I was emptying out my boxes full of art supplies when I came across an oversized 28cm x 36cm Strathmore sketchbook for pastel drawings. It’s never been used before as I’m normally sticking to A4 sized paper and figured once I got better at drawing I’d upgrade to larger sizes.
But I felt the paper and thought it’s really smooth yet has some “teeth” in it. In other words, good quality paper especially for pastel drawing. So I got curious and thought I’d put it to the test. First thing that came to mind was Little Girl walking her dog. I haven’t drawn Little Girl for a while. She is also known as my alter-ego, Mini Me, The inner child part of me. Playful but innocent, cute and kawaii yet adventurous and up to mischief. Today she’s walking her dog. As a child I was quite afraid of dogs though!
I used the soft dry pastel set by Royal Talens which come in 36 colours. Quite a good selection! I began drawing the hair first using three different shades of brown in quick strokes. Already I was mighty impressed with how smooth it went and how the colours adhered. The paper has adequate tooth and grip to hold the pigments in place without making the strokes too stripy, something I found quite irritating with the cheaper pastel-purpose papers.
In fact when it came to colouring in the face, I didn’t have to press so hard or use too much to get the colours to stay, and the pigments spread quite well, I used an angled blending brush by Sennelier especially designed for pastels. They come in a set of three sizes. Totally recommend them! Certainly beats cotton buds or my own finger which I’ve been using in the past. So just a simple drawing:
I think it turned out rather well, and I now understand why it is so important to invest in good paper. This goes especially for pastel drawings. I also recommend larger paper compared to even A4 size. In such smaller-sized paper, it’s difficult to draw minute details, as pastel sticks are so thick i’m shape. Pastels are made for more expansive subjects like landscapes, portraits or larger still life objects. Another fun time to test and practice. Am happy to share this drawing too because it’s too cute not too!