How to paint – Step-by-step demo of a pear painting in pastel for beginners

How to paint – Step-by-step demo of a pear painting in pastel for beginners

I drew the simple shape of the pear and now I’m blocking in the side of the pear where the shadow falls. If you’d like to download the image of the pear please see the link below. It’s free on my website. With light green I’m blocking in the side of the pear where the light hits it. I recommend breaking your pastels in half or thirds, it makes it a lot easier to work with especially when you’re using the side of the pastel to block in a shape. I’m blending it very lightly with my finger. This is our background for the colors we’ll be adding. I also recommend you keep a cloth, paper towels or a roll of toilet paper nearby so you can wipe your fingers clean in between. Sometimes the pastels gather other colors so I like to wipe those in between also. I’m adding some light green where I see more light hitting the pear and blending lightly with my finger. Usually at this point in the painting I like to anchor my subject and the shadow does that. I’m blocking in some black applying a little more pressure than I did with the pear. I’m using a mid-tone green where there is more light on the pear and there’s also an orange blush to the pear so I’m adding that now. I’m applying my colors with a little more pressure now. There’s also some light coming in from the right and I’m using my yellow pastel for that. Again, a little more pressure than before. There’s also some blush there and I’m blending it ever so gently. I’m adding some different values of color bringing the blush up a bit and more yellow where the light hits the pear. Again a little more pressure here. One more detail to the stem by putting some gray in the background behind stem. It’s more of a light shadow so I’m accentuating the stem a bit. My stem seems a little thick but you’ll see in the photo that this pear does have a thick stem. I’m adding a little more contrast with the black near the top of the pear where there’s less light hitting it. I’m using white for some highlights. It’s all about balance of light when you’re painting. More highlights here and in the mid part of the pear I’m using my light green. Now it’s time to block in the background. I’m using a light grey while not applying a whole lot of pressure. I’m working around the edge. Working on refining some of the details. There’s not too much left to do. When the paintings nearly finished I add my highlights and white, my lightest light, and sometimes this is my favorite part because it can really make a painting pop I hope you enjoyed this video. If you have any comments please leave them below and more will be coming! If you’d like to send me an image of your completed pear I’d love to share it on my website. Just go to the contact link below and send me an email


  • SnuggumsGirl says:

    I love these videos! You are really teaching me a lot about shading. I'm hoping in the future, you might do a video on those wonderful olives. The glass jar has been a real mystery to me. I'm not an artist, but I can follow your directions. Thanks!

  • Bernice Seigel says:

    What other paper can you use if you don't have the correct paper?

  • Jeanie Brandt says:

    Great video. The simplicity of your process is very helpful for a beginner painting with pastels! Bravo!!!

  • Denise Wong says:

    Very helpful. Thank you!

  • Nievs Gatcha says:

    Oh God, so satisfying to watch 😀

  • Chris Burnett says:

    Thank you…enjoyed

  • Peggy Shull says:

    thank you! looking forward to more of your videos.

  • robertsloan2 says:

    Agree with your materials recommendations, and yes, that's a set of 24 Mungyo Soft Square artist pastels for $12.29 on sale. I have the cardboard set of 48 of this brand, the quality is excellent. Don't get the "Standard" if you want the painting to last, the "Standard" ones are still cheaper but they are student grade and not as lightfast. Soft Squares, Soft Rounds, Semi-Hard and Hand Rolled are all different textures (and prices) of artist grade.

  • bill hansen says:

    Thanks very much for making these teaching videos available. Beginners like me really need these, and they're not easy to find online. I did mine with the Mungyo semi-hards. Since my supply of sanded paper hadn't arrived, I did it on 600 grit sandpaper from Agway – and even so, it turned out reasonably well. Next time, though, 400 grit might work even better for me. UArt paper is somewhere in the USPS pipeline.

  • Anne Henderson says:

    Thank-you so much for this series of videos of beautiful subjects that we beginners can learn from. You make the pastel work look so simple but the results are lovely. Very inspiring to a student!

  • Sheetal Mordani says:


  • Sima abedini says:

    I am new to painting and I chooses to do pastels , I learn everything true you tube , thanks for doing this . I am following your teaching .


    oh how I wish you would create more videos😊

  • Adji Pahlevi says:


  • Adji Pahlevi says:

    I am starting using soft pastel now…

  • Susan B says:

    i went out and purchased very expensive top-of-the-line pastel products. i have followed umpteen tutorials, taken lessons, thrown away countless attempts. all i ever end up with is a powdery mess. i give up

  • Carey A says:

    Thanks for showing the range of pastels you use in the drawing. For those of us without a large range, it helps to have demo videos which use a limited palette.

  • Linda Hall says:

    This was my first time ever using pastels. Great tutorial.

  • Brenda Hicks says:


  • Rosalia murcia juarez says:

    Thank you so much Ria it’s great to watch your tutorials ,thanks a millions! Gracias

  • M.giselli H. says:

    Beautiful work

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