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jakertanner
09-18-2014, 04:22 PM
Hi,

So here are my reconstituted Schmincke pastels..about 99% Schmincke. I like the colors, but the texture is a bit grainy and rough. Any suggestions as to how I can get them smooth like new? Or is that not a possibility once reconstituted?

Thanks for all your help.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Sep-2014/1892252-handmade_pastels.JPG

A few are very close in color, even though the mixture was different..not sure why. A couple look like stones..lol but very functional.

Blayne
09-18-2014, 05:28 PM
Your pastels look great! You'll find the shape doesn't matter--they all get worn down in their own way eventually. I made a coin-shaped, or stone-shaped, one and find it very useful broken in half for making small shapes. The lumpy texture could have resulted because you didn't have all the pieces ground into uniformly fine powder. Our is there some patented ingredient in the Schminkes that reacts differently when re-wet? I doubt it will affect their usefulness. They look beautiful!

jakertanner
09-18-2014, 05:41 PM
Thanks Blayne,

I am not sure what Schmincke puts in there, but they are no where near as smooth. I agree they are very useful, however, with the first few I made, I noticed that I must have not ground them all the way because when I made a mark, I got a rainbow of colors..lol I used a plastic bowl to grind with the back of a spoon..I also used a very fine and small strainer to push them through into powder. I managed to get one of them fairly smooth, but the majority are on the rough side..maybe it's my technique?

robertsloan2
09-18-2014, 06:21 PM
Ah, sounds like the plastic bowl was the problem. I can see how lumps would just press into the plastic instead of grinding. Herb shops and trendy organic food places sometimes have a mortar and pestle. Or you might find one on Amazon. Keep the pastels one just for use with pigments though if you get one, don't try to reuse it for food! They're not hat expensive on Amazon, $9 to $15 or $16 depending on porcelain or marble. Set of two for $15.

jakertanner
09-18-2014, 07:01 PM
Thanks Robert, I thought it may be something that I was doing. So the mortar and pestle should not be the rough surfaced one..but maybe a marble smooth?

Blayne
09-18-2014, 08:23 PM
Jake, you wrote, "when I made a mark, I got a rainbow of colors." What's wrong with that, in most cases? I recently started deliberately making some rainbow colors! Most things in nature are not a solid color. The only things I can think of offhand that are solid colors are man-made, such as molded plastics or painted objects--but even those quickly develop mars, scratches or experience fading. There was a thread not too long ago about the colors in the sky, and Jackie wrote that the sky should not look like a solid wall that birds would bump their heads on but should look like transparent air, and using marks of different colors of pastels creates that transparency. I've only made a few rainbows so far, but I like the ones I've made mixing gold-brown-green for grass and gold-salmon, which I used on the sunlit area of my red barn in the bird painting in the current Spotlight. I'm going to experiment further with the rainbow hues and want to make some for skies. I bet you'll find a use for yours!

jakertanner
09-18-2014, 09:41 PM
Jake, you wrote, "when I made a mark, I got a rainbow of colors." What's wrong with that, in most cases? I recently started deliberately making some rainbow colors! Most things in nature are not a solid color. The only things I can think of offhand that are solid colors are man-made, such as molded plastics or painted objects--but even those quickly develop mars, scratches or experience fading. There was a thread not too long ago about the colors in the sky, and Jackie wrote that the sky should not look like a solid wall that birds would bump their heads on but should look like transparent air, and using marks of different colors of pastels creates that transparency. I've only made a few rainbows so far, but I like the ones I've made mixing gold-brown-green for grass and gold-salmon, which I used on the sunlit area of my red barn in the bird painting in the current Spotlight. I'm going to experiment further with the rainbow hues and want to make some for skies. I bet you'll find a use for yours!


Hi,

Nothing wrong, but I guess I was a little disappointed that I made one color and found bits of others..lol I guess I didn't crush them good enough. I think it was one of the yellows, that I saw remnants of darker colors, and in those cases, I wouldn't want additional colors, but I do see your point.

I have wondered in the past, why manufacturers don't make multi-colored sticks. I definitely see their worth.

Colorix
09-19-2014, 08:35 AM
Great pastels!

I deliberately didn't grind mine to a fine dust, as I really like the striations, looks like brushed on paint. (OK, I come from oils, I'm biased.)

robertsloan2
09-19-2014, 09:13 AM
Terry Ludwig temporarily had some confetti colors available, think he was just sweeping up the crumbles of process and had some fun but it looks like they sold out. It'd be more fun to do that on purpose though, I'd think.

Charlie, just saw the new Pastel Scribbler, wonderful issue, edgy and full of great content! Love it. Anyone who hasn't got it, just go sign up for it on her Pastel Guild of Europe link in her signature.

jakertanner
09-19-2014, 09:51 AM
Great pastels!

