Black Isn’t Black when Using Pastel Pencils – Here’s Why

//Black Isn’t Black when Using Pastel Pencils – Here’s Why

We had a very interesting enquiry come from Clare through our Facebook Page.

“I’m very new to pastels and colour as a whole. I had a go at drawing the kitten with pastels, and enjoyed the experience (even though I was impatient and didn’t have the colours you had!)

Anyway, the reason for all this waffle is to ask you: how would you colour a piece that’s black in the photograph? I’m drawing Angelina Jolie as Maleficent and her turban although has blue streaks in it, is mostly black. How would you go about colouring it in?


Black should never be used as a colour on its own as it would always appear too hard. The trick is to use a tone that is dark enough so that even though it appears as black but would tone in with the rest of the colours adjacent to it.

When using the pastel pencils I would always use a mid or dark grey to start off with then depending on the tone, in this case a cool grey tone as it has blue next to it. Before applying the black I would apply a dark blue hue on top of the grey then apply the black as a finish.

If you want a really intense black use both the grey then the blue sparingly, the trick is to reach the black with as little base colour as you can get away with.

I hope this helps to understand using black in pastel pencils.

If you want to learn how to draw the kitten using my free course, click here.

By | 2018-03-15T15:13:14+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Tips & Techniques|0 Comments