Can I use my chalk pastels to make a "Smoke" like effect?

Is it useful in drawings or should I just stick with pencils?

I use Canson sketchbooks

  • Can you post an image of the effect you're trying to achieve? It's difficult to exlpain a technique if we don't know what you're trying to do. :) – Catija Sep 6 '17 at 21:16
  • I want to add a slightly yellowing background, but with olive green smoke surrounding a character. – Aspen the Artist and Author Sep 6 '17 at 21:17
  • I'm trying to go for a more apocalyptic feel. – Aspen the Artist and Author Sep 6 '17 at 21:39
  • An effect like smoke is as much if not more about technique than the materials you use. Look at examples of smoke and fog in real life and in others artists' works to see how they do it. From that you can develop the look of smoke and such to match your own style. – rebusB Sep 27 '17 at 21:36
  • @rebusB But I did, and the ones I liked were using pastel chalks – Aspen the Artist and Author Sep 27 '17 at 22:03

Pastels, that is chalk pastels, are easy and beautiful media for blending or creating translucent effects like smoke, as you know. However, they are fragile and will blow away or fall off if not sealed. Even then they will be sensitive to the environment, especially fingers.

That said, I'd bet you would be successful with a semi-permanent spray fixative. You'll be able to go over it, if you must, but your smoke effect will gain longevity.

Because you may be working over graphite, the surface may have that greasy action, but be persistent. Consider using pastel pencils.

| improve this answer | |
  • pastel pencils? That's a thing?? – Aspen the Artist and Author Sep 9 '17 at 19:41
  • workable fixative will add back some tooth that should offset the slickness of the graphite. – rebusB Sep 27 '17 at 21:33

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