Pastel Pencil on 8.5" x 11" Canson Mi-Teintes Paper
I love starting a new unit in my art classes. My students are always so excited to move on to something new with the belief that a personal masterpiece is on its way.
Today I introduced my second year students to the joys of working with pastels. I adore pastels. I love that they involve drawing skills combined with vivid colors and layers of mark making. Pastels are messy and that's part of the fun.
This year I decided to help my students ease into pastels with a fun exercise. Long ago I discovered that you can run pastel paper through a computer printer set on a low ink setting and then "color" your image with pastels. I've used this trick before and my students like starting a challenging new medium on a predrawn page. This way, they get to play with the new medium without having to worry about drawing out their subject matter (which comes next.) It takes a few attempts for most people to understand pastel techniques and its also a challenge for beginners to apply color theory. Students get to practice both in what is a familiar coloring page.
I found a free coloring page of a sun, printed it on light blue Canson paper and turned my students loose to create using soft and hard pastels. This is my example/demo piece. I brought my personal pastel supplies so my students could see the variety of brands I like including my set of pastel pencils.