Skip to main content

Pastel & Colour: Creating textures with primers

Rate this tutorial
No votes yet

Pastels are rather laid back: they blissfully embed themselves in the contours and hollows of the support medium. Applying an acrylic primer before adding colors will allow you to create visual effects. An intense result!


What you need to know

The more textured your paper, the more its tint will show in your work. By using a primer or acrylic gesso to strengthen your base, you commit yourself to composing your piece on the basis of this new parameter.

1. Applying the primer

Think about the sense you want to put in your background before getting start.

Pick up a little primer with a blender brush and apply it to the paper with sweeping energetic movements: you can texturize certain areas differently, depending on their composition.

Allow to dry completely before applying pastels.

Apply color using oblique or semi-circular movements (for instance, for creating a sky or a stormy sea). You can accentuate certain areas by pressing harder on the stick.


Note! This technique will make your piece incompatible with a highly defined detail. It is well-suited to quick lines and abstract works. However, you can soften the lines and colors with a wet paintbrush.

2. Applying acrylic gesso

This too can be applied with a paintbrush, possibly after it has been tinted with an acrylic color. Once dry, it will have the property of impeding the pastels, which won't be applied evenly.

Its texture can be increased by incorporating a mineral powder (sand, marble, etc.)


Note! The more you enrich the texture of your paper, the heavier sturdier weight you will need to choose.