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  • Writer's pictureAndre Rios Art

Painting with Soft Pastels: The Journey to Vibrant Creativity


In my journey as an artist, I've experimented with a wide array of mediums, from watercolors to oils, acrylics, inks, charcoal, and graphite. Each had its allure, but when I stumbled upon pastel pencils, it was nothing short of love at first sight. They felt like colored pencils on steroids, with intense colors and effortless blending capabilities. This discovery led me to make a life-changing decision – to commit exclusively to pastels.


As I delved deeper into the world of pastels within my realistic artworks, I began to explore soft pastels as well. This experimentation allowed me to tap into a different facet of my artistic voice and embraced the bold mark-making and the exploration of prominent shapes and textures without excessive blending. The vibrancy of fresh pigment colors became even more striking when I strategically selected areas to blend and avoided over-mixing, injecting a newfound intensity and expressiveness into my work.


Beyond their artistic appeal, there's something profoundly satisfying about working with pastels in a studio free from the noxious fumes of chemical solvents. Admittedly, pastels generate dust, but it's a manageable concern. By painting vertically and attaching a dust catcher to the easel's base, you can easily keep the studio environment clean and dust-free. So, while pastels may leave their mark, they won't leave you gasping for fresh air. A quick clean-up with water and soap is all it takes to keep your studio—and your favorite shirt—in pristine condition.



In the end, pastels aren't just my preferred medium; they're a passion that has opened up new realms of artistic expression and allowed me to create art in a studio that's as invigorating as it is safe. So, whether you're a seasoned artist or just starting your creative journey, I encourage you to pick up a pastel and experience the magic for yourself – you might just discover your own love affair with this remarkable medium.

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