If you or your students are serious about continuing to work with pastels, it makes sense to protect the pastel sticks with storage. This week I decided that the children needed a nicer storage box for their pastels. I have a three-drawer wooden box that will hold about 50-75 sticks of soft and hard pastels. I was not using this storage much and thought that I would “gift” them with a more professional look for their pastels in their classroom!
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These three-drawer boxes are beautifully finished hardwood and have separate foam-lined drawers for storage, but can be considered an investment for the future of budding artists. I purchased mine from The Fine Art Store. The cost was about $40.00, not including tax and shipping. You can also find a Wood Pastel Storage Box on Amazon for approximately $25-$30.
Middle Girl is placing pastels in the new box. She is gently wiping the well-used sides on a paper towel to clean them up.
What about dirty chalk pastels? How to clean the chalk sticks? After so much use, there comes a time that an artist cannot see the color of her pastels because they are so dirty! Take uncooked white rice (start out with about ½ cup to 8-10 dirty pastel chalks) toss the rice into a baggie with the dirty pastels and GENTLY shake to clean them up. I understand that cornmeal CAN be used, but I had rather make cornbread with cornmeal than clean up pastels. Try it, it does work!
- A note on chalk pastels: Pastels are an easy, forgiving medium. Fun for children and adults alike! Details on the pastels and paper we use, how and where to purchase, and links to all of Nana’s other pastel lessons (100 free lessons now) are all contained in the post Pastels plus links to tutorials plus the video The Very Few Must Have Supplies for Chalk Pastel Art. A simple set is very affordable. Nana also teaches acrylic lessons.
- The practical aspects of a mess: Pastels are blessedly messy. We always have baby wipes close by to wipe hands. We wear something we don’t mind getting stained or don a smock.
- Encouragement: You Can Be an Artist! 10 Day series and Art for All Ages 10 Day series
- Be sure to subscribe to our Hodgepodge YouTube channel for free video art tutorials!