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Donna A
11-03-2007, 11:10 PM
Hi, everyone! I've been having a ball using the Pan Pastels! Finally I've had time to really get into using them. I've done 5 or 6 pieces so far, only two fully finished and now hanging, as of yesterday, in our MidAmerica Pastel Society 11th Annual Small Painting Show. Below is "Light at Wood's Edge" done completely with Pan Pastels on AS Colourfix Soft Umber over a charcoal value study, sprayed with fixative. This particular MAPS show requires paintings to be 8"x10" or smaller.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-LightAtWoodsEdge-500px.jpg

Earlier stage photo before a lot of the lightest leaf lights were added--and the photo I took this summer:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-Woods_.jpg

This is "Golden Fields" on Colourfix Burnt Umber over a simple charcoal drawing, fixed.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-GoldenFields.jpg

Earlier stage and photo I took last year in NE:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-GoldenFields_.jpg

Was so interesting to hear the feedback of other MAPS artists yesterday when we were delivering works and hanging the show---seeing their first Pan Pastel paintings, saying how they "loved the suedy look of the PanP's surface" and "how rich the colors looked" and surprised at "how much detail could be achieved" and "how painterly." I'm doing a demo of PanP's for the Nov. MAPS meeting---and we'll have a hands-on session then, too, where everyone will be able to try out the colors themselves on a variety of papers. If anyone is in the Kansas City area, please come to the meeting! Tuesday, Nov. 27th, 7-9 pm, Prairie Village, KS. (email me for more info.) One of our members drives FIVE hours to come to the meeting---and another five hours home, rolling into his driveway around 3 am each month! He says it's always worth it!!! So, come if you can!

Here is a piece I've just started on the AS Colourfix SuperTooth (8"x10".) First, the very loose, quick charcoal sketch and then the initial colors I've roughed in with the PanP sponges.:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasRiverSketch-500px.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasCreek.jpg

I'm loving the way the Pan Pastels are going onto the Cfix SuperTooth. I was a bit surprised how easily the color went on to the even greater texture.

And here is a photo of the 20"x28" painting I have started on white Colourfix. I did a pretty loose full-vaule sketch of the composition in vine charcoal---and decided to not fix it before laying on the PanP's---so that I could incorporate the charcoal into the very rich, intense colors to lower their intensities in the 'underpainting' for a more natural look in this landscape. I knew, from my other PanP paintings, that I could so easily come back in and lay on rich, intense color accents as I needed later. I was very happy with how the charcoal worked for the over-all color quality I was wanting---and will use this more often. Something I do in my other pastel paintings so often, already.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/03-Nov-2007/77048-AutumnTreesOnHillside-500px.jpg

After having worked on the smaller pieces, it was grand to work on a larger piece! I've found all the different sponge sizes accomodate my painting needs well---and was very glad of that. I've discovered different ways of picking up the color from the pans and even mixing between 2 or 3 pans---and that what various angles---and light, medium and firm pressures, etc., I use can give me some very rich variety in surface, color, edges, etc., as I would also achieve with different pressures and so forth with the tips or the sides of my pastel sticks.

Layering is great! This was another happy surprise for me as I was experimenting! I was able to do a lot of layers, each with different 'feels' and so many qualities I can do with the sticks---and yet---there are unique effects or 'looks' I am getting with the PanP's that I would not normally achieve with the sticks. So---these are really expanding in lovely unexpected ways the effects we can create with pastels.

And while I've only played with this in some experiment pieces and not in 'formal' paintings yet, I've come to understand that I will be often using the PanP's and the stick pastels back and forth together during a painting, rather than simply using only one or the other---or using the PanP's only as underpainting. So that has been very interesting to me to discover. For anyone who had wondered if these were really serious materials or not---I'm finding them wonderfully SERIOUS---while still allowing all manner of playfulness! :-) So--that's what works for me! I'm just having so much fun with these and the way they have expanded what pastel painting is! And that is pretty exciting to me---a huge fan of pastel painting for far more than two decades! My head is spinning with so many other thoughts---but---I'm going to go paint right now! :-) Take good care! Donna ;-}

David Patterson
11-03-2007, 11:51 PM
Lovely work and great info Donna!

Dougwas
11-04-2007, 01:22 AM
Thanks for sharing with us Donna. Have fun.


Doug

Shari
11-04-2007, 01:05 AM
Donna,

These are wonderful. Could you share about which applicators gave you which effects. For example, the dappled trees, or the detail on the trunks, which applicator did you use; did you use the edge of it? I would appreciate any detail you can share about tools and edges, and effects. Thanks so much.

Donna A
11-04-2007, 03:47 AM
Hi, Shari! I'll be glad to share everything I can---tho will be in several installments. :-) For these small paintings, I found the pale-blue plastic handle triangle-shape tool extremely useful---and was sooo glad that I had ordered extras when I ordered the full set of Pan Pastels from Dakota, so that I had several to use at once. (By the way--I noticed Dakota has the full set--well---all the sets---on sale!!!)

I used the edge of the triangle tool a LOT! Also the flat of it---along with the other handled tools. And the wedge sponges a lot. I had even eventually experimented with carving down one of the sponges that was a bar shape with oval ends. Turned out that the very, very thin line I was able to achieve let me get into some of the very fine spots of strong light I wanted to build up---but probably used the triangle handled tool for those smaller, finer areas the most. The grasses and other longer, narrower areas--usually picked up color on the edge and then simply pressed it against the painting. This worked soooo well!

I'm the kind of painter, when using oils in particular, that has maybe 20 painty brushes in use, liking to reserve one for a particularly (for example) dark, dark green---another for a medium-valued warmish green and yet another for a medium coolish green, and perhaps a nice lighter green on another brush,etc. And even there I keep changing qualities of the color---but within the narrower parameters, so I keep my colors cleaner, preserve many of my general mixes---and sometimes exact mix to be used when I come back to the area---and most importantly, don't have to keep cleaning off the brush or other tool----and I found the same things at work with the Pan Pastels. Again---I was sooo glad that I ordered extras, even tho the company supplied a really good number and variety with the full set! And it is so easy to clean off any of the sponges with a few pulls over paper towel.

Here are some pics of the trays I made with foamcore board for the PanPs and their tools. I've found them really handy to carry them from my personal studio to my classroom studio where I've let several of the artists use them. Right now, they are sitting on the table at my pastel easel---and plunked right down on top of my Art Spectrums, which I keep immediately at my right hand. I'm going to have to figure out how to work these in to my set up, which right now is way past capacity to even add any more table top space and still have room left for all my other works in the studio. LOL! But---I'll think of sumthin'! :-) I always keep the pastel brands I use the most within the easiest reach.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2007/77048-PanPastelTrays.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-Tools-1.jpg

I took these pictures pretty early on--so there are not as many colored-up sponges as there are now! The white sponge triangles you see are some that one of the artists who studies with me brought from the salon where he works. They are much, much softer than the ones from the PanP company---and don't work very well for much of anything---with rare exception! There are some white sponge double-ended tools he also brought which do work pretty well---tho again, I generally prefer the double-tipped little tools from PanP. I used them a LOT, too! And they are really handy for smaller areas and accents and such. I was also drawing with them in several of the experiments I was doing earlier.

You can see in the pic above the sky-blue colored sponges, some of which I'd set 'face up' in the little white box below the foam trays at the lower right---and around them, you can see some of Terry Lugwig's blues which live in that area of the table. There is a large round sponge balanced on the trays with the pans, full of dark and medium ultramarine. Below you can see where I was beginning to work on the 20"x28" landscape.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-Pastels-Easel.jpg

The light-filled leaves on the "Woods" painting are mostly handled with these small double-tipped tools. I really loaded up the tip with pigment then laid it on to the painting, perhaps pulling it a bit, then would reload.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Nov-2007/77048-LightAtWoodsEdge-500px.jpg

When I was painting the very light leaves in 'Woods' I found it very important to be sure each stroke had it's own interesting variety and personality as much as possible, (as in any painting situation) so that the leaves did not look like boring polka dots!!! Irregularity is one of the prime qualities of the look of things in landscapes (and so much else!) So--very important 'touch' to learn.

Guess I should share something that really hit me squarely in awareness!: As with our pastel sticks, as with our oil and acrylic and wc brushes, and so with our PanPastel tools, it is absolutely vital to develop a FEEL for each tool---its uniqueness, its range of possibilities, its limits and limitations, outcomes of various pressures, drags, draws, dabs and twists and turns---NOT in a gimmicky way, but in a way that is carrying out your own sense of expressiveness for every stroke you are making.

And---we do our very best when we stay very deliciously aware of that place on our painting and on our painting tool where the two meet! Think of the Sistine Chapel ceiling painting of Adam's hand reaching up to touch God's hand reaching down---and that magical point of the two finger tips connecting! That point---that precious connecting point where everything that is happening at the moment IS happening! Feel it. Stay constantly aware of that connecting point and the sense of it. Aside from honoring that point, you are also gaining constant information! Really, truly! How light your touch is, how heavy. How easily the tool is slipping across the painting surface with pigment, or how hesitant, etc. I promise it can make remarkable differences that are often hard to imagine. And can be a habit one needs to develop.

Also---I find that there are at least 4 general ways of starting and ending a stroke---whether of a PanP tool, a stick of pastel or a brush. Maybe think in terms of airplanes taking off and landing---and the differences between winged aircraft and helicopters. OK---don't laugh too hard:
• Winged--coming in for a gradual landing--taxi a bit across the painting--gentle, gradual take off
• Helicopter--abrupt straight down--taxi a bit across the painting--staight up again
• Combo-W-H--coming in for a gradual landing--taxi a bit across the painting--staight up again.
• Combo-H-W--abrupt straight down--taxi a bit across the painting--gentle, gradual take off

Now---you can get so many wonderful different qualities using the 4 variations above---and I used these constantly constantly---with the Pan Pastels and with any sticks or brushes I ever use when painting in any medium! Each of these variations in beginning a stroke and ending it has huge influence on the look of the stroke--and there will be differences depending on whether it is the first stroke of pigment laid down on that area of the painting, or whether it is many layers up. A lot of that is experimenting and experience. So--do 'play' with it. Develop some really fun, sassy, special "English on the ball" as they say! :-)

And when you are pulling the tool/stick/brush across the painting, there again are so many possibilities with your pressure, how fast or slow, if you pull straight or twist in some way or give greater pressure to one edge or another.

I used all these variations throughout the paintings.

Something I learned is that for really rich color, (which I LOVE!) I found it useful to load up the tool often---which is exactly the same thing I've learned with brushes with oil and acrylic. Something I see soooo often is an artist working in oil just "pawing and pawing" the painting surface with the brush, long after it has given up most of its paint---and I noticed it with one of the artists borrowing my full set of PanPs the other day. She was also complaining that the color was not being very rich. LOL! Had to agree! But as soon as I loaded up the sponge, laid on a couple of strokes, loaded again, stroke, stroke, loaded again---etc! Very luxurious, rich color that she was thrilled with! She was using Rives BFK white rag etching paper. She eventually abandoned that and went to the Colourfix---and decided she was drastically happier with the latter. Haven't tried it on Wallis yet, but will. And some other papers. But loading up the sponge is so important---just as with the brush! I sorta suggest a 'rule' about oil paint---one, two or three strokes, then reload. Same is proving so nicely true for the Pan Pastels. There are times with either where we can do more, but--for the most part, reloading often will probably satisfy you far more!!!

I was eventually picking up 2 or 3 pans at a time and holding them in my left hand as I painted. Was very easy to put them down and pick up others. Mostly did that when I was covering some larger areas, particularly at earlier stages, or when building up very rich layers.

Now there is sooo much else to share, but right now---the pillow is calling! :-) Will add more tomorrow. I'll mention some things I discovered about ways of mixing colors. I'm so persnickity about color, so it was interesting to find ways of working out particular color combos, such as darker, warmer, lower-intensity greens that don't reek of pure thalo! But---hopefully this gives you some things to experiment with for now! Enjoy! Take good care! Donna ;-}

CJMonty
11-04-2007, 06:09 AM
Donna,

Can I be so cheeky as to ask what exactly came in the way of tools with the Full Set of Pan Pastels. Could you put them together and take a pic so I have a good idea. I am only an amateur when it comes to painting ( I use Watercolour and Soft pastels, the later my absolute favourite). I have the Full Set of Rembrandts and the Full Set of Schminke and quite a few Art Spectrum, mainly the Australian Colours and a selection of 36 Windsor and Newtons and a handful of Conte and a 48 Set of Derwent Pastel Pencils all Courtesy of a very generous Husband, Monty. I was sort of wondering about the Pan Pastels as they sound like fun, however the last time I ordered from the US it was the postage that was so expensive. I got the Sample Paper pack and 4 sets of Sample Soft Pastels from Dakota all at a good price and their service was excellent, it was just the freight that was so very expensive. I'm almost wondering if I was bale to get them through one of my kind friends over there that it may be cheaper for them to post for me. ( Just an idea). Have to run it by Monty first of course though. With the exchange rate so good as it is at the moment it may well be worth my while. Haven't seen or heard of them advertised here in Australia yet, and there are a lot of art materials that you guys have that we don't have the opportunity of even looking at unless we send away for them.

