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Nilan6
09-22-2013, 11:42 AM
Hello all :wave:,

I am a newbie here and have been quietly reading and absorbing the wealth of information on the WC forum for the greater part of this year.

While admittedly I bumped into WC for watercolours, my first post happens to be in the pastel forum....cuz well I need some help lol :D

Pastels as a medium are completely new to me (and by new I mean about 6-8 weeks since I became aware about them & less than 2 weeks since I had my first crack at them!). Growing up we never had access to soft pastels, they simply did not exist where I live, and only about 2 weeks back I ordered my first artist quality pastels ( Mungyo Gallery Extra soft pastels).

Now the issue is, I did not expect to produce even decent paintings any time soon. So, I used normal Cartridge paper to practice. While my first ever attempt at pastel was ok I think( for being the very first attempt), it is the second painting which has caused much ecstasy and grief at the same time...ecstasy because of how well it turned out and grief as I don't know how to preserve/store it. In fact, it kind of got ruined last night when I tried spraying my homemade fixative on it :( Quite a bit of pastel got blown away:eek:

Now, I tried to upload the photos of the paintings to show what I meant, but it seems I need to wait for 2 posts before I am able to do it.

So, quite simply put , how does one preserve pastel paintings on cartridge paper? Framing is not possible at the moment due to inadequate finances(home repair in progress)

Colorix
09-22-2013, 12:11 PM
Hi Nilan, welcome to the dusty side of WC! Spraying fixative will not give sufficient protection (and you may have spayed to close to the painting). The best is to put the painting behind glass, but there are other and cheaper ways to protect a painting. You can cover it with glassine, for example.

Nilan6
09-23-2013, 11:05 AM
Hi Nilan, welcome to the dusty side of WC! Spraying fixative will not give sufficient protection (and you may have spayed to close to the painting). The best is to put the painting behind glass, but there are other and cheaper ways to protect a painting. You can cover it with glassine, for example.

Hi Colorix!

Many thanks for your welcome reply! :)

Indeed it is quite possible that I sprayed too close to the painting. It was such a smooth, creamy blended layer that I had made....most of it got ruined :crying:

Glassine seems to be a really interesting alternative! Thanks for suggesting that :thumbsup:
Hopefully, I should be able to find them at some stationery store nearby. Right now, I have covered the painting with a translucent paper which I had lying around at home.

Is it safe to put multiple pastel paintings on top of one another so long as each is covered with glassine?

Dougwas
09-23-2013, 11:31 AM
Hi, Nilan. Welcome to WC and the world of pastels. Another way to store pastel paintings is to use a pad of tracing paper. You can put your paintings between two sheets and close the pad. You can keep on adding paintings between the other sheets until it's full. You can store the pad on its back. You can put a rubber band around the pad to secure the paintings. I hope this helps.

Doug

Nilan6
09-23-2013, 11:41 AM
EDIT: Doug, I saw your response only after I wrote this post :lol:

Ok,

Now that I have my 2 posts up and running, I think I should be able to post my paintings.

**My very first ever pastel attempt**
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2013/1208083-100_2244_resized.jpg
7x8 ( LxB), Mungyo Gallery Extra soft pastels, 11/9/13

I was trying to get the effect of bright white sunlight streaming behind a group of clouds, illuminating their edges.


**My second pastel painting**
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2013/1208083-100_2261_resized.jpg
10x8, Mungyo Gallery Extra soft pastels, 19/9/13

This is the one which got spoilt :crying: Hard lesson learnt

P.S The colours are much more luminous/bright than in the photos

Nilan6
09-23-2013, 11:52 AM
Hi, Nilan. Welcome to WC and the world of pastels. Another way to store pastel paintings is to use a pad of tracing paper. You can put your paintings between two sheets and close the pad. You can keep on adding paintings between the other sheets until it's full. You can store the pad on its back. You can put a rubber band around the pad to secure the paintings. I hope this helps.

