10 Reasons to Love Pastel: Easy to Learn!

"Fallbrook Field" 8 x 12 Pastel on Paper
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This is my 200th post.  I was heartbroken to find out that my absolute favorite art teacher (well, next to my grandma of course), David Musser, passed away in December.  You can see David's art here.

I took my first pastel class with David in 2004.  Before then, I didn't even know what soft pastels were, since I'd only used oil pastels.  I struggled at first, and was especially mortified when he pulled a chair up next to mine and said he was going to make me his "special project," and that I'd be able to use pastels with ease in no time.  Fortunately, he was right!

I could fill an entire blog with things I learned in David's classes (I continued with pastel, and also took some basic drawing and watercolor classes with him over the years).  He was one of the most entertaining people I've ever met, and he truly enjoyed helping his students create-- he shared all of his artistic "secrets" openly, casually painting along with us as he told his stories. 

I always smile when I meet someone who looks at my work and says that pastel is a tricky medium.  I think it depends on how you prefer to work-- if you like building layers and using bright punches of color, pastel can be fairly easy to use.  It is messy, and you can't exactly erase it-- you can usually "fix it" and paint over it though, which to me makes pastel a lot easier to work with than watercolor.

"Fallbrook Field" was created with wet chalk pastel sticks on Canson Canva-Paper.  I wanted to see if I could pull off a similar effect to the pastels on flat canvas, and I think it came out pretty close.  I used another reference photo taken at Eli's Farm Stand off Mission Road--I guess with the Avocado Festival coming up, I have agricultural scenes on the brain.

Click here to visit my fine art website!


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