Still life pastel: technology description, features
Still life pastel: technology description, features

Video: Still life pastel: technology description, features

Video: Still life pastel: technology description, features
Video: When he see’s the photo!😮😱 #Shorts 2023, October

Very often beginning artists cannot decide on the material. Often the choice is between watercolor and oil. However, there is another group of artistic materials - "soft". It is pastel. This stuff is nice and easy to work with.

Pastel drawings

Still life is the most artificial genre, both in painting and graphics. In this case, the choice and location of all objects is determined not by the real situation, but by the composition itself and its requirements.

still life pastel
still life pastel

However, a still life with pastel should not convey reality at all, there are photographs for this. The artist is capable and en titled to his own fantasies and original depiction of objects, thanks to which works are created that look like a dream. The master builds tonality, trying to find harmony in his drawing.

History of pastels

The history of pastels begins in the 15th century. This material is mentioned in the writings of Leonardo da Vinci. However, the French word itself began to be used much later - in the middle of the 17th century. It means "paste" in Latin. Morelight shades were obtained by grinding pure pigments with chalk. This is where the well-known word “pastel” came from.

This material was actively used by Renaissance artists and representatives of the New Age (Ingres, John Russell and many others). Later, the technique became popular among the Impressionists. Pastel was painted by Pierre Bonnard, Edgar Degas and many others.

What is the pastel for drawing

There are three types of pastel crayons:

  • Oiled. It is best to choose them if you have certain skills, because it is rather problematic to correct what has already been drawn.
  • Dry crayons are the best option for beginners. They are easy to shade, erase with an eraser and cover with a different color. With the help of this material, beginners get beautiful pastel still lifes with fruits.
  • Wax paints lay down with a beautiful glossy layer, but working with them is not easy, because they are not shaded.

It is not customary to combine several types of crayons in one work. And for beginners, as mentioned above, it is best to opt for dry pastel crayons.

still life pastels for beginners
still life pastels for beginners

In work, it is necessary to take care of the finished drawing and the crayons themselves. Dry pastel is perfect for sketches, quick sketches or long productions. Thanks to all its properties, dry crayons are perfect for lovers of expression and long painstaking drawings.

The only disadvantage of this material isthat it requires special storage conditions for finished works. There are rules that every artist must follow:

  1. So that the still life with pastels does not crumble over time, it must be opened with a special fixative.
  2. Paintings should be protected from sunlight.
  3. Finished works are stored in a separate folder, laying tracing paper between them.

Required materials and tools


Before creating a still life with pastel, the sheet must be placed vertically or at an angle. It is in this position that it is most convenient to transfer lines from nature and evaluate the overall picture. Therefore, it is worth getting a tablet or an easel that you can lean against the back of a chair or table.

still life pastel drawings
still life pastel drawings


Demonstrate the maximum possibilities of pastel crayons only by using special tinted corrugated paper. Moreover, in specialized stores it is worth buying special albums, which contain paper of several shades, between the sheets of which sheets of tracing paper are placed.

Pastel crayons

Quality pastel will never be cheap. But with rational use, one set will last a long time. At the same time, you should not chase a large number of flowers: 12-14 will be enough.

When choosing a suitable material for yourself, you need to pay attention to how it lays on the paper (the layer should be velvety, while small crumbs should not remain on the paper).

still life pastel drawings
still life pastel drawings

Spongesand brushes

In the work, you can use flat brushes or a sponge - it all depends on your own preferences. However, at the initial stage, it is worth working with your fingers. Thanks to this technique, you will be able to better feel the material and understand how best to achieve this or that effect.


Still lifes painted with pastel must be opened with a special varnish. However, in its absence, hairspray can serve as an alternative. The sprayer during application is placed at a distance of about 30-40 cm from the picture.

Features of technology

The main thing you need to be able to do in such work is to see colors. When drawing from nature, one should understand how some objects cast shadows on others. It is necessary to use different shades, and not blindly paint over the subject from one edge to the other with one color.

Special attention should be paid to the direction of strokes. They are not imposed arbitrarily, but according to the shape of the object. So all the elements are more voluminous. Large areas of the same color are most conveniently covered by placing the crayons flat.

You must always work evenly on the drawing. You should not take on the image of any one object. First of all, they cover all the bright places, then all the dark ones, and at the end they highlight highlights and active accents.

The advantages of dry pastels when doing still lifes

Often, dry pastels are produced in the form of special pencils or crayons. It allows you to create fairly thick strokes. Still life with dry pastel is obtained with a more elegant structure. Furthermore,colors can be quickly shaded or diluted with other shades.

Still life oil pastels

Oil pastel allows you to achieve especially bright colors and accents. This material is distinguished by its "softness", it is a little "greasy". It is very easy and pleasant to work with them, but you can get carried away, forgetting about the shape of objects and their volume. Therefore, you need to get acquainted with oil pastels after you have mastered dry pastel crayons.

still lifes with oil pastels
still lifes with oil pastels

Still life with pastels in stages

Painting a still life

Any work begins to be drawn as if all objects are transparent. This method will help you get an idea of the shape of each item and their location in relation to each other.

Moreover, it is best to use additional horizontal and vertical lines to help depict symmetrical objects with the correct shape.

Applying colors and tones

This stage of work involves sketching the background. In doing this, it is necessary to soften the texture of the pastel and blend the colors, making the transition smoother. For these purposes, use a fabric or shading.

And although a still life begins to be drawn from near objects, however, this process can be started from the end. This improves the accuracy and sharpness of the work. By depicting objects on a ready-made background, you can avoid gaps between the background and the object.

still life pastel step by step
still life pastel step by step

Study of secondary objects

After the background and the main objects are painted over, you need to go towork with secondary objects. We must not forget about the white highlights and smoothing out the rough texture with the help of fabric and feathering. Before applying color, you need to outline areas of shadows on each of the objects.

Color correction

When all the colors, shades, shadows and highlights are ready, you need to work separately on the harmonious balance of colors and contrasts - in this way it will be possible to increase the expressiveness of the still life perception. This can be done by increasing the contrast between the tones of the background and objects in the foreground. All objects must be at the same level of contrast.

Final stage

Finishing the still life with pastels, you need to increase the tonal contrasts on lighter objects. This can be done with sharp shadows and shadows located on these objects.

To create the darkest areas, you can use all sorts of shades of red, blue, brown and dark green. While small areas of white are used to create highlights.

In addition, at the final stage, you need to use black, with its help you can deepen the darkest areas. Black is used in the last step because it always overpowers the brightness and freshness of other shades.

still life pastel step by step
still life pastel step by step

When creating a still life with pastels, novice artists often make the mistake of underestimating the contrast of shades. This is obtained by mixing several colors. To prevent this from happening, the difference between light and dark tones is increased before mixing. Thanks toThis technique compensates for the loss of contrast after blending.

How to store or move finished work

Finished work can be stored in many ways. If the picture is not fixed anywhere, then you need to pick up sliding paper and wrap the picture in it. However, you need to check if all the masking tape and the curves are on the back of the picture.

If there is a desire to place the finished work under glass, then it is not as easy as other paintings. First of all, the work is limited by the frame. This is necessary so that no one can smear the image with their fingers. Moreover, the frame and glass will save the work from falling off excess pastel dust.

Pastel is a noble material. All the flaws of skill can be easily hidden with the help of a spectacular finished work. Each novice artist can easily find his own special style and manner of depicting objects, creating a still life. Pastel drawings fit perfectly into any interior.