Doug

Hi Dougwas :)

Thanks for your response and welcoming me :)

A pad of tracing paper sounds like an interesting alternative too!
The local stationery shop should stock tracing papers if not glassine :crossfingers:

Even if some loose tracing sheets are available, I should be able to make a pad type thingy on my own and tie it up with a thread/rubber band like you suggested :thumbsup:

getdusty
09-23-2013, 01:02 PM
Welcome Nilan,
I'm a newbie, too. I use a tracing pad to store my paintings and needed to rubber band it closed as the sheets started coming loose. Love the colors in the sunset pic.

DAK723
09-23-2013, 02:03 PM
Hi Niladri, Welcome to our forum! As others have mentioned, both glassine and tracing paper can be used to protect your paintings. As I'm cheap, I use tracing paper. Placing your paintings into a pad of tracing paper sounds like a good idea - wish I had thought of it! I have just been taping tracing paper over my paintings. Usually I tape my paintings to a board such as foam board and then tape the tracing paper over that. Then I can stack the paintings fairly easily.

Don

Nilan6
09-24-2013, 02:58 PM
Welcome Nilan,
I'm a newbie, too. I use a tracing pad to store my paintings and needed to rubber band it closed as the sheets started coming loose. Love the colors in the sunset pic.

Hi getdusty :)
Thanks for the warm welcome and appreciating the sunset pic. I am happy that at least it is clear to viewers that it's a sunset and not sunrise :D

So the verdict is out...tracing sheets is the way to go :cool:

Nilan6
09-24-2013, 03:06 PM
Hi Niladri, Welcome to our forum! As others have mentioned, both glassine and tracing paper can be used to protect your paintings. As I'm cheap, I use tracing paper. Placing your paintings into a pad of tracing paper sounds like a good idea - wish I had thought of it! I have just been taping tracing paper over my paintings. Usually I tape my paintings to a board such as foam board and then tape the tracing paper over that. Then I can stack the paintings fairly easily.

Don

Hi Don :)
Thank you for welcoming me. It is so exciting to be amongst veteran artists! :clap:

Tracing papers seem to be a really versatile storage medium offering lot of protection for their price. The local stationery stores definitely warrant a visit over the weekend:smug:

Colorix
09-24-2013, 03:10 PM
If you use a pad with tracing papers, or sketching paper and simply stick the paintings between the sheets, you can even travel with the pastels and they won't be damaged. I put bulldog clamps around the three open edges of the pad, as the trick is to see to it that the paintings do not move sideways.

robertsloan2
09-24-2013, 05:15 PM
Thanks for coming out of lurking! Your clouds painting is lovely. Your sunset too - and here's the good news.

If you blew a lot of pastels off of it with your homemade fixative, then you might be able to rework it right over the homemade fixative. This depends on how much of it filled the tooth of the paper. It would be worth trying.

Practice using the fixative on test sketches - just simple geometric figure like a square with a shaded gradient, not a real painting but a two minute exercise you wouldn't hang anyway. It will help preserve the painting. It's also very common for pastelists using cartridge paper to restate the lightest and brightest accents after the last coat of fixative, restoring their original beauty. Most fixative will darken and dull the effects of pastels.

Your waves are lyrical and gorgeous. I like that sunset scene too much, so don't give up on it even if you had an accident. I don't know how hard it is to get cheap frames in India, but sometimes you can find picture frames in used goods shops, thrift shops or flea markets. They may have an ugly print in it or something that you can get rid of and use the frame for your own painting, or if it's broken or the gilding is flaking off, need fixing but that's still cheap compared to buying a new frame or having it framed.

I store my finished pastels under glassine or tracing paper either in archival boxes or in a portfolio where I've got them on a backing. Mat board or mat scrap makes a good backing for a pastel painting to store it.

For selling pastels, Clear Bags archival bags, several brands exist. Mat them with a backing board and a window mat inside a clear bag, for shipping put a layer of glassine or tracing paper between the art and the window mat. But for showing, just a mat and an archival clear bag is enough if you get to enter art fairs or something. Once you can sell some pastel paintings, framing the favorites you want to display is a lot easier.

Nilan6
09-26-2013, 08:58 AM
If you use a pad with tracing papers, or sketching paper and simply stick the paintings between the sheets, you can even travel with the pastels and they won't be damaged. I put bulldog clamps around the three open edges of the pad, as the trick is to see to it that the paintings do not move sideways.

