View Full Version : Pastel on extremely textured surfaces?

03-11-2006, 11:17 PM
This past summer I volunteered to participate in a street painting fair since pastel is my medium of choice. It didn't seem like much of a leap just another surface to dust. Before the event I decided to practice a little and went outside my studio to work on a brick wall. I fell in love with the extreme textured surface and knocked out 3 huge 10 foot plus dimension works over 3 days(shown below). Needless to say by the time of the event I had no fingerprints remaining to rub the concrete.

I was wondering if anyone has ever experimented with textured surfaces? Any good experiments, tips, or advise?






M Douglas
03-12-2006, 12:42 AM
Wow these are FANTASTIC.....sorry I have no tips for you but just had to comment on these paintings....i'm in awe of your work.


Jo Castillo
03-12-2006, 01:00 AM
Wow! is right.

I have used pumice and acrylic gel on masonite for a surface. You can go as rough as you like. Gatorboard would probably be lighter if you go big.

I can't imagine working in such a large size with pastel.

Beautiful and impressive. Did you "fix" it someway so it will survive rain?


03-12-2006, 01:06 AM
Melodie, thank you.

I should probably clarify the above question too. Those examples are of my first run in with a highly textured surface. I've been experimenting with canvasboard with plaster and an overpaint of AS and Golden pastel sufracing to give it a little tooth. Wondering if anyone has had anyluck or tried making a practical application of mixing pastel and texture?

And for those of you wondering about the lightfastness of NUPASTELS. The brick walls were done with them I used two entire sets and mutliples of a few colors. It is 6 months later and they are still there on the brick. I haven't noticed any color change other than rain causing the colors to blur. That was gets direct sunlight 8 hours a day.

03-12-2006, 01:11 AM

No they weren't fixed in anyway. I didn't expect it to last more than a week but they are still there. Although the look weathered people still stop daily to take pictures. The best form of advertising I'e even done. I've done some experimenting on how to fix it a little better without making it permenant, because I have a plan to do a 40' x 10' ft mural on that wall. It's a historical building so it can be permanent, and I can get around permits.


K Taylor-Green
03-12-2006, 01:24 AM
Ok, where is that jaw drop icon when you need it? All I can say is, I'm compleatly blown away.
BTW, Welcome to the pastels forum, and I hope you are going to stick around!

Paula Ford
03-12-2006, 07:59 AM
:eek: ! WOW



03-12-2006, 08:18 AM

This is way cool !
Of course that me favourite is Vermeer's one (it's light is awsome)
I also like the horses alot.
Have you thought -unless you do it already - painting trompe l'oeil murals at people's homes ?
Of course that you'd have to use acrylics or another kind, either with pencils/brushes or an airbrush. You could make some good money.



03-12-2006, 09:53 AM
These are amazing. :thumbsup:

03-12-2006, 11:51 AM
I love your work. It's amazing. I've experimented with mixing sand and gesso. You have to use alot. But, gosh, I'm still reeling from your awesome work.

03-12-2006, 02:24 PM
Lovely murals. Must have been fun to do. Did you get many spectators. I am amazed that they are still visible. Would not be possible in rainy Holland.

03-12-2006, 05:43 PM
Marina, yes constantant spectators.

Posting this yesterday inspired me to actually put some of my experimentation into practice today.

This is a 36"x24" canvas that I textured with some light acrylic molding paste. The entire surface was then painted with Golden Acylic Ground for Pastels tinted with a deep olive green. The highly textured poppies where painted with different tints because I knew I wouldn't be able to get pastel into some the deep crevices. After everything dried the entire surface was coated with pastel. Rembrant, then Unison, and finally Schminke.

Sorry the colors are off in this photo

Here's a close up of an area with texturing. Sorry to many light sources but you can still see some of the texture.


03-12-2006, 05:53 PM
WOW! Jason, these are beauiful!!

