Progress shots of my newest work "The Star" | Techniques in PanPastels

Hello! I wanted to check in today and share progress shots of one of my newest pieces!

I realized I haven't been posting here as often as I wanted to, even though I have a TON of photos just sitting on my phone that would be perfect for blogging.

So I figured I would at least try to keep things simple and give it a try!

A few months ago I got some PanPastels and have been trying out and learning some new techniques. It's been a lot of fun. I've never tried them before, despite having wanted some for years. Turns out, I'm in love.. and kind of kicking myself for not trying them after all these years. 

The process is interesting. Different then painting but still quite similar once you get the hang of things.. If that makes any sense. It can get just as messy, and it caused me to change my approach on a lot of things.. but don't be intimidated. They are a lot of fun. The pigments mix like paint even though it's a powder.

I'm used to creating my galaxies with watercolor and acrylic, so trying out pastels was a lot of fun and quite the challenge. 

Here is the progress of one of my newest pieces.

This is the "Star" card for the current oracle deck we are making as part of Kristen's challenge for the Pull Pen Paint class this year! (Which so far, has been a blast.) 

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

I sketched the figure in lightly with an H pencil and then blocked all the dark spaces with a dark blue/black.

Pastels are really nice and forgiving, you can erase quite a bit and start again if you mess up!

This year I am doing the artwork on larger sheets so I can put them in the shop as paintings and prints. This means I have to accept that it will likely be a bit of a patience game, but it allows me to go into finer details. Which is a lot of fun for me. 

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

I am working on smooth Bristol-Vellum Paper for a lot of the cards/paintings this year. The really fine surface helps pick up that black pigment so that I don't have to layer it on too much to create a smooth surface.

(Panpastel Tip: Leave the places you want white (or yellow), blank/white from the get-go. It's much harder to add white pastel or white paint over this than it would be to plan accordingly. I will try masking fluid in a future painting and let you know how it goes.)

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

Once my darkest areas were filled in, I started to work on the details of the figure. I use a spare piece of scrap paper to guard my arm and hand from smearing anything. (I also use Gloves in a Bottle or Invisible Gloves before I use pastels! This cuts down on the smearing AND how much of it gets on my hands.)  

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

I do my fine details with Prismacolor Colored Pencils and Derwent Colored Pencils....

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck
Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

and I use a white liquid acrylic and sometimes a white Gel Pen to do my final stars and any highlights needed. 

Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck
Step by step progress on the Star | Tree Talker Art | Oracle Deck

I lost track of how much time I spent on this one, but I love how it turned out.

Switching mediums can be a scary thing.. but it was worth it! I loved the way I did galaxies and stars in watercolor and acrylic, but doing them in pastel creates a new look that I am so happy with.

So far I've given myself a darker moodier color palette for this series, but I'm still allowing myself to use my favorite flash of bright red when it's needed. 

             Here's a sneak peek of the "Sun" card so far.

            Here's a sneak peek of the "Sun" card so far.

Better photos of both of these will be coming soon.. 

I am planning a huge shop update at the end of this month! I'll be releasing new prints and paintings, and the Untamed Truth Oracle deck will also be here and shipping again.

I am also working towards getting a Society6 of Threadless account so I can turn my paintings into phone cases, leggings, tapestries, mugs and other fun goodies!

I haven't had experience with either, aside from as a customer, so I'm unsure which route to take! I'd LOVE some help here! 

Have you had experience with either? Which do you prefer?And if you don't have any experience, you can still help me out.. What kind of products of mine would you like to see turned into wearable/usable things?

Let me know in the comments! 

Rachael Caringella

I am an Artist, Mystic and Oracle. I have been creating since I was little, and am constantly working on something new in the studio. I also have a passion for illustration. I have illustrated a few children's books as well as some Tarot decks and Oracle decks. Aside from creating art, I am also a card reader. I specialize in Tarot and Crystal readings. I love all things mystic, and spiritual and I delight in the mixture of creation and intuition.