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View Full Version : How to correct for too much pastel


lisagirl
05-18-2007, 10:48 AM
HI there, :wave: I'm new to this site and new to pastel and have been amazed at the wealth of information shared here in this community. I have a question that I am sure you all can help me with ... I started a pastel portrait and am afraid that I may have overworked the fleshtones on his face. I'm worried that I may have blended with my fingers too early in the process. Is there something I can do to successfully pull off some of the pastel so that I can recover this first effort? I am working on Canson Mi Tientes paper with a combination of a small set of Rembrandt and a couple sticks of both Schminke and Sennelier.

Also, should I be building colors in strokes first and then try blending with fingers once all the tones in the face are well established. Any insight you can provide will be much appreciated. I'm sure I can learn alot of valuable information from all the great artists I've seen here on this site. This site is truley an amazing resource.

chewie
05-18-2007, 12:48 PM
welcome, and i'll try to give some helps--
you can brush it off with a soft toothbrush or bristle brush
you can use shipping tape, wrapped backwards (sticky side out) and just pull off some pigments.
then after one of these steps you can use a kneaded eraser to get a bit more off, or rather, use some fix and then it should hold some more pastel.

as for blending, I don't much at all, using the harder sticks like fabers, to blend instead of a finger. in tiny spots like eyes, i may use a 'color shaper' (rubber thingie that looks like a brush) but usually I only dab at an area so the stroke isn't so strong but not rub the finger so the colors dont' muddy. once you get a certain amt. of pastel on any surface, they somewhat blend themselves as you add one ontop of another.

lisagirl
05-18-2007, 01:21 PM
Thank you Chewie. I will try that out and see if I can start again. Do you use the fabers as pressure to move color around or are the marks/color you are laying down create the blending? I picked up some Nupastels the other day and have not tried them yet. I wonder if the Nupastels can be used as you use the Fabers. Maybe I should be using my harder pastels more and then reserve the softer ones for the top or last layers.

DAK723
05-18-2007, 09:58 PM
When I work on Canson (or similar papers) I blend with my fingers. I do most of the blending in my earliest stage. I am blending for 2 basic reasons: To cover large areas of the paper with a very thin amount of pastel, and to blend intermediate values and/or colors. I do not do much layering and on a paper like canson you can't do much layering. I usually lay down different values or colors next to, or slightly overlapping each other, then I blend those areas together.

Believe it or not, I use a vacuum cleaner (brush attachment) to remove pastel. I am not sure if Canson is sturdy enough for this, but I have done it with velour and LaCarte (just today, as a matter of fact). Obviously, this method is not for small, precise removal.

Don

Donna A
05-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Hi, Lisa! Here is a link to Removing Pastels in the Writings section of my web site. This will give you several ideas and the whys and wherefores of each!

http://www.aldridgestudios.com/610-RemovingPastel.html

Oh---I have a pdf file---I'll upload that so that you can print it off if you like. I wrote this several years ago for one of the IAPS Conventions. Very best wishes! Donna ;-} ps---here's the link to my whole Writings page where you'll find more Studio Tips for the Pastel Painter, notes on using Fixative---why and how, and other things that might be interesting to you. DA

chewie
05-20-2007, 05:35 PM
Thank you Chewie. I will try that out and see if I can start again. Do you use the fabers as pressure to move color around or are the marks/color you are laying down create the blending? I picked up some Nupastels the other day and have not tried them yet. I wonder if the Nupastels can be used as you use the Fabers. Maybe I should be using my harder pastels more and then reserve the softer ones for the top or last layers.

I use a color similar to what would be in-between the two I'm trying to blend--if I were to blend a deep blue with a deeper purple, I'd make the blue further into the area where I want the purple, but kinda rough, hatching strokes. then the purple goes on, same way, over the blue area, hatching. then I'd take something in the same color family, in the value I'm after, and scumble over the overlapping spot. alot of it is all in how much pressure I'm using, for this, its very little, I actually think of it as 'tickling' the paper. usually with a faber hard pastel. nupastels have had troubles with lightfastness, so I quit using them and went fabers, but use them the same way, yes. and depending on how soft your softies are, yes, I use those more to the end, but that is just me. i use the real softs for 'frosting', little zingers here and there, almost impasto at times. but you must find what works for you.(I know, that statement gets old, but tis true)

check out this artist, she uses rembt. as her very softest, then uses harders on top to blend in the way I described. uses tiny little strokes, doing one area at a time, only doing a few paintings per year, and they aren't big. amazing work
http://www.maslafineart.com/CasaWebsite/artworkshops/JanesWorkshopPage.html

lisagirl
05-21-2007, 12:28 PM
WOW Chewie that artist is amazing. Thanks for all the great information guys. I will give all this a try. Here is the piece I am currently struggling with. I don't know if maybe you can take a look at what I've done and tell me where I am going wrong.
http://dallasavionics.com/lc/HaydensoftPastel001_lr.jpg
http://dallasavionics.com/lc/HaydensoftPastel001_closelr.jpg