Luxury/professional artist pastels tend to be richer in color and smoother to blend, but very, very brittle because the pigment content is so high. That’s why beginner’s pastels are perfect for chalkboard walls and outdoor art unless you’re doing professional chalk art.
Chalk pastels are a compressed powder stick that creates thicker lines than regular sidewalk chalk. Chalk pastels are usually made of limestone and plaster of paris or other dusty objects that compress well into stick form.
Surfaces for pastels can mean a whole range of materials, as pastels are incredibly versatile. They can be used on almost any surface as long as there are enough teeth for the pastels to grip. Textured paper is the most popular surface for pastels, but you can use boards, canvas, and even sandpaper.
Chalkboard paint is exactly what it sounds like – paint that lets you turn the object or wall you’re painting into something you can write on with chalk. It creates a hard, scratch-resistant finish and can be applied to wood, metal, drywall, glass, concrete and more.
Soft pastels are not chalk. They don’t usually contain chalk and are nothing like blackboard or pavement chalk, apart from the shape and feel. Just like any other high-quality artist material, soft pastels are made up of pigments and a binder to hold them in a specific shape.
Soft pastels (aka Chalk Pastels)
Soft or “French” pastels have a much chalkier texture than oil pastels. They are made by combining dry pigments with binders and pouring the formula into sticks. Kaolin clay is a popular binding agent for high-quality artists’ crayons.
Dry pastel mediums can be classified as follows: Soft pastels: This is the most common form of pastel. The pencils have a higher pigment content and less binder. The drawing can easily be smudged and blended, but results in a higher dust content.
Chalk pastels are one of my favorite products in the art space. They allow a child to apply a nice coat of paint using just their fingers. No paint, brush or water required to create a colorful work of art. And if you like to mix colors, you can’t beat pastels.
Their brittle consistency and powdery texture make them good for blending, heavy color application and painterly effects. You can also use the edges for fine lines, but most artists use hard pastels or pastels for detail work and preliminary sketches.
They can be used to create a calm and welcoming effect on visitors. Websites often use pastel colors to give their site a light and fun tone. Pastel colors can also be used to create a feminine feel. This works well with women’s fashion websites, for example.
Alternatives to chalkboards: Whiteboard paint (clear)
They use markers instead of chalk, which is much more environmentally friendly. However, their surface does not have to be black. Have a writable surface in any color you like. That’s the best part about choosing a transparent whiteboard color.
Instead of coarse-grained, unwieldy sidewalk chalk, Heinrich recommends trying soft pastel shades. Available at most art stores, they are water soluble and produce deeper colors. Try layering color by rubbing a piece of foam over a drawn section to really push the pigment into the concrete, then layering another shade on top.
But can pastels be used with water? Pastels can be mixed with water to create beautiful depths and shades, and they can even be used in a similar way to watercolor. Although their bright and dynamic color looks more like acrylic paint, they can be mixed with water and used like watercolour.
Soft pastels, the most commonly used pastels, are made with a combination of white chalk, pigment and gum arabic, giving it a drier, matte finish. Soft pastel colors won’t stick to the surface so they can be brushed off. Oil pastels, on the other hand, are similar to oil paints, but do not dry or harden completely.
Blending can be achieved by gently sliding one pastel stick into the other, often back and forth. A softer blend can be achieved by lightly smearing the pastel with your hand or a very soft brush/tool. Note that the more the pastel layers are smudged, the duller the end result may appear.