Take for example, if I was to get the Pastel Journal here from the News stand, it would cost me AUS$18.95 ( US$17.43 )per journal where as if I was to order it through subscription it is absolutely nowhere near that price at all. :confused: :confused:

I love your "Woods" painting, it looks so cool and relaxing, I could just go and sit under one of those trees and sit and listen to the nature around me or quietly read a book. :cool:

The colours of the Pan Pastels look so nice, am looking forward to further installments of your lessons in the use of them. THANKYOU VERY MUCH.:clap:

Take Care and have a great week.

Lots of Love Carolynn :) :heart: :heart:

Mary Brigid
11-04-2007, 07:33 AM
Wonderful work Donna and thank you for sharing.
Mary Brigid

nvcricket
11-04-2007, 09:08 AM
Donna, Your paintings are scrumptious! What a lot of wonderful ideas and details you have given us with your exploration in the world of PanPastels! Even for those of us that can't acquire them yet. Your analogy with helicopters and planes is precious and well worth reading this thread if only for that!

It seems like Christmas around this forum! It's like a hot new video game just came out, with all the kids standing in line so they can acquire one! What a treat for pastelists to get a new "toy" to explore with!:clap:

I will be on the sidelines for quite awhile as they aren't in my budget. Even so, it is really thrilling reading and visualizing all that is being discovered and created with this wonderful new toy!

Please do share more of your thoughts, I have pulled up a chair and am waiting patiently. Have some sweet dreams!

Carol

Colorix
11-04-2007, 09:22 AM
Donna, great work, and especially, great sharing. Just reading your posts make my hands positively itch to try the Pan-pastels. And I ADORED your aviative description of strokes, so apt!

Thanks a lot,
Charlie

Dot Hoffman
11-04-2007, 10:17 AM
Donna, your paintings are wonderful, and we so much appreciate all your help and advice -- it's really beyond words. Thank you

RooGal
11-04-2007, 05:31 PM
Haven't seen or heard of them advertised here in Australia yet, and there are a lot of art materials that you guys have that we don't have the opportunity of even looking at unless we send away for them.

Take for example, if I was to get the Pastel Journal here from the News stand, it would cost me AUS$18.95 ( US$17.43 )per journal where as if I was to order it through subscription it is absolutely nowhere near that price at all. :confused: :confused:

Carolynn,
I think I paid AUD$17.95 in July for an issue of the Pastel Journal. I had talked myself out of it the first time, but relented when I used it as an excuse to buy myself an anniversary present. :D The only reason I don't subscribe is because I've heard horror stories trying to get it overseas.


Donna,
Your paintings are simply gorgeous, be it sticks or pans! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
I also loved the photo of your studio, wow.

Punky2
11-04-2007, 06:18 PM
Donna,

You are such a sweet lady for taking the time to share all of this great information. Thank you so much!

Your paintings are gorgeous! I've been staring at the pictures of your pastel setup for quite sometime. What a wonderful studio!

I have your 3-CD set on color theory and it's truly fabulous. I wish you had more such lessons on CD.

Terri

Donna A
11-05-2007, 01:12 AM
Donna,

Can I be so cheeky as to ask what exactly came in the way of tools with the Full Set of Pan Pastels. Could you put them together and take a pic so I have a good idea.

Hi, Carolynn! LOL! First I have to thank you for thinking I might be able to remember 'clear back to when' I opened the box of Pan Pastels--maybe two months ago! The good news is---one of the artists who studies with me also ordered the full set---and she's only had time to use the wonders once and then has been in Italy for several weeks. Tomorrow I'll photo her set, which is still fairly in tact as far as the tools, tho she also ordered some extra sponge tools. Mostly I remember that there seemed to be at least one of everything in the full set---plus extras of some of the sponges plus extra sponge covers for the tools with handles. I would still order extras and am so thankful that I had ordered more. But part of that is my working style. It's really very possible to do anything with one of each--and just clean them between colors with a couple of swipes on a paper towel.

I am only an amateur when it comes to painting

Ahhhhh---I always think in terms of the original meaning of 'amateur'---'lover of....' :-) I'm so sorry we have lost that lovely connotation. At any rate---you love painting! yea! :-)

( I use Watercolour and Soft pastels, the later my absolute favourite). I have the Full Set of Rembrandts and the Full Set of Schminke and quite a few Art Spectrum, mainly the Australian Colours and a selection of 36 Windsor and Newtons and a handful of Conte and a 48 Set of Derwent Pastel Pencils all Courtesy of a very generous Husband, Monty. I was sort of wondering about the Pan Pastels as they sound like fun, however the last time I ordered from the US it was the postage that was so expensive. I got the Sample Paper pack and 4 sets of Sample Soft Pastels from Dakota all at a good price and their service was excellent, it was just the freight that was so very expensive. I'm almost wondering if I was bale to get them through one of my kind friends over there that it may be cheaper for them to post for me. ( Just an idea).

Sounds like you have a great selection of colors! (Irronically, perhaps, AS's are my ultra-favorite brand of pastels and I have aout 4700 different sticks---25 brands---well, 26 now with the PanP's---and I have been using the AS's for 75% to 80% of my work for years.) A couple of months ago---seems like there was a report that the PanP company was going to begin exporting, so---you might even want to contact the company to see what the plans are. And good for them to know of your interest! This is their web address. http://www.panpastel.com/

Have to run it by Monty first of course though. With the exchange rate so good as it is at the moment it may well be worth my while. Haven't seen or heard of them advertised here in Australia yet, and there are a lot of art materials that you guys have that we don't have the opportunity of even looking at unless we send away for them.

Take for example, if I was to get the Pastel Journal here from the News stand, it would cost me AUS$18.95 ( US$17.43 )per journal where as if I was to order it through subscription it is absolutely nowhere near that price at all. :confused: :confused:

I love your "Woods" painting, it looks so cool and relaxing, I could just go and sit under one of those trees and sit and listen to the nature around me or quietly read a book. :cool:

Thank you, Carolynn. It was a gorgeous place---a large hosta garden with a very deep creek surrounding the yard and these trees at the 'clearing' going back toward the creek and well beyond. I took this photo late in the afternoon at the Heartland Hosta and Shade Plant Society garden party for the members. It was a lovely combination of light and shadow, and I really wanted to capture that fleeting moment! And yes---a perfect place to relax, enjoy the sounds of nature and---if I had not been joyfully capturing other lovely vistas there---enjoy a good book! :-)



The colours of the Pan Pastels look so nice, am looking forward to further installments of your lessons in the use of them. THANKYOU VERY MUCH.:clap:

Take Care and have a great week.

Lots of Love Carolynn :) :heart: :heart:

Thank you!!! I'm going to write a bit about the adventures I had in finding great ways of getting color mixes I wanted! Love and Hugs to you!!! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-05-2007, 01:24 AM
Donna, Your paintings are scrumptious! What a lot of wonderful ideas and details you have given us with your exploration in the world of PanPastels! Even for those of us that can't acquire them yet. Your analogy with helicopters and planes is precious and well worth reading this thread if only for that!

Hi, Carol! :-) Thank you! x2! :-)


It seems like Christmas around this forum! It's like a hot new video game just came out, with all the kids standing in line so they can acquire one! What a treat for pastelists to get a new "toy" to explore with!:clap:

LOL!!! You know---I think about how our moms or grandmothers used to go out and buy a new hat when they needed some excitement! We go out and acquire new colors! And I love thinking about our beloved painting materials as "toys" !!! cuz it seems to me that if 'we are doing it RIGHT' we are PLAYING!!!---joyfully expressing the beauty we find around us! Ahhh! So---as long as you have yummy colors to work with now---you have this new wonder to save up for! Something really fun to look forward to when the time is right! And great to learn more about them with things that get shared here so that when....you'll be even more ready to dive straight in! Makes sense to me! ;-)



I will be on the sidelines for quite awhile as they aren't in my budget. Even so, it is really thrilling reading and visualizing all that is being discovered and created with this wonderful new toy!

Please do share more of your thoughts, I have pulled up a chair and am waiting patiently. Have some sweet dreams!

Carol

Ohhhh---I love how you understand things! Lovely!!!! OK---you're on! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Shari
11-05-2007, 01:41 AM
Donna,

Thank you so much for all the fabulous info. I am eagerly drinking up all that you have written. My Pan Pastels should be here by mid week and I am so excited. I really understand what you mean by learning to feel each tool. My teacher, Richard McKinley, has helped me to use a much lighter touch than I used to. I feel like it's a dance between me and the ground I am using for my painting and there is an energy, a give and receive going on between the ground, the pastels and my own body and emotions. I look forward to reading tomorrow's installments. Thanks again.

Donna A
11-05-2007, 01:46 AM
Donna,

You are such a sweet lady for taking the time to share all of this great information. Thank you so much!

Hi, Terri! Thank you! Absolutely my pleasure!



Your paintings are gorgeous! I've been staring at the pictures of your pastel setup for quite sometime. What a wonderful studio!

Thanks! It's really nice---but---I DO need to do a bit of a clean-up in there. But manana manana! I added it on to the rest of my house in 1984---and have easels for both oil and for pastel---and then a big work table which is part of rich deep oak dining room furniture from 1900---the table with a full sheet of 4'x8' plywood 3/4" thick---which I keep covered with a lovely dark, richly-colored paisly cloth when not in 'rough' use for cutting foamcore boards or spraying contact cement, etc! Great for dinner parties, too! :-) 18' of closets with louvre doors. And never enought space! ;-)



I have your 3-CD set on color theory and it's truly fabulous. I wish you had more such lessons on CD.

Terri

Oh, great! I'd love to hear about what you've gotten from it when you have a moment. I do get to hear from folks around here, but not as often from those of you who are farther away. And I do have a new dvd---2 hours on oil painting on Colourfix---3 different paintings with selections start to finish and using Old Holland, AS and Maimeri Puro---and fully applicable to canvas, too. But then---it's not pastel-based or fully applicable to pastels, as is the Mastering Color set.

At least for now, I will share a few more thoughts about my discoveries in using the PanPs. Thank you so much. Would love to hear from you! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-05-2007, 04:00 AM
Hi! Thank you, David, Doug, Charlie, Dot and Mary, too! And now for Installment #3! :-) Mixing colors with Pan Pastels.

Mixing---or choosing---colors in any medium seems to be a significant challenge for many painters. There are 60 colors in the set---6 of them Grays---which are so useful! And then 54 other colors, with many of them extremely saturated or intense or pure. There is also 3 Raw Umbers and 3 Blue Grays.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-PanPastelColors.jpg

We need the fullest color intensities since we can not create those! Our challenge is often to create the low and medium intensity colors as well as those subtle blends between hues. I found that I could pick up color from one pan, then pull the sponge tool across the color in another pan (lightly to firmly) and then pick up color from a third pan, then perhaps return to the first color in that series and pick up a bit more there----and then pull it across my painting surface to deposit the color mix. You can see from the photo of the color pans that they are not utterly clean right now, particularly the warmer colors where I had been working on the Golden Fields painting in the original post of this thread.

By picking up more than one color, I was able to achieve the kind of mixes I wanted. It took me a bit of experimenting to get the 'feel' of how hard to press or how softly. But it worked for me---and it was rather fun! (Well---most of the time! You know how painting can be!!!) :-) Sometimes I had to lay color on 2 or 3, even 4 times to get just the right feel for it---but then---I'm terribly picky about color. :-)

I was surprised at how I was able to layer with the Pan Pastels. I could further develop or correct a color area or I could add accents---whatever I needed.

It was very easy to clean the surface of each pan if I wanted or needed to---so returning to utterly pure color, which I wanted in particular areas of certain paintings---and was easy to accomplish by either picking up the pan and using a sponge tool to smoothly 'rake' across it, letting any spare flakes of color drop into one of the handy pan lids.

