View Full Version : Storage, Pastel - Plein Air: Pastels on the go

10-10-2000, 09:25 AM
I bought a set of Nupastels a year ago and I just love them!!! I wanted to supplement my supplies with a better brand, so I purchased a 45 color landscape set from Rembrandt. I have been an outdoor watercolorist and sketcher for years, and have been dieing to use my pastels. However, I still have them in the original boxes...which only work if I lay them flat with no chance of moving around while traveling.

What does everyone here use for a pastel container while painting outdoors?? I want to capture the changing season sooo bad!!!

Another question--very small. I have a lung problem...is there any danger in pastels for me????

Thanks everybody...I love it here at Wetcanvas and hope to be downloading some of my work within the next few weeks.

10-10-2000, 02:22 PM
You should be very careful about your lungs. Get a good respirator for when you're working with pastels, and be sure and clean up all the dust from them when you finish. Even I have thought about getting a respirator, and I'm usually not worried at all about health risks. But when you breath in that dust for the first time, you know it isn't doing anything good for your body, whether you have a lung problem or not.

10-10-2000, 03:11 PM
What is a respirator????

10-10-2000, 03:52 PM
Like a dust mask, only heavy-duty. I've heard that a regular dust mask isn't enough to keep out the tiny pastel particles. I think most art supply stores, and probably most pharmacies, would carry them.

10-10-2000, 05:14 PM
Thanks Victoria!!! I will check it out!!!

10-10-2000, 06:26 PM
Ditto the above. I too have asthma and am a pastellist. The dust from pastel is toxic if the pigments used in your pastels are. But dust is dust, and can cause you problems if not properly protected. You can use a powerful dust mask made for the level of dust toxcity and particle size of pastel. In addition, you can install a stand alone air filtration system that has a high quality HEPA filter (which will pull the dust down and away from your face). This is expensive, but effective. Another possibility is to add an exhaust fan to your studio and/or install a vacume system to fequently pull the pastel away from your environment.

Whichever method(s) you use, be certain you are not in the path of the pastel flowing through mechanical devices. Position yourself between the device and the easel, always work vertically, and never blow on the pastel forcing it back into your face...tap the painting to let the dust fall instead.

One other thought. If you have a studio with a ceiling fan, never use it with pastels out. The dust will just blow around and get into your coffee, not to mention your lungs.

A good book on the overall subject of air quality and painting is, "Ventilation", published by Nick Lyons Books, NYC.

Hope this helps http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif and happy painting!


LDianeJohnson.com (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com)
Workshops for 2001 (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops)

10-10-2000, 11:34 PM
Hi Nancy,
I have a 3-tray plastic pastel case made by 'Art Bin,' that travels very nicely. It hold about 120 or so sticks nice and snug so they don't get beat up on the road.



Artworks by Gisela Towner (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/gisela)

10-11-2000, 09:19 AM
Thanks to all for your suggestions!!! I will definately have to find out more about getting a respirator so I can do my pastels!! I do really love working with them. Is there more of a danger or less when working outdoors??? I suppose it depends which way the wind is blowing...duhhh!!

Gisella--I LOVE your pastels...particularly the one of Mt Hood and Macinac Island. They are very beautiful. I went to Mt. Hood last year...what an experience!! I'm trying to do some of the waterfalls around the Columbia River gorge...but I'm having problems with the actual waterfall. You pastels are beautifl...I'm going now to view the rest of your site.

Thanks also Sandi for the tip on the Tupperware container. I believe that I saw one of those at a re-sale shop and thought...ahhh I don't entertain anyway!! Silly Me!!!!

Have fun Painting!! See ya in Cyberspace!!!


10-11-2000, 10:15 AM
Ditto the advice on respirators etc.
I usedto use the Art Bin pastel trays and still do in my studio (didn't like the white color; painted them all a light gray to judge values better) but were a problem for me for outside painting and to take along to workshops.
Now I use a shallow box container I made that's lined with felt. The lower section contains my colors (pieces, not whole sticks) seperated in color and values throughtout. It is clasped together with the upper tray when transporting. As an extra, I affixed velcro to the bottom of the lower tray with mating strips on the sides of my french easel drawer. This keeps the pastels in place while painting. Not only does this protect the pastels while in transport,it helps to keep them clean. Also, not to waste anything, I use the top tray (also felt-lined) to place colors in while I work. Ken

[This message has been edited by 4vincent (edited October 12, 2000).]

10-13-2000, 10:21 PM
The best pastel box I have ever had - and I've gone through a lot of them - is the wooden box from a set of 100 Sennellier pastels. They sell either portrait or landscape sets. It's pricy, but they're wonderful pastels and the box is perfect for traveling - compact and very light weight. I've gone through hundreds of pastels, which I now buy open stock, but that box has been invaluable.

10-13-2000, 10:46 PM
4Vincent? could you post a pic of your pastel travel box? I sure would like to see how you did that. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif


See you in the Cafe Chat Room (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/WetChat/index.html) ...Or, stop by ... the Virtual Cafe Guerbois (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/cafe/) today and sign up for one of the painting/drawing projects!

10-13-2000, 11:30 PM
Will do Ilis, as soon as I can; where do I post; this forum or another? Ken

10-14-2000, 01:25 PM
Post it here...and if you like, you can post it in the Artist Studio image library. Oh...Heck..you could write us an article all about the topic and turn it into "Art School On Line". Hey...you got my brain working and that is some accomplishment!

I can't wait to see it! Thanks Ken


See you in the Cafe Chat Room (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/WetChat/index.html) ...Or, stop by ... the Virtual Cafe Guerbois (http://www.artistnation.com/members/paris/cafe/) today and sign up for one of the painting/drawing projects!

10-14-2000, 04:50 PM
OK Ilis; the pics of my pastel tray are in the studio pics section. I wasn't sure how to put them in this thread, and I didn't want to take up a lot of space. When you're done viewing them I can delete them from the studio section. If you have any questions, let me know. Ken http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by 4vincent (edited October 14, 2000).]