Pastel Painting Materials List for Workshops
Pastel Workshop Materials
You will want to have a selection of both soft and hard/semihard pastels in various hues, tints and shades. Perhaps the best option for beginners is to buy a set of pastels already designed for use. Many companies sell sets selected for landscape or portrait use and they generally represent a good price value over individual colors. The larger sets will give you greater choices and require less blending.
I recommend that you purchase a high-quality landscape set of no less than 30 colors from one of these companies:
Schminke, Art Spectrum, Holbein, Sennelier, Great American or the Dick Blick house brand.
Go to: Dick Blick at, http://www.dickblick.com/categories/pastels/ to find these brands.
If you can afford the larger sets, buy one - but keep in mind that very large sets of pastels are not very portable outdoors.
I chose these brands because they are all artist quality and have good selections of browns and greens for landscape work. ( We do not really need a myriad of pastel blues, unless we are painting water). Their prices are similar, although the best value is the Dick Blick house brand.
If you can afford it, also purchase a set of “extra darks” from Sennelier, Great American, or Terry Ludwig - they will give your paintings added dimension.
Hard/semihard pastels are necessary for finishing strokes and detail work. I recommend you purchase a small set of 24 or 36 - they will last years.
CretaColor, Derwent, Holbein, Nupastel, Sargent or Sennelier all make good sets, some specifically labeled for landscape. These are much less expensive than the larger soft pastels.
Source these at the same Dick Blick page as above.
I have tried nearly every paper around, and now prefer to either prepare my own boards, or use specifically prepared cards/papers which have toothy, gritty coatings on them and a heavy stock. These coatings will accept lots of pastel and reworking without plugging up or going slick. The heavy weight eliminates wrinkling and flapping in the wind. I suggest you purchase prepared papers/boards from any one of these companies:
Clairefontaine Pastelmat pad, 12 sheets assorted colors, selection A, 9 x 12” or larger.
Sennelier La Carte pastel pad, 12 sheets assorted colors, 9 x 12” or larger.
Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper Pad, (my favorite), 8 sheets, Belgian Mist, 9 x 12” or larger.
If money is no object:
Richeson Gator Foam Sanded Boards, 9 x 12”, terra cotta or sandstone, at least 7
You will need a sturdy portable easel on which to paint. Any wooden French-type field easel will work, and these are available everywhere. Shop around, you can find these for between $50 and $150.
Go to: http://www.dakotapastels.com/pages/boxes-dakota.aspx, and purchase their Deluxe Travel Box and Tripod Easel. This is the lightweight set I have for plein air work, and it is a joy to use. If you are planning to paint outside frequently, then this is one of the best kits around. Made specifically for pastels - wood box and easel handmade in Italy.
If you are not using the Richeson product above, then you will need a piece of FomeCor, Gatorboard, or heavy chipboard a few inches larger in size than your pastel paper on which to tape your paper securely.
Masking tape roll, 3/4”
View Finder, either the Viewcatcher, http://www.theartistsroad.net/store/products/14, or the Artwork Essentials pocket-sized viewfinder.
Sandpaper or premade sandpaper stick for sharpening.
Knife or razor blade, also for sharpening
A selection of blending stomps, small to large
Roll of paper towels
Large package of wet wipes
Pencil, HB or B
1 1/2” or 2” soft synthetic watercolor brush for wash effects
Large-mouth plastic water container, no bigger than 1 pint
Backpack or carryall to put everything in
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Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.