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bjcpaints
02-02-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi! I have been using pastels for about 2 months now. Got a good easel with my Christmas gift certificates! I really love it and its great not to be balancing a board on my lap trying to paint! I still have not done 1 painting that I am really proud of. Acrylics are a quicker learning curve maybe? LOL Anyway, My big question from last nights session: Is it normal to have quite a bit of pastel falling to the tray that my board sits in on the easel? I had covered it with foil as I read somewhere, so that I can pulll it off and pour the pastel droppings into a jar. I know (NOW) that I should have taped my work up higher on the board because the bottom of my painting is sitting in a buildup of pastel dust. How often should you have to dump it out? I painted for an hour and dumped it twice. Any tips? I seem to put pastel on, take a lot off by blending, then start again with another layer - same thing. Appreciate your feedback!
Barbara

dlake
02-02-2006, 11:44 AM
How much is alot?? I get run off on the board. makes a pretty pile of dust. lol. So, Barbara, what kind of easel did you get and do you like it.
As for learning curve, I've been doing patels for a year and my art looks like an 8 year old did it. And I gave up acryllics for this addiction????
I'll let the pros give you tips. ha. I'm still soaking the tips up.
diane

exoticacanvas
02-02-2006, 12:36 PM
I am of the same mind, dlake, I am too new to post, and, yes, I feel like an eight year old did it. I have not had the courage to post any of it as yet. Mostly what I do is read and study and practice and get tips galore. I am still so new at this that I am still painting on a board on my lap. I am planning to move to better quarters so that will help. I have no room for a table and chair, much less an easel but that is definitely in my future as this apartment was only meant to be a transitional place.

“The artist, painter, or musician, by his decoration, sublime or beautiful, satisfies the aesthetic sense; but that is akin to the sexual instinct, and shares its barbarity: he lays before you also the greater gift of himself.” (or herself)
Somerset Maugham

MOstlry

PeggyB
02-02-2006, 12:56 PM
Barbara, a little more information would be helpful. What brands of pastels and paper are you using? Do you start with one of the "harder" pastels and apply the softer ones over it? Are you using your fingers to blend a lot? There will always be dropping dust, but the amount will vary according to the answers to the above questions.

As for easels and the room required to use one, I have a suggestion. Have you considered getting a good table easel? One of my easels (I seem to have a small collection of them also!) is a very good, sturdy table easel by Best. It can be made tall enough for me to stand at the table or if I get lazy I can also sit there. I place it on a towel on top of a table as well as a large drop cloth on the floor to help keep the dust off the table & floor, and easily cleaned up. If I'm sitting, I also put a towel in my lap so it is handy to wipe off the pastels & my hands, and keep dust off my clothes. I like having it there because I then have the whole table for my pastels. It can be easily put away too. This works well for those people who don't have a seperate studio room.

Peggy

Kathryn Wilson
02-02-2006, 02:07 PM
Barbara, coming from the world of wet paint, you are probably doing more blending than is necessary. Try layering your colors - starting dark then going lighter - this will reduce some of the pastel loss. If you are using a smooth paper, that could be part of the problem - a sanded paper such as Art Spectrum or Wallis will hold the pastel in place better.

Another thing you can try - do an underpainting to establish your basic colors and then layer on top with pastels.

bjcpaints
02-02-2006, 05:15 PM
Barbara, a little more information would be helpful. What brands of pastels and paper are you using? Do you start with one of the "harder" pastels and apply the softer ones over it? Are you using your fingers to blend a lot? There will always be dropping dust, but the amount will vary according to the answers to the above questions.
Peggy


Thank all of you for your responses. I will post my English Bulldog over the weekend as a WIP. Lets see, I am using Rembrandt halfsticks and Derwent pencils. I am using Wallis sanded paper. I was using my fingers last night. I could not blend though if that is better - did not seem to make much difference in the amount of pastel that was dropping - maybe I have a heavy touch!?! I am really feeling my way through pastel painting! I did get the dog to a point where I think its going to come out just fine - I was just surprised how much pastel gets wasted.
Thanks again! Oh, and I love my easel - its an Italian "Lyre" style - great for acrylics and pastels alike and adjustable to use standing or seated. Can't think of the actual brand - Safi or something like that ? I did not even realize it was Italian till I put it all together and read the manual. Got a fantastic buy with a 40% off coupon and all of my gift certificates - ended up only shelling out $28 and change in hard cash!
For those of you who are doing the balancing act sitting on the couch: You will not believe how great it is to have your work secured in an easel and be able to accurately paint details. Hey, maybe thats why all the dust? I am sure I wasn't painting as agressively. Sheeesh - Did I just answer my own question? Duh! Will let you know tomorrow!:D