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HOW TO DRAW – drawing with pastel pencils – practical exercises (Procedure): shading technique

Pastel pencils with their varied possibilities and simplicity have always tempted many artists and illustrators and they were widely used by such artists like Picasso, Matisse or Toulouse- Lautrec. A pastel pencil was a way how to easily and simply express in order to achieve incredibly varicoloured experiments. In general the pastel pencil offers a wide spectrum of usage beginning with sketches up to detailed studies. Children normally meet it in their pre-school age and it goes along with them during their school attendance as the most used artistic tool for presenting their artistic imaginations. It is used in the ordinary school lessons, their interest groups or even at home in their free time.

The basic tools for drawing with pastel pencils are paper, graphite pencils and appropriate aquarell coloured pencils. If these are water – soluble, you will need a paintbrush and a dish of water.

The paper which is used in this case is very important, for demanding artists there are special sketchpads of format A5, A4 and A3. Sketchbook designed for schools are perfect for children’s work. A graphite pencil is the most suitable tool used at the beginning, the best gradation is HB. The company KOH-I-NOOR HARDTMUTH produces pastel pencils of the basic quality ( series BASIC, ECONOMY) and up to pencil of the highest quality (series HIGH QUALITY), which are designed both young artist and experienced ones. Especially pre-school children and also dysgraphic children are recommended using thick, three-side pencils (series 3150) with robust construction and its specific shape which helps children to develop correct manner of holding the pencils while writing for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, aquarell pencils Mondeluz (3716) offer a very interesting effect when a finished drawing is washed with water. School rounded paintbrushes are offered in sizes 2 – 12.

Drawing geometrical objects with pastel pencils – shadowing
The easiest way how to create a tone visually is to use shading namely with the natural movement of the wrist or forearm. The elbow should remain on the table and with a movement of the pencil from side to side on the paper a drawing is gradually created.

Basic rules for shadowing:
1. The lead of the pastel or the graphite pencil stays on the paper and creates an impression of a shadow, tone on the rough granules of the structure.

2. The paper stays white on the places where the lead could not reach. This is absolutely normal process and not a mistake.

3. Lines made with one-way shadowing can be finished of or create soft transition with fingers spreading, paper spreader or with an eraser.

1. Lay out the object you want to draw on the paper – pre-draw the contours of the object with a pencil with the gradation HB and also choose the direction of the light – viz. and arrow (picture 1)

2. Use the same graphite pencil and pre- draw the direction and the placement of the shadows – dark spaces following the shape of the object. (picture 2)

3. Use pastel pencils and with hatching suggest the colours of each of the objects. (picture 3)

4. Finish the drawing and keep the direction of the hatching only use more intensive touches of the pastel pencils. Keep the direction of the light too – the no-illuminated surface should be darker than the illuminated one. (picture 4)

5. When using water pencils (i.e. water-soluble pencils), it is possible to apply the method of watering the finished drawing with help of a paintbrush and clean water. Always proceed from the lightest point to the darkest. (picture 5)

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