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Project Sheet

Multimedia Painting with PanPastels

Explore the ease and versatility of these ultra-soft, paint-like pastels.

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner/Intermediate
  • Completion Time: 1-3 hours

Watch a video overview:

Highly pigmented PanPastels are lower-dust, ultra-soft pastels with the advantages of paints - easy to apply, easy to blend, and easy to clean up. We decided to try this new medium to see how it compares with traditional pastels, how it works with other mediums, and discover some special PanPastel tricks and tips we could pass to you for your own works.

What you'll need

Before you begin, make sure you have all the supplies you'll need. The list below contains all the products we used to create the example shown in this demo. Materials are optional based upon your own design.

1. Choosing Your Surface

You're likely to get the best results with a smoother surface made specifically for pastels. (However, canvas and other rougher surfaces can add texture to your work.) PanPastels are generally very easy to erase if you need to make an adjustment or want to "subtract" your drawing with an eraser, but they are easiest to work with on a surface like the Pastelbord we used.

2. Application and Blending

When swiping your tool across the color in the pan, be sure to use a light touch to avoid creating unnecessary dust. PanPastels are very easy to blend, particularly with the array of tools provided in the starter kits. It's easy to lay out large areas of color, much as you would with paint - and while PanPastel's Sofft sponge tools are ideal for application, you can also use paintbrushes or similar instruments for a different effect.

The pastels may be used with liquids, but only if the liquid is applied to the work surface - do not apply liquids directly to the pan.

3. Varying Your Tools

Sponges of varying sizes allow you to lay out large areas of color or add in finer detail. For a quick color change, simply wipe the sponge tool you are using on a dry paper towel. Sofft sponge tools can be gently washed with soap and water and air-dried.

4. Combining Mediums

PanPastel works well with other dry mediums, including traditional pastels, pastel pencils, and charcoal. Some non-dry mediums, including sketch pen, can be used with PanPastel; however, the use of a workable spray fixative is recommended beforehand.

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