Fearless Friday, Playing with Pastels

Being Fearless in art is really about dabbling outside your comfort zone



I’ve been doing a lot of drawing and detailed work lately, so thankful we were spared by Harvey and then Irma…



It was time to let loose and try something different



I went through a phase when I was all about pastels, I thought they were so beautiful and exotic, and I wanted to learn to use them



As you can see, my set is barely used, it is much harder than it looks…

So I don’t profess to be a pro at pastel art, but I can share my stumbles




I did a rendering using an impressionistic oil painting by Karen Mathieson Schmidt as a model




Experiment without putting pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece




Pastel is messy, so it’s an ideal medium for working outside



Also, pastel dust poses a respiratory threat and can be toxic, so make sure you work in a well ventilated area



In the trees above, part of the white is blended, forming a gray, blue and yellow were blended into the sky,  then trees were added in several tones of brown



The texture of the black pastel paper produces many different looks depending on the strokes and how much blending you do



I have paper blending sticks, but I also used kleenex and my fingers for blending

If you do a lot of blending with your fingers use gloves to reduce the risk of toxicity


More color and blending


I love landscapes with a road or a path that takes your eye off into the distance, wondering what’s around the next bend



Almost finished


“Autumn Path”


I used Strathmore Gray Scale paper for these pastels, it comes in a pad of 15, with black, white and varying gray shades

You can order from Amazon here or  Dick Blick here



I have had these pastel sets for a while, and similar sets are widely available at art stores, online, even Walmart is starting to carry some decent art supplies

I recommend buying a small starter set of any art supply, to see if you like the medium itself and the brand of the supply, before investing in a large set.  Differences in color purity and quality can make a huge difference between brands

The semi-hard pastels are square sticks, wrapped in paper which are good for applying large areas of color and blending

Pastel pencils can be used for lines, filling in small areas and details

Use fixative spray to protect your work from smudging and smearing!


Pastel pencils are used for the lines and outlines in “Girl in a Hat,” with the larger color areas applied with the sticks



“Looking Down”  also was done with a combination of sticks and pencils




Experiment with something different and Be Fearless!

Autumn Wreath is available on many different items and art prints in my Society 6 Shop here, with or without the word thankful


See the entire Autumn & Fall Collection here

🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and RefinedBetween Naps on the Porch, Gardens Galore  Make it Pretty Monday

Coastal CharmCooking and Crafting with J&J,  The Scoop,   A Stroll Thru Life 

Celebrate and Decorate,     Creatively Crafty      Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday & Everything Else    Thursday Favorite Things

Share it One More Time   Delicious Dishes Recipe Party






18 Responses to “Fearless Friday, Playing with Pastels”
  1. Love your thankful painting!! Have a wonderful weekend, Jenna!!

  2. Always look forward to FFF Jenna and always appreciate being enlightened. I will have to look for supplies at my local Walmart. Who knew? Enjoy your weekend!

    Johanne Lamarche


  3. I love your wandering river, Lovely. You’re right about stepping outside the comfort zone. That’s how I view my watercolor work. But like you, I have those old pastels that have passed their prime that I should either pass on or revisit! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration too!

  4. CoziNest says:

    Jenna, I love all of these! You are truly gifted. The women are fabulous.

  5. Rosie M. says:

    Oh, Jenna, I love your “Autumn Path” pastel work and it was so interesting to see how you created it. I’ve never been an artist, and the process is fascinating. You have magic in your fingers: so many mediums and you at successful at each of them. Bravo!

  6. Jill Kuhn says:

    Love the colors you used in your autumn scene! It turned out beautiful! 😄🎨👍 I have worked some with pastels and found it not an easy medium so I appreciate all your tips! 💕

  7. Jenna, I love the autumn path and seeing how it evolved… stunning, my friend!

  8. Mary says:

    Your ‘autumn path’ is beautiful Jenna! I love the look of pastels and the chalky texture!

  9. Kim says:

    Now, THIS looks like something I could do. It still might look like a mess, but it would be fun to try. Yours look beautiful, as always!

  10. Julie says:

    Hi Jenna, I love your pastel painting. You did a great job and you always make art look so easy! Which i know can be challenging at times. I know you are having fun with this and I’m so glad that you share your art work with everyone.
    I started taking a acrylic painting 101 class in my area that is 8 sessions long. I had my first class which is 2 1/2 hours long last week. I really like it and I used to paint when I was in high school but have not since then. I am painting a sunflower scene to start. I just want to say thank you for all of your inspiration.
    Take care and have a nice weekend.

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