Big Pastels, Mini Marks

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 1, 2013 — Leave a comment
pastels & card

my pastels & card

There they are, those beautiful sticks of soft pastels. They are about the size of my pointer finger, and while mine may be a bit messy, they are full of beautiful, creamy, vibrant color.

I have my pastel card cut and I’m ready to begin.

Wow: big pastel, tiny paper. How is it to be done???

My biggest sellers are mini pastels, 2×3″ to 4×4″ pastels on card, framed. When teaching classes, one of the tricks my students are encouraged to master is the ability to hold a chunky pastel just right, in order to achieve a very fine line. It can be done!

No matter how rounded my pastels look, I can always find an edge. Sometimes I have to break them (painful, I know…but it must be done!), or use a small “crumb.” When handled correctly, I can get a thin eyelash even on a small piece of art.

Something I like about tiny pastel art is that I am forced out of my detail-oriented, perfectionistic tendency into a looser, more impressionistic style. I began mini pastels as an exercise in loosening up, and also so I didn’t waste my paper (hee hee! I’m thrifty too!).

Now, of course you can get fine lines with pastel pencils or harder pastels, such as Conte, but I’m a pastel purist and love to use soft pastels all the way. Plus, hard pastels and pencils are never as vibrant as a good, creamy, super soft pastel stick.

Try some mini art today, and tell me what you think!

Take a peek at some of my small pastels:

My previous posts about small pastels:


Mini portraits

New minis




Mary Liz Ingram


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