How to Draw with Pastel Pencils
Have you always wanted to learn to draw but things have gotten in the way? Maybe you haven’t felt confident enough. Maybe you’ve thought it was too hard or you’ve had a bad experience in the past. Maybe you haven’t had time until now.
My name’s Colin Bradley and when I was at school I loved drawing. One day I was doing a picture of a firework display using coloured chalks. I was really proud of my achievement and couldn’t wait for the teacher to come round to see it. When he did come round he said: “That’s rubbish. You’ll never be any good at art.”
That one thoughtless comment stayed with me for years until I plucked up the courage to pick up a brush and started doing watercolour paintings 28 years later. I loved doing landscape work but one day someone asked me to do a picture of their pet dog. I picked up my brush and it just wasn’t working. I thought I was sunk and couldn’t get past it – I felt stumped. But then by chance I discovered Pastel Pencils and it turned the problem into a huge opportunity. I found them incredibly easy to use and discovered my own techniques to create irresistible paintings.
That was 30 years ago and I’ve been a full time professional artist ever since. Not only do I get to do something I love every single day but I get to help other people learn how to also. Over the years I’ve taught thousands to draw using pastel pencils. Some of those people were just like me, told they couldn’t draw or didn’t have potential to learn how to.
I believe that everyone has the ability to draw, it’s all in how you’re taught. The techniques I’ve used have helped total beginners produce stunning results like this:
Our Student’s Work:
Pastel Pencil Tutorials
If you enjoy my free pastel pencil course then you can choose to sign up to my membership programme where you can access well over a hundred hours of pastel pencil tutorials covering Animals, Landscapes, Portraits and Still Life. Membership starts at just £3.99 per month!
We add new courses to the programme each month so you’ll never run out of new projects to draw. Many of our students use the techniques learned from the videos to draw their own pictures. Some now do commissions for their own customers!
On top of being able to watch all of the videos, we’ve also included all of my downloadable workshop packs. These are written instructions and we have over 90 subjects which you can learn to draw using these packs. Once you download the packs, they are yours to keep.
Mixing Pastel Pencils & Watercolour
If you sign up for my free watercolour course, you’ll notice that I take a different approach to doing watercolour. I was never taught how to do watercolour, therefore thought I could do all the detail as I saw in old Victorian paintings. Turns out you can, and if you want to learn how to paint using my techniques then we have a range of watercolour tutorials available in my membership programme.
Not only does this detail look great in watercolour, but applying pastel pencils over the top looks even better. With some really stunning projects, I show you how to combine the two mediums successfully creating truly incredible pieces of art.
Benefits of using Pastel Pencils
The wonderful thing about using pastel pencils is that they already seem so familiar to use. I’m sure as children, we all tried colouring pencils and thoroughly enjoyed using them. Pastel Pencils are an extension of what we all loved and because they are in pastel form, the pictures we can produce are stunning.
Because the pastel is in pencil form, we have more control and can create the impression of fine details. Many people find soft pastel (myself included) a very messy medium and difficult to master. With Pastel Pencils there is no mess (unless you choose to blend with your finger which I do on occasions!). The Ingres pastel paper I use (Made by Fabriano) absorbs the pastel into the paper meaning that there’s no dust that can be harmful for those with respiratory problems such as Asthma.
When Pastel Pencils were first introduced, many used them as a sketching pencil or for adding details to soft pastel work. Both of these uses are fine and work well, however I found that extraordinary results can be achieved by using the Pastel Pencils alone. With the techniques and volume of information you will find on this website, I think you’ll agree with me.