Pitt Pastel Puppy Tutorial

Pastel portrait of dog

A Pitt Pastel tutorial with with tips and techniques! 

How to Be a Fierce Artist Part 2


Self confidence is everything. If you think that you don’t have confidence, start telling yourself that you do (this will lead to it). It is confidence that enables you to take risks with your art and have the courage to try something new, yet can also come with the possibility of failure or producing something of average quality. A fierce artist accepts this as part of the creative process; you try, you possibly fail, you rethink and change your direction. You tell yourself that you will try again, because you believe that you will succeed.

Confidence also enables you to feel comfortable sharing your work or talking about it with others. However being confident by no means, defines you as an extrovert. The world is full of low-key introverts plenty confident and satisfied with their own artistic ability and achievements, regardless of attention or validation from others. Some very talented artists prefer to fly under the radar their whole life; we may never know who they are. A fierce artist is confident.

Pitt Pastel Pencils offer the artist the best of both worlds, combining the confidence and control of a pencil with the soft, looser mark of pastel. The colors can be blended and layered just as they would in a soft pastel painting. Their pencil form also allows the pastel to be easily sharpened to a point and be used for developing details in artwork.

The Pitt Pastel pencil lead contains a high level of pigment, making the pencils ideally suited both for drawing lines and shading, as well as blending and merging into delicate color transitions. Their light, clean application creates significantly less dust than other pastel chalks during use, allowing artists to enjoy pastel techniques without the mess that often accompanies them. Pitt pastel pencils also combine well with Polychromos pastels making them the perfect complement.

Pitt pastel pencils come in a comprehensive range of 60 vivid colors, and are lightfast and acid-free. They are also conveniently color-matched to all other Faber Castell Art & Graphic Products, enabling reliable mixing techniques of all artists’ materials.

These professional quality Pitt pastel pencils are offered both individually and in tins of 12, 24, 36, and 60 pieces. The full range of 60 pencils offer an assortment of beautiful colors featuring extensive shades for landscapes, portraits, design, etc..

Faber Castell's traditional commitment to producing the highest quality art materials available insure the artist with the creative inspiration they seek for producing unique and professional works of art.

Faber Castell Pitt Pastel Pencils.

Experience the pleasure of what pure quality has to offer



Pitt pastel pencils when held at an angle produce even, flat color for shading and coverage. A variety of color intensities can be achieved by the amount of pressure used with the pencil.

Parallel Hatching / Cross Hatching

Hatching is a technique of drawing fine parallel lines close together to give the effect of shading. The closer together the lines are, the darker the area appears.

Cross hatching are hatching marks overlapped at different angles. Depending on the density of the lines and number of colors used, new tones can be created.

Mixing and Smudging

Smudging is a technique where colors are rubbed into the paper with a finger, blending stump or cloth. Soft, smooth color gradients can be created by smudging the lighter colors into the darker colors.


Blending color is very easy with Pitt pastel pencils. It is possible to achieve outstanding effects using just the pencils themselves. It is also possible to blend with a finger to achieve a good solid color. Blending stumps and other paintbrush-like tools with various rubber tips offer excellent blending results for small areas that are impossible to achieve with a finger.


Due to the absence of waxes and oils in Pitt pastel pencils, a fixative is recommended to prevent unwanted smudging and to protect the final piece of art. Using fixative also offers another great advantage. You can spray throughout your art process to restore tooth to continue with layers of pastel. Note that while a fixative successfully binds the pigments, it can also slightly darken the colors.

Glazing Color

Glazing is a very effective technique where a very thin layer of color is applied over another. This creates an optical mixture with the base color shining through the upper layer of color.

Mixed Media

Pitt Pastel Pencils are also popular for use in combination with Albrecht Durer Artists’ Watercolor Pencils. Interesting creative effects can be achieved with pastel pencil applied on top of dried watercolor.

Making Corrections

A vinyl eraser will completely remove pastel color while a kneaded eraser can gently lift and lighten color.

Tips for Using Pitt Pastel Pencils for Animals

1. Choose a sanded paper meant for pastel or a paper with enough tooth to hold the pigment and accept layers of pastel. Toned paper is also a popular choice, as it presents a neutral background to go both lighter and darker with your pencils.

2. Lighten your outline drawing with a kneaded eraser before you begin to draw and color over it.

3. Use the side of the pencil for shading in the foundation color of the animal.

4. Draw fur in the direction it is growing in.

5. Work dark to light.

6. Use fingers for blending sparingly, and experiment with using other pencils, paper stubs or color shapers for blending.

7. Avoid accidentally smudging your work by using a piece of tracing paper or glassine (protective sheets of glassine can be found in sanded paper pads) under your drawing hand.

How to:

Rendering the dog’s ear

I begin by transferring my outline drawing of the dog to my brown sanded pastel paper.

Sketch of a dog ear

Before I begin rendering the ear with color, I lighten the outline drawing to where I can barely see it by gently blotting it with a kneaded eraser. I then begin to shade in the ear by using a variety of Pitt pastel pencils used on their sides to achieve an even coverage. I go back and forth with as many as 10 pencils, getting the color basically laid in according to my reference photo.

Dog ear

Here is where I spend most of my time, blending and glazing colors. I gradually deepen or lighten tones, and soften transitions until satisfied.

Drawing of dog

Finally, I add a bit of texture by drawing some individual hairs in a lighter color with a sharpened pencil, along with some delicate highlighted touches. 

Portrait of a dog

Artist Biography - Janis Doukakis



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