03-12-2006, 06:10 PM
Double WOW!! Considering the sizes make that a triple WOW!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: I once had a student who created an ultra textured 30 X 40 pastel painting. She used the extra textured Golden Acrylic paste on foam core, but first she painted both sides of the foam core with gesso so it wouldn't warp. It worked very well for her, but she used so much pastel in the process she said she didn't need to do it a second time. You must own stock in NuPastels! :lol:


03-12-2006, 06:26 PM
Wow!! what talent you have. They are incredible. You are one talented
guy. I'm speechless too. Love this last one you posted. great colors.


03-12-2006, 06:36 PM
Thank you everyone

I'll post the one I just did when I have finished. I did it on stretched canvas so it needs to be sealed and varnished. It will be a little darker when completed.

03-12-2006, 09:47 PM
If it's like the others I'm waiting anxiously.

Paula Ford
03-12-2006, 10:36 PM
Fabulous!! WOW


03-12-2006, 11:44 PM
Where in town IS this wall???? I wanna see the real thing! Fabulous work! Do you have a studio/shop in the building itself? Knowing a lot of the folks around here, I'm surprised someone didn't complain despite the beauty of the work unless it's your building? Anyway, it's lovely. Glad the yellows and pinks are holding up well for you too! Where will this fair be this year and when???

03-13-2006, 12:35 AM

It's in the historic part of town, Old Colorado City, on the side wall of the chocolate factory. I think everyone knows where that is in this town.

As of now I don't think there are any plans in the works to have the festival again. I've been too busy running stores and working to open a gallery. I haven't had any time to attend any of the local merchant/advertising association meetings.


03-13-2006, 08:01 PM
My oh my. spring is here.

Alachua Artist
03-14-2006, 09:16 AM
graffiti takes on a whole new meaning! Wonderful work, FABOULOUS idea... dimensional pastel!! I LOVE it!!!

03-14-2006, 02:59 PM
Wow! Wow and extra big Wow! These are marvelous and so cool. The texture on the flowers is also really wonderful.

Katherine T
03-15-2006, 12:16 PM
What we really need of course is a picture of Jason and Sooz and "the wall"! :D

Jason - have you ever seen the pavement art paintings that Julian Beever has done - see http://users.skynet.be/J.Beever/pave.htm

I can't for the life of me remember what the word is for the distorted perspective thing but I bet "morphic" is in there somewhere. It would be interesting to know what gets used as every time I see a pavement art painting both the colours and coverage of the paving slabs are very good.

03-15-2006, 06:39 PM
Fantastic pictures, shame they will disapear,

I have used paper and cardboard with gesso, distilled water and ocker or other colours to make a tooth, it really helps the pastel stick, a lovely drawing surface

03-16-2006, 10:39 AM
in my area those paintings would have been eventually destroyed by passers by. Just curious- approx. how much did you spend on pastels to do this??

03-16-2006, 11:33 AM
These are wonderful...and I especially like your poppies piece with the acrylic and pastel. I've been longing for more texture myself, and I have a piece on the easel right now that I first painted with acrylic, using the Golden extra heavy gel mdium, and now I am going over it with pastel. It is chewing my pastels to bits, lol, and I'm going to have to get some Nupastels instead of the expensive Mt Visions I so adore...but I do like the effect. Never having painted with a brush before, it's going to take me a little practice time, lol...but I am crazy about the texture.

I am totally inspired to see someone else doing this with such success!! How will you fix it when done?

03-16-2006, 10:43 PM
Katherine...no I've never seen his work. I've seen people do it when I was in Italy. Aslo went to a festival in San Diego where there were 300 artist painting the street. There's also a similar festival in Denver. I might enter this year but it requires a team to do such big pieces in in such a short time.

There are actually people that get to travel the world and are paid to this at differrent festvals. http://www.streetpainting.net/ Once a year in Italy they all meet for the best show in the world. It is divided into classes and you have to compete to move up classes.

JMP I spent about $100 on pastels and another $20 on crayola sidewalk chalk.

Kim I heavily fixed those poppies with about have a can of lascaux. Then I will put a layer of soft gel, then varnish (I haven't had the time becuase I've been sidetracked trying to paint using chocolate YUM!). It's essentially a painting because it doesn't need glass anymore. I need to take another picture of it because it was meant to be much darker than the unfinished one I showed. I found that acrylic eats up the pastel because it doesn't stick. Golden makes a ground for pastels and AS makes it in many different colors. I like color coading the ground according to what I put on top of it. I like how pastel works the opposite of paint on texture. Paint fills the valleys and Pastel covers just the peaks.


