Pastel sticks will try to seduce you into buying each and every color. Because pastels cannot quite be blended as directly as paints, you may succumb. For beginners, a more simple color selection will suffice.
Pastel Painting Color Picking Guide for Beginning Artists
Beginners should start with a basic set of colors to match their subject matter. An abstract artist, a landscape artist and a portrait painter will all have different color needs.
For each pastel color, there are more than half a dozen shades, from light to dark. Start with a small set of 12 colors, or go for the 24 color set. Larger sets of basic colors go from 36 to
Basic Colors You Need for Pastel Painting
White: Chinese, blending
Blues: Prussian, Vermilion, Cobalt
Greens: Chromium Oxide Green, Viridian, Hookers Green, Emerald Green
Browns: Umber, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber
Red/Orange: Orange Earth, Vermilion, Alzarin, Deep Cadmium, Crimson Lake, Geranium Lake
Yellows: Cadmium Yellow Deep, Lemon Yellow
Consider a color collection boxed set in addition to the basic pastel color palette.
Gray – A gray set may contain a dozen grays, both cool and warm, ranging from blacks to silver whites. A gray collection works for shadows, still life paintings or “black and white” paintings.
Sketching Colors – Daler Rowney makes a sketching collection to help you channel your inner DaVinci. The colors are rich and earthy and include a range of Burnt Sienna pastels, browns, reds and yellows.
Landscape Colors – The Cretacolor pastel collection contains colors that would make Monet sing. It includes white and black as well shades of blue, green and brown.
Portrait Colors – A portrait color collection has light peachy colors and various shades of brown and a couple of blues.
How to Build your Pastel Painting Color Collection
1. When you’re working on a specific project or theme, you will need specific colors to achieve the effects you desire. Allow yourself to purchase five new colors when starting works with a new theme, in addition to your existing pastel color collection.
2. Purchase black and white pastels frequently. One way around this is to start with a black or white paper, depending on your subject matter.
3. Keep a list of pastel colors you run out or or would like in the future. Pull out the list when you go to store or anyone asks you what you want as a holiday or birthday gift.
4. Avoid buying additional boxes of multi-colored pastels, unless you need to restock your entire palette. There are some colors you may hardly use in any of your pastel paintings.