View Full Version : More Experiments With Pastel Cloth

maggie latham
07-22-2007, 10:41 PM
More Experiments With Pastel Cloth....
Hello Everyone,
Well, after I gave pastel cloth such a bad review on the first morning I tried it, I felt really bad, and thought I should at least persevere with it and experiment with it some more. Also, after bluefish suggested that I turn it over and try both sides, I thought about it some more.
The posts below are a day’s work of experimenting….not in any way finished paintings or will they ever be…but I thought it may be of interest to share my findings. As I use different approaches I will post more threads. Questions and comments are welcome, if I can answer them!

This first one is painted using the woven (interface) side, and it is taped and stapled to gator board. Using a variety of soft and hard pastels, I blocked in large areas, and using an old bristle brush scrubbed in the color with a little water. The water spread like blotting paper and made the color more intense this would make a good under painting. The second, third and fourth pics are progressions after it had dried, adding more pastel and changing values etc. I thought it was interesting enough to show a close up.





The following two examples are using the other side ~ the smooth side of pastel cloth. Immediately this felt different to work on, and did not hold the pastel as well. I began with broad areas of color, and once again using an old bristle brush pushed some water around on top with very gentle strokes. Having used gouache quite a lot in my watercolor painting, this reminded me a lot of gouache. It was creamier than painting on the other side, and more painterly. If I were to continue with this I would just scumble a few more colors on top without using water, and leave it at that.



This third example is very interesting! I stapled the pastel cloth to mini 4x6 stretcher bars gallery wrap style (actually I undid the bought canvas that was on it originally) with the woven fibrous side up. It did not need much pulling and stayed fairly tight.

Next I lightly sketched a vague outline of some pansies in a light blue pastel pencil, and then started blocking in the petals. I added a little water with the bristle brush, and then blocked in the background with darks, and crosshatched a little with pastel pencils. I really scrubbed in the background with clean water, and let it dry…which took a good hour or so.

I added some more yellows, and some more water here and there, and let it dry once again.
The third pic shows how the values dry lighter. I have rubbed my hand over the canvas, and it seems fairly fixed.




I have no clear idea where these ideas and experiments will lead, but hope to try out a bigger size in the week. As I paint in watercolor as well as pastel, using water and a brush was the natural thing to do. I would like to try one painting using only dry pastel and see how that works. I’ll keep you posted on any more experiments.
Hope this is helpful, and thanks for looking.

07-22-2007, 10:59 PM
I am glad you are trying and not me.
WC and pastel is not too bad.
I will be looking in for more examples...sounds interesting (sort of) !
Thanks, Maggie.

Kind regards,

David Patterson
07-23-2007, 12:48 AM
There are sure some nice textures going on in your first 4 photos Maggie. Interesting surface.


maggie latham
07-23-2007, 07:43 AM
David and Eggy,
Thanks for your comments. Yes I like the look of some of the textures, but it’s deciding what to do next, as I have a tendency to put more and more pastel on, thinking it will look better, and nine times out of ten it just ruins the piece.

*Using the fibrous side, and glued to small panels of gator board, I can see distinct possibilities of using this cloth for plein air studies with a thumb box or small easel. Combining water and pastel and keeping everything loose, I can definitely see myself making small color studies and compositional studies for further paintings. I will go outside and do some mini color studies this week and let you know how I get on.

07-23-2007, 09:11 AM

Just love what you are doing and the creative applications utilizing the P-cloth. Will keep watching with baited breath!

It appears you prefer the 'back' side of the P-Cloth(interface side), so here's a little 'tip' for you - go to a material store and purchase a yd. of interfacing(dirt cheap as compared to the price of P-Cloth) - it is a little more dense than the reverse side of P-Cloth but you seem to prefer the rough texture, therefore the interfacing should suit your needs! Hope this helps you develop a unique 'Maggie Style'!


maggie latham
07-23-2007, 09:27 AM
:wave: Fish,
Thanks for the tip. I knew it reminded me of something…Of course…interfacing! Ok…I’m slow sometimes. I’m just used to seeing it thinner and with self-adhesive stuff on the back.
Which side is supposed to be the ‘right'
side of p cloth? I can’t get the interfacing side of it to stick with acrylic medium to gator board…any suggestions other than wheat paste?