I’m almost certain, many of you have heard of Chalk Pastels. Perhaps some of you have even had an affair with chalk pastels like I did.
What is Chalk Pastel?
Pastel itself is simply a powdered pigmented art medium in the form of a stick. These sticks come in a multitude of sizes and colours which may also have added fillers to produce pale and bright hues with greater luminosity.
The difference between regular chalk and chalk pastels.
The chalk you and I were introduced to back in kindergarten is not pastel. The difference between chalk and pastel is that plain chalk is made of limestone or gypsum and then compressed into powdered sticks. On the other hand, soft pastels are made from pure mineral pigments.
What I didn’t know is that the same pigments are used in oil paint, acrylics, and water color…visualize literal pigments of tiny coloured crystals being spread across the paper.
I must admit, I did like the immediate results of pastels, but I find it messier to work with than oils and the powdered residue from the chalk bother me just as much if not more than the fumes from traditional oil paints.
How I cheated on Oils with Chalk Pastels
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
Me: ”I once heard a voice within me say, ‘I cannot paint’. Soon after I painted a scene and that voice became silent.Vincent Van Gogh
Going Places With Chalk Pastels
As a self-declared outsider artist, I’ve painted with oils and other artistic mediums for a long time. I love the creative freedom I have as a self-taught artist.
For this piece, I’ve titled, “Going Places“, the technique I used to apply the medium is actually very similar to how I work with oils. I don’t really see the tool itself. To me the chalk is a brush as the brush is a chalk. It’s all the same to me. I see an image in my mind’s eye and I use the intended tool to transfer the picture from my head to the ground (surface I create on).
However, a nice little take-away from my affair with pastels is that it helps me to loosen up whenever I return to working with oils. It’s been on my wish-list for a long time to learn an abstract painting style that will allow me to apply looser brushstrokes, which will still result in my signature realism coming through…working on that.
Breaking My Affair with Chalk Pastels
Alas! I think this will be my final pastel creation for the time being. It’s time to break my affair with chalk pastels and return to my first love of oils.
I feel as though I’ve been cheating on oil painting, but it’s all part of my expansion and willingness to try new creative experiences. Speaking of which…!
A Change is Good!
I’m making a gradual transition over to water-mixable oils. Be sure to check out my upcoming 4-week workshop at Visual Arts Brampton, which focuses on how to paint various elements of a landscape painting, including clouds and aerial perspective, the EASY way, using water-mixable oils.
If you liked this post, you may also find this article “From Imagination To Book Cover” an interesting read.
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