Sea Shell Pastel Drawing

Sea Shell Pastel DrawingThe Sea Shell Pastel Drawing Lesson can apply to upper elementary art, middle school art, or high school art. The main objective of this to practice drawing observational skills as well as pastel techniques.

Materials Needed: Pastels- 24 Soft Chalk Pastels Set for Art Drawing, Scrapbooking & More -Assorted Colors (24 Colours), Stumps And Tortillions Set, paper towels, scrap paper

Pre-Activity: Dry Pastel Techniques Lesson Plan and Worksheet

Dry Pastel Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet 2015

Objective: Students will use good drawing observational skills to draw a sea shell accurately and render with full shading using dry pastels. They will review basic pastel techniques.

Preparation: Get out sea shells and pastels, set-up a teacher demo area



Triangle Composition

Triangle Structure The main objects of a composition are loosely arranged in a triangle or pyramid shape.

Sea Shell Pastel Drawing Triangle composition




Triangle composition Triangle composition


Point of View

  • Choose An Interesting Point Of View With Highlights & Shadows.Sea Shell Pastel Drawing Point of View
  • Experiment with location to horizon line.Sea Shell Pastel Drawing

Sea Shell Pastel Drawings Observational Drawing Skills Lesson

Drawing Observation Skills

  • Begin to LIGHTLY block in the shapes beginning with the largest shell. Make sure to do size comparisons ALL along the way.
  • Use sight measuring techniques to see what lines/shapes line up with each other.
  • Remember the motto “draw light until its right”, it is better to draw lightly first, get the drawing right, then go darker with your lines.
  • Once you have an accurate drawing of what you see, you may begin to add value using pastels.  Pastel Techniques

Pastel Techniques

Teacher Guided Demo (simplified version below, full lesson covers more techniques!)

Practice worksheet & Full Pastel Techniques LessonDry Pastel Techniques Lesson Plan & Worksheet 2015 Holding the Pastel

  1. Tip: or Edge: The simplest way to use a pastel is to draw with the end, holding it as you would a pencil or pen. Alter the thickness of the line by varying the pressure you’re applying to the pastel. The harder you press, the more pastel you’ll be putting down on the sheet. For thinner lines, press more gently or use the edge.
  2.  Side: To create large blocks of color, use the side of a pastel stick. Altering the pressure will create different degrees of texture on the pastel paper.

Blending Pastels- Unlike other mediums, pastels are not mixed before putting them on the paper.

  1. Optical Blending: which is achieved by having colors in close proximity and blending, where the pastel is mixed on the paper.
  2. Tool Blending:  paper tools such as the tortillon, torchon, and paper stump; putty (or kneaded erasers) rubbers, cloths, eye makeup applicators, foundation applicators, and cotton wool (balls or buds). These allow for more precise blending, but also tend to lift the pastel off the paper.
  3. Finger Blending: (or hand) Using the finger does not typically lift the pastel off the paper, it just moves it around-this is my preferred method of blending. Remember to clean your finger regularly to avoid contamination of the painting with colors previously blended. Keep a box of wet-wipes or damp paper towels handy at all times.

Project: Sea Shell Pastel Drawing

Project Objective: Create an original composition of sea shells render with dry pastels. Use the triangle composition method to compose the shell still life and render use dry pastels to apply FULL value ranges to the shells and surfaces.

1. Choose 3-4 sea shells (only one clam) and go to a still life set up with a lamp.
2. Use the triangle composition method to compose the shell still life. Choose an interesting point of view.
3. Use your assigned iPad to photograph the composition. Crop in pretty tight so there is not much negative space around the shells.Sea Shell Pastel Drawing
4. Bring photo into Photoshop Express & edit-increase contrast and saturation.
5. Send to printer for a black & white copy (to draw from).
6. Draw the composition LIGHTLY in pencil on toned paper. See me for color options.
7. Render the drawing with dry pastels to apply FULL value ranges to the shells and surfaces.

Variations to this Lesson:

If you choose to use this lesson or to repost it, please link it back to my blog. Create Art with ME

Additional Observational Drawing Skills Lessons:

PVC Pipe Charcoal Drawing

Small to BIG – Enlargement Drawing

Chex Mix Cross-Hatching Drawing – Value Through Line

Sliced and Diced Form Drawing

Body Proportions – Wooden Mannequin Drawings – 2 Lessons

LEGO Colored Pencil Drawing

LEGO Charcoal Drawing

Sea Shell Pastel Drawing

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