BobBlast #247

"Working with Charcoal and Pastels"

Welcome back to another BobBlast! 

This BobBlast was filmed during a Figure Painting Workshop in my studio in California. Our subject was the undraped model - as you can see, we've all been drawing with charcoal and pastel and adding paint and collage along the way too!

This quick video is a demonstration - how I draw with charcoal vine sticks and color pastels from loose 30-second warmup gestural sketches up to longer 15-minute poses.

Our papers are Strathmore Toned Gray Sketch Paper or BFK Rives gray or white drawing paper. My favorite charcoal is Willow Charcoal "vines" by Creative Mark and powdered charcoal from Generals. My favorite pastels have a lot of pigment, as you will see in the video. I use Jack Richeson handmade Soft Pastels, Soho Jumbo Soft Pastels or Sennelier pastels.

The spray fix is the all-natural, odor free, milk/casein formula by SpectraFix. It's great for all my pastels, chalk, pencil, charcoal, oil pastel and colored pencils. Casein was a good fixative for the Sistine Chapel ceiling way back when... This pump spray stays clear and does not change the original color. It is the best fixative I found for my works on paper.

I was fortunate enough to have a museum show - all charcoal and pastel drawings on seven foot Kozo paper. The final layer was SpectraFix. The drawings were hung directly on the walls without protective glass... And, after five thin layers of SpectraFix spray, nothing rubbed off.

To view this exhibition, titled Impure Thoughts, click here.

Some studio days I simply sketch with charcoal, pastels, pencils... The process of drawing continues to hone my art skills. I have found that painters who draw more become even better painters!

Draw More! Paint More!

Below is a list of featured workshops - but did you know that I also offer private sessions in my studio? Perfect for beginners who want a crash course in watercolor or acrylic or for artists who are designing a exhibit and want to bounce ideas for content and techniques. I devote 100% of my studio time to you! Designed for 1 to 3 people - if you are interested or have questions, email

Thanks again for watching and telling your friends! All my BobBlasts are archived on my  website  and my YouTube Channel We post new studio tips weekly that offer real content, substance and useful techniques that work for me. And they're free! We appreciate your interest, questions, comments and support!

Here's a quick reminder and some upcoming workshops and dates. 
If interested, sign up now!

Featured Workshops 

April 1-4, 2019
Larger & Looser!
Kudzu Art Zone, Norcross, GA
Contact Kathy Kitz, Workshop Coordinator, (770) 263-7832

May 6-10, 2019
Postmodern Polyptych Painting
Leading Edge Art Workshops - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Contact Louise Hall (403) 233-7389 or

May 20-24, 2019
Contemporary Abstract Figure Painting & Collage
Hudson River Valley Art Workshop 
Greenville, NY
Contact Kim LaPolla (518) 966-5219 or (888) 665-0044

June 10-14, 2019
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
Dillman's Arts Workshop Retreat 
Lac du Flambeau, WI 
Contact (715) 588-3143 or

June 22-24, 2019  
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
Sedona Arts Center 
Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

June 26-28, 2019
Contemporary Abstract Figure
Sedona Arts Center
Sedona, AZ
Contact (888) 954-4442 or (928) 282-3809

July 8-11, 2019
Robert Burridge Studio Figure Painting Workshop/undraped model
Come paint with Bob in his Studio in Arroyo Grande, CA
(includes individual mentor time, demonstrations and personal theme development)
4-day Workshop/Mentor Program, limited to 6 enrollees
Contact for fees and details.
Click HERE for more info.

July 15-19, 2019
Loosen Up with Aquamedia Painting
Mendocino Art Center
Mendocino, CA
Contact Gina Hurst-Roach, registrar (707) 937-5818

July 22-26, 2019
Abstract Acrylic Painting & Collage
Mendocino Art Center
Mendocino, CA
Contact Gina Hurst-Roach, registrar (707) 937-5818

View Bob's Workshop Schedule, click here
...Check out his 2019 Studio Workshops!  click  here .

Hope you have enjoyed these short, weekly blasts! Sign up on my website and keep watching. There are lots of them! 

Click  HERE to view BobBlast Issue 247
"Working with Charcoal and Pastels"

Working with Charcoal and Pastels

Love, Peace & Happiness,
Robert Burridge
BobBlast #247 - Video run time 11 minutes, 3 seconds

* To read about Bob's studio practices, intentions, and painting tips, 
check out his Loosen Up and Studio Notes Workbook. Click here for more info and to order.

* You can purchase Bob's Color Wheel from his website by clicking here.

* You can purchase Bob's Travel Wheel from his website by clicking here.
*We even have a special for BOTH color wheels! Click here.

*For more info about Bob's Workshop Schedule click  here. 

  *Or scan the QR code on the right!
Click  here for BobBlast Archive