Pan Pastel for beginners: Beach Scene | Joan Mansson | Skillshare

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Pan Pastel for beginners: Beach Scene

teacher avatar Joan Mansson, Joan Mansson Pastel Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. How to use applicators

    • 3. The Sky

    • 4. The Ocean

    • 5. The Beach

    • 6. Building and final touches

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About This Class

This is beginner lesson in creating a painterly drawing of a scene from Belle Aire Beach, Florida using Pan Pastels and two pencils. The paper I use is 9.5 x 12 inch Pastel Mat Paper and the project takes about an hour. 

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Joan Mansson

Joan Mansson Pastel Artist


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1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Joan Mansson. Manson fine art. And I thank you for joining me today. As I share with you this basic class in creating a beach scene using pan pastels. It's based on a photograph I took while I was vacationing in Bel Air Beach. I've included a line drawing and a list of all the materials, including the panned pastels, the pencils, the papers, the tapes that I use, all the materials, all the utensils, and a how to section on how to use the soft sponges, how to blend pen pastel colors. And step-by-step images of the project are also attached below. I do hope you'll join me in creating this beach scene. I look forward to seeing copies of your project uploaded. And I also hope that you'll be able to communicate with me and let me know if you have any questions about this project. Thank you very much. Now, Let's get started with how to use soft tools and pan pastels. 2. How to use applicators: Sofft applicators are used when applying the pan pastels to papers. These operate like a paintbrush and a little bit like a pencil. They also have larger different shapes, sponges that you can use. This oval shape that I'm using is what I generally use to apply pan pastels to. Skies or larger backgrounds. To clean them off. All you do is wipe them off on a paper towel. This is the triangular tool and it gives a nice airy flow. You can do some delicate moves, some ribbon shapes with it. And the edge will allow you to do a hard edge shape. This is the rectangular tool. You can just use a drag down to make fence posts or use it to apply the pan pastel from a side angle or applied to the tip like a pencil line. And the more you use them, the more you see what you can do with these applicators. This is the rounded edge applicator which I referred to as a finger applicator because when you pull those down, they do start to look like fingertips. Again. You can use the edges. And if you just bring it down and around, you can create a contour, a nice curved contours you would with a cylinder. And the smallest oval shape one brings out a lot of nice, fine detailing that you can do. It operates more like a brush than any of the others because of its shape, you can dab small spots. You can create leaf shapes very easily. And you can work in smaller detail. Right now, I am mixing red and blue and colorless blender to create purple. Having created that purple now, I can lift it off the paper and apply it elsewhere on the paper. And that's one of the ways that you can mix. You can mix on the surface that you're using, or you can mix it on a piece of typing paper, which this is, and then lift it off with your applicator and apply it to the paper that you're doing you're drawing on. Okay. These are Jane Davenport, baton blenders. They are a little bit longer than about five inches long. You can get applicators like this that are only about two inches long, but I find that difficult to work with. You can draw a fine edges, you can make little circles and ever really good time with them. 3. The Sky: I've applied a piece of washi tape in the middle of my paper. I'm using pastel mat paper that is white. I've applied the washi tape around all the edges so I can leave an even border. And then on top of that, I've used a painter's tape to hold it down to the clipboard that I'm using. I never used that tape on the paper because it can tear but the washi tape will lift up easily. Unfortunately also it will lift up while I'm working with it. So to hold something in place, I use both tapes. I also got the colorless blender that I'll be applying to the sky so that I can blend in better. And I'm going to be using my oval applicator. And first I'm going to apply the colorless blender to that background. I've got this. I've got the tape set so that my sky will be separated from the ocean. And I'll be able to do a cleaner line when I get to it rather than worrying about whether or not the line is straight or crooked. And I don't have to draw on the paper. Now Pastel mat has a sandy surface, not a sandy as the sandpaper that's made for pastel work. But it does have a slightly rough surface, lots of, lots of nice grooves to pick up The pastels chalk. But if you draw on it, you have to be very careful. So I would only draw with us soft pastel pencil and applied very little pressure because you can leave indentations on this paper. Now