I did this with several pan colors---and found I had another way of mixing a color. I could press or swipe a sponge tool into the colors in the lid---and have that resulting color combination. I actually mixed a very dark, warmer, somewhat lower intensity foliage green that way---this time, very much on purpose. You can see that pan lid with the dark foliage green in the second post I made with the picture of the tools. Was great to have that dark, dark green constantly on hand with the "Woods" painting which also toward the beginning of this thread. I used the Thalo Green Shade, the Raw Umber Shade and the Purple Shade together. Occasionally added the Black. Worked great for the color range I wanted and needed. I would change proportions of the colors as needed---or perhaps other times pick up a bit of color out of still another pan.

I discovered that I could also very gently pull color over a previous color layer---and they would give a wonderful effect together. The look depended on how hard or light I pressed and how much pigment I had loaded on the sponge---and often---how many layers I already had laid on. This is yet another Experiment Time! :-) But---experiments work so much better when you know what you are looking for---and here you certainly could be looking for color effects that are very particular---or give that overall quality in the painting you want and need.

I could get effective, interesting colors by using the colors in the paper or in the underpainting, etc. by laying on color lightly in certain areas and letting what was underneath glow thru to visually mix. So many of these things were really touch dependent. Sooo much painting in any medium is touch-dependent!

I found I could also 'mix' color by juxtaposing---laying bits of two or more colors next to each other to cause a visual mixing by the eye.

I have painted with the PanP's on several different Colourfix colors, light to dark, as well as over a watercolor underpainting or charcoal value sketch. Those have worked out really well! If I was laying on color in a very sheer way in certain areas over a watercolor underpainting, I did need to make sure I was not wanting a smooth gradation from one color or value to another when there was a harsh, hard edge in the wc! If I was laying on the pigment heavily, it was not much of an issue---but then the underpainting was not doing it's share of the work!

One of the artists in class used some of the Pan Pastels over an alcohol wash underpainting, which is something I have often loved doing (but had not yet experimented with the PanP's) and Gloria's effect worked out great! She was working on a paler Colourfix 20"x26" over which she had laid her stick pastels then went over with a wide brush and alcohol. She was able to make both subtle and more dramatic color changes, while leaving the original underpainting showing in areas. Was very effective!

There are so many more experiments I want to do.

One last thing---loading the sponges: One or two pulls across the pan with the sponge will give you a good amount of color! Pull that color-loaded sponge across the surface of your painting once or twice (MAYBE a third time) and then load up again, perhaps dipping lightly a bit into another pan for a slight variation in the color while still keeping it in the close feel of the original color.

Now--sometimes where I wanted a very pronounced color, particularly painting from the traditional darker to lighter colors, I would swipe the sponge across the surface of the pan's color several times. Sometimes I would bring up a bit of loose color. It did not go flying about at all, as loose color on our sticks will do, but would do a great job of just staying there! In those cases, I could press the sponge tool into the loose color to pick it up and then press that, often firmly, on to the painting surface for really great effects. Would never want to bother doing that in a LOT of places, but where I wanted/needed some really striking color---it was a blessing---light the strongest sunlit areas of the sides of tree trunks and leaves! And it just stayed there on the painting then---even when I tried pounding the back of the painting to loosen it. Nice! The Pan Pastel color seems to like staying where it is---unless we use a sponge to move it. I like that.

OK--that's all for the moment. I hope this is somewhat coherent. Time to stop for tonight and I apologize for anything that is not clear. It's a little hard to figure out how to explain some of these techniques without your standing here and showing you and talking back and forth about it. So---do let me know if you have questions.

I've attached a pdf file on Mixing Colors. Some of you have seen this before. It's been really useful for so many artists---in pastels and any other painting medium. A lot of the issues with mixing and layering colors with our sticks applies to the PanP's as well. And then there are the things that are very particular to these. I love the range of possibilities!

Of course, stroking the tips or sides of stick pastels into the PanP's or vice versa will also be a way of mixing or altering the color. Yes---just so many possibilities!

Enjoy!!! More tomorrow. Take good care! Donna ;-}

PeggyB
11-05-2007, 11:44 AM
WOW! and that about says it all Donna. I should have known if anyone could pull the color out of these "pans" it would be you, and of course you'd share everything you know and then some with the rest of us. I highly suspect most of my frustration with my month of experimentation with them was because of the surface I've been forced to work on. A local art supply store asked me to give a demonstration of them last Saturday, and wanted me to use any of the papers they sell. That meant Canson Mi Teintes, watercolor, or etching papers. I choose Canson, and found the color of the paper was extremely critical for the end result. After tossing several beginning pieces, I did four sunset paintings during my 3 weeks of practice using the same color of pan pastels on white, violet, steel gray, and red Canson paper. Each painting looked very different. My demo piece was a different sunset, and on royal blue. I also did a tree landscape, and two still life paintings. All are a quarter sheet of Canson in size. The customers of the art store were all impressed, and it must have worked because they sold almost their entire stock of pan pastels! :clap: If I can get some proper lighting outside, I'll take photos and post them once I get Photoshop reinstalled on my computer - but that's a whole 'nother story!

I must admit I've had fun with the experiment, but also a lot of frustration. Now I'm gonna bring out the Art Spectrum paper! Oh yah - I too found varying the pressure and angle of "attack" very important. I also found I could create more colors by scrapping a little of the colors into one of the lids and mixing them together for a new color that isn't available otherwise.

Again - LOVE your paintings! Especially the woods. Thanks so much for sharing.

Peggy

Diana_pastels
11-05-2007, 11:50 AM
Donna, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I am rating this thread so hopefully it will stay around a long time. I so appreciate the wealth of information you have shared!
Thank you,
Diana

Shari
11-05-2007, 03:42 PM
Donna,

Can you measure and tell me how big the entire container would need to be to hold all the pan pastels in the set? I was thinking of buying those cheapo plexiglass frames that are about 1 or 1 1/2" deep to lay them out in but I am not sure how many to get. Thanks.

HarvestMoon
11-05-2007, 04:44 PM
oh- these are FANTASTIC..... did you send them to the pan pastel site????

I have a set of these and get really anal about keeping them in the right order they came in- and screwing them back together....

SO I LOVE LOVE LOVE your setup!!!! the photos of your studio have my mouth watering!!! yummy stuff....

Thanks so much for posting this!!!

Susan Borgas
11-05-2007, 07:50 PM
Donna I just wanted to say a huge thanks to you for putting the time into this thread because I feel it will me of an enormous help to those that are yet to try them out.

For the Aussie artist I have already made inquiries and this is part of the email that I received.

We expect to be launching the range in late February/early March, depending on shipping times, speed of progress through customs and all those things that can influence importing goods into this country.

It will be worth you subscribing to this thread (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452383) so that you are alerted to stocks in Australia. :thumbsup:

By the time we are able to purchase these pan pastels in Australia, we should be well and truly schooled up by the members here at WetCanvas who are sharing their own experience with this new medium, :thumbsup:

Donna A
11-05-2007, 08:52 PM
Hi, Susan! Oh what great news that you all will be having Pan Pastels available in Australia within a few months! That is exciting! You're going to love them, I think! :-)

And glad you are getting some great ideas for using them now! Yes, you'll be allllll ready for them! :-) Yea!!!

I so very much enjoyed visiting your web site, Susan! Gorgeous paintings! And I love your hints and other 'extras' you are sharing through your site!

I'm going to try your idea of pressing or rubbing the pastel under glassine. I am a confirmed user of fixative---and I never get any darkening---but sounds like the pressing under the glassine would be a great way of making the layers even more compact, whether spraying or not! Thanks!!! Think I'll try the 5 mil Mylar (acetate) too, since I've come to prefer it over glassine for protecting my pastel paintings---and can see it at the same time!

With the Pan Pastels---I actually did NOT spray them. Amazing for me! :-) I'm so fascinated with how they just seem to love being where they are and the pigment just doesn't seem to move all that much when I run my finger tip over some spot in the PanP painting. I have not used anything but Colourfix yet, but will, out of curiosity of course, try some of the very, very many etching papers I still have---and watercolor papers and Wallis and so forth. (Well, did do a bit of work on Rives BFK white that an artist was using my Pan Pastels on this last week in class---tho I did not run my finger over the surface.) I have sooo much more experimenting to do! Will keep reporting!

I'm going to return soon to your marvelous web site to look at even more of your lovely paintings! It's so nice to be able to see some wonderful views of your amazing country, too! And so interesting to see such different vistas than we have in and around Kansas City---the 'heartland' of America. Thank you so much! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-05-2007, 09:10 PM
oh- these are FANTASTIC..... did you send them to the pan pastel site????

I have a set of these and get really anal about keeping them in the right order they came in- and screwing them back together....

Hi! LOL! Oh, I can understand that! But I realized pretty fast that life would be more fun when I'm painting with them to keep them out and about---but be able to move the pans around when I wanted/needed to! And when I take them out plein air painting---so much easier/faster, it seems, to just pack up the trays. Now---If I'm going to pack for an airplane, I'll definitely screw them all together in several columns. That is such a great way to be able to travel long distances with them---or store them should you need to.



SO I LOVE LOVE LOVE your setup!!!! the photos of your studio have my mouth watering!!! yummy stuff....

Thanks so much for posting this!!!

My pleasure!!! And thank you! :-) I do love my studio. Tomorrow, I've just got to get in there and do a bit of straightening up. (Will only be a bit, tho it could use a LOT more!) Have just been too busy. Manana!!! :-) Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-05-2007, 10:05 PM
Donna,

Can you measure and tell me how big the entire container would need to be to hold all the pan pastels in the set? I was thinking of buying those cheapo plexiglass frames that are about 1 or 1 1/2" deep to lay them out in but I am not sure how many to get. Thanks.

Hi, Shari! Just in case you might decide instead to make your own made-to-size trays, I've drawn up a 'map' of the foamcore board pieces I cut to make my Pan Pastel trays---along with their measurements---both for the size of trays I made for myself---each of which will hold 15 pans---and also for larger trays which hold 30 trays each. (60 pans in full set.) I would suggest making yet another tray(s)---(one of the larger-size tray or two of the smaller trays) to hold your tools. At least these measurements will give you an idea of the size you'd want to look for in the plexi frames---but they are pretty deep---and when stacking them up---well, I think it's nice not to have them any deeper than needed! I had yet another occasion to stack and move the trays today so that someone in class could use them. Well---just so you find something that works for you! That is what is important!

Making these trays was pretty easy. Cutting the foamcore board was 'the hard part' and that was a breeze. :-)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-PanPastelFoamCoreTrays.jpg

And for construction details (just pay attention to the red since this was originally created for the trays I use for my stick pastels in my travel box, which also uses corrugated cardboard and foam pads, etc.):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-PastelTravelBox-construction_notes.gif

(This is the other image about making the travel box, which may be useful to some of you. NOTE the info at the bottom about the Partitions, which I used in the tool trays I made for the PanP's. This travel box illustrated is over 20 years old and going strong! Works great and is so light-weight. You couldn't give me a store-bought travel box I'd use.):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-Pastel_Travel_Box_drawing-DA.jpg

A reminder about what my PanP trays look like:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-PanPastelsTrays.jpg

And the trays for the tools:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-Tools-1.jpg

Well---have fun, ya'all! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Diana_pastels
11-06-2007, 09:44 AM
Would someone else rate this thread so we can save all this great information that Donna has generously given us, please?
Diana

Donna A
11-06-2007, 07:14 PM
HI! Someone several days ago was asking about what tools came in the full 60-pan set---and couldn't remember. Today I photoed the tools in the set a friend ordered when I ordered mine---but she is wondering if she had already taken some of the larger sponges out and mixed them in with some of the extras she also ordered, all in a separate bag right now. Never thought at the time of photoing them. I just dived in! :-)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-ToolPics-FullSet.jpg

Bev's used a couple of the sponges that come in the little pans, each with 2 of the small-sponge tipped tools, as you can see. But she's been traveling a LOT the last couple of months (up to Canada, then Rome and Venice, and now off to Belize) :-) so she has not had time to use them much at all, tho she's loving the little bit she's done with them, so far---in company with work-in-progress she was striving to finish with her stick pastels--and even using the sponges for some of the rubbing-in areas she does. Bev uses rubbing in of particular areas of her pastel paintings sooo marvelously, in association with her very strong and powerful strokes! She uses the rubbing in better than pretty much anyone I've ever seen---and always for striking effect rather than ending up with something wimpy. It's going to be exciting to see what she does once her travels are over for a while!

In the 'medium-sized sponges, there's • a 'rectangle block,' • the triangle, • the rectangle with curved ends and • the rectangle with 'arrow' ends. Then • the 4 pale-blue handled tools with a pkg. of 10 covers for each shape---triangle, oval, rounded-end rectangle and rectangle. There are several other • larger sponges, which you can see sitting in the pics of my tool tray.