Thank you Charlie for your kind words of wisdom :)
I do have bulldog clamps with me :thumbsup:

I looked online to get some tentative idea of the cost of tracing paper pads. Unfortunately it is too prohibitive at the moment ( the pads I looked at cost between Rs 2000-4000 :eek: ). They are all imported pads, so that could explain the high cost.
But I am going to be positive and hope the local stationery shops have some locally made tracing papers, will visit over the weekend to check it out.

Nilan6
09-26-2013, 09:26 AM
Thanks for coming out of lurking! Your clouds painting is lovely. Your sunset too - and here's the good news.

If you blew a lot of pastels off of it with your homemade fixative, then you might be able to rework it right over the homemade fixative. This depends on how much of it filled the tooth of the paper. It would be worth trying.

Practice using the fixative on test sketches - just simple geometric figure like a square with a shaded gradient, not a real painting but a two minute exercise you wouldn't hang anyway. It will help preserve the painting. It's also very common for pastelists using cartridge paper to restate the lightest and brightest accents after the last coat of fixative, restoring their original beauty. Most fixative will darken and dull the effects of pastels.

Your waves are lyrical and gorgeous. I like that sunset scene too much, so don't give up on it even if you had an accident. I don't know how hard it is to get cheap frames in India, but sometimes you can find picture frames in used goods shops, thrift shops or flea markets. They may have an ugly print in it or something that you can get rid of and use the frame for your own painting, or if it's broken or the gilding is flaking off, need fixing but that's still cheap compared to buying a new frame or having it framed.

I store my finished pastels under glassine or tracing paper either in archival boxes or in a portfolio where I've got them on a backing. Mat board or mat scrap makes a good backing for a pastel painting to store it.

For selling pastels, Clear Bags archival bags, several brands exist. Mat them with a backing board and a window mat inside a clear bag, for shipping put a layer of glassine or tracing paper between the art and the window mat. But for showing, just a mat and an archival clear bag is enough if you get to enter art fairs or something. Once you can sell some pastel paintings, framing the favorites you want to display is a lot easier.


Wow sir, I don't where to begin:D

I'd like to begin by saying a big word of thanks for appreciating the sunset painting. Coming from a veteran like you, it means a lot sir:)
It's only my second ever pastel painting and I rather surprised myself to be very honest.

After reading your post, I did try to save the painting a bit. As you'd be able to see below,I think I've been able to more or less maintain the original feel of the waves. The warm yellows and oranges however have taken a hit and well...do not glow as much.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2013/1208083-100_2273.JPG


I'm also attaching the reference image, in case you are interested :)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Sep-2013/1208083-1004814_10151726652995751_1944267512_n.jpg

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the original photographer of the photo. All due credit goes to him/her.

I like your idea of looking for cheap frames at flea markets. It is worth a look into for long term preservation. A flea market does set up weekly in another neighbourhood, but the area is a bit on the unsafe side, so I'll think it over.

Thank you for mentioning about the use of cartridge papers by other pastelists sir!:) I have found very limited, if any, reference to their use in pastels. When my budget allows I'll invest in some professional grade pastel papers.

And ahem sir, it is far too early for me to sell paintings. I am not that good yet, I have lots to learn. :)
I am also rather attached to my art, especially the good ones, so first i'll need to learn to let it go..

robertsloan2
09-26-2013, 03:08 PM
Nilan, when you've done a hundred paintings it starts to get easier to let one go. Especially if you do the same scene more than once.

I forgot to mention that in India and other areas near India, there is an online art supply outfit called Himalaya dot com that has good prices and some decent variety. If you haven't checked it out online for its prices yet, check it out. Supplies your local store doesn't have may be available on Himalaya. They had some good brands of pastels and pastel papers, can't remember if they had sanded papers but they did have some good ones. Also very inexpensive student pastels called Camel that are good for practice and sketchbook use.

