How to Draw Buildings in Pastel

Skill Level : 1 Beginner

Medium : Pastel Painting

Subject : Landscapes

Tutor : Dennis Clark

Class Length : 1 hour 56 minutes

Avg Rating :

Silver Level or Higher Class

Class Description

Buildings appear in many drawings and in this class you will be drawing your first building in pastel.

In this lesson you will learn:

1.  How to draw the sky and distant hills
2.  How to simplify the bushes behind the house
3.  How to change the colours to suit the early morning
4.  How to simplify the foreground and add the sunlight streaks

Latest Reviews

This was the first time I had used pastels, and would never have believed I could produce a picture like I did Thanks.

Janet Malone

Class Video

Class Tutorial


Print out the template and on the reverse side and, with either a 3B or 4B pencil, rub graphite over the template outlines making sure all lines are adequately covered. Turn the template right side up and tape the top edge securely to the prepared pastel paper, which in this instance is watercolour paper, and trace the outlines with a hard pencil or ballpoint pen.

Paint the sky

Lay a loose blue colour in the sky area and with the finger rub it into the paper surface.  Scrub a little bit of soft white to the lower sky and blend it to form a gradation from dark down to a lighter tone at the horizon.

Paint the clouds

Using the soft white pastel paint in the clouds and as the sun is from the right, work some highlight on right side of the billows. Use the finger to help form the cloud shapes.

The distant mountain

Stroke in a red/purple colour and push the dust into the paper with the finger.  A very light layer of blue is added and rubbed in to produce a mauve/blue colour. Lightly add some ridge highlights with a soft Naples yellow or similar.

The near hill (Portion)

This hill is bathed in early morning sunlight, so paint in some cadmium yellow and a touch of burnt sienna.

Underpainting for trees

Stroke some light sienna colour and some green in the foliage area as shown. Lightly blend together and then rub in some dark reddish brown to form the deep shade behind the trees. Notice that this gets darker towards the lower section and next to the house.

Foreground under painting

The foreground is a light yellow base colour with some light green over the top .  This area is in full early morning sunlight.

Colours used so far

The bottom set of colours are the ones used so far.  With pastel the artist has to choose by sight and not by the name of each colour.

Roof undercoating and vine

A light sienna is painted on the roof area.  For the vine add a dark shadow base colour first and then touch in a dark green followed by a light yellow green where the sun hits it.

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Sunlit walls

With a yellow/orange pastel paint the sun-side walls.  With a warm mauve pastel add in the dark shadow under the lean-to. Put a very light touch of this mauve over the walls in the shadow.  This unifies the shadows on the house.

Paint the dormer

Paint in the dormer and some very light lines to show the roof sheeting.

House details

Adding white with a touch of blue for the window reflections finishes off the windows.  Complete the lean-to posts.

Paint the tree trunks

With a very dark brown pastel paint the tree trunks.  Make sure that the branches get thinner and thinner towards the tips.

Junk under the lean-to

Paint in the objects under the lean-to and add some touches of the sun lighting up some of them.


Paint the variations in the grass for a realistic effect. Also add the tree shadow – dark at the base of the tree and fading slowly away to the tip.  Some light green has been added to the tree group in the background.

Finishing touches

Add some small rocks in the foreground and shadows of the tree on the roof of the house.

Final drawing

About Dennis Clark

Read more about Dennis Clark

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