Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Technique Tuesday - Coloring With Pastels

Pitt Pastels for soft coloring

Today's technique is coloring with Pitt Pastel pencils.  These pencils are pastel chalks, made by Faber Castell.  I like this brand because the chalk is soft and blends really well.  I love the chalk in pencil form. It is easy to control, yet has many of the attributes of the chalk palettes you may be familiar with.
I made these two cards using Pitt Pastels to color the main images.
 This first card features Penny Black stamps (30-014 clear set and 3949H poppies). The bottom panel is a piece I had previously created with alcohol ink.  Spellbinder's dies were used to cut the image and the panel around it, and I used one of the Spellbinder's label dies (cut in half and attached to the panel) for the top and bottom pieces.  The strip of mulberry paper was added for softness.  I used the stardust gel pen to add some sparkle to the butterfly, around the image panel, and friends.
Challenges I've entered this poppy card in:
    Allsorts Challenge Blog - Inspired by Nature
    Penny Black At Allsorts Challenge - Say It With Flowers

 Hero Arts stamps were used on this card.  Spellbinder's dies were used for the panel and the scalloped layer piece.  EK Success punch was used for the purple border.  I stamped the left panel with the floral border from the clear set CL045.  I also stamped the white satin ribbon with the same stamp.  To create the ribbon flower, I stitched along one long edge of a five inch piece of stamped ribbon, then pulled the stitches up to gather, and stitched it together to form the flower shape, and added a pearl to the center. The right panel is H214 manuscript background.  The hydrangea is one of my old favorites F2067     The silver friends is from a Class-A-Peels border by Stampendous. 
Challenges I've entered this card in:
Stamping on ribbon

Allsorts Challenge Blog - Inspired by Nature
Hero Arts Club Monthly Contest- Friendship & Love

Here's how to color the images with the Pitt Pastels:

Start with three or four colors for each part of the image.  For the poppy card, I chose three different reds, a rust for the centers, and two greens for leaves and stems.
Tortillions are used for blending.  A tortillion is a blending stump, made from tightly wound heavy paper.  I got mine at AC Moore.  The pastels are available at most craft store art areas, or at art stores, usually as a set.
I like to "ink" my stamp with my markers, using the colors I want my images to be.  In this case, I colored the stamp using red marker for the flowers, rust for the centers, and green for the stems.  This way, when I color it in, there is not that harsh black outline as there is when you stamp your image in black.  Just a different look, much softer.

 Adding Color
Start coloring with your lightest color for each area.  Then add the next shade, finishing with touches of the darkest color where it would naturally be darker.

 Blending with tortillion
Using the tortillion, begin rubbing the colored image. This will blend the colors and soften the look.  I use one tortillion for each color group.  I add a ring of the color around the top of the tortillion, so that I will always use that tortillion for that color group, thereby not contaminating it with other colors when I use it again.

 Add white for highlights
I like to finish by adding some white highlights. To do this, use an eraser to remove some of the red where you want the highlights. Then color in with the white, and blend with the tortillion.

A fine mist of hair spray will set the chalk.

Hope you'll try this.  The pastels are a wonderful medium, and I think you will like the way they blend, and the effects they give.

On a personal note
We celebrated our granddaughter Kennedy's baptism Sunday in Buffalo.  It was a glorious day, and a glorious celebration.  Her big sister, Keeley, was excited, and Kennedy was so sweet, and in such a happy mood.  If you would like to read about it and see pictures, you can visit my writing blog, A Little Perspective (Kennedy's baptism post) .

Enjoy your week.


  1. Hi Lynda you have made some beautiful cards love the poppies and a fab tutorial also, will have to pop back and check out the tutorial I have pencils and have really not used them much, thanks for joining us at Penny Black at Allsorts.
    Louise xx

  2. Hi Lynda

    What a brilliant post.

    Loved the tutorial and your cards are gorgeous.

    Your Penny Black image has been used beautifully. What a gorgeous frame you have given it!!

    Thank you for sharing with Penny Black at Allsorts this month.

    Love Jules xx

  3. Gorgeous cards! Love all the beautiful details.
    Nice tutorial, new pens to me.

    Thanks for sharing with us
    at Penny Black @ Allsorts;-))m

  4. Stunning cards
    Thanks for joining my nature challenge at ALLSORTS this week, Good Luck
    Hugz Fleur xXx

  5. Hi Lynda, the cards you coloured with pastels are gorgeous! The colours are so vibrant. Well done!

  6. These are so gorgeous!! Love the color combos and thank you so much for sharing how you colored. It looks amazing!

    Also many thanks for joining us at penny black at all sorts!!

  7. Gorgeous cards Lynda and a great tutorial for the pastel blending.
    Thank you for joining us at Penny Black at Allsorts this month and we hope you will join us again.

  8. I saw this on SCS and popped over to have a better look. Thanks for sharing how you coloured it. Ruth


Comments are welcomed and appreciated!