The techniques for pastel painting involve a completely different approach to other media. The pastel sticks are rarely the right colour or tone, so making the required colour often involves overlaying different colours or tones. Much of this has to be learned by experience. The painting that I am going to demonstrate is of a meadow near the Kingcombe Centre where I teach each year. The scene appealed to me because of the feeling of strong light and shadow and the meadow grasses in the foreground.

I took a half sheet of beige Ingrès Fabriano pastel paper and clipped it to my drawing board, interposing newspaper between it and the board to create a good working surface.

My pastels are Talens Rembrandt. I use these because they are of excellent quality with a good range of colours, most of which are permanent. As each pastel stick is indicated with its permanence I can avoid buying more colours that may fade. Each colour comes in a range of tints and shades. The neat colour is always 5. Tints are colours to which white has been added – 10 is the palest while the strongest tint is 6. Shades are those which have been made darker by the addition of black – these are 4 or 3.


A meadow near the Kingcombe Centre in Dorset is the subject of this pastel demonstration.