I hope this mini-lesson makes you think about when you want to blend and when it might be better just to keep your hands out of it!

he video is going to address a big debate among pastelists: to blend or not to blend. With blending, you’re making a gradation within a form or soften the edge of where two forms are meeting up. One of the reasons pastel is so beautiful is because of it’s luminosity and overblending can kill that luminosity.


Pastels are very easy to use plus there is no drying time. It allows the artist to draw directly on a surface, even without any medium or tool to degrade the color’s freshness.  Pastels create brilliant colors and could create a wide range of effects. Moody shadows, soft edges, crisp lines and feathery textures are just a few of these effects. With pastels, you can easily lift it from the surface up to a moment when a fixative is applied if you make a mistake.I

One of the the basic skills you need to learn in using pastel is blending. You can use your fingers, a cloth, tools, a solvent just to name a few. But each does have its pros and cons.  Like using your finger breaks down a pastel’s crystalline structure which could dull the surface.  Therefore, No matter what you choose, the most important thing is the technique.

So, how do you that effectively?

With Warmest Regards,


Painting Minilessons
with Marla Baggetta

These “mini-lessons” grew out of my blog. I love sharing my experience behind the easel, so these are free. I write a new one every two or three weeks, so please feel free to share with artist friends.

​These lessons are mostly written text with graphics…short but useful tidbits from the foundations of painting that touch on subjects such as aerial perspective, simultaneous contrast or using negative spaces. I guide you through different aspects of painting and art that will get you comfortable with using pastels. You’ll gain confidence to attempt work that you might have otherwise been timid about.

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