Halloween Pastel Pencil Drawing with Casey Neal



Step 1: Start with a gray toned paper as the background and outline your drawing using black and grey pastel pencils. In this case I drew a female body holding a jack-o’-lantern.

Step 2: Lightly shade the background and the subject matter to create some shape. Apply basic values using pastel powder from sandpaper and cotton swabs.

Step 3: Continue using pastel pencils to build up detail. Start with dark shadows first, and work up to lighter highlights to create depth and detail. Apply the pastel pencil directly to the page.

Step 4: The final layer of detail can be achieved by lightly “dotting” the pastel pencils onto the page to create rough texture, bringing out the skin texture of the jack-o’-lantern.

Step 5: Once the details are finished, you are free to apply the background layer. Reapply edges of subject once the background is complete to create a sharp and crisp image.


  1. Don’t draw too heavily too quickly. Build up to it.
  2. Keep your pencil sharp to achieve high level details.
  3. Avoid smudging by using scrap sheets under your hand.
  4. A kneadable eraser is a capable tool, use it to your advantage.
  5. Avoid oil from your fingertips, try not to touch or grab the paper.
  6. Rotate the paper while you work to get a fresh look at the drawing.
  7. Try to leave some tooth to the paper. Avoid pressing too hard with the pencils.
  8. Black and white pastel powder can be applied over color to darken or lighten color.
  9. Consider texture, blend with cotton swabs for soft texture, dot pencils for rough texture.
  10. Choose the right paper for what you’re drawing. White, black, gray and tan paper are all options.

Thank you to Casey for providing us with this artwork.

How to find Casey Neal and view more of his amazing work: