For a while now I have been considering experimenting with pastels. I have debated back and forth if I wanted to try working with oil pastels or soft pastels. I used to work exclusively in oil paints so I was tempted to go that direction with the pastels. However, I do live in a small motorhome and after researching oil pastels I learned that they never actually dry, like oil paints do. So, keeping them from damage is actually impossible, I am can not frame and hang the finished work.
So, I settled on soft pastels. I was still not convinced of what I might be able to accomplish with them, so I was not willing to spend a lot of money up front. We went to Michael's on Saturday and I picked up a really cheap set. $5 for 48 colors. I don't think these could even be considered student line, let alone high quality. Anyway, I got them out this afternoon along with a really cheap pad of paper that I picked up for doing quick sketches and sketched out an eye.
I have always been very unsure about skin tones until I read a really intersting formula this morning. 2 warm colors + 1 cool color + gray = skin tones. I decided to try it out. I used a dark gray to lay down the initial sketch, then use a light brown (this color containing both a warm and a cool color) then I layed a light pink on top. I liked it ok, but it seemed a little dull, so I tossed in a bright yellow and some bright white in the highlighted areas.
I must say, I was rather pleased. I only spent 5 minutes on this and the results are rather satisfying for that amount of time. I think I am going to use these pastels for our Virtual Sketch Date this month. If it come out OK, then I will go ahead and invest in a higher quailty set.
Here is a photograph of the sketch along with the package that the pastels came in.
If anyone has any comments or advise on using pastels, I welcome them. I suspect I am going to enjoy working with this medium.