Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
How have I NEVER tried pan pastels before in any of my mixed media portraits?! I KNOW!! I just purchased a pan pastel set of 80, and am super excited to PLAY with them for the FIRST TIME. Will my pan pastels portrait fail on yupo paper? Is layering pan pastels easy or hard? What art supplies "play nicely" with them? NO CLUE!
Today's mixed media art supply demo is all about letting go & discovering the answers on my own as I play. It is in this space of experimentation where we can truly be FREE as artists!
If you're new to pan pastel art like me, need a little push to TRY something new, or curious if you should add some pan pastel colors to your own art supply stash - THIS VIDEO is FOR YOU!
I don't about you, but I like to dive in "blind" whenever I experiment with a new art supply! I think it's fun to not know how things are gonna work, how they'll react together, and figure it all out by myself first!
Then I love to dive into research LATER if things went wrong, because for me - my experience helps me to craft my knowledge.
My hope for you with today's video is that you feel empowered to try anything and everything you want to all by yourself. You can learn SO much by doing this!!
Before we continue, super quick announcement: All product links are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I thank you for your support.
I found an awesome face shading reference photo on DeviantArt that inspired today's project. He's a side profile drawing in 3/4 view.
If you'd like to try drawing a 3/4 portrait, and need a little help, click the button below to download my FREE 3/4 view Face Drawing Guidelines! I'll email them right over to you.
The paper I'm using today is called Yupo paper. It's 100% non-pourous, and basically plastic! When you draw on it - you'll experience a really slippery sensation, like 80x slippier than bristol!
As you'll see in the video- it doesn't matter how many times I've drawn a face, I ALWAYS go back to basics and sketch in my face drawing guidelines first. This helps me ensure the face I'm drawing will come out with facical features that are proportionate.
If you need help getting the proportions of the 3/4 portrait correct, CLICK HERE to download my free cheatsheet.
If you're interested in learning more about how to draw male faces check out my book - How to Draw Fun Fab Fellas. I don't draw guys nearly enough, honestly! And they're really fun because the angles in their faces are SO different from women.
As I was drawing this particular guy, I really felt like he was turning into a young Van Gough!
Since I'm totally doing this project from the perspective of a pan pastels beginner... and also new to working on Yupo paper- I have no idea how my first layer of pan pastels is going to stick to the paper, because it literally has zero texture and feels like a skating rink.
If you don't have any pan pastel sets yet, I recommend trying the set of 20, or the skin tones set of 7.
I used one of the pan pastel Sofft tools (they came with my pan pastels set of 80), to apply some color to the background, and it was seriously done in under a minute. If you need some applicators, try this little set of 12 mini sponges, and/or this set Craft Ink Blending Brushes.
I experimented with trying combining my pan pastels and Prismacolor colored pencils, but wasn't patient enough to work with that for a long period of time. It was great for adding some detail in the beard (above), but I needed something bolder and faster to work with.
I discovered using my Neocolor IIs by Caran d'Ache really worked well and helped me to achieve the depth I was struggling to get out of the pan pastels alone.
I had heard pan pastels are eraseable, but they didn't erase well with my beloved vanish eraser. I also tried using the eraser on my Blackwing pencil, and had much better luck. I love chiseling highlights out of the face shading I do, so enjoyed playing with this fun pan pastels technique!
If you know me and my work at all, you know I'm a HUGE FAN of outlining. And you may know that as soon as I pull out my pentel pocket brush, the project is basically over! LOL.
I hope you have fun with this demo, and enjoy working with pan pastels on your own as much as I did!
"Karen is flipping hilarious and she's very real...I like the way she teaches in a way that really gives you confidence, whether you're a beginner or advanced there's always something new to learn!"
- Elizabeth W.
What Fans Are Saying
Karen, you are absolutely fabulous! You make me feel like I can draw anything. I have recently retired and finally have the time to do some of the art that I have loved since I was in school. I am really at the beginning of my art journey and I hope to learn as much as I can. Thank you for all you do.