this is the turquoise. I'm using with the sky. I would use a cerulian and but I wanted to do something a little bit different, a little bit brighter. So I decided I would opt for the turquoise because there's a touch of green in that and that would blend nicely with the ocean. The Gulf Coast has a green ocean. Just like the Atlantic. Of course it varies. If you're in the islands, the ocean is very, very light, almost translucent until you get further away from the shore. But on the Gulf Coast, It's not like that. It's like being at the beach. The water is green. Sometimes murky. I'm just bringing. Pan pastel back and forth tried to make a smoother surface. I'm not that concerned with how smooth the surface will be because I'm going to be building clouds. But I do want to have a pretty solid surface. And this is the turquoise shade which has a tiny bit of black added to it. And I'm going to apply it down near the shoreline because that's where the sky is just a little bit darker. Now because I have the blender underneath and because pan pastels as regular soft pastels blend together while you're working with them. I can work from that baseline and bring it up and it will blend in and become part of that turquoise that's above it. And the further I bring it up, the more blends in until it's just not there anymore. And it's a nice easy transition. And again, all you have to do to clean off those brushes is to wipe them on a paper towel. Now I'm going to use the Titanium white pan pastel. And I'm going to create the series clouds that are at the very base. And I'm using that triangular tool because it does nice wispy lines. I can use it sideways or I can bring it long and twist it. And these are just the light clouds are in the background. And as I apply them, I apply the white from the top and blend it down. And this creates a shadow within those clouds picking up the blue from the sky behind it. So you can see it's not a pure white except where it's first touch the paper. And when you're applying the pan pastels, you're blending, you do have to pick up and add more pastels, your sponge applicators as you're working. You're not going to be able to pick it up and then cover the entire area because it's going to come off the applicator and go immediately onto the pan pastel. And what you'll be doing is dragging the color and you don't want it. You might want to, depending on the effect, but as a role that's not what you want to do. Now I'm going to be creating the clouds and I'm using the rounded edge applicator. And I'm starting with working with the edge, and I'm just working on what would be the top of the clouds. So those are the areas that would be widest. And the shadow and the clouds is created by the turquoise. Now of course, I could be adding. We're starting with the turquoise shade and then building white on top of that. But this is a simpler painting. And why I'm doing is using the blue of the sky as the shade for these clouds. And I'm only dragging a little bit when I pull the white down with the edge of the brush. But I'm just dabbing, for the most part, dabbing the white to the tops of the clouds. And they do a wonderful job of creating clouds very quickly. And I do continue to build up the white that I show a greater contrast between light and dark in those clouds. Now we get the wispy little fluffy clouds that trail along at the edge, there are always a few of those out there are there. And if when you're working with these, it seems to you that the clouds are two cottony looking. Then you can use a finger or a blending stump or a piece of tissue to rub them down a little bit and make the transition from light to shadow a little bit softer. And smooth out this surface a little bit. We're add a little bit more on the final side. I do have my reference photo directly in front of me so I am able to look up at it. Although I find as I continue whereby look less and less at the reference photo. And now that area is complete. 4. The Ocean: Okay, now I have my nice clean line between the sky and what will be the ocean. I'll be using chromium oxide green and chromium oxide green shade and chromium oxide tint. The shade has a little black added tp ot. The tent has a little white added to it. Most of it, the background will have the shade and most of the ocean we'll have the green and there will be some touches of the tint. Now before I get started, I'm going to cover the sky up with a piece of paper. And I'm going to apply the colorless blender to the bottom so that the ocean green and the beach will blend in more easily. This is really something that's very easy to do when you're just working with equal proportions or close to equal proportions and straight lines. And I don't always use the blender, but in covering such a very light it large area, I I do like to have a little edge away and make it a little bit smoother and go a little bit further. And now I'm creating my heart edge by still using that piece of paper as a ruler and effect. And I'm deciding where the top of my ocean will end because it does come down at an angle. There we go. Now I'm going to use the square applicator and a little bit as a turquoise shade and blend them