Mixed Media Sketch of a White Tern

White Tern.  Sketched in pastel, ink, charcoal, and white colored pencil
White tern. Sketched in pastel (~3 analogous colors), ink, charcoal, and white colored pencil

I sketched this on cheap construction paper from a dollar store immediately after a party a couple years ago.  It was my second drawing using pastel–I haven’t used it since, but would like to!  Pastel drawings can really approach the nuance of oil paintings.  Also, and this may surprise you, pastels are chemically the most stable of all paintings.  E.g., they’ll last the longest if they’re not physically disturbed (which is, unfortunately, very easy to do, even if you spray fixative onto them).

You can’t mix pastels the way you can mix paint, so you need many colors on hand if you’re depicting subtle changes in hue, intensity, or value.  Another thing is that pastels other than oil pastels break down into fine particles that may be dangerous to one’s health, so it’s important to take precautions, such as working outdoors or wearing a face mask.


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