I deliberately didn't grind mine to a fine dust, as I really like the striations, looks like brushed on paint. (OK, I come from oils, I'm biased.)

Thanks Charlie...actually never thought of it that way. I guess if I plan on having them it wouldn't be so bad, I guess being my first time making them, I didn't know what to expect.

jakertanner
09-19-2014, 09:52 AM
I was wondering if anyone has deliberately broken and crushed some pastels just to create a color that wasn't in the line originally? I was thinking of doing that to make things more customized and unique to my paintings.

Colorix
09-19-2014, 10:34 AM
I have, Jake. Tried to make a violet with ultramarine and perm rose (Rembies). Found out that the blue vastly overpowered the pink, but other than that, it worked really well (and I've used up the stick already).

Thanks, Robert! Yes, it is free, just sign up for the newsletter on the website of the Pastel Guild of Europe. And we would be happy to publish articles too, and you don't have to be a member in order to submit an article.

jakertanner
09-19-2014, 11:57 AM
Thanks Charlie..I will need to try that. Have you any experience with mixing brands? Is that something that is feasible, or should I stick with one brand for uniformity?

robertsloan2
09-19-2014, 01:07 PM
Jake, your first results look very encouraging actualy. Though I think I might get a mortar and pestle to try it. I'm saving crumbs in pill bottles by color, going to let value turn out random but use all red crumbs together, blue, etc. to get recognizable colors out of it. Got one for gray or grayish that may turn out an interesting neutral because got a chunk of gray Rembrandt too small to use.

jakertanner
09-24-2014, 08:52 PM
wondering if there is a trick to making them smooth. I've tried different techniques, and I got a mortar and pestle and still looks "rough"

Mamalynn
09-24-2014, 11:32 PM
Hi Jake. I know absolutely nothing about reconstituting pastels. However, I wanted to throw this info. your way if it applies. I grind pigment to make egg tempera paint. This is because certain pigments when purchased are still too coarse to make non gritty egg tempera. I always use a muller (fairly small one) and glass plate. I have a mortar and pestle but have never found them to do the job well. I wonder if this is what you need. Utrecht sells some mullers but I bought a high quality one (can't recall from where, maybe from Iconofile) as it was very heavy. They usually run under $100 so they are not cheap.

robertsloan2
09-25-2014, 09:35 AM
I have a muller but the small glass dish I got with it broke, wondering where I can get another or if I even need it - would any piece of glass work and the dish with its rim and feet was a convenience?

Colorix
09-25-2014, 10:11 AM
Robert, based on what you describe, it sounds much similar to a glass plate that rotates in a microwave oven (at least some models). My guess is that it ought to be a common spare part.

Equus Art
09-25-2014, 11:28 AM
Years ago, I bought a marble lazy susan on Ebay for about $12.00. It was perfect for sculpting in plasticene clay. I have since used it to reconstitute pastels and it has been fabulous. You can find all kinds of stuff on Ebay if you fool around with their searches.

Cat

robertsloan2
09-25-2014, 08:34 PM
Oooh good point, Charlie! I don't want to use the one actually in my microwave but it was like that except it was only saucer sized. A microwave one might work well though and would have that lip so the pigment slurry doesn't slide off of the glass plate.

Mamalynn
09-26-2014, 10:03 PM
Rober--The glass plate I use I had cut from a glass shop for oh so cheap. Any piece of flat glass will do. Some people use a piece of marble as well. Sometimes you can get pieces from a stone store selling countertops

jakertanner
09-29-2014, 10:30 AM
Hi Jake. I know absolutely nothing about reconstituting pastels. However, I wanted to throw this info. your way if it applies. I grind pigment to make egg tempera paint. This is because certain pigments when purchased are still too coarse to make non gritty egg tempera. I always use a muller (fairly small one) and glass plate. I have a mortar and pestle but have never found them to do the job well. I wonder if this is what you need. Utrecht sells some mullers but I bought a high quality one (can't recall from where, maybe from Iconofile) as it was very heavy. They usually run under $100 so they are not cheap.

Hi, sorry for the delay in responding. I will look into that, especially if I want to make my own some day on a steady basis. Great info! Thanks!

wakeup&create!
11-01-2014, 10:44 PM
all i know is I've made reconstituted pastels in the past, with mortar and pestel.. and mine did not create coarse marks, rather, they created very favorable, smooth marks. one thing I've read is that during the hand-rolling process, a very light touch with very little pressure creates favorable attributes.

allydoodle
11-02-2014, 03:42 AM
all i know is I've made reconstituted pastels in the past, with mortar and pestel.. and mine did not create coarse marks, rather, they created very favorable, smooth marks. one thing I've read is that during the hand-rolling process, a very light touch with very little pressure creates favorable attributes.