together. Because the ocean at, at the very back does reflect the sky. So there is a little bit of that turquoise. And it's really so simple. You just take a dab of the blue and a dap of the green and apply them to the page. And if ever, you're, you're pastel tin gets messy. You just wipe it off with a paper towel. I do it all the time. You don't lose very much in the way of the pastels. And it's easy to clean up and get back to work. And now I'm just going to go back to using the chromium oxide green shade. When I'm done with the background. And actually when this is done blending through, you really won't even see that there's turquoise in the background. But you won't feel the reflection in that water from the sky. And I'm just using the applicator from side to side. Like I'm using the side of the pencil. Now because of the ripple effect in the ocean, I'm applying the pastels in strips and then blending it back into the background. That way I can easily capture the movement of the water and the darks and lights that come from it. And I'm just brushing the applicator very lightly across the surface, blending in the variations and the variegation on the water. And now I'm going to be using a little chromium oxide green. And I want to create some lighter areas and make them more obvious. And this is how you create contrast by adding more light and more dark. And then of course, there were a mid tones that are arise between the two of them quite naturally. When you're working with pastels, it is the basic technique that you add light to dark. Doesn't mean you can't go back over again with dark, but you add the darker colors first and then you bring in the lighter colors and build up reflection and shape and form that way. And then I can and well most assuredly go back with darker greens and change things out a little bit. If I think I've lost the contrast, I can do that. And we can see when I'm at this drawing that we got were looking out at the beach, the long view at an angle, and the beaches narrowing as you get to the top of the image and wider at the bottom of the image. And now we're going to start working with the beach. I have yellow ochre and I have raw umber and raw amber tint. And the yellow ochre tint. I have these all set aside. So I'm ready to. 5. The Beach: This is the yellow ochre tint I'm applying at the edge of the ocean and onto the beach. And this is the area where the foam will appear. And the beach of course, is darker here because it's wet. And I am running that ochre into the green of the ocean. There really aren't any solid lines beginning and ending any color. And there's always a little bit of a blend. When you're looking at nature. And this is the raw umber. I'm using the round applicator. Now once again, I'm just moving back and forth left to left to right, side-to-side with the applicator. And I'm trying to create the ripples in the sand that happened from the ripples, the foam from the ocean. No Even colors. Everything is reflective. Everything has motion. And I'm using an applicator stump, rubbing stump to blend in the younger. Just working that in circular motions. I'm pulling a little forward. And she's actually use the applicator. Some of the pastels will end up being on the tip. So you can actually bring it in and use it again is to apply color from the stump if you wish to. And this is especially common when you're working with charcoal. And this is the raw amber tint to create the color on the beach. Yes, I'm just working gently side to side. Remember that I had applied the colorless blender to the paper. So that's helping my tense. Well on the paper and to blend with each other as they meet. Everybody implies the colorless blender the same the way that I do. I apply it to an entire surface. When I know that I'm going to be blending colors on that surface. I also apply it when I'm blending two colors on another surface to create a third color. I think that's what I need. Otherwise I just blend them in the tens. But again, these are techniques that you use by learn, by experimenting and see what works best for you. And blending with pan pastels is really very simple. Not unlike blending with oil paints, acrylic paints, except that you don't need to mix them together on another palette using white charcoal pencil now to create the outline of the phone. Unfortunately, the smaller you work with panned pastels, less fine detail you can actually achieve. You can create hard edges, but it is difficult to do the very fine details. So I use charcoal pencils and pests, soft pastel pencils. And I'm using the baton blender here to the white charcoal color. Adding dabs of the titanium white pen has down. Here we go. Moving back so that I'm getting closer to the water's edge and adding more color variation underneath. The appearance of the foam is always there and there's always that white off-white bubbling up. That occurs as the water hits the sand. Lines with the charcoal pencil to create more indication of the foam coming in from the sheep. I'm just zooming in trying to get you a better close up. So you can see what I'm doing. But this way you can see I'm just doing faint squiggly lines applicator to add a little bit of light to that beach. A little bit of the white. I do want to have a little bit of a nice reflection. 