Supplies List for Portrait in Pastel with Erik March
Vine charcoal (medium or soft)
Nitram charcoal shaper (sanding pad for sharpening Nupastel or Vine Charcoal, optional)
General’s Charcoal Pencils (HB & 2B, optional)
Razor blade (for sharpening pencils and chalks, optional)
Charcoal/Pastel Paper,2–4 sheets
You need a paper that has a textured surface that will hold the pastel. Some recommended options:
Art Spectrum Colourfix Pastel Paper (this is my preferred paper but is expensive)
Canson Mi-Teintes pastel/charcoal paper. Middle-value blue, grey, or brown
Canson Ingres Laid paper
Golden Pastel Ground applied to cold-press watercolor paper
Nupastel set of 24 (or set of 36; more colors can give you a broader palette). Nupastels are a fairly hard pastel and are helpful for getting sharp edges but can also be used for blending.
The 24 set lacks some good darks—you can supplement the 24 set with individual sticks from the art store. I suggest getting an additional dark brown, dark blue/purple, dark green, and dark red.
If you already have a set of pastels (dry chalk pastels, NOT oil pastels) use them. Other “soft” pastel options include sets of Rembrandt, Sennelier, or other brands. Soft pastels are lovely and give you a more buttery stroke.
Your board should be larger than your paper size (so 20” x 26” if you are using a full sheet of the Canson paper). Often just going to a lumberyard and getting a piece of 1/8” Masonite cut down to size is the best and cheapest way to get one. (They also sell drawing boards in art stores that come equipped with handle holes and built-in clips that can make it hard to use the board! A simple flat piece of Masonite is better.) You can also look into using 1⁄2” foam core or “gator board” as a lightweight alternative to Masonite. Some drawing boards are available at CAW, but they often have dried paint on them, which makes them not great as a drawing surface.
Two Large 2″ Black Paper Clamps (for clipping paper to board)
Kneaded eraser and/or white “click”/mechanical/retractable eraser
Straight, thin knitting needle or stick (for measuring)
Pastel pencils – these come in a variety of colors and can be useful for detail work. Suggested colors: gray, brown, white, light gray–blue, light yellow/beige
Other Suggested Materials:
Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating or Sennelier Delacroix Spray Fixative for Pencils and Charcoal (for fixing pastel drawings at home to protect them)
Glassine (for covering drawings in storage.) Glassine is like tracing paper and can be bought in rolls. You can also buy a pad of tracing paper and use that as long as it’s acid-free.)
Portfolio for transporting paper and drawings (do not roll your drawings!)