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Lascaux cave drawings
Step-by-step plan

Lascaux cave drawings

One of the world's first works of art is the collection of cave drawings discovered in Lascaux, France in 1940. The murals were insanely well preserved, which made it possible to research how people lived and made art over 15,000 years ago. These people used colours from materials that they found around them, like charcoal, soil, lime, blood and even urine. This discovery of humanity’s first artists showed us that humans have always had the tendency to express themselves using images.

Though we thankfully have more modern products to express ourselves with nowadays, we still use colours that resemble the earthy tones found in those caves; think of colours like umber, ochre or burnt sienna. This step-by-step plan shows you how you can create a cave-like surface to pay a tribute to the ancient cave drawings found in Lascaux. To create the drawings on this rough background, we will use Rembrandt carré pastels.

Step 1

To recreate that rock texture of the cave walls in Lascaux, mix the pumice medium with a nice roasted sienna colour: Amsterdam Standard Series acrylic paint in the colour Burnt Sienna 411. Mix the colour with the medium on the tear-off palette using a painting knife.

Step 1

Step 2

Apply the mixture of the pumice medium to the canvas board using the painting knife. Don’t worry about spreading the material evenly, the surface doesn’t have to be smooth. Cave walls are not smooth either! Let the layer dry completely before moving on to the pastels.

Step 2

Step 3

This rough layer is a wonderful surface for the hard carré pastels since the grainy texture allows you to scrape more pigments off of the pastels. The carré pastels come in beautiful earth tones, so they fit perfectly with the theme.

Step 3

Step 4

Draw whatever you want on your new cave wall. You’ll see how intense the colours are on this rough surface due to the high colour deposit. Have fun expressing yourself like our ancestors did!

Step 4

Other step-by-step plans with pastels