I've found that the amount of water used to reconstitute the dust makes a difference, as well as having a very light touch. Too much water and a heavy hand can give you lumpy results. I use an eye dropper, and add the water a little at a time, until I get just the right consistency. It is surprising how little water you need. I have found I get very smooth results when I tightly control the amount of water as well as having a light touch. I use distilled water because it does not contain chlorine, which can cause fading.

I haven't mixed brands yet, I've only reconstituted broken sticks, using the same pieces from an individual stick. I do have a small container of dust from my easel that I plan on making a stick of gray from. It's either going to be very interesting, or very muddy.....:lol:

wakeup&create!
11-02-2014, 06:49 AM
i use as few drops of water as possible come to think of it. and i just roll the dough, soft as i can, and they come out great. never figured the amount of water would hav much to do with the softness but im sure it does.

jakertanner
11-02-2014, 07:50 AM
Hi...I actually found that by adding more water and making the mix super smooth, like a heavy heavy syrup, letting it dry until I can mold it works pretty well.

The courseness I was referring to was more about the look of the pastel, not the marks it made..wasn't smooth like a Unison...looked like a piece of rolled granite...lol

Tallula2
11-13-2014, 07:16 PM
My pastel box accidentally flew open during transit, so I ended up with lots of dust for making new pastels. The rolled sticks look like lumpy biscuits, but the marks are about the same as what came from the pastels that went into the making.

jakertanner
11-13-2014, 08:00 PM
My pastel box accidentally flew open during transit, so I ended up with lots of dust for making new pastels. The rolled sticks look like lumpy biscuits, but the marks are about the same as what came from the pastels that went into the making.


I can't get a super smooth stick, but after making so many, I got them to look like sticks, and not lumps...lol But a few I forgot about, and let get hard before I was able to mold them properly.

Best of luck. Important thing is that you are not wasting the dust. If it fell on the floor, though I wonder if there were other things that made it into the mix.

Blayne
11-14-2014, 11:59 AM
Jake, I didn't think to mention earlier that all the articles I've read about making pastels say to moisten the pigment with a few drops of alcohol because pigments won't dissolve in water. When I am making pastels, I put down a pile of filler (chalk with pumice and talc added), a pile of pigment on top of that, then make an indentation in the top of the pile and add a few drops of vodka and a few drops of water and start mixing, adding more water as needed. My pastels come out smooth except those I deliberately leave color lumps in. If your pastels are harder than you want, add talc. Plain old Johnson & Johnson's baby powder works fine--just make sure you get the old-fashioned kind made of talcum powder.

bnoonan
11-14-2014, 12:20 PM
Wow. I'm thinking this needs to be flagged by the moderators as a teaching thread. Love all the useful information. Though I've collected a lot of pastel dust, my resistance to making pastels is great. Sometimes I collect eraser rubber and graphite in the mix and I can't be bothered sorting it out.

Anyone got a solution for that? If not, off to the dust bin.

Jake - thanks for starting this out and I admire the sticks.

At one time I bought a bunch of Rembrandts in order to grind them into Schmincke softness - alas... I learned it's not even possible. :(

Barb

jakertanner
11-14-2014, 01:28 PM
Jake, I didn't think to mention earlier that all the articles I've read about making pastels say to moisten the pigment with a few drops of alcohol because pigments won't dissolve in water. When I am making pastels, I put down a pile of filler (chalk with pumice and talc added), a pile of pigment on top of that, then make an indentation in the top of the pile and add a few drops of vodka and a few drops of water and start mixing, adding more water as needed. My pastels come out smooth except those I deliberately leave color lumps in. If your pastels are harder than you want, add talc. Plain old Johnson & Johnson's baby powder works fine--just make sure you get the old-fashioned kind made of talcum powder.


Awesome piece of info. I will definitely try it, I have many more to make..lol lots of dust. Thanks!!

jakertanner
11-14-2014, 01:35 PM
Wow. I'm thinking this needs to be flagged by the moderators as a teaching thread. Love all the useful information. Though I've collected a lot of pastel dust, my resistance to making pastels is great. Sometimes I collect eraser rubber and graphite in the mix and I can't be bothered sorting it out.

Anyone got a solution for that? If not, off to the dust bin.

Jake - thanks for starting this out and I admire the sticks.

At one time I bought a bunch of Rembrandts in order to grind them into Schmincke softness - alas... I learned it's not even possible. :(

Barb

hi Barb,

Thank you!! I figured I would post some pics since I had inquired about making them, and I purchased a lot of Schmincke pastels that were destroyed from a fall at my local art store, that is how I came about so much dust..lol

I was encouraged not to combine all the colors from the tid bits I had, and that was great advice!!