I think you can see all the tools on their web site---at least I know they are pictured in the folder that comes with the sets. Oh---and there is • the wooden-handled tool with the ColourShaper gray tip---which can also have a cover put over the tip for a slightly different feeling tool. The creator of the Pan Pastels is the same person who invented the wonderful ColourShapers, which I love using. (So handy sometimes to have a really LITTLE little finger to do some things! And all the other size/shape/firmness variations!!!) And he also invented the OilBars! Have enjoyed them, too. And he's an artist himself, I understand---Yale MFA. I think, so often, artists seem to know best what artists need and want---and sometimes, when we don't even know we want/need yet! :-) LOL! Well---that creative spirit! :-) And then we just pick up that new ball and run with it! :-)

I love those little • small-tipped sponge tools! Aside for painting with them a lot, I've used them for drawing on blank paper. Has a lovely effect! Can change pressure, turn the tool and all the other things we might do with most drawing tools. Yet---as with the painting, there are certain things the PanP's seem to let happen that are unique and beautiful---and---enlarge the range of what we can create in our drawing and painting. And I feel like I've barely scratched the surface! Gee, this is fun and exciting! Hope you are having fun creating and experimenting, too! Take good care! Donna ;-}

PS---I am so glad I ordered extra tools when I ordered my full set---just because I love keeping a lot of separate brushes going when I'm oil painting---and with the PanP's it's been nice to have some particular sponges ready loaded with a certain 'neighborhood' of color---maybe like some warm lights---and then another with some cool lights---and then some cool darks, etc. Just handy. I could have done everything with the tools that came with the full set alone, but---for my painting habits---was just handy and efficient, saving bits of time cleaning off a color with a couple/three swipes across a paper towel. Maybe I'm just lazy---or always in a hurry! :-) Order some extras if you can.

If you paint really large pastel paintings, the larger sponges will be your friends! If you paint mostly small works, the smaller tools will be used the most, of course! They really do have a well-thought out range of sponge tools and sizes and shapes---and---we can shape our own---and---I even played the other day with wrapping a bit of chamois around the tip of a stump and that worked great---for yet another somewhat different effect. But that and some of the other experiments is for another post. Enjoy!!! Donna ;-}

Donn
11-06-2007, 09:26 PM
:clap: :clap: :clap: Thanks, Donna, for sharing all you have done with the Pan Pastels. Wish I could afford even the landscape set, but I'm shooting for 10 color set. Your explanation and WIP has been a great instruction tool. This should be saved for the library.
Thanks, again, for sharing.

Susan Borgas
11-07-2007, 12:38 AM
I'm going to try your idea of pressing or rubbing the pastel under glassine. I am a confirmed user of fixative---and I never get any darkening---but sounds like the pressing under the glassine would be a great way of making the layers even more compact, whether spraying or not! Thanks!!!

Donna I am open minded about using a fixative; I just need to find a supplier for Grumbacher Tuffilm Fixative to try it out. For the most part my hand isn't heavy when applying layers of pastel with fallout causing me little problems although that being said, I may have been lucky when my work is transported from studio to exhibition or freighted to my clients...... now I hope I haven't jinxed things for myself by mentioning that. ;)

Also thanks for taking the time to look at my blog; it is appreciated.

your studio is awesome! :D

Hey and it is good to see the star rating for this thread. :clap:

Donna A
11-08-2007, 12:15 AM
HI! Thank you Susan and Donn! Susan---even if you don't find the Grumbacher Tuffilm, there are some other very fine brands---and I suspect that the way the fixative is applied is a HUGE part of the issue. There is a brand or two I will NOT ever use any more! (Well, unless perhaps it's one of those times I'm using fixative to darken an area--but only if that is all there would be on hand!)

I do build up soooo many layers of pastel in most areas---but not necessarily in all areas of my pastel paintings. I LOVE pigment and the juiciness of color! And with that thought in mind---it is rather a testament to the Pan Pastels, which have more of a 'sheerness' in some ways---for them to still fully satisfy me with their color qualities. Quite a statement! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-08-2007, 01:16 AM
Hi!!! Installment #5. Today a wonderful painter began a new painting on 40"x28" Soft Umber Colourfix. She is so exciting to watch painting! Very dynamic and energetic and passionate! With gorgeous paintings at the end of it! (OK, folks---one of her big secrets is---drum roll---getting way back---often---to look at her painting! A grand dance back and forth! Wow!) Today she used both her Art Spectrum Pastels and some Pan Pastels to lay in the earliest stages of color over her slight charcoal drawing.

Thought you might find it interesting to see Jennifer's use of both 'styles' of pastel material to lay on broad areas of color. They meld beautifully! She used the largest sponge for a lot of the warm grassy land areas and AS sticks for the rest.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2007/77048-JS-NoPlatteRiver.jpg

The source photo of the North Platte River outside of Grand Island, NE at dusk (this is a photo of the photo.):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2007/77048-JS-NoPlatteRiver-photo.jpg

Working on such large areas, she found her personal style to rough in the very large areas with such rapid spontaneity to sometimes go faster with the sticks, which carry the pigment within themselves. I found this true in one of my experiments---and that I liked the flow of quickly laying in some very large areas with the sticks, and then coming back in with the PanP's for some of the more subtle qualities that are particular to the latter. It's really important for us to find what serves our own working habits well---but then also to sometimes challenge them to find some of the places where we might expand what we are making happen. And I think that is something that Jennifer and I and others have been fortunate to do in our exploration of growth over the years.

Here is the piece I was mentioning recently that Bev is doing from a photo she took in Burma. This is her second Burma marketplace painting---both on 40"x28" Soft Umber Colourfix. Most of this piece was started long before the PanP's were delivered. She has done this painting primarily with stick pastels, but has done the shadows on the upper left with the PanP's and also certain areas of the trees in the upper area---some of it laid on OVER the stick pastel color. Again, a great way of working with both the stick pastels and the PanP's to great advantage.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket2.jpg

And her photo (again, a poor quality image since it is a photo of a photo---but will give you an idea of where she is going.):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket2-photo.jpg

And then here is a piece I began drawing ages ago---another 8"x10" in anticipation of the MAPS 11th Annual Small Painting Show---started as a full-value charcoal drawing. I laid on a few areas of color after fixing---and then decided I'd wait for the delivery of the PanP's I'd ordered. So---here, I went back in over the few areas of stick pastel (light sunlit grasses and the blue-violet gray area in upper left) and I was really happy I had waited. The PanP's went on over the stick color beautifully---just as the stick goes on wonderfully over the PanP's. This is a piece still in progress---but I'm really liking the first 'rough-in' areas. The dark tree/shrub area upper right, for example, holds together as a dark green unit, but still gives variety between the values and temperatures of the dark greens---and gives textural variety plus variations in edges (and accomplished in 'shamefully' little time!!!) :-) LOL! And, yes---I'll surely go in and scribble in some accents there as I finish the rest of the painting. The rich warm golds are looking 'heavier' in the photo than in the actual painting. I really like the feel in the grasses and other areas. The photo of the painting is just not in focus. I'm beginning to wonder if my wonderful little digital camera is getting 'tired' or if I'm just not letting it capture its focus. Hmmm.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Nov-2007/77048-Creek-SouthLakePark-beginning.jpg

Will share some more of the discoveries in my Pan Pastel experiments and paintings tomorrow! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-09-2007, 01:59 AM
Hello, again! Installment #6. First---Jennifer (whose painting beginning you saw in the previous post) worked on her very large painting again today---and again worked both with her AS stick pastels and with the Pan Pastels, layering them back and forth. WOW! I'll take a photo tomorrow and post so that you will have a visual update. Bev is in Belize, so---will be next week before she is back painting. And Jennifer is heading for AZ---so.... Gee---we have a lot of travelers around here! :-)

In the meantime---I was asked again about using our fingers to work with the Pan Pastels. (Probably the question I've been asked the MOST!) Ya'd think it was a natural. But so far, I'm finding the PanP's prefer their sponges to the finger tip. I don't know if it is the subtle oils on our skin or just the fact that our finger tips are not so finely cavernous as the sponges (which pick up and then deliver pigment) that come with our PanP's. I've rubbed my finger against a PanP color and then dragged it over a painting surface---and---yes, there was some color---but nothing so luxurious as with the sponges. Hmmm.

I also tried out chamois skin the other day---wrappped around the tip of a new fat stump---and also glued to one of the blue-handled paint tools (which I had carved from an oval to a straight-edged triangle.) (glue---Clear Liquid Nails)

The chamois works great, as well! Laying in with the chamois does a great job of 'delivering' the pigment. Gives a bit of a different surface----and that is GREAT!!! The chamois picks up a great amount of pigment and gives it back. Perfect. But---still do use the sponges for most of the work I"m doing. Variety, however, is always a great addition to the range of the tools!

Back to the 'finger painting!' It's not so much that we couldn't do it---as that it is a 'bother' compared to using the sponges, etc. I love using my fingers for things---and someone was laughing about my diving into some oil paint yesterday in class---with my fingers---to achieve a particular mix they were searching for. LOL! But---I've easily "resigned" myself to the fact that this is not a medium that 'wants' finger painting as a main-stay!

Rubbing color that has already been applied does not create large changes. And that is a huge comfort. I can move a little bit of color where there is a large amount of PanP built up, but it's just not like what would happen with 'regular' pastels. I don't understand why--but---it certainly has been my repeated observation. Of course, all I've focused on, so far, is painting on Colourfix papers and boards. The PanP's really 'stick' to the place they have been laid down on the sanded Cfix. Rubbing with my fingers moves almost none of the pigment. Pretty amazing. And that, of course, is what led me to 'breaking my 'self-imposed rule' to always fix before framing. The two PanP paintings hanging in the MidAmerica Pastel Society Small Painting Show are the only two pieces I've not fixed in years! Now that is trust! All for now! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Tressa
11-09-2007, 02:20 PM
Great thread Donna!! I found the same with my fingers. It was almost automatic to try, but not a big result, other than to move a bit. The sponges apparently are made of a microfiber which picks up, and releases easily. Tried makeup ones without good results also. Have to try the chamois.
I love your trays, have to rig some up, as that is one thing I DON"T like is having to lay out and set up each time I paint somewhere. Unscrewing all those little pans get on my nerves, lol...
I am still experimenting with these also, and Berni just sent me the rest of the apps I did not have, I have done mostly thin layering, but am gonna try building more layers..hope to play with them this weekend, but some of family has had a bug this week, so been caregiver.
Taker care,
Tressa

Donna A
11-10-2007, 08:06 PM
Hi, Tres! Thank you! Love your Fort Wayne painting! I suspect you are going to like the trays you make! Just so easy to move around, as I did again today. Jennifer was using them Wed. and Thursday---and drat! I didn't get a follow-up photo of what she had done with them Thursday---and she will be traveling for several weeks, so won't be able to be here. Everyone was drooling over what she was doing using her AS stick pastels along with the Pan Pastels! :-) Sticks and Pans really work beautifully back and forth with each other. I plan to explore that more soon.

Will be interesting to hear about your experiences with using the PanP's in heavier layers. And some of the other sponge tools. I've been painting enough with PanP's now that I'm getting a bit of wear showing on a couple of the little sponge covers for the pale blue-handled tools. Have become a bit rough and scraggly---but---I'm thinking it is great as a texture variation! And is certainly why they supply the covers in generous multiples. Of course, we can turn them over, too, so a LOT of usability. But---thinking the 'scraggly' can have some great use, too.

Look forward to hearing more from you on your PanP adventures, Tres. Take good care! Donna ;-}

Susan Borgas
11-10-2007, 08:15 PM
Donna is it possible to have a close up of some pastel work so that we can see the texture that can be achieved from the pan pastels?

