Pastel Painting for everyone

Learn to paint pastels from scratch

Everyone can learn how to put pictures together. Pastels are easy to use and you can learn quickly how to manipulate the soft pastels around the page. All you need to know are a few hints about what to do and you are on your way to producing beautiful pastels.

Landscapes are beautiful to make try some of these tips.

1. Sky and water

When making sky and water keep the initial strokes straight otherwise it looks like the sky and water are running up or down. When you keep it straight, you can add other little bits of white lines in as long as they are straight and thin. You can then rub over them to make them look like little waves in the water or to give the appearance of water.

Leaving a space in the middle of the page give the appearance of sunlight shining down through the sky onto the water. When you make this light take it from top to bottom. The line that seperates your sky from the water. The light is a nice touch and makes it realistic and is a nice touch to your picture.

2. Trees

I draw the trees from the bottom to the top of the page for a tree close up. I find it's best not to make the ^ shape at the bottom but best to make it thicker as you get to the bottom.


Are important because they need to come from the stalk in a realistc manner. You need arms coming from the tree trunk to the branch and make sure your branches are not FLOATING in mid air. Make sure you attach all the branches to the main part of the tree. As you make one branch make another off that then another from that and so on.


Takes practice and I usually use the pastel on the side and pull it over with a slight curve to make the appearance of a cloud except it's not curly! More like a foggy type cloud. Much easier. A normal curly cloud can be made by pulling the pastel under neath and rubbing it in over and over until you get the fluffy looking cloud!

5. Paths

Paths can be made with dark colours and a little white added in middle gives the appearance of a small puddle in the centre of the path.   If drawn at the front you can turn up at ends to give the appearance that the path is running down or up hill.


Are easy if not made uniform style. Remember they are out in the wild, being blown by the wind, so make some lying to the side. It's more reaslistic.

7. Shadow / Light

If you add a little white down the side of the tree it looks like the light is hitting it.

Do the same on the top of fences it's very effective.

Good Luck with your paintings.

Loch Lomond sunset
Loch Lomond sunset
Angel light
Angel light
angel of the night
angel of the night
mandala angel
mandala angel

Examples of different pastel paintings

I have included some pastel paintings to let you see the different styles and how you can use the pastels.

You can see how to vary your style just by trying and begin by copying postcards and you can make it a little different by adding or subtracting from the picture.

You can see where you can show light in the middle of the water scenes by pulling in from the left and right to make sure the colour has faded in the middle of the picture. It looks like the sun is setting on the water.


Drawing a circle in the middle of the page you then add to the middle and can pull out the pastels in order to make use of the outer part of the board.

Some amazing drawings of Mandalas have been made by other people.


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