Pastel Teddy’s

After my trip back from Austria and focussing on drawing and colouring my trilogy Snow Polo pieces, I was in the mood for a simple scribble.  And trying out something different that was not complicated.  I haven’t worked with Pan Pastels for quite a while since that workshop in Utrecht last summer.  As outlined in one of my blog entries, Realistic Techniques Workshop, I had a go with them and although I enjoyed using them I was not prepared to invest fully on a set so ended up buying just the pastel tones and gold and silver so can use them for coloured backgrounds.

Combine with Pastel Pencils

The beauty of using Pan Pastels is that unlike sticks, they are much less messy.  To be honest, I stopped using pastel sticks fully for that reason: It’s dusty, smudgy, gets your fingers dirty and you need to press hard to get the colour to adhere on the paper.  And storage is a nightmare because the artwork is so delicate.  Pan Pastels come in compacts and are used with special sponges of all shapes and sizes.  For the sharp edges and fine details, it’s best to pair with pastel pencil which can also be used to draw outlines and then filled in with Pan Pastels. I wanted initially use Stabilo Carbothello pencils but I couldn’t find the tin at the time so went instead for Derwent Pastel Pencils.  Both are good actually.  It’s just that I didn’t have as much colours in the latter tin, but I got by.  I grabbed my Strathmore Pastel Paper, and the first thing that came to mind was drawing a teddy bear!  And why not two?  One large in green and the smaller in pretty pink.

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Smooth and Even

I used an angled round sponge to fill in the colour with Pan Pastels.  Not too much effort was needed.  Just sponge briskly and firmly, being careful not to go over the outlines.  You need to use a blending powder to spread the colour more or if you want to blend other colours but I didn’t have any handy.  Still, I think the results came out good enough for me.  I was tempted to leave the piece as was because it was just so cute.   So what do you think?  The colours adhere well to the paper and despite the “tooth” of the paper surface you see how smooth, even and velvety is all looks.

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Adding Background

I decided to add a yellow background.  During the past few paintings, the background was always left white or very lightly coated with coloured pencil and thus I thought it would be an idea to add colour to the background for a change.  But somehow the piece still looked dull.  I then scribbled in some more tiny teddies and added some bunnies with my pastel pencils.  Notice how the Pan Pastels give a smoother and velvety finish compared to the pencils which come out rather coarse on the “toothy” surface of the paper even when rubbed in.  Just a rough drawing this time but I just wanted to experiment and to demonstrate the effect Pan Pastels give.  The teddies turned out so beautifully, and the entire piece looks like something babies and small children would love!

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A Wonderful Pastel Medium

I love the chalky look of pastels and the colour intensity they produce.  As said earlier though I’ve steered clear away from this medium, namely the sticks, because of how messy they were and how delicate they got when storing.  Pan Pastels, though, tend to minimise this although you still need to finish with fixative spray and carefully store the work.  It is also relatively easy to use, and the finish is amazing.  I love how evenly the colour spreads and how velvety the appearance is.  Having rediscovered this, I may like to use this more often and see what more kawaii pieces I can create!

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