Donna A
11-10-2007, 09:40 PM
Hi, again, everyone! Well---I had sooo much fun today with a new PanP experiment painting on an 8"x10" stretched canvas which I had primed with Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer, painted on with a large white bristle brush!!! Ohhh Yum! Works great! So---something some of you might also want to try. Love the texture and the way it handled.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-1-CoRiverPainting-600.jpg

This is the photo I worked from---one I took in Colorado some years ago. And of course, I made some changes since the photo is what I'm working from not to! Just inspiration and information!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-1-CoRiverPhoto-600.jpg

I took photos of the work in progress, beginning with the sketch, which I did with the small sponge-tipped tool using the Shade of the Raw Umber. I do like drawing with this little tool. Just so easy and delightful to lay in loose though specific composition. So EVERYTHING in this painting is pure Pan Pastels. Not even any charcoal underneath.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-1-CoRiverSketch-600.jpg

This shows some of the first darks I laid in. I wanted to keep the dynamic energies of the subject alive---and also keep the darker areas unified as larger foundations for the medium and smaller color areas I would add as the painting progressed. I found the blues, particularly the darker, richer blues definitely wanted/needed to be laid on with some pressure to get into the deeper texture of the canvas combined with the texture of the Colourfix Primer. You can see some of the variations in the texture which comes from the white bristle brush used to paint the primer onto the canvas.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-1-600.jpg

Below I laid in color to most all the other areas of the painting. Not being fussy. Going after the general impact, first!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-2-600.jpg

I'm beginning to refine now. Experimenting with how to best capture the feel of the brush on the left bank--textures, patterns and the colors. They went through several variations. Actually, kinda like what I had here---but---ohhhh, I kept fussing around! At least I like very much what I ended up with, too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-3-600.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-detail-3.jpg

More refinements---the conifers, the mountains, bridge area and so forth.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-4-600.jpg

The finished painting, again:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-1-CoRiverPainting-600.jpg

And a couple more details:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-detail-4-600.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-CoRiver-detail-4b-600.jpg

And then my PanP's when I was finished painting today. LOL! You can see I've really been picking up multiple colors for various strokes---and working pretty fast. The pans clean up very easily---and I've found the bits of 'extras' stirred up to be handy during my painting to 'blot up' on the tool and press on to the painting---or stroke on---for a greater color impact in that spot---and then I've also used a sponge to stroke off the loose little bits of other colors into some of the lids and make some useful color mixes to use. So---so far, none of it wasted. I actually have taken colors off into a lid to mix for some colors that are very important to me---like a dark foliage green: Shades of Raw Umber, Purple and Thalo Green---and then sometimes Black as well.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-PanPastels-MuchUsed-600.jpg

That was fun to paint! Oh---and I did, at one point, spray this with fixative, rather heavily on the mid-to-lower left side to darken the area a bit and make sure the pigment would have good footing for still more more more pigment, since I was laying it on pretty liberally. I was really pleased with it all. But--ready to get back to working on something that is not so small! And someone is coming over to sit soon for me to do a portrait experiment. Her husband is a marvelous pastel painter. And he is sooo curious about these PanP's, too. More soon! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Susan Borgas
11-10-2007, 10:35 PM
Wonderful and thanks for showing us the details Donna :D :clap::clap::clap:

Donna A
11-10-2007, 11:51 PM
Donna is it possible to have a close up of some pastel work so that we can see the texture that can be achieved from the pan pastels?

Hi, Susan! LOL! I guess you posted this when I was writing what I just posted---with some close ups! Great minds! LOL! :-) I actually have been taking shots on a lot of these pieces as I've been working, but below is the first I've taken time to clean up and resize, etc. I'll go back through some of the other files and see what other detail shots I can find---or crop to, since I shoot pretty high rez and size.

There is a very interesting luxurious look to the pastel on this Colourfix-primed canvas. And I suspect that most folks just looking at it would think it was an oil. Hmmmm. Less of the suede look as on the Cfix paper---but I'm loving the look of both.

Here is a detail of South Lake Park Creek:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-detail-1-SoLkParkCreek.jpg


The detail above is from the grasses at the upper end of the creek, near the middle of the painting:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-SouthParkCreek.jpg

Here are two details from the (so far only) beginning stages of this 8"x10" piece on Colourfix SuperTooth. Really like how PanP's are going on over it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasCreek-detail-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasCreek-detail-2.jpg

From:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasCreek.jpg

And this is from Golden Fields--another 8"x10"--with areas where I did a LOT of layering, in some cases, as scumbling.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-GoldFields-detail.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-LightAtWoodsEdge-detail.jpg

And last--from a 28"x20" Colourfix, in progress--Autumn Trees:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-AutumnTrees-detail.jpg

From:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Nov-2007/77048-AutumnTreesOnHillside-500px.jpg

These details are not as good as the ones I shot as close-up details today, but at least are cropped at the 600px x500px from the original high-rez photos. For some reason, they have all been resized, even tho they are jpegs saved at the specified size tonight. Hmmmm. So they have all lost a bit of their sharpness and detail that I was seeing on my computer before uploading. Anyway---hope that gives some additional insight.

And---LOL! Susan, I see you have already seen the pieces I just posted before beginning these. Well---this is it for tonight! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Susn
11-11-2007, 12:17 AM
Hello :wave:

I am new to wetcanvas and to soft pastels (a very few paintings with nupastels)

I have just received some pan pastels and you have answered the questions I had and many more.
Thank you for sharing it makes getting started so much easier.

Su

Donna A
11-11-2007, 10:24 PM
That's great, Su! Glad these notes are useful!!!

Just a few comments on strokes with the PanP's. There are several variations in the way we can put on the color. In some cases, I have found myself picking up the pigment which has gathered on the surface from my quick and vigorous passes against the pan surfaces. With that greater 'collection' of pigment, I've found I could just press the pigment onto the Colourfix surface---and, if I wanted, then pull the sponge a little to a lot across the painting---to achieve an even greater color impact. That has been especially handy when laying on some of the smallest bits of strong light!

When I want a fairly clean, hard-ish edge, I'll make sure I load up my sponge with three swipes across the pan, including the leading edge of the sponge tool, and then very carefully set that edge against the location in the painting and pull it away from the painting's color edge.

If we want to merge or blend one color stroke into another, begin with a firm pressure on your stroke and move the stroke's direction toward the color area you are merging into, lifting gently, little by little as you approach and move into the other color area. I've really been impressed with the merges of two colors that I can make.

When we want 'crusty' edges between two color areas, particularly effective sometimes with two similar but different colors, we can make sure we load up the sponge tool, on the color-edge's-sponge-edge (did that make sense?) and then use moderate pressure when you drag the tool away from that edge.

Of course, a lot depends on the shape of the sponge tool you are using at the moment. There's a great variety. Yesterday, doing the painting on the Colourfix-primed stretched canvas, I found myself using the tip of the pale-blue handled rectangular tool---a LOT! And interesting control for certain things that I was able to get. I was also using the very tip of the triangular tool, particularly around the bridge area.

How we load the sponges can offer variations. For most things, one or two swipes across the pan's pigment will be perfect. There have been times when I load up three or even four strokes---or pick up color from two or three pans, going back and forth and back and forth---with the most influence usually being the last color picked up.

A lot of times with my stick pastels, I'll build 'dagwood sandwiches' for color mixes. Now some of you just have to be tooooo young to know exactly what a dagwood sandwich is! Many layers of different things---and Dagwood could never wrap his mouth around his huge, sandwich creations in his cartoons---but, gee they were always gorgeous! Well---when I'm weaving together, layering into each other, strokes of several different colors to create a particular complex and unusual color or gradation of colors---I will often use the same sticks two or three times in subsequent layers as I build the final color---for example: with very, very, very dark foliage green areas I'll use the darkest AS Flinders Blue Violet D-520 (my single most favorite color stick on the planet--a dark plummy color!) on the bottom, then the darkest AS Thalo Green D-570, then sometimes also the darkest Ultramarine N-526. Sometimes the darkest Raw Umber for the added golden warmth to the foliage darks. Then more D-520, then more thalo, then maybe some ultramarine, then.....etc.

Now, I'll usually build in variations in what is predominant in the over all foliage green dark dark area, letting some of the plummy color come through more in one area, and perhaps some thalo in others---but will keep laying them on over each other in strokes until I achieve the richness and color quality I want. Adding strokes over and over each other weaves them together with a crisp freshness that others might do by rubbing the colors together to blend, but perhaps crush the crystals of the pigments and loose some sparkle. Now---I've found some similar actions useful in mixing the colors for the Pan Pastels. Picking up back and forth between the colors to get the mix on the sponge. Yes---gets the top of my pans mussed up and a bit dirtied, but---it lets me get the color I want! And that is the most important thing to me! :-)

It's another great thing to experiment with. Find your own best ways to get what you in particular need and want for your personal style. Enjoy! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

PeggyB
11-12-2007, 11:59 AM
Donna not only does the "fine artist" in you shine forth in this posting so does the "natural teacher". Thank you for sharing your time, knowledge and talent with us.

btw: love the result on primed canvas!

Peggy

mrking
11-12-2007, 12:34 PM
Seeing all these demos is great. Keep it up. It has given me some ideas.

Diana_pastels
11-13-2007, 10:31 AM
Donna, thank you again for continuing to post your results with the panpastels and your knowledge and talent with us. I appreciate it so much!
Diana

Susn
11-13-2007, 10:39 PM
Donna
Thank You for taking the time to demo and explain so well.
Just exploring how the sponges work is great fun.
Su

Natalie NZ
11-14-2007, 11:23 PM
Hi Donna,:wave:

re the canvas primed with colourfix, will you be using a fixative on this at the end?

Edited to say....
On reading earlier posts, I see that you do use fixative. However, what I really want to know is whether the canvas needs to be framed.

Donna A
11-15-2007, 12:16 AM
Hi Donna,:wave:

re the canvas primed with colourfix, will you be using a fixative on this at the end?

Hi, Natalie! I did actually use some fixative mid-way thru that painting, partly to darken the lower left corner, partly to generally test how the fix would 'play' with the PanP, since I had not used it on the PanPs before---and then also to 'anchor' and isolate some of the color in one area (don't remember which) because of the color I wanted to pull over it, preserving more than I'm 'invested in' sometimes.

Now---this afternoon in class, one of the artists is going to be showing something from the IAPS Convention last May about either PVA or acrylic medium diluted and sprayed onto pastel paintings as they are being painted so as not to need glass in the framing. Because of some of the 'happy surprise' I had using the fix on the PanP's Saturday on the Cfix'ed canvas, I told Loreta that I wanted to try it out on that combo, too. I primed a canvas and she and I played a bit. I was surprised that the PanP's did not darken very much at all. That is GOOD! And as Loreta observed, it also does not seem to have the often cloddy, coarse texture that some of the stick pastel paintings have had using this technique (which can look entirely UNpastel.) The PanP's actually stayed looking pretty much the same, using the spray acrylic twice after painting several PanP layers before spraying both times. So---another thing I want to experiment with is using Damar Varnish spray to fix the PanP's. I've done that on a couple of occassions when I used pastels in oil paintings and then embedded the pigment with oil to seal it into the painting.

Back to your original question, Natalie---I did not spray fix onto the painting Saturday when I finished it---but---???---I may. There is something that is so seemingly 'sheer' about the PanP's, while still having the color richness and the glow from the pigment particles, that I did not use fixative on the PanP's on the Colourfix papers----but---I did find it useful a bit on the canvas---but might not every time. I may give it a quick spray with fix before I frame. Even though the pigment does seem so well embedded. Now---I'm going to post some painting adventures that two other artists had in class with the PanP's today. Some very different uses that are pretty exciting! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-15-2007, 02:43 AM
Hi, Everyone!!! Four artists were working with Pan Pastels today in class---and each in a different way with a different effect or combination. Goodness---I just keep learning more and more about how broadly this particular version of pastels can work for us! I admit to being ever surprised. Pretty cool! :-)

Karen used the PanP's to lay in some of the larger expanses of the small still life she was working on---using Colourfix Aubergine, which is one of her favorite colors to work with. She's been traveling for several weeks, so this is only the second or third time she's used them---this time with a far fuller dynamic quality! She actually did the still life twice, the second piece in only about half an hour, maybe 35/40 minutes. She also used her Art Spectrum pastel sticks back and forth with them, the sticks more as some of her usual electric 'calligraphy' with her pastel strokes!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-Blue-Orange.jpg

The PanP's have answered some issues which Karen was working with---some of the larger open expanses. Here is a detail that is to the right of the raku pot---and has delicious textures and vibrations of colors. The photo is just not doing justice to what it is like looking at the real thing. But---you get a hint below.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-KH-detail-1.jpg

The PanP's have such a rich variety of strokes, both at first layer and then laid on over and over in more layers. The textures can be anything from ultra smooth and even to very textured and broken up in interesting ways that give added richness.


