David Small

Chris Van Allsburg;

A crop of David Small's art from The Gardener. Click through to enlarge.

Pastel is pure pigment binded as sticks.

Pastel is a stick of pure pigment, bound in wax or gum arabic. There are a few different types of pastels that have different working properties. Soft pastel has a very high pigment concentration with less binder, which results in very bright colors but also a less precise, more painterly application. Hard pastels are on the opposite side of the spectrum, containing more binder and less pigment, and are used for fine detail line drawing.

Cover. Click through to enlarge

Final art. Click through to enlarge

Crop. Click through to enlarge

David Small: The Gardener

Small's work in pastel, pen and ink, with watercolor, used in illustrating The Gardener, shows the intense detail and color blending that can be achieved with pastel. He was able to use the pastels for pops of color and smudges that add texture and depth. He then uses pen and ink, and watercolor to add details, outlines and contrasts.

His later works have a much softer look, but they continue to include his trademark attention to small details that beg to be poured over again and again.

Cover. Click through to enlarge

Process. Click through to enlarge

Chris Van Allsburg: Bad Day at Riverbend

Van Allsburg expertly used oil pastels with his unusual coloring book-style illustrations.  His art is a brilliant use of oil pastel in bright, colorful, and intense scribbles of color on the black and white illustrations.