Pencil and pan pastel

This post is part of a conversation with Jon Amdall about using pan pastels to colour clothing and other large areas. I’ve just started playing with them and they suit my work style – I tend to work quickly and haven’t had much success with  colouring with pencils.

This is a quick sketch adapted from an old fashion illustration. I rubbed on two pan pastel colours (a deep yellow and almost lime green) – using an old piece of sponge. You can buy shaped sponge tools that allow for fine lines and precision. I erased parts of the pastel ‘wash’ to show highlights.


  1. This is a lovely technique. I am rather stuck on watercolour washes but I must try this. My dad was a working artist and in the end, was using pastels almost exclusively.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice! Thank you for the example, that is extremely helpful. So, pan pastels seem to look a bit like watercolor when applied? That’s great, because I generally love the way water color plus pencil or ink looks (on other peoples’ art…ha ha, I’ve never done it). I’m not certain why, but pastel seems like it might be easier to mix with the colored pencil I use. I should buy some gray or darker color and give it a shot!

    I like the sketch, by the way. And thanks again for the demo!

    Liked by 2 people

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