Louise worked on two of her beautiful series of watercolors on 20"x28" Colourfix with pastels worked over them in decisive areas. These have been WOW! Today was the first time Louise used the PanP's. (She's been traveling, too!) First is a painting of a family friend taken in a wonderful lighting situation! The small photo she worked from is at the lower-middle-right. Her stick pastel strokes are wonderful and full of intent, both very strong and powerful, as well as other areas which are very subtle and gentle. Again---my photos today just do NOT do justice to any of the works.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LD-Gentleman.jpg

Today she used the PanP's to further soften and lower the intensity and cool off the shadowed front of the face. They layered over her established colors beautifully and extremely effectively. Louise had been using some AS pastels as well as some colored pencils over the watercolor. The PanP's gave a particular control and variety of effect that worked perfectly with the other ways of delivering the pastels. Here is a close-up of part of the face---which is terribly out of focus, I apologize---but may still give you a bit of an idea of how she worked with the planes of the face---including the varieties in color intensity, temperatures and values, as well as large, medium and small shapes, etc!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LD-Face-detail.jpg

Here is another painting with grandfather reading to grandson.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LD-ReadingStory.jpg

First---I love the abstract shapes the watercolor washes create over all in any of the paintings in this series! Very dynamic---just for 'starters!' Louise has enjoyed the collection of pigment that settles at some of the edges of various washes on this surface. Here she used the PanP's on baby grandson's face to add further softness and roundness to it after working it with the stick and pencil pastels. This gently pulled together some of the areas that were more broken up with the various harder edges of watercolor, etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LD-Baby-detail.jpg

The result is a beautiful play back and forth of crisp edges and mellow areas! Very exciting---and they work together with a very natural look. They just seem to belong together and be extensions of each other! I had that enlightenment more on Louise's today than on anything I've been aware of before with these PanP's and the the other materials I've used them with---including wc, too. Just like a beautiful marriage.

Here is a detail of one of grandfather's hands. Again, Louise used the PanP's to soften areas and unify, etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LD-Hand-detail.jpg

She's kept it loose and strong, with interesting shapes and accents---and full of painterly "suggestion" which I find visually very exciting. I remember how the hand looked before she added the PanP's---but---right now, everything looks so unified and I can't find which were the PanP's stop and where sticks or pencils or the original wc begin. These are all working beautifully together----and what we SEE is one lovely painting!

I mentioned in the post just before this one what Loreta was doing some experimenting with today. And then Susan also worked with the PanP's. She's been doing a vine charcoal full-value study, a process she's been employing for at least a couple of months now, working on Colourfix before proceeding with her oil painting over it (she's also an accomplished pastel painter.) Right now, her subject (working from life) is an antique white linen cloth draped in some beautiful large rolling folds and lighted to give some rich blue shadows and warm golden lights and darker warm reflected lights with a great variation in hard to soft, gradual edges. She's working on Soft Umber Colourfix--a half-sheet---and built her medium to darker values beginning last week. Midway today, she began adding warm whites and other lights from the PanP's as well as the cooler shadows----all just rather gently, creating a rather quietly striking atmostphere combining a sense of both the romatic and real. I'm so sorry I did not get it photographed---but perhaps next week---oh no--Thanksgiving next week---so---two weeks from now before Wed. class meets again. But, perhaps the description might inspire some of you to experiment with something on this order.

I did a drawing a couple of days ago with the PanP Raw Umbers and White. (Yesterday just did the MAPS newsletter! Whew---it's done!) Just scribbled out a little head study in lights, mediums and darks and I LOVED doing it!!! Just a scrumptious experience---and fussed around with another one this afternoon when I was experimenting right after class. Just a joy! I want to work with more drawings for the sake of drawing with the PanPs and some of the tools. I just love the way they flow on to the painting surface. All for now! Take good care! I hope you are having fun painting, too! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-15-2007, 02:57 AM
Hi Donna,:wave:

re the canvas primed with colourfix, will you be using a fixative on this at the end?

Edited to say....
On reading earlier posts, I see that you do use fixative. However, what I really want to know is whether the canvas needs to be framed.

Hi, again, Natalie! Yes, this particular canvas will need to be framed---first, just because it has staples on the side! But---yes---I did paint it with the expectation of putting it under glass, which I'm assuming is what you might be referring to.

But---if you saw my original reply to the first part of your post, I am going to experiment with several things which might let it be framed without glass. And the recent painting on the Cfix'd canvas was the first of the PanP paintings where I've used fixative. But--normally, I ALWAYS use fixative. I just build up sooooooo many layers. And do believe in the scientific research results of extensive tests conducted at the US National Gallery.

If I still did not zero in on what you are curious about, please let me know! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Natalie NZ
11-15-2007, 04:15 AM
Thanks for your reply Donna, I will keep watching for the results of your experiments. Have you used normal stick pastels on colourfix primed canvas and if so were you happy with the outcome?

PeggyB
11-15-2007, 12:00 PM
Donna you and your students continue to amaze me in this adventure of discovery. :clap: You've shown us the PP are way more versatile then I first thought they could be. The patience of everyone of you in exploring a "new" medium, and then sharing the results with WC members is greatly appreciated by all of us.

I look forward to the next installment everyday, and find it well worth the wait when you have to take time out to do other things! :lol:

Peggy

Shari
11-15-2007, 01:13 PM
Donna,

I can't thank you enough for your pan pastel inspirations. I am going to try them over watercolor next, what a great idea! I PM'd you on this, but I am wondering if you have tried rinsing out the sponges and did it work?

PeggyB
11-15-2007, 04:53 PM
Donna,

I can't thank you enough for your pan pastel inspirations. I am going to try them over watercolor next, what a great idea! I PM'd you on this, but I am wondering if you have tried rinsing out the sponges and did it work?

Shari, I don't know if Donna has washed the sponges, but I have. I followed the instructions as given with each set - soap and water. It is a chore! Water alone didn't remove the PP from the sponges, and soaking them in soapy water didn't work either. I ended up applying Joy dishwashing degergent directly to each sponge and then rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing - well I think you get the idea. :p Then I learned just wiping them on paper towels is enough to do the trick. Even if they aren't absolutely clean, they don't create mud when using different colors on each sponge. Some of the small sponges on the stick didn't do well when being cleaned. One fell right off the stick - and I could't get it back on. A couple others seemed to wear out very quickly too. Oh yah - I didn't mention the drying time.... If you wash them, don't expect to use them any time soon.

Peggy

Shari
11-15-2007, 07:28 PM
thanks Peggy, I had a feeling they would take forever to dry. I think I will just buy new ones when these have "hit the dust" so to speak.

CJMonty
11-15-2007, 10:33 PM
I guess when mine arrive I'll have to find some way of cleaning them and getting them to last as re-ordering from the US is going to become rather expensive shipping wise. I believe they are not going to be available in Aus until about March next year and that doesn't necessarilly mean available in WA though.

Continue having fun with them, I will use this thread well and truly when mine arrive.

Love Carolynn :) :heart: :heart:

Donna A
11-15-2007, 10:44 PM
Hi, Shari---and Peggy! Pardon! Has been a very busy day! Peggy, you've really done (your usual!) great job of answering a question. I was surprised when I washed sponges that not very much came off. But---at least the wash water was a bit colored! :-) But they still look about the same afterwards. But then that also has to tell us how well 'excess' pigment becomes permanently embedded and NOT available to come off into other color strokes, once we've wiped off the sponge on paper towels, as you have mentioned. Good thing to have experimented with---and then we get to learn that the 'staining' of sponges does not affect new strokes. We just want to keep a pad of paper towel immediately on hand to clean between various colored strokes.

I'm wearing down some of the little tool covers for the pale-blue plastic handled tools, which I think I mentioned before, but so far, no wear showing up on the block sponges.

And I also mentioned early on that I was so thankful that I had ordered extra sponges with my full-set order. Mostly because I love, when I oil paint, having a LOT of brushes in play at the same time---with 'dedication' to specific color ranges---and just because I find it 'handy.' But we could paint with a very small selection of tools---so---part of it is just style of working. But, just as I wear down my brushes (and boy---I DO!) I know that if I'm painting with full passion and vigor, in time I'll need to finally toss a tool----or simply relegate it to a limited type of use. (Some of my bristle brushes are total blessings in their "second life" very worn down, for scrubbing in transparent underpaintings---so I'm expecting a lot of the PanP sponges to let me discover even more qualities that I can get from them!)

In the long run---I'm with Peggy---we're evidently just as well off simply wiping our sponges across paper towel a few times---and then we can pick up new colors and they'll come off on to our paintings with no holdover from the previous colors. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-16-2007, 01:40 AM
Hi, Natalie! Thank you! You asked: Have you used normal stick pastels on colourfix primed canvas and if so were you happy with the outcome?
I had scribbled around with stick pastels on 'plain' canvas (not primed with Colourfix.) But---nothing particularly inspired me to do a serious work in pastels on canvas---until last Saturday. And I am really excited by the 'look' of that first PanP painting on the Cfix-primed canvas and am going to do another tomorrow.

One thing I'm wondering about is if I had used the regular Cfix Primer or the newer Cfix SuperTooth Primer on last Saturday's canvas---which I had primed over two months ago when I was doing some demos about using the Cfix Primers--and don't remember which I happened to use at that moment.

Below is an experiment on canvas primed with 'regular' Clear Colourfix Primer. I played around a bit with come color areas but also did a little head study that I was just making up. Then sprayed with diluted acrylic medium through an atomizer my friend Loreta brought for us to experiment with yesterday in class. I painted on a second group of layers of Pan Pastel to see how well it would take new color over the sprayed surface and it looked great! Sprayed it again. Today---held this little canvas under the faucet at the kitchen sink and lightly washed over it with a little plastic woven pot-scrubber 'ball'----and nothing came off! Geee! :-)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-CfixCanvas-Test-AcrylicSpray.jpg

Using this spray---diluted acrylic medium---or PVA diluted---comes from a session Loreta attended at the IAPS 2007 convention about creating pastel paintings in a way so that you do not need to use glass in the framing. I thought the look of this worked. There were some demo pieces at IAPS with stick pastels that looked clumpy and coarse and not inviting. But Loreta said that she did some a few where it really looked fine. Something else to experiment with. But for now, back to just the look of PanP's on Cfix-primed canvas....

One of the artists in class today worked on a canvas I had primed with Cfix the day before. Pat is a dynamic oil painter and colorist---and began working in pastels only 3 months ago or so---and WOW! She just dived into them with the same gusto! Now a week or two ago, she began a small and more 'mellow' piece (mellow---as in not her usual fiery rich flurries of exciting colors on larger paintings)---and the first piece just didn't please her, so she painted it today, first with the PanP's and then with her Art Spectrum pastels and some back and forth---and it turned out so well---even tho it is still very, very mellow and small for her!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-PP.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-2.jpg

I admit that I wondered where Pat was going with the brisk swipes of reds---but she surely did know, as you'll see in the (almost-) finished piece! The reds were very effective and made the blue-shadowed snow so much richer and exciting!

I noticed that the pastel was not so easily finding its way to the depths of crevices of the canvas weave as it had done for me last Saturday. Pat let me make a few strokes in the early sky---and this canvas was taking the pastel differently than the other one. What I realized was that I had rolled on the Cfix Primer for Pat's canvas, rather than brushing it on as my Sat. painting surface was prepared----and that this was a different brand/style of canvas----and that I may have used Cfix SuperTooth instead of regular for the canvas used last Sat. Something in the differences kept the pastel from 'taking' as deeply and richly---or as easily as what I did Saturday---so---more experimenting. I'll report! Anyway---even without the pastel taking to the canvas the same way it did the other day, the painting still has a wonderful look! Here's more below.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-3.jpg

Below, Pat had started adding strokes of colors with her AS pastel sticks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-4.jpg
I love that subtle little swirling pale blue line thru the sky. We ended up stepping outside to spray fix the conifers to both darken them a bit and to also anchor the existing layers in preparation for more layers. The canvas seems to want fixing where there has been a lot of build up. I'm curious to understand why---though this is just from two pieces. (and the third was the first one in this post---where I had intentionally set it up in order to test the acrylic spray.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-5.jpg

And below---the almost finished painting. She has a bit more work to do on the left side's snow deposits and maybe a few other touches. With the first piece, she was feeling challenged by the snow deposits and their very important and complex patterning---both shapes and positions. She did such a great job with the small PanP sponge tools and they really look great where she has finished on the right. Love what she did with the ground snow in the mid- and foreground! The others in class were really enjoying the looks of it, too! Pat has a wonderfully loose and bold style, although this is a considerably 'tame' piece by comparison! :-) I really like it! I think she is pleased, too. Now---there is work by another artist from today--but will save posting it till tomorrow! Take good care! Donna ;-}

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-SnowTrees-PB-6.jpg

Donna A
11-16-2007, 08:56 PM
Hi, everyone! Yet another 'installment!' :-) This is a quote from Linda, one of the artists who studies with me--and she worked yesterday with the Pan Pastels. :-) She's been doing very striking and award-winning pastel paintings. After she shared such great comments with me yesterday afternoon about her experience using the PanP's for the first time, I asked if she might want to email me some comments that I might post along with a picture progression of yesterday's painting. And by the way---she has a most wonderful dry sense of humor---which you'll catch a glimpse of! :-) From Linda: Today I had the opportunity to try pan pastels for the first time! I arrived at class without my own pastels and my teacher, *who is beginning to explore pan pastels herself, was kind enough to let me try her new set. I admit I was a bit skeptical. After all, they did resemble eyeshadow. But I had been feeling the need to expand beyond my usual modus operandi and this happy accident paved my way.

