Another kawaii Christmas-themed piece! This time, I decided to work with pastels which I enjoy working with. I rarely get to do it as it can get a bit messy at times, but I love the end-result as the colours turn out so strong and vibrant! To make a “full drawing”, I tend to combine Pan Pastels (for background and large areas), sticks (for smaller areas) and pastel pencil (for outlining and fine details). Today’s drawing features Little One dressed as Santa with her little helpers, Teddy and Bunny! How she loves dressing up herself and her little friends for this festive season. We all look forward to Christmas!
Outlining with Pastel Pencil
This time, I went for the Pastelmat pastel paper by Clairefontaine Rather pricey stuff but I really wanted to make something special as it’s Christmas time. And it’s there to be used! This paper is in my opinion the Rolls Royce of pastel-purpose paper; great quality and with the thickness of 360 gsm it can hold quite a lot of pastel which tend to weigh paper down. Added feature is the relatively smooth texture due the fine coating of cellulose fibres which easily grab the pastel and keep it in place, something I prefer to the rough stripy texture of the cheaper pastel-purpose papers. Anyway, I outlined my design using Derwent’s pastel pencils.
As said before, Pan Pastels are a wonderful pastel medium. It’s less messy and the colours spread fairly evenly, whilst giving a velvety finish. They come in powder compact form and are spread on paper using a firm sponge which come in different sizes and shapes depending on need. Most handy is when you want to colour your background using pastels as I’ve done first in green. After the background came the bright yellow stars and finally Little One’s red Santa outfit and face. Part of the challenge of course was getting the edges not to overlap with each other. Another was trying to even out the colours which was not easy at all for the larger areas like the background. Still, I was happy so far and figured I can rectify the issues later on when tidying up the drawing.
Soft Pastel Sticks
Most commonly used among all the pastel mediums, soft pastels are versatile for some large areas as well as smaller areas. Here, I went for Faber Castell’s soft pastels which come in half-sizes. What I like about having such smaller sizes is that they are easier to draw with compared to the normal size, and you can place the smaller stick on its side and colour with it. I used these sticks for Teddy and Bunny. Instead of keeping the white areas on the Santa hat uncoloured, I filled it in with some white pastel to keep the drawing consistent.
A combination of pastels were used to fill in the details like the hair and eyes. For the hair, I firstly drew some strands in with a pastel pencil before adding more with soft pastel sticks in light and dark brown. I then added more again using the same pastel pencil to give more dimension. The eyes of the Teddy and Bunny were carefully drawn in with the pencil, whilst those of Little One with the corner of some brown soft pastel stick. And now I think I’m done! A simple but kawaii drawing.
The wonderful thing about pastels is that you can make a simple piece but still make it look amazing. It’s mainly because the colours are strong and intense. In addition, the soothingly velvety finish makes the painting look appealing. Despite the messiness, I do enjoy working with pastels. Such a pleasure to go back to it, and I plan on doing more soon!