quality, and colorful pencils, you have come to the right place. PS. Yes, the blending post and video is to explain why I have the preference I do but certainly, as I said, there are some artists who do amazing things with blending!! Oil pastels are heavy, and oils from them will seep into the paper you are using. The hybrid pastel core also delivers a lot of good color without applying too much pressure on the paper, which is excellent for your hands. I love hearing about when artists use the blending method. Wonderful Janet! This allows you to create and draw without having to worry about the product you are using. Which is your preference? In this article, were going to highlight the main features of the best blending tools for oil pastels and why they are important when it comes to choosing the right one. On the UArt 400 sanded paper, some of the individual colours are seen in the blended version but the mark-making is less visible. I must say I’m much happier with my pastels since I’ve tried to follow that tip. This basic set of 30 colors is one on our list of best soft pastels thanks to the color intensity of the pure pigments used. This set is ideal for blending. Like a soft more relaxing painting? I think it came because when I first learned to paint with watercolor and acrylics I learned to layer/glaze so I applied that to pastel and came up with that smooth look. Blending is an individual choice. The benefit of using these is nice clean hands. Then I usually do an underpainting and wash it in with water or alcohol to fill in the low parts of the texture. Use a scrap piece or an old work you don’t like, one you would have discarded anyway, and play! It all depends on the subject being painted; I usually blend skies in the initial stages, for example, and finish with selected layering. Specializing in realistic animal art – be it wild animals or pets – I try to capture the individual character of every animal. I like to blend the sky and sometimes water seems to need it. Glad you enjoyed the video Ruth! In the video below, I set out to show, with sample swatches, why it is that I prefer to layer rather than blend pastels. In the meantime, this week I made a video about why I don’t blend pastels. Can you see why I prefer to layer rather than blend pastels? You can see the idea of using a piece of paper with random marks on it in my previous blog post where I paint a bathtub plug in 20 mins. That’s why they are versatile! Your email address will not be published. Layer more colors to achieve various values or even different hues. You can blend your colors together after drawing with them, using a flat edge and layering your colors. Below I explain how to use soft pastels. The artists from Britain blend quite a bit, the ones from the US are not as inclined to do so. Chamois is a type of super-soft and flexible leather that is excellent for blending colors with pastels. Some of the best brands of oil pastels are Holbein and Sennelier but besides knowing what manufacturers are best, it is also a great idea to learn more about pastels in general and what qualifies a particular brand as the best oil pastel on the market. Blending and layering are quite convenient and the pastels also work well for creating glazing effects. If you want to utilize texturing techniques like cross-hatching, dry brush and stippling, perhaps a slightly harder set like NeoPastel, Mungyo … And so I blend. It adds tremendously to areas of the art. Actually pastels can’t truly blend….what you see is the degree of granularity and the limits of our vision to see very tiny prismatic particles. They are convenient. I tend to agree. Because the pastel lovers only know to pay the attention of the favor of the pastel. Flat pastel shapers help to blend larger areas, while tapered pastel shapers assist in blending small areas. Bonus Tip: Preparing Your Surface. 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