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Soft pastels

Soft pastels and pastel pencils


With soft pastels, you can make very beautiful, expressive and detailed animal portraits and other paintings. The pigments can easily be applied to the paper in several layers and blur into each other.

Soft pastels have a strong luminosity that emerges particularly well on tinted paper.

For the smallest details, colored pastel pencils are used. For these special pencils should be used for sharpening a cutting knife. The commercial sharpeners wear out too quickly or be truncated early.

Thus the pastel dust adheres to a surface of a paper is required, which has not a smooth, but rather a rough surface. So is the typical velvety surface of the pastel. You can wipe the colors over each other. Soft pastels have a high color brilliance and authenticity.

Pastel paintings should always be framed behind glass, keeping in mind is that between the glass and the drawing of an encumbrance shall be made, otherwise color pigments adhere to the glass. For my pastels and pastel paintings I use pastels and pastel pencils of very good quality, with high light fastness.

Pastel surfaces

Pastel drawings I create on high-quality artist’s pastel papers.

Mainly I use either pastelcard of Sennelier (360 g/qm), which is available in 14 colors, or Pastelmat ® Clairefontaine (360 g/qm), which is also available in 14 different colors.

The rough surface of the respective documents is able to receive several layers of pigment, while allowing still a good smearing and smooth color transitions.

If you are interested, please contact me and I will send you the possible color shades of the respective pastel papers via e-mail.


About fixing pastels there is divided opinion. I myself am against the use of a fixative for the following reasons:

  • The image is despite the use of a fixative never really smudge!
  • Fixatives develop a chemical smell!
  • The light pastel particles are “glued” to a fixative and thereby lose their smoothness and luminosity!
    (Similar to a down feather, which is sprayed with hairspray ..)

On the subject of hairspray: Hands off! That is the surest way to ruin an image in the long term – whether coal, chalk, etc. – because the image faded with time.

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