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Updated: Jul 21, 2023

I've been using oil paints since I was in college and took classes from renown artists. I studied portraiture and figures but went on to pursue a BFA in graphic design- still creating pet portraits in my free time. Fast forward to about a year after having my second son, I wanted to create again. At the time of having two wild, happy boys running around, pulling out highly toxic paints and solvents didn't seem like the best idea. It also felt cumbersome and restricting.

I wish I could tell you what drew me to pastels. I didn't own any. I had never used any before in my life. I also didn't fully understand what they were.

I started sketching with charcoal (which I often used in college) and loved it. It was so nice to draw again! I think I MUST have shown my charcoal sketches to my grandmother (an artist I have always learned from, inherited, emulated, and aspired to) who pointed me in the direction of pastels.

She has a portrait by another artist of my beautiful mother in her dining room that we looked at together and I'm pretty sure that sold me.

Britton Vaughn with pastel portrait of child.

I bought my first pastel pencils and fell in love with them while drawing Rowan. I drew Royce next and had a friend and Instagram influencer reach out. She convinced me to draw her beautiful children and the rest is history!

Pastel is the pigment that is mixed with oil to become oil paint. So pastels are the raw, dry form of paint. They are farm more fragile than oil paints and must be protected with a mat and glass. Where oils once cured and glazed are a bit more sturdy on their own - outside of sun damage.

I'm only four months into exploring with pastels but I've loved every minute. Switching mediums and subjects (from oil paint and dogs, to pastels and children) I have found fire. It has ignited something in my sole that makes me excited to create again, makes me feel like myself again, feels like I'm an artist again. I can't wait to see where this takes me!


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