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laoqianqian
03-12-2014, 11:46 AM
Hi all,
I've been a member for a few years but rarely speak due to my poor English.

I am a pastel artist. I recently changed my interest from portraits to still life. I try to approach a classic yet contemporary look. In some cases, that leads to a simplified background. I do dry-underpainting with pastels and work my way toward the last layer. My fingers are my ultimate blending tool. I've tried paper towels and insulate pipe only to find they just wipe the dust off instead of "squeezing" them into the surface.

I use Canson Mi-Tients Touch for the most part. Ouch... that's the creaming from my fingers. Even I sacrifice my fingers for the desired even and heavily-toned background, the outcome wasn't much desirable. As for the example below, the dark background isn't as "recessive" as I would hope.

I am excited to find so much information about underpainting with liquid medium and I will definitely experiment with them. My question here is: for the pieces that I've already done, is there anyway I can fix the "white spots" or uneveness without disturbing the whole finished work? (in the 2nd pic you would see what I called the "white spots" around the plate.

Devonlass
03-12-2014, 01:53 PM
You could try using a color shaper, the pointed one would probably do the job.

Colorix
03-12-2014, 01:59 PM
What a beautiful and sensitive painting, a bit "dreamy" in character.

These white spots (and we're all familiar with them) happen when we are too careful to not paint over the line, and when we blend and don't want the next area to be smudged by the blending and so we stop short of the line.

The best is to avoid this, and to be more bold at the start of a painting. It doesn't matter if you overlap or smudge, as the next layer will correct that. You can also work on darker papers, if Touch comes in dark colours.

What to do now? If you can bear to use your fingers to rub the pigment into the tiny holes (and the holes look worse in a photo than in real life), then you can re-paint on top of that.

The other option I can think of is to take pastel pencils (the sharp tip), or harder pastels (a fine sharp corner) and try to fill in the pinprick holes. That is a method that gives you greater control, but you'd need a pencil of the same colour as what surrounds the pinprick. You can even use it to sort of push the existing pigment into the hole, and press it into place.

Edit, as I just saw Carol's response. Yes, the colour shapers would work as well as pencils.

Psalm37
03-12-2014, 02:11 PM
beautiful paintings, I agree with Charlie, they are sensitive and dreamy. I hope your English doesn't keep you from posting in the future because your work is a blessing to see here. :wave:

laoqianqian
03-12-2014, 11:04 PM
Thank you Carol! I saw those color shapers in art supply stores but never have tried. The tips look like silicon and a bit stiff, I was afraid it would just rub the color off like tortillons. I will definitely give it a try next time I stop by a store!

laoqianqian
03-12-2014, 11:21 PM
Hi Charlie, You are absolutely right about being coward at the beginning! ^o^ I always hope I could move more freely and be loose. There are times I feel I am tightened inside and out when working on details. Our works represent who we are, isn't that right!

I've tried patching up with sticks, pencils and tortillons but wasn't happy with the result. I have a feeling that the best way to do is to be brave and give this area another coat of the background color (it was a nice Rembrandt deep greenish grey, almost black but not black), really blend it in, and re-do the details on the plate.

laoqianqian
03-12-2014, 11:23 PM
Hi Magaret, Thank you so much for the comment! I will keep posting, hopefully to improve my skills and English at the same time!

Colorix
03-13-2014, 06:23 AM
Hi Charlie, You are absolutely right about being coward at the beginning! ^o^ I always hope I could move more freely and be loose. There are times I feel I am tightened inside and out when working on details. Our works represent who we are, isn't that right!

... I have a feeling that the best way to do is to be brave and give this area another coat of the background color ....

Guess how I knew why those 'holes' happen... :wink2: Be brave -- if you painted it once, you can paint it again (and often it comes out better!).

The way I got rid of my tendency towards perfection was to paint a lot of quick, and small, paintings where there was a time limit. Two hours, that was all. So I painted furiously quickly, and found out that I didn't have to be so fussy about perfection. Actually, many of these small sketches/paintings did sell, as people liked the more free look.

And it is so easy to make corrections in pastel.

Good luck!

laoqianqian
03-13-2014, 06:43 AM
Just saw Charlie's replay on some other post and found so interesting about using baking soda to remove pastel from a certain area and then rework on it. Very attempted to try baking soda!

SueNM
03-24-2014, 01:03 PM
I'm not a fan of white spots either. Boy, I love your painting. Beautiful.

sansea
04-06-2014, 10:51 AM
Love the painting as is , but if it bothers you ...I love using color shapers for maneuvering pastel around delicate areas and blending small areas .
The pointy one for moving pastel and the wedge for blending.
I also use for making strokes here and there as in grasses .example if you have layered pastels and stroke the point of your color shaper with a bit of pressure it will remove some layers ..you never know , you might see a fun surprise!
Happy Painting!