Broken Pastels are a Good Thing
Have you ever had your favorite pastel color drop to the floor and shatter into tiny pieces? Some of these pastel sticks are quite expensive and I yelled out a loud “Oh no!” on occasion. There is a very good silver lining to this seemingly disastrous dark cloud scenario.
When I was in Harvey Dinnerstein’s class at the National Academy School of Fine Arts, he wanted me to put the tiniest detail on the pupil of my portrait’s eye. I went in with a pastel pencil and he stopped me. He dropped one of my pastel sticks on the ground and he told me it was on purpose. I was puzzled as he proceeded to pick up one of the shards of shattered pastel between his thumb and index finger. He then with the sharpest point of that pastel shard, rendered that tiny detail perfectly like the focus of a laser beam.
I learned so much about pastels in Harvey’s class. What I discovered that day, was that a piece of broken pastel is perfect for those final details such as the highlights and the dark accents of a portrait.
Next time you drop your favorite pastel stick remember that it's a good thing and to save those valuable shards of pastel.
You can also check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel where I demonstrate tips and tricks in pastels, drawing and airbrush: www.youtube.com/paintedglyphs333