I love your reference photo! It's gorgeous. I think you could bring back the gold hints in the sky by scumbling. This is where you turn a pastel on its side and very lightly go over what's there, creating some broken color instead of soft blending. Take a piece of extra paper and first recreate part of that top area of sky, just the color you have. Then experiment with different colors overlaid. If the yellow or gold or gold and white don't show up when blended in, scumbling may allow lightening and make them more prominent.

Pastels also work fine on sketchbook paper, as long as it's facing a blank page because that will catch some smudges. Don't use a lot of heavy layering in a sketchbook and it's fine, though blending and accents will work great. Hard pastels are a little better for that than softer ones.

I thought "Cartridge paper" was the drawing paper with tooth. If it's watercolor paper, then yes, pay attention to whether it's Not surface or Hot Press, the Hot Press will have less tooth and a finer grain. Pastel will work fairly well on anything you can use charcoal on.

I love what you did with the waves and even if you didn't match the colors in the sky, it's lovely as it is. I would keep this one and even mat and hang it, it's gorgeous.

Nilan6
09-28-2013, 11:35 AM
Nilan, when you've done a hundred paintings it starts to get easier to let one go. Especially if you do the same scene more than once.

I forgot to mention that in India and other areas near India, there is an online art supply outfit called Himalaya dot com that has good prices and some decent variety. If you haven't checked it out online for its prices yet, check it out. Supplies your local store doesn't have may be available on Himalaya. They had some good brands of pastels and pastel papers, can't remember if they had sanded papers but they did have some good ones. Also very inexpensive student pastels called Camel that are good for practice and sketchbook use.

I love your reference photo! It's gorgeous. I think you could bring back the gold hints in the sky by scumbling. This is where you turn a pastel on its side and very lightly go over what's there, creating some broken color instead of soft blending. Take a piece of extra paper and first recreate part of that top area of sky, just the color you have. Then experiment with different colors overlaid. If the yellow or gold or gold and white don't show up when blended in, scumbling may allow lightening and make them more prominent.

Pastels also work fine on sketchbook paper, as long as it's facing a blank page because that will catch some smudges. Don't use a lot of heavy layering in a sketchbook and it's fine, though blending and accents will work great. Hard pastels are a little better for that than softer ones.

I thought "Cartridge paper" was the drawing paper with tooth. If it's watercolor paper, then yes, pay attention to whether it's Not surface or Hot Press, the Hot Press will have less tooth and a finer grain. Pastel will work fairly well on anything you can use charcoal on.

I love what you did with the waves and even if you didn't match the colors in the sky, it's lovely as it is. I would keep this one and even mat and hang it, it's gorgeous.


Hello again sir, :)
Thank you for providing a rough idea of when one finally manages to let one's paintings go ...i've got a long way to go :D

I actually did find the Himalaya art store(http://himalayafineart.com/) through one of the forum posts here when I was quietly looking around:) . I've actually found another equally good, if not better art store of CreativeHands ( www.creativehands.in).
I have begun to source my materials from them, which so far mainly consists mainly of papers and my recent purchase of Mungyo Gallery Extra soft.
The fact that they have a retail presence on ebay is a plus point apart from the fact that they provide free shipping! Neither of which is true for Himalaya Fine Art store.
(Incidentally, both are based in the port cities of India, Himalaya at Bombay on the western coast, CreativeHands at Calcutta on the eastern coast)
CreativeHands also prices its products competitively so it's cheaper for me :clap:

The Camel brand which you mention was the sole art supply manufacturer in India since...like forever :lol: Only recently have we begun to gain access to international quality art materials. Camel indeed is a good student grade brand, the soft pastels have only recently been introduced ( while growing up there were only oil pastels ). I haven't tried them yet, but I'll have a look into it as I grow in pastels. I am sure, sooner or later I'll realize it is better to make the underpaintings with cheaper pastels than utilize my Mungyos (which compared to Camel would be higher quality)

Your explanation of cartridge papers is wonderful :clap: Indeed I am using such a paper only. I dare not use watercolour paper for pastels:eek: The papers are expensive as it is...I know, even though it is Brustro( a brand which seems to be owned by CreativeHands and is 'affordable' compared to Daler Rowney papers/Fabriano papers is still expensive)

I am going to try your suggestion of getting the glow back in the sky:thumbsup: And as soon as I find a job, I will get it framed:)

Incidentally, I got a set of tracing papers today from the local stationery stores at dirt cheap price:D I got 10 A3 size tracing papers for Rs 50 so that's umm less than a dollar/10 tracing papers :smug:

Christinal
09-29-2013, 12:26 PM
Nilan, welcome and I love your waves. Having attempted waves on several occasions lately....and ended up with sand dunes instead....I truly appreciate a good wave when I see one!