Using sponges to apply pastel was different but the textures one can achieve are intriguing. I liked the way I could block out large spaces and basically do a value study which included color. **I tend to tighten down too soon in a painting and this method kept me freer and able to focus longer on the big picture. *I often get tied up in one part of a painting but because I’m using a sponge with a particular color on it I am inclined to use that color where needed all over the painting. The edge of the sponge allows for some strong emphasizing strokes without getting nit picky.

I think pan pastels could nudge my work in a new direction!

Well---I'm all excited to see what Linda does next! Below is a photo of the still life she was working from---a heavy antique linen cloth with an aged crock and a brand new orange! :-) I set this up as a great opportunity for folks to explore painting folds and drapery, warms and cools, lights and darks and hard to soft edges (the latter three groups being the "secrets" of painting fabric well---along with high and low intensities!)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-Still_Life.jpg

Below is Linda's drawing---made with charcoal on Colourfix Aubergine paper 20"x28". As with all her drawings, it's so strong---and this has such a beautiful flow.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-drawing.jpg

Below is Linda laying on some of the first areas of the PanP color.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-1.jpg

Here are additional areas laid in, below. This was as much as Linda had time to do yesterday.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-3.jpg

Something you can see from her painting is how well the lights will hold their own over very dark under color! You can also see how effectively she used laying on the same color softly to let some of the undercolor play through---or, loading the sponge heavily and pressing firmly---how rich and opaque the color can be. In the upper left, which I believe is one of the first areas she began working, you can see the effects of pulling the color a 'long' distance, where it begins to run low on pigment----but this way, can also gradate from the opaque deposit of color to very sheer, letting the undercolor mix in visually. I think Linda really 'GOT' the orange---immediately---with seeming ease! :-) Both the mass essence and the nuances. And pardon---I shot this close-up out of focus.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-orange.jpg

I think it's pretty amazing how much of a good 'feel' Linda managed to get for some of the particular 'special touches---or techniques' that Linda managed to achieve in barely an hour! Here below is a small area of folds---with some great subtleties, gradations and still preserving strengths from her drawing---which she often makes great use of in her paintings. To the right, you see where she will continue the finesse when she begins working on her painting again after Thanksgiving.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-fold.jpg

Below is a nice detail from the crock. I LOVE the way she has moved the PanP colors up to and/or into the charcoal lines. Beautiful! Often, you can see some of the greatest ability of a painter revealed in the handling of edges! Wow! And I'm really liking the textures that Linda and others of us have managed to achieve with the PanP's on the Colourfix surfaces, whether Primer on canvas, regular Colourfix paper or boards or the SuperTooth. I still want to explore more surfaces, and I know each offers something fascinating.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-crock.jpg

And last---I just really liked this little "abstract" bit in the painting. Again, great edges---and value, temperature and shape/size contrasts, etc.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-abstract.jpg

I hope you have been enjoying seeing what Linda and Louise, Pat, Bev, Jennifer and I have been doing, so far---and at least hearing a bit about others whose paintings have not been photoed. Hopefully, I'll have a new piece with new discoveries and observations tomorrow! Enjoy, enjoy! Donna ;-}

PCool
11-17-2007, 03:44 AM
Great thread!

Peg

MarieMeyer
11-17-2007, 12:47 PM
Donna I am open minded about using a fixative; I just need to find a supplier for Grumbacher Tuffilm Fixative to try it out.

Susan - Tuffilm is now sold as a Prismacolor brand, you might have better luck looking for it under that name.

Donna A
11-17-2007, 01:58 PM
Hi, Marie! Thanks so much for letting us know about the ownership change for Tuffilm (the final Fix) and Myston (the workable.) Marie, your sharing this news is such a great example of the many vaules of WC! Being such a visual group of people, I thought I'd look for what I assumed would be the new label. Yep. (When they changed label designs last time, from the brown and the green to the white and white labels---well---it was frustrating for a while to FIND the danged thing on the art store shelf!) :-) Here's a pic. Donna ;-}

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Nov-2007/77048-Tuffilm-new_label.jpg

ps---I just hope they haven't changed the formula! My mom used to shudder every time she read "New and Improved" on her favorite laundry detergent, etc! D :-)

Donna A
11-19-2007, 02:13 AM
Hi, Everyone! Time for another "installment" of Pan Pastel Adventures! I have just had the best time the last 24 hours!!! Two friends came over so that I could paint their portraits with PanP's---one last night (Sat. night) and one today. I love to paint portraits. Portrait #1---Jim---was 11"x14" on Colourfix SuperTooth Primer primed stretched canvas and the one this afternoon---Portrait #2---Lisa---on Colourfix Aubergine paper, 20"x28". Geeeeee----both were so fun! And some great new discoveries, too, on each! Yea!

Here is Portrait 1---Jim, a friend for nearly 30 years.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Jim-portrait.jpg

Here is the first rough-in, which was all done with PanP's, laying in some major color areas to get the initial 'feel' of the face. The PanP's have proven themselves really easy materials for this---and that is being a blessing!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Jim-1.jpg

I was really "off" in several areas---but was easy to correct. This is a mid-stage of the portrait.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Jim-2.jpg

I do work from dark to light (a classically-founded pattern and for very excellent reasons!)---and I"ve been impressed with how well the PanP's can build the lights over the darker colors!

The PanP's have colors presented in series of Shade, Pure and Tint in a particular color---and 6 variations of black, grays and white. The Red Iron Oxide color is so valuable in portraits (and in other types of subject matter, as well---of course!) I've used the Shade of it a LOT in the portraits, particularly for reflected lights---and then the Pure (that word is not not included on the label, although Shade and Tint are)! And mixed with the Violet Shade (or is it Purple???) (hmmm---I need to look again---but manana! Pardon!) The Violet/Purple Shade mixed with the Red Iron Oxide for even darker, lower-intensity colors in the folds of skin and so forth!

Blonde hair will relish the Raw Umber range of colors. Add a few touches of Ultramarine and the pale golden yellows----and you've got the perfect colors for blonde hair (give or take a few interesting reflected light colors!)

The flesh color choices are great---for all complexions! Yes---we have to do some mixing for those of us who LOVE our fairly specific colors---but---hey! I have to find ways of doing that with my 4700 different pastel sticks----and my oils and acrylics and wc's, etc! So---that's fair! I'll write more later about some of the color combinations I've found very handy! And some of the techinques I discovered this evening!

Here is today's portrait---nearly finished but not quite. Lisa is the wife of our MidAmerica Pastel Society's Vice President---and Michael is a marvelous painter! I've wanted to paint Lisa ever since I met her at an exhibit! Michael watched the painting's progress---and I suspect he is going to join the ranks of new PanP users, himself. His great comments were so fun to listen to as I painted! Lisa has gorgeous black hair and loves wearing black---and has a wonderful pale complexion showed lovely subtle ranges of color in the lighting she was in.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-4.jpg

I have several interesting close-ups to share with you---and some new techniques, etc. to report on----but---tomorrow. It's after 1 am now---and sleep sounds so inviting! So much more to share with you all! Have played a bit with some other various papers---so will report on that, too! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
11-20-2007, 12:36 AM
Hi!!! Here are some more technique discoveries I've made using the Pan Pastels---this group while I've been working on the two portraits I did this last weekend. Below is the nearly-finished portrait of Lisa. I still need to finish the hat's veil and some background touches. The portion of the veil that can be observed right now are actually the Colourfix Aubergine paper color---with the black color of the hat and hair laid in between the threads of the veil. You can see the light drawing lines I made with one of the small PanP sponge tools for the outer-reaches of the hat's veil. I'm still amazed at what delicate lines I can draw with these. Painting the "negative spaces" to create the "look" of an object can be such fun! :-) LOL! Takes a bit of "seeing" but it is so energizing! Here's Lisa below. Her husband, Michael, VP of the MidAmerica Pastel Society and a wonderful painter! said it does look just like her! And members of MAPS who came to class today recognized her---and Jim. (LOL!---this is always good.) :-)

Oh, first---Lisa's photo taken just before we began her sitting. For the camera, she looked into the camera. Sitting, it was natural for her to glance down and to the side, which you see in the painting. Lisa has a marvelous sense of humor, but she looks rather wistful here.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-photo-.jpg

And Lisa's portrait nearly finished...below:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-4.jpg

The background areas I've made very subtle. Something delicious that I've discovered working on this portrait was how I could lay in a color area and then 'mellow' the color into the background color by rubbing over it with a chamois skin. Notice the softly golden area to your right on Lisa's portrait. I let it stay strongest at the top of her shoulder and the neighboring hair curve. You'll see the ochre-gold merging into the Cfix Aubergine background color as it moves upwards and away from her figure. It was rather amazing through the whole process of this painting to realize how much I could constantly soften or merge or blend or mellow out color areas---even on darker color surfaces. To your left of Lisa, you see the red oxide/gold-colored vertical of the circa-1875-Italian woodwork behind her. There again, I used the chamois skin as well as one of the clean larger sponges to pull the color to the left in order to gradate it, softer and softer away from her into the Aubergine background color.

I was also able to soften Lisa's shoulders with the sponge, firmly yet gently pulling over it to pick up some of the black pigment I'd applied earlier, softening it's effect----again---wanting the color to disappear into the Aubergine of the background for an effect that would give a sense of unity.

There was a slight vertical pattern in the blouse worn by Lisa. I used the rectangular/cube sponge to pull the black color from the neckline downward. I'd reload the pigment onto the sponge then pull color down again two, perhaps three times, then reload again. The color was stronger just after that series of strokes, so I later used the chamois skin to pull up from the bottom of the painting, over and over again, to soften the effect by removing some of color, leaving a gradated effect.

Lisa says that she loves to wear black---and "will keep wearing it until they invent something darker!" LOL! So it was really fun to work on a dark under color, laying in the blacks, with the Aubergine working for some of the medium lights by leaving those areas uncovered with pigment---and then building in---layering in the lights. The hat's veil that you see right now in the painting is pure Aubergine Colourfix paper, with the darks laid in as "negative shapes" of the hat behind. Much of the medium-lighter areas in the hair are also the Cfix. With the lighter areas of the hat, I first pulled off some of the black pigment with the sponge, then laid in the pure Raw Umber because of the way the warm from the spot light (200W incandescent [email protected] 3400 K temp) was reflecting on her hat. The satin band reflected a rather bluish quality---so you see some of the Ultramarine and the Payne's Grey laid on there.

I need very much to go in to loosen up Lisa's hair. It is so amazingly gorgeous the way it falls in those rich curls! (I have hair that obeys gravity completely!!!) I've made it look, especially on the right side, look like it was sculpted with 5 gallons of hair gel. I'll fix it!!!

By the way---Lisa's bangs are very much Aubergine Cfix! Bits of black pigment have been pulled down from the hat area, but for the most part---it's another case of painting "negative spaces" by painting in the color of her forehead, leaving the paper "nekked." A technique like that leaves hair---or other parts of paintings----look more natural and integrated and belonging! Very important thing to make use of!!! Yes---it takes SEEING (which you want to be able to be doing, anyway!!!) and yes---it is a matter of working with shapes of colors rather than as objects!!!! HUGE issue! I promise!

Now for some earlier-stages of this painting. I did (for whatever reason I'm not sure) begin Lisa's portrait differently than I so often work portraits. Michael, Lisa's husband who sat in and commented on how much he enjoyed watching the process (very fine painter himself---and I think a pending Pan Pastel user) noticed that this was different than the portrait demo I did for MAPS last Nov. beginning with a pretty comprehensive charcoal drawing. There was something about Lisa that invited my beginning the work at the ever-important bridge of the nose and eyebrow area---and then building out.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-1.jpg

Above is a close-up of the early part stage of the portrait. You can see how I am laying on areas of color. I'm really USING the Aubergine Cfix!!! I laid on color lighter to take advantage of the undercolor of the paper. Other areas, I laid a rich build-up of pigment. Under the nose to the right side you can see a good example of that. This is being done as a "patch-work quilt" of colors. Looking at what shapes of what colors. It's really easy to pick up several different colors from various pans and then laying on strokes with the sponge tools---different pressures, different angles of applying the sponge---and so forth. I think everything here was done with a tool labeled Applicator. It has a wooden handle with very-easily interchangeable sponge heads---and I love drawing with this tool, as well! Michael remarked on how I was using the same tool and just picking up different colors, if I remember correctly.