Donna A
03-18-2006, 12:54 AM
Melodie, thank you.

I should probably clarify the above question too. Those examples are of my first run in with a highly textured surface. I've been experimenting with canvasboard with plaster and an overpaint of AS and Golden pastel sufracing to give it a little tooth. Wondering if anyone has had anyluck or tried making a practical application of mixing pastel and texture?

And for those of you wondering about the lightfastness of NUPASTELS. The brick walls were done with them I used two entire sets and mutliples of a few colors. It is 6 months later and they are still there on the brick. I haven't noticed any color change other than rain causing the colors to blur. That was gets direct sunlight 8 hours a day.

Great that the colors of NuPastels you chose have not faded!!! First, you evidently did not use any red violets! Or the deep purple----which turns to a lovely battleship blue-gray, etc! I pulled 34 colors out of my NuPastel set of 96 Colors after they faded a bit to considerably! The Pansy and other two red-violets faded within about two years----and I have so much fun showing one of the NuPastel sticks to artists who work with me----ask them what color I'm holding up-----they'll say off-white, extremely pale pinkish gray-white, whitish gray with a bit of pink, and so on! I drag the pastel across a sheet of white paper and the first part of an inch is off white-ish------and then the rest breaks out to the color inside the faded area---RED VIOLET!!!! Oh, is the common comment!

Does not hurt to do a good test on the sticks of pastel pigment you are using---and even colors in any medium!!!! Donna ;-}

03-24-2006, 10:15 PM
Ok here's my second try at using texture with pastel.

36"x24" streched canvas, light molding paste on areas I wanted in focus. Painted with golden pastel medium, for tooth, tinted with blue, orange, green and yellow. Completely dusted with pastels Unison & Schmeinke. Many layers of fixative. 3 Layers of varnish.

I'm playing with focal planes trying to use the texture to make the plane in focus pop out.

Any feedback would be appreciated.




03-25-2006, 06:36 AM
Jason, I think you've accomplished your goal! In this photo, it definitely has almost a sculptural effect. Those central flowers pop right out. One suggestion--the blue of the sky looks to be all one color. It would be more realistic if graded lighter as it approaches the ground. The contrast between the "horizon" background flowers and the sky seems too extreme to me, drawing my eye back there away from your central flowers.

I'm assuming, with all those layers of fix and varnish, that the pastel no longer needs to be protected. Am I right? Wish I could see this in real life....it's a really, really interesting piece!

Paula Ford
03-25-2006, 11:26 AM
Wow, that is a fabulous painting Jason!!

(Hey, you'd get more people looking at it if you start a new thread with each new painting)

Great colors and I love how you show distance in this painting...really terrific!


03-25-2006, 04:22 PM
Paula, thanks. I hate starting a lot of threads would rather have one thread where people can discuss texture with pastels.

I lost a lot of the gradiation in the sky when fixing. It's actually a little darker in life and shows more gradiation than the photo. Biggest trick in fixing it this way is understanding the color shifts and one of the blues in the sky I had never fixed before. You are correct this pastel no longer needs to be protected. The thing I like best about pastels is they are quick. The thing I like least is the cost of framing and the lower prices they generally get. I'm trying to figure out a way to be quick, require now framing, and get a painting price. *fingers crossed*

An interesting way I find to understanding the color shifts is to make a test sheet with long rectangles of each color. Overlay a piece of paper covering almost the entire page except a little of the the pastel. Spray that with a heavy fix, the can only a couple of inches away drenching the exposed pastel. This will make your heaviest fix swatch. Slide the covering paper to where it only covers a small amount of the raw pastel and spray the entire thing with a thin layer of fix. Inch the paper over and spray another layer of fin and continue doing this. Eventually you will have steps from raw pastel to completely drenched with fix. Now you can see the shift fix does to different colors.

If you are adventurous try it on differnt colored papers or backgrounds. The background color and the thinkness of pastel has a lot to do with its final appearance when permanantly fixed.