Nilan6
09-30-2013, 03:02 AM
Christinal,
Thank you for welcoming me and appreciating the waves :)
I am happy to know you liked the waves.:thumbsup:
I still have much to learn though :)

Christinal
09-30-2013, 01:33 PM
Don't we all, Nilan! :D

JustinM
09-30-2013, 04:09 PM
I believe it was Daniel Greene, in his invaluable book on pastels who explained the problem with storing pastels better than anyone ive ever read.

The problem isnt so much things touching the pastels - the problem is things touching and moving (ie rubbing) against the pastels. For this reason (as was mentioned above) a pad of tracing paper, or even other standard papers) is a great option - as long as you can store that pad in a place where it is untouched/moved/etc.

I keep all of my smaller (12 x 16 and smaller) works that are not framed in pads of newsprint. I buy big, cheap pads, cut off the end & then coil bind them (so they arent as tight) and then slip the pastels in between the sheets. I have dozens like this & not a single problem with any. They (the pads) are then stored in a flat file drawer but really any space that is not prone to being moved/disturbed.

By the way, the mungyo soft pastels you are referring to are the base layer of nearly every pastel I do. I work with the mungyos & old grumbachers then move on to rembrandt & finish with Mungyo handmade and/or Schminke usually.

I wouldnt say any particular brand is my "favourite" although the ones you have are definitely a line I would have a hard time without (or a similar substitute). I love how they lay down on the paper & they almost "prime" my paper for later, softer layers.

robertsloan2
09-30-2013, 07:36 PM
Nilan6, thank you for letting me know about CreativeHands! I'm glad it's competitive in pricing, really, the competition helps a lot. That's another one I didn't know about, and I have a number of friends in India who paint, especially in pastels. I can see how the Camel could extend the life of your Mungyo Extra Soft. Those are pretty good in my experience.

Check out the grits and homemade primers thread too. It's full of possibilities and apparently a lot of artists find good grits in hardware stores! So that would bring the price down and you could make sanded surfaces with gesso on watercolor papers or on sturdy boards like mat board.

Justin, that's a good idea about the newsprint pads. I hadn't even thought of that, but newsprint pads are so cheap!

JustinM
09-30-2013, 08:56 PM
Justin, that's a good idea about the newsprint pads. I hadn't even thought of that, but newsprint pads are so cheap!

I work by day as a graphic designer so I have access to a coiling machine but if you were to buy a pad in an artist store just look for a shop that does quick print or bindery ( a kinkos or something might be able to do this too) and they can cut off the end of the glued pad with a ream cutter and then coil the end so its not so tight & allows the papers to just lay on one another & not bind.

Nilan6
10-06-2013, 12:57 PM
Hello all!
So sorry for this late a reply but my internet was giving me some issues + some online courses I've joined (not art related though, mostly on coursera ) are really difficult so was studying them...

JustinM Thank you for yet another brilliant and practical solution to pastel storage!:) Very astute in your comment that it is the rubbing which will damage pastels and not pressure pe se.
Right now, like I mentioned I am keeping my extremely small number of pastels (3 so far hehe) in the bargain price tracing papers I got

I am so happy to hear senior and experienced pastellists are also using Mungyo Gallery extra soft :) It's a great feeling to know that the material one has in hand is being used by veterans all over the world :)

robertsloan2 Hello once again sir :) Thank you for your response. Indeed it was a lucky break for me to discover CreativeHands. I still don't recall exactly how I bumped into their site, but it was a good thing I did! Their stock is not as extensive as the Himalayan Fine Art store, but yes it is cheaper+ free shipping is provided

Oil pastels have been a very popular medium in India for as long as I can remember, mostly because it is what we grew up with and was usually the first material we would get as kids to play with :)
But I do not know the story about soft pastels as it never was available earlier...

