|Unison Colour handmade pastels|
Paper for Pastel Drawings Textured paper with enough tooth to retain the medium is the best used for pastel or charcoal drawings. The texture is formed on a cylinder mould machine by pressing the paper fibres between the cylinder mesh and the marking felt. This surface texture is known as a chain and laid line surface. A good choice for pastel drawing is Canson Ingres or Canson Mi-Teintes paper. The finished drawing should be protected either under glass (not touching the surface) or between sheets of Glassine paper to stop the pastel from smudging. There are a variety of spray fixatives which should be applied carefully to ensure the colours are not effected.
Soft Pastels Soft pastels contain a higher proportion of pigment giving excellent colour which is readily blended. These pastels tend to leave a high dust residue which needs to be intermittently blown off the drawing to prevent unplanned smudging and marks.
Water soluble Pastels These soft pastels contain a water-soluble component which allows the colours to be thinned out to an even, semi-transparent consistency using a water wash. The colours are easily blended with water applied by brush.
Hard Pastels The higher proportion of binder in hard pastels allows fine detail drawing. The colours are less brilliant than soft pastels but are ideal for adding accents or outlines to soft pastel drawings, and for preliminary sketches.
Oil Pastels The pigment is mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder making a soft, buttery consistency which fills the grain of the paper. The intense colours can be thinned with turpentine and do not require a fixative.
Browse the large range of pastels available from George Weil to find out more.
The Pastel Society UK The Pastel Society promotes the use of pastels and arranges regular workshops in pastel and dry media.