Practical not pretty.

The story of practical not pretty.

You know how it goes (if you are anything like me). You go into an art store or gaze at photos of art supplies online and they all look so pretty. The colours, the labels, the boxes. You get them home and smile at them all lined up in pretty rows – the whites changing into yellows one by one, then oranges, then reds and so it goes. Oh to keep them all intact, in their individual beds where they belong. You can become obsessive about it!

all lined up

BUT I know the best thing I can do in order to actually get some work done is pick out the ones I am going to work with (a full box of 60 is far too overwhelming in terms of colour choice so I picked out only a select few) tear those labels off, break those pastels up and get to work. So satisfying once you do it!


In my limited time working with pastels I know that the worst thing I can do is try to keep them pretty. Breaking them up gives me lots of different angles to make different marks and they soon get messy in my hands – but it is okay! The time goes so quickly and before I knew it I had a finished painting and a handful of dust and stubs. The pristine box ruined – some colours never to find their way back. Oh well.


Comments 1

  1. Jill Hodgson

    I know just what you mean and that is very helpful advice, thank you! I have 2 big beautiful boxes of Rembrandt pastels bought at vast expense that I never use, I stress about uniting the correct pieces back together etc just like I used to do with my kid’s Lego sets 🙂 It’s never occurred to me to tip them out and throw away the box but I’ll do just that….

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