The Artful Soft Pastels Box

Having only used soft pastels once before (over 15 years ago!), I was excited to explore the medium again as an adult.

My first time using pastels was in an art class in my early teens. Our art tutor – an eccentric old lady who gave classes mostly to home-educated children – had us draw a portrait of a man using only our imaginations.  These will be your future husbands, she said to the group, as my portrait increasing resembled Count Dracula.

As always, I love how Artful presents their boxes. Covered in a beautiful pastel bouquet, I opened the box to find the following items:

🎨 Soft pastel pencils x6
🎨 Soft pastels x24
🎨 A sketchpad (mixed media paper)
🎨 Blank greeting cards and envelopes x4
🎨 Blending tools (‘paper stumps’)
🎨 Putty eraser
🎨 4H Pencil
🎨 Brush
🎨 The Artful soft pastels magazine (tutorials, interviews, inspiration, etc)

I decided to follow two of the tutorials in the magazine.  Firstly, I strictly followed the step-by-step guide for the curled-up cat design. It was fun adding unexpected colours like blue and grey to create texture.

Next, I decided to use what I had learnt from drawing the cat to draw Skye, my dog. I can’t say I’m hugely thrilled with the result, yet her character does come through quite a lot. Regardless, I had fun trying out some techniques freestyle, and I learnt a lot in the process!

This was my first attempt at a landscape with pastels, using the step-by-step instructions in the Artful magazine. I was pleased with how most of it came out, even my slightly wonky trees! I used to draw a lot of trees with my Grandpa when I was a child, so there was something quite nostalgic about drawing them again.

Overall, I had a lot of fun playing around with soft pastels.  The pastel pencils in particular were really great to work with as their colours were so vivid.  Even the white showed up strong on the paper.

Artful is the one subscription I let roll on. I love getting a delivery of good-quality craft supplies in disciplines that frequently push me out of my artistic comfort zone. When else would I have bought a lino printing kit, or a 24 box of soft pastels?!

If you want to subscribe to Artful (which I couldn’t recommend enough), click the link to find out more:

Click here to see how I got on with the Calligraphy box over the summer.

What crafty projects have you been working on recently?

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