I like using pastels because it is closer to drawing than using oils or water colors and I love to draw. Then I end with a painting. It is also very satisfying to sketch with good pastel pencils.
Here is a pastel painting that I just finished. I started it last summer while on the Rail Trail in Sterling and completed it in my studio. I very often work like that.
|Lake View on the Rail Trail|
Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes Paper - 16x20 unframed
Pastels are made from powered pigment using a binder. There are soft pastels and oil pastels. I use soft pastels which are easily blended. I start out with Rembrandt pastels: they are harder than other brands and makes the initial drawing easy. After my basic composition is done I go to a softer brand. Right now I'm using Winsor & Newton but I understand that W&N has discontinued their pastel line. Disappointing. I had wanted to add some colors to my basic collection and I do like their pastels.
Have never had a desire to use oil pastels. Always thought I'd rather just oil paint which, as a matter of fact, I've recently been teaching myself to do.