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Tutorial no. 8 of Prof's PSP 9 Art Media Tutorials  >
Art Media: Chalk, Pastel and Crayon Art
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Art Media: Chalk, Pastel and Crayon Art
Created by: Prof

The Art Media feature of PSP 9 has a number of different tools that one can use to paint/draw pictures. Three of these features which are very similar are the 'Chalk', 'Pastel', and 'Crayon' tools. This tutorial will explore how these tools are similar as well as different from one another rather than how to draw with them.

Introductory Remarks

As I continued my journey in learning to use the Art Media tools and began to work with the Chalk, Pastel, and Crayon tools I at first could not really see any difference between these tools as well as any difference to the Colored Pencil tool. However, as I have often said, not being an artist, by practicing, exploring and spending many hours just playing with the tools, I discovered some of their differences.

The Oil Brush and the Palette Knife work with 'Oils' which means at least two things: First, one can use the Mixer palette to get various colors mixed that are picked up by the brush; second, this medium is considered a 'wet' medium which means the paints mix together for various hues and are seen as wet. It is possible however in the Layer palette to right-click on an art-media layer for the context menu and set the canvas to a dry art media layer.

A dry art media layer means that with oils you can paint over an area with a new color and it won't mix or blend into that color. One can switch back and forth between the dry and wet art media layers if one wishes for different effects when using oils.

On the other hand, all the other Art Media tools (Colored Pencil, Chalk, Pastel, Crayon, Marker) are dry Art Media tools and one cannot change the media using the Layer palette context menu. Thus, basically the Chalk, Pastel, Crayon, Pencil and Marker are tools that though they will smear, blending or smearing colors with them produces different results than when using oils.


Setting the Colors

I discovered that the Mixer palette can actually be used with all the Art Media tools. The difference is that mixed colors, like with the Oil Brush, will not work for the other tools. The Oil Brush will pick up the color variations which the other brushes cannot.

However, one might want to place swatches of various colors one will be using in a painting on the Mixer palette in order to use them in the painting by using the Mixer Dropper to pick them up. One can mix colors on the Mixer Palette but the mixed colors will only be a single color (single pixel) rather than multiple colors as is the case when using oils.

For this tutorial I am using a very large canvas of 600 x 600 pixels, with a white background and the texture set to 'Canvas Simple'. As noted in the Pencil Art tutorial, different canvas textures will in fact produce different appearances when using the drawing tools of chalk, pastel and crayon.


Mouse vs. Stylus

The main difference between using the mouse to draw and using a tablet and stylus is the same as with other tools. The mouse draws with a constant-sized tip (dependent upon the size setting) while the stylus can vary the tip size and lightness/darkness of the stroke dependent upon the pressure used on the tablet.


Art-Media Chalk Tool (PSP 9)

Art-Media Pastel Tool (PSP 9)

Art-Media Crayon Tool (PSP 9)

Using the Chalk, Pastel, and Crayon tools

Each of these three tools has a very similar appearance and the difference between them is very subtle. Stroking with any one of these three tools will produce an effect of the color used which will also pick up the texture of the canvas. Varying the pressure used when using a stylus will produce a lighter or darker stroke. The edges of the stroke tend to fade off a bit.

Chalk: Chalk is a drier medium than the Pastel tool. If not smeared the Chalk stroke looks almost like the other two. Its difference is that it does have a drier look than the Pastel tool. The difference that is noticeable is when one uses the Smear tool. Chalk will smear and blend into another color better than the Crayon but less good than the Pastel tool.

Pastel: Pastel which is a type of chalk has a wetter look or a look in which there is what appears to function much like a bit of oil. Thus, when stroking with Pastel, particularly when using more pressure, the stroke will have somewhat of a shiny look. When using the Smear tool, Pastel blends very rapidly and solidly both with the single color as well as with other colors.

Crayon: Crayon is a bit more waxy in its appearance, somewhat like a real crayon. As with the other tools the stroke pressure will create lighter or darker strokes. Using the Smear tool will blend the crayon, somewhat like the Chalk tool but not as much. If one uses a lot of strokes when blending one can create more of a solid-looking result rather than one that displays the texture of the canvas.



I chose a larger canvas (600 x 600 pixels) so I could draw two rows of three objects. The top row would be the tool without a great deal of pressure while the bottom row duplicated the top images and then applied the Smear tool to each. The left object was drawn with Chalk, the middle with Pastel and the right with Crayon. Also note that the illustrations will not show the objects as clearly or with the differences as well as will the full size canvas.

I drew an apple. I used a red color and a Brush Size of 50 and drew a red circle. Then I used white to highlight an area. I then used brown with a Brush Size of 20 to draw a stem, green with a Brush Size of 10 to draw the leaves. For the apples I used a medium to medium-light pressure.

When I finished the top three apples, I duplicated them in the Layer palette, then moved that layer down to the bottom of the canvas. The bottom layer in the Layer palette was the white textured canvas while the two top layers were on transparent layers. I then used the Smear tool, Size set to about 50, and lightly smudged or smeared the apple circle area to blend the colors into the canvas as well as to blend the white and red colors.


The Drawings

The top row in this illustration shows unblended drawings and the bottom row shows the drawings using the Smear tool. The left apple is Chalk (drier), middle is Pastel (shinier), right is Crayon (waxy).


Final Comments

One could also use both Chalk and Pastel in the same drawing if one wishes. The smearing of chalk produces more variation in coloring than with Pastel. Also, one could draw over a smeared image to get additional textures.

The key is to just experiment, have fun and enjoy painting.

Enjoy. – Prof –