Here is the next photo I took. More color areas. I like this photo. You can see the different color areas---and as fair as Lisa's complexion is, there were so many wonderful colors showing up in her face because of the great lighting she was sitting in---200 W incandescent to her right and a north window above her to the left. The 200 W gives off a very orangy-golden light (the wavelength is about 3400 K) and the north light, which is very bluish (the wavelength about 7500 K)----and this gives a glorious variety in color! YUM!!! Vol. 1 of my Mastering Color DVD series goes into this in depth! Very important to understand! PanP's let me mellow one color into another, giving wonderful transitions from color to color. But---I can still have very clean, sharp edges where I need them, as well!

Here is a detail of the eye---below:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-LeftEye-1.jpg

Here is a detail of the right cheek, showing how easily color can be pulled from one area into antoher, yet still retain areas that have an interesting crispness. I just LOVE how colors can be pulled together!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-RightCheek-detail.jpg

Below is an early-stage of the veil.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-Veil-detail.jpg

Here is a detail of the painting of the bangs I mentioned earlier---below: (another not perfectly focused shot---please pardon)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-Bangs--detail.jpg

And below is detail shot of the right side of the face/hair---showing more of how the paper is being left to work as light accents for the hair. This was earlier in the painting---and when Lisa's ear lobe was not showing as much. You can see in this particular image how soft-medium-and-hard-edged the PanP color areas can be. Variation in edges can so often show mastery.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/77048-Lisa-Hair-detail.jpg

A few comments I heard at the IAPS Convention, where the PanP's were introduced last May 2007, that the strokes seemed to all have soft edges---as artists were given the opportunity to test the PanP's. So that has been one of the things I wanted to explore. And---I learned that we can accomplish all manner of edges with these! It just takes getting a little bit acquainted with the materials! I can make a long list of what we CAN do with these---but don't know that I could make up a list of what we can't do at this point. There's gotta be something! :-) Just not sure what, yet! :-)

It is very easy to make a very crisp, hard edge---and deliciously easy to also make gradations---and anything in between. Yes---we have to work with it a bit to get the feel for it---but that is true of any material.

More tomorrow! Take good care! Donna ;-}

jtstone
11-20-2007, 11:16 AM
Donna,
I love your work. I've had my PanPastels for over a month and struggle with them, tried every surface. Nothing seems to cover mistakes except the soft Rembrandt Pastels. Is there a tutorial? I need to learn. I've invested in all the PanPastels plus extras so I need to learn, I know they are do-able because I've seen the result. I'm used to Acrylics, pastels, and Pencils, these are totally different.
Jeannine

MarieMeyer
11-20-2007, 01:10 PM
Donna,
Nothing seems to cover mistakes except the soft Rembrandt Pastels.
Jeannine

I've observed the same. The Panpastels are semi-transparent, whereas other pastels are opaque. So, with regular pastels, by using heavy pressure, you can completely cover up an underlying area; that can't be done with Panpastels. You need to erase first.

Donna A
11-20-2007, 04:05 PM
Hi, Jeannine and Marie! Hmmmm---I've been able to make a LOT of changes and/or corrections on my PanP paintings. So there has to be something in the pick-up of pigment on the sponges and/or the way it is laid down onto the painting. And/or painting ground. Let's see if we can figure out what's been working for me that could work for you.

One of the things I've become aware of when seeing artists in my classes work with my set is that there is a tendency at first to load very little pigment onto the sponge, and then to try to daub it or drag it out forever (not unlike many artists' habit of picking up a bit of oil paint on a brush, then stroking the canvas with it over and over and over again, rather than loading up the brush, making one or two strokes and then loading up again.) Perhaps double-check to see if you are loading the sponge tool enough. I found it useful to vary how much I load on the sponge depending on what I want a particular stroke(s) to do and if I'm laying it on early in the painting or layering over many other layers.

And then something that I find many artists over the years having issues with, in any medium, is how they do or do not feel the contact point between the pastel stick or brush or, here, sponge tool and the painting surface. It's sooo important to sense that connecting point---and for every stroke. Really important! I hear artists commenting on that when I"m doing a demo---how they notice how I vary the pressure, the manner of my strokes, etc. Sometime to experiment with! I suggested to an acrylic painter yesterday in class to spend the next 10 minutes or so of her painting to first, form an Intent for the stroke, and then to make that stroke, carefully sensing the connecting point, and then pulling the stroke across the painting with that specific Intent----and then start all over again for the very next stroke and for every stroke for that 10 minutes----just to begin altering a habit. I think that sense of connecting point, the Intent, the real sensing of the pigment/tooll against the painting surface in any medium is one of the things that helps me so much. A wonderful habit---a wonderful honoring of our painting process to appreciate that connection!

I've been pleased with how well the lights will lay on over the darks with PanP's---but when doing a landscape with a large light/bright blue sky, for example, on very dark grounds, it's just easier and faster to work it with my sticks. So far this is the only thing I've run into where I just can't make something desired happen exactly the way I want it with the PanP's. Other than that---I know there are ways to make pretty much everything happen! Sometimes, I've just had to play around a bit to understand how.

I remember that when acrylics were first introduced---40-some years ago---and they were billed as being "just like" oils. So---duh---I tried using them just like oils. Well---the acrylics had their own personality and they gave me some very specific and unique and wonderful qualities that oil would not provide! And yet there are things where they do very similar things, as well! And I'm thinking this is a similar case with the stick pastels and the PanP's---so much the same---and yet some very lovely unique qualities---and we have the opportunity to learn new ways of laying on color that can greatly expand what we can make happen with pastel painting! And that is very exciting!

On Lisa's face, it was so wonderful working over the dark Aubergine Cfix, letting the more sheer layers let the Aub. play up through the pigment---and then other areas, stronger layer of pigment---and in the planes hit most strongly by the light, very opaque, strong deposits of the light pigments laid on.

Would you both---or either---want to post an example--and description of something you've been wrestling with and let's see if we can find a solution? I'm all for working the PanP's together with our sticks----and they play together beautifully----but when you WANT to make something happen with the PanP's and it isn't, yet---it's good to find what the issues are and find solutions. I think this could be useful for a LOT of artists! Include the painting surface you're working on, perhaps notes about how much you were building up pigment on the sponges with some of the strokes, what your source image was, what was feeling like a mistake and how you wanted to change that area.

I made several significant changes in the portrait of Jim, posted a couple of days ago. I did not post the pic of how the portrait looked at the end of Jim's sitting---but instead posted a new pic taken after I made some corrections to Jim's left eye and his upper hair mass, atop his head and from his part, sweeping down and around toward the forehead and---hmmm---what else??? I knew there was something that I had lost toward the end of the portrait---but couldn't tell just what so I checked out the photo I'd taken of Jim and---whew! There it was.

I had extended his hair shape---and just way too much, so I cut the background back into the hair and it made a huge difference regaining Jim's likeness. And I repainted a good bit of the background with the pale ochres and grays, then lightly pulled a pale blue mix over the pale ochre-y yellows. Worked much better! Also the eye---was just not the right angle for the upper lid. Also changed the brows and a bit of the forehead a bit on both sides plus redirected the pupils, tho Rick pointed out in class yesterday afternoon that the left pupil is smaller than the right! LOL! Wow, is he ever right! Good to have friends! Never noticed the difference! :-) Also did a bit of added shaping to the the jaws.

Some changes were pretty major, with lights and darks and such---and some others were rather subtle. I'll post below the end-of-the-sitting portrait photo---and then the fixed version to see if that offers any insight in the types of changes made. Also, if you look back at the post of the portrait, you'll see a big difference from the first rough in pic to the next---just how very much I changed the original rough-in! I really had some things in the initial drawing OFFFFF! Goodness!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/77048-Jim-3.jpg

Final Portrait below: (and actually looks more like Jim than the photo I took of him. Hmmmm. Don't usually take face portraits with that camera, so I need to check out the lens setting next time so the face is not distorted!)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/77048-Jim-portrait.jpg

I do hope we can pursue some of the problems you are having specifically and find some solutions that will work happily for you! Take good care! Donna ;-}

MarieMeyer
11-20-2007, 06:34 PM
I wouldn't say that I am struggling with anything. I'm just offering my observation that Panpastels have less covering power than conventional pastels.

Here's a simple experiment. Start with four squares - two similar oranges, two similar yellows, one pair Unisions, one pair Pans:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/89884-One.jpg

Now, let's change the orange squares to yellow. With the Unisons, its done in 10 seconds. With the Pans, with some careful strokes done with a fully loaded applicator, I've got yellow-orange:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/89884-Two.jpg

Part of my problem is that I am picking up orange from the surface of the support and then intermingling it with the yellow on the surface of the applicator when I reload:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/89884-App.jpg

So I clean the applicator after each stroke before I reload and go in for another stroke. After a bit more of this routine, I still have yellow-orange:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/89884-Three.jpg

At this point it has become a bit tedious, and I conclude I would have been better to have gone in and erased the Panpastel orange square in the first place!

Donna A
11-20-2007, 09:52 PM
Hi, Marie! I see what you are talking about here. Really great examples that you've done! Yes, there is definitely a difference between the pigment layer a soft pastel stick can lay down and what the PanP's can.

I've been painting so far, pretty much with the PanP's by themselves---seeing what they can do on their own---and then also with what they can offer the pastel medium as a whole which expands the medium---and I've found a LOT there, too! No, they can not duplicate or replace the pigment impact of soft sticks and no one should think so. So good that you are helping clarify that if anyone had been thinking so.

But---what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do. And that is being fascinating to me. Also, I'm surprisingly enjoying the way of working with these! There will be artists who will not like the working with.... Rick in class yesterday, another very fine, professional-level painter, tried them yesterday. He works exclusively in pastel and loves the medium totally! He found it annoying that he had to keep reloading the sponge. He loves the pigment-loaded sticks that just keep feeding color to the painting. I, on the other hand, having painted so much with oils and acrylics, etc., am so used to constantly reloading a brush.

I'm such a believer in experimenting---in that exciting "seeing what will happen if...." I rather view it as trying on shoes, seeing what fits and what doesn't. Great way to grow---and also can help us know our own perimeters!

Perhaps the thing that surprises me most is that I utterly relish thick, luscious, delicious pigment!!! Yummy gorgeous brushstrokes, too! And I'm not a blender---that is---I don't rub the pastel. But I'm having a ball rubbing the sponge over the Cfix,etc. Funny, I think! :-) I'm finding the sheer areas elegant---and it just dawned on me that I love the classical oil technique of transparent underpainting---which is sheer---and then I also love the effects of using the alcohol underpainting with pastels, again, something very thin. So---I just keep learning, becoming more aware of what's going on for me with the materials.

What I want to do more this next week is to work more with the PanP's and my stick pastels and explore more how they play together. This is more like comparing steak and peaches than apples and oranges for me. I love them both and they are so different in so many ways! And you make a very good point about a significant difference and also the fact that the sponges will pick up pastel from the painting as well as from the pans---or actually when rubbed over a stick of pastel, as well! There are ways of experiencing the qualities as downsides or as advantages. Just depends on what we want to make happen and how we want to do it. I love the greater possibilities! Take good care! Donna ;-}

MarieMeyer
11-20-2007, 10:04 PM
what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do.

Can you show any specific examples of these? I've been experimenting for about a week now and haven't noticed anything that I would consider really significant. Some things that are different, yes, but not anything I would categorize as useful.

Donna A
11-21-2007, 01:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna A
what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do.

Can you show any specific examples of these? I've been experimenting for about a week now and haven't noticed anything that I would consider really significant. Some things that are different, yes, but not anything I would categorize as useful.

Hi, Marie! First---it reminds of of when the kids were little---and they loved licorice---and I have never been able to stand it! LOL! I loved mushrooms and they DID NOT! So we used these any time we needed to point out instances simply of personal likes. So it is easy to imagine for one person some qualities would not be useful, while to someone else they would be of prime importance! So---from that thought, I'll share these:

The first thing I noticed working with the PanP's was the rather luxurious suede-y look in the first several pieces I did. And it's nothing that will show up in a photograph. But a number of artists who saw at least two of them very favorably commented on what a different look they had than other pastels. It's a different look than using very soft pastel sticks on their sides on Wallis or Colourfix, etc. Those photos were in some of the first posts I made.

Then there are types of strokes I can make happen that have a different look that I'm usually used to seeing in different pastel paintings in real life. This detail shot below might be a good example of some of them. Hmmm---can't find the photo on the computer---but went back and found it on post #38--page 3---and made a screen shot:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Nov-2007/77048-SouthLakeParkCreek-detail,_