The first thing I confirmed was even though colored pencil painting was a time consuming media it is a fairly clean media, and pastels even with pastel pencils is far from clean. At least in my hands! But I knew this already right? After playing with it for 2 hours I had it everywhere, my 4 year old granddaughter would have been proud. But I was having fun, so I pursued my pastel adventure....... working on what Betsy said would be a good starter project. She suggested to paint something you've done before. So I pulled up one of my first colored pencil photo references, a still life of 3 Fuji apples on a blue cloth. I didn't work from the line drawing I had from my cp piece, I worked one apple at a time with small areas of the cloth around it drawing directly onto the hot pressed watercolor paper I had on hand. OK, I know, not the paper suggested for pastel use... but I like this paper and I use it at times for my cp work... and I have a lot of it in scrap form. And I was only playing right! My intent when I started was that I'd do one apple a little cloth and just have one quick experience with pastels. But 5 hours later one apple turned into all 3 and all the cloth. I actually did this piece in one fifth the time it took me to do the colored pencil one. Now it's not laid out as well as the cp piece, but I wasn't following a line drawing and my intent was to just play. So don't compare it for composition or as an exact copy. No under painting just pastel on paper.
Conclusions from this adventure into pastel: 1. A much faster media, but again I wasn't trying to be faithful to the line drawing or composition. So this should enable me to get more down within the plein aire realm; 2. Blending my way into a basic understanding of the media taught me that fingers are the my best tools although I did use the rubber tipped blender tools but I should try stumps for a less messy approach; 3. I need many more colors of pastels in a better landscape palette to execute a basic scene. If this sounds like art supply shopping.......................your right! And what artist doesn't love that!
I hope to get my latest colored pencil piece scanned to post next week. Off to order some more pastels.