Above is one of my most favourite pictures. I took it in the fall of last year, and I've painted it a few times since. The most recent incarnation of what I like to call "Dusk in the Countryside" was made using my brand new pastels. They're so soft that it feels as though they are melting into the paper, and yet there is still so much room to layer!
Making the above picture was rather simple. Start by outlining the dark silhouette. In pastel, you've got to start with the darks first.
Then I started with the orange, the yellow, a touch of green, a light blue, a dark blue, a purple... and then take a torchon stick and rub like crazy. Next, I go down to the bottom and fill in the rest of the silhouette. I used a charcoal pencil to make the sharper lines of the barn and silos, but the rest was stroked in, and then rubbed to soften. Finally, I went back into the sky and stroked some more blue, orange and white it to the colours already there.
This isn't a great picture of it. I find that the best way to view a pastel painting is from several paces away. And the painting itself is small - only 5" by 7", matted and placed into an 8" by 10" frame from the dollar shop. Like I've said before, scope out the dollar shop, and you'll get the best materials!