6. Building and final touches: Now we're ready move on to adding the buildings and shrubbery to this seascape. And be, using the under shade. Now just the amber to create the condominium. It's a multi-story dwelling. And I'm just working in lab and levels. It really is wonderful to have this rectangular tool for creating architectural landmarks. And I'm just softly dabbing and dragging down. I'm not applying very much pressure at all. As you can see, the sky is now being covered up. And this is one of the wonderful things about the pastels is that as you work on it, even though it may carry through some of the color from beneath it. It's not completely translucent, so you're able to cover up what's underneath and build and build, and build. And of course, the Grainier or the more grain your paper has, the more you can build up. There are many kinds of papers that you can use. You can use the Canson Mi Tientes pastel papers. You can use passed on that. You can use velvet paper. There are standard paper you can use as well. In all of this, I recommend getting a sample and trying them to see what you like best. Right now I really enjoying the pastel mat paper. I still enjoy using the Canson pastel papers. And when I worked with white, just white on black surface, I enjoy using a black Bristol as well as a pastel paper because you're not doing that much building. Again, it's all about experimenting and finding out what surfaces you enjoy using the most. Now I'm going to just use the chromium oxide and the oval applicator. I'm going to add the shrubbery and the trees that though before and after behind the building. I'll also be using the tent. I'll be using yellow ocher tent. And I'm just dabbing. A little bit of the raw umber at the base of the shrubbery. It is the contrast of the light in the dark that gives you the feeling of depth. What I really like about using pastels and panned pastels as you can render of a beautiful work in a very painterly fashion. It's naturalistic, realistic, but not super realistic now hyper-realistic. So you're not looking for all the individual leaves, but you have the sense that there are shrubbery and trees. They're based on the color and the light and the shadow and how it moves back and forth. And I want to build a little palm tree and the back of that one building with a few strokes and adding a little yellow ochre, excuse me. And the reason that I'm adding that to the shrubbery, aside from giving the shrubbery a little bit of light, is that I want to blend it in so that it'll reflect the colors from the beach since I have yellow tint in the beach as well. And that way it doesn't just sit on top of it. The shrubbery is a part of the beach. And now I'm going to create windows in between the banisters on their roofs. So we have floors and banisters and windows and shrubbery and an entire little worlds on the left side of this canvas, this paper. Going to be adding a little more light and shadow. I'm using a pencil. It's a downwind soft pastel. And you'll find that not all soft pastel pencils are created equally. It's not that they're not all equally good, is all set. There are different. For instance, the Darwin is a softer pencil than the fabric Estelle. Well, I own both and use both. I prefer to use a fabric Estelle as more for study. And I use the Darwin well for study as well sometimes, but more for using with the panned pastels and the pastels themselves, the soft pastels. And that's because they are soft and they blend more readily with a heavier layer of pastel, then the fabric Estelle does because it's a harder pencil. It, if you have too much pastel applied, it's going to cause a ridge of dust. But as you can see here, not that's not happening because of the way the past else had been applied in soft, smooth layers. Okay? And now we have beautiful rendering. You have a nice long the view of a beach. Ready for framing. Now I do finish this off with a. Spray, fixative from Sennelier, which works beautifully for watercolors and pastels, charcoal. And it keeps most of the powder from the pastels from falling away. And it does have UV protection as well. But I use a very pan pastels are light fast, so they will hold up for hundreds of years. I've removed the tape and now I'm taking away the washi tape and you pull it away from the image, not down toward the image. The washi tape, most easily away from the paper. With the other masking tape, you have to be careful the longer they stay on your work, the better the chances that they're going to tear your work. And you want to be sure your fingers are clean when you do this, so that you don't put marks on the white border. And I really hope that you'll upload images of the work that you've done based on my photograph and my instruction. And I do hope to work with you again in the future. Thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you for joining me for this project. I hope to see you again for another. And remember you can watch this again and redo whatever parts you think you might need some more help with. Thank you so much for joining me. Have a great day.