My top favourite Pastel Techniques and Tips

I’ve been working through my favourite techniques for my online Art Classes. One of my most popular techniques has been using soft pastel with alcohol. When I am painting with pastels I use Unison Pastels and Art Spectrum pastel card and Vodka. I like the way that it liquifies the pastel and allows me to create a painted underpainting.

Painting in soft pastels

This Art Online video is part of a longer length demo that shows how I create a sea painting in soft pastels from start to finish. I’ve been asked recently to explain how I use alcohol as a liquefier, this clip demonstrates using vodka with Unison Colour Soft Pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix. I apply a layer of Unison Colour and then use a fine spray of alcohol to liquify it. I use alcohol because it evaporates quicker than water, I have tried all sorts of alcohol but settled with cheap neat vodka. It’s important for me to mention that if you are using other brands of pastels they may not react in the same way to water or alcohol when you are liquefying them.

The liquefied pastels can be left to dry or you can use kitchen roll to create textures which can enhance your final painting. It’s a lovely technique to experiment with, there is very little that you can do wrong and in fact the drips and ‘happy little accidents’ are sometimes my favourite bits. I hope this video will inspire you to try your own version. Please get in touch if you have any questions and if you’d like to access the Longer length real-time demo. #softpastel #pastelsandalcohol #seascapedemo

Posted by