My first pastel experience happened when I was in the School of Arts, at one of the plein airs, where students were allowed to take different materials and try mixed techniques. So I bought my first set of local pastel brand and brought it with me to the plein air. I do remember that what I liked immediately was a feeling of freedom and ability to form paintings with my fingers. In comparison with watercolor where you almost never know what will happen next, especially when you’re working on a wet surface, pastel seemed to me just a perfect companion.
So I started to periodically draw in this medium and almost all my paintings were collected by art committee of the school of arts during examination reviews (meaning that those were quite successful).
However, taking into account the choice of pastel brands and pastel paper 11 years ago was very limited on the local market, and that brand I used was rather hard, I didn’t enjoy the process to a great extent and my pastel period became very short.
And only in 2019 I made a decision to return to the medium I had warm memories about and to invest in professional pastel brand sets (one of those was Unison Portrait Set 36) and good quality pastel paper. You know what? It was absolutely worth it!
Now I can say with a full responsibility that having good quality materials make not only your first impression absolutely awesome, but the result itself will be much better even if you’re drawing in pastel for the first time!
Often I hear that “true artist can work with any materials” – yes, he can, but if you ask even a great artist to draw the same picture using two sets of materials (poor quality and good quality), you will immediately see the difference, believe me. And with pastel medium that difference is even more obvious.