3 Ways to Play with Soft Pastels | Niki Hilsabeck | Skillshare
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7 Videos (1h 8m)
    • Introduction

    • Lesson 1: Dry Pastel Exercise

    • Lesson 2, Part 1: Water-Brushed Pastel (Underpainting and Blending)

    • Lesson 2, Part 2: Water-Brushed Pastel ( Final layer of Dry Pastel)

    • Lesson 3, Part 1: Pastel on Mixed Media (Acrylic)

    • Lesson 3, Part 2: Soft Pastel on Oil Pastel

    • Lesson 3, Part 3: Pastel on Collage


About This Class

Are you curious about different ways to use soft pastels?  Pastel is a versatile medium, and this class is a great opportunity to experiment!  In each lesson, I'll demonstrate a different way to explore using your soft pastels:

  • Dry pastel on paper (1 painting)
  • Water-brushed pastel on watercolor paper (1 painting)
  • Combining pastel with other media such as paint and collage (3 mediums, 3 paintings)

Paint along as I demonstrate different ways to use soft pastels!  By the end of this quick introductory class, you'll have variety of options to try out your pastels at home.  I'll take you through one subject (a bird) in dry pastel, water-brushed pastel, and pastel on mixed media (acrylic, oil pastel, and collage).  Please see the project description to download a basic bird template if you'd like to use one to paint along.

Materials List

All lessons:

Printed template (optional-- see project description to download attachment)

Soft pastels (Ultramarine blue, light blue, Violet, lavender, warm gray light, Payne's gray or dark gray, lemon yellow, white, red ochre or orange)

Painting board and masking tape

Lesson 1:

1 sheet Drawing paper or pastel paper (I'll be using Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper)

Lesson 2:

1-2 sheets watercolor or mixed media paper (5 x 7, 9 x 12 are good sizes)

Water and paintbrush (suitable for watercolor)

Paper towels recommended

Lesson 3 (If you want to paint along with demo):

Mixed media paper

Acrylic paint (ultramarine blue, cadmium red)

Water, brushes, paper towels

Oil pastels (same colors as soft pastels)

Pre-made bird underpainting (from template used in lesson 1 and 2) to use soft pastels on-- 1 acrylic, 1 oil pastel sketch, one torn paper collage-- follow same process as first 2 lessons to create underpainting (just change the medium to fit each part of the lesson).

Teacher's Note: Please do not hesitate to message me if you need any help throughout the class!  I am used to classroom teaching and will be happy to assist you at any step of the class.





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Niki Hilsabeck

Artist from Fallbrook, California

I'm an artist from Fallbrook, California.  I have spent many years teaching, painting, and writing.  I especially love to teach children!


                                   Layered wet and dry pastel on gessoed watercolor paper

Why I love pastels:

Soft pastels are so versatile!  I can use them dry, brush them with water, layer them over acrylic, o...

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