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billyg
03-27-2001, 02:18 PM
Hey Wolfhound,(Irish ?.)
Im no expert pastlist by a long shot . I find pastel pencil great to work. A little hard in texture but great for detail.Maybe you are constructing your painting wrong ? , by that I mean what part you are doing first etc. Are you fixing during painting various layers.And last but not least, If you are smudging your work, Why not use a 'Mahl' stick.
Hope it helps.
Billyg http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

LDianeJohnson
03-27-2001, 03:51 PM
Wolfhound,

Pastel pencils can be wonderful for detail work. Here are a few suggestions of things to try...

1. You did not mention the size of your piece. When using pastel begin large enough to give yourself room to work. If you start too small it will be harder to achieve detail.

2. If using pastel pencils for the complete piece, start with blunt pencils with repeated light pressure rather than sharp ones. If the pencils are too sharp early on, you'll press out the surface tooth thereby minimizing adherence. Then when you try to add final sharper details, the pastel just "mushes" around on the surface. Better yet, use larger sticks of soft pastel to lay-in your base then finish with pencils.

3. Spray lightly with fixative before your final detailing layer.

4. When doing spot detail such as the highlight on the eye, dampen the tip of your pencil, then with light pressure apply to the surface, then pull the pencil away.

5. Check the type of paper or board you are using. A lightly sanded surface is particularly good for doing detailed pastel pencil as opposed to paper.

6. Work upright rather than on a table top surface. Pastel using pencils is harder to achieve if your residual pastel stays on the surface rather than fall away while working. It is ok too, if you lay flat to work as long as you hold the paper up often and let the excess drop off. (Avoid blowing the pastel so it does not come up in your face.)

7. If working on paper rather than pastel board, place a few sheets underneath to give you a bit of cushion. Not too much so as to dent the primary surface, but enough for some "give" when you stroke.

8. Save your finest detailing for last.

9. Work from dark to light. It is easier to detail lighter colors over the darker than the other way around. Your colors and strokes will remain more crisp and you won't have to stroke over the same area as much.

10. If you prefer a very smooth, detailed finish, try blending a bit between pastel layers. If you cannot achieve the look you want with pastel pencils, perhaps you could experiment with regular colored pencils if you have not already.

Diane

------------------
L. Diane Johnson (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/) NAPA, PSA
Plein Air Workshops (http://www.LDianeJohnson.com/workshops/)

Wolfhound
03-28-2001, 12:04 AM
<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Mar-2001/matilda2.jpg" border=0>
This is a a picture of a dog I know that was done from photos and live sketches in pastel pencil. The comments of experienced pastellists would be very welcome - this was about the 3rd pastel pencil pic. I have done, I would like to improve in this medium but find it rather messy to use and difficult to get detail in. Am I using the wrong medium for detail work?

Wolfhound
03-28-2001, 01:51 PM
Thank you both for your advice - I didn't know about fixing between layers, I will try this next.Also the sanded surface if I can get hold of any. perhaps i am working too small - but I get scared of big shhets of paper http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/biggrin.gif
I'll have another go at something else using your suggestions and post it for your comments
I do already use regular coloured pencils for most of my work _ they are a lot easier to use than pastels!