Sir, could you please direct me to the thread for grits and homemade primers ? I tried searching for it, but umm, it is kind of confusing to know which thread exactly should I look into...

Also, I don't know if this is the place to ask another question I have. I made my 3rd pastel painting based on one of the reference photos from the September 2013 Spotlight. But now that thread is closed. Where may I post it for comments and evaluations?

robertsloan2
10-07-2013, 03:51 PM
Here's the link, it slid over to the next page: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=593633 it's "What's your recipe for pastel support?"

If you did a painting for a past Spotlight and the thread is closed, you can post the painting in the Pastel Studio for comments and maybe link to that previous Spotlight so people can see the other paintings done with that reference and the reference itself. Just mentioning which Spotlight it was from is probably enough though. Don posts great photos every time and half of them are from the Reference Image Library so they'd be free to use all the time.

That is interesting about oil pastels in India. I never knew that and it fascinates me what comes up as popular in which countries. I know that it seems like the UK is very keen on watercolor and children get watercolors right off, adult leisure painters use it all the time. USA it's mostly wax crayons for children's art supplies, along with colored construction paper and watercolor sets. That was back in my day.

Today the children's watercolor sets are "Washable" ie formulated specifically to be Non Staining (to the relief of parents everywhere) and Markers seem even more popular than crayons. All the young people I know grew up on markers. Oil pastels in small sets show up in art stores but I don't see them often in the "School supplies" aisles. Acrylic paints in kits have replaced oil paints in kits for the paint by numbers sort of thing.

When I think about painting from a sketch, paint by numbers isn't as silly as I thought when I was a child. It's doing a painting from someone else's sketch to learn the process of painting. It's too bad no pastel manufacturer caught on with the idea of pre-printed sketches on good or sanded pastel paper and a carefully chosen palette for "pastel paint by numbers." Bet it'd work well for Pan Pastels though!

I have seen that approach by some colored pencils artists though, they have kits you get with a nice contour sketch to copy and then use colored pencils to finish a copy of the master's painting, with a specialized set of the pencils used in that painting. It might work for pastels too if any of our famous name pastelists was to make up a kit like that - nice piece of Wallis and a collection of specific pastels, instruction booklet and photo guide to the demo along with a transferable sketch.

Nilan6
10-12-2013, 11:49 AM
Hello again sir :)

Thank you for your reply !

That thread is full of interesting ideas and warrants a careful second reading:thumbsup:

I took your suggestion to post in the Studio, here is the link should you be so inclined : http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1331778

Your assessment about the prevalence of watercolours in UK seems to gel well with my limited online observations of the art scenario in UK. I think UK is the birthplace of watercolours and as such it seems only apt that they be highly popular there. I have developed a profound respect of watercolour artists from UK.

Copying colour pencil paintings is a popular method to introduce kids here to colour pencils here as well. There aren't any special kits or anything. Simply sketchbooks with the finished coloured pencil on the left, the empty contours on the right to be finished. I am sure it could be incorporated for pastels as well.

P.S I am sorry for my late replies nowadays. A bit stressed with some online courses+where my future will take me, so have not been able to visit or post as much as I'd like. I am sure it will pass eventually.

robertsloan2
10-12-2013, 06:09 PM
I am awed with the expertise of UK watercolourists too. I think they are more used to teaching accurate drawing and measuring there, as well as watercolour techniques. (Yes, I lapsed into British spelling, it happens if I so much as think about the UK!)

Derwent does projects for coloured pencils like that too, sometimes with instructions on how to sketch, sometimes about the colouring. I used to have a collection of colouring books with tropical fish, birds, dinosaurs and prehistoric life that I bought in museum stores - very detailed ones, not so much for small children as more advanced students and adults. I liked them a lot but lost them in a move. Now I regret it because those were good illustrations and I'd have liked to put some of them on my walls.

I hope you have more time to paint and participate more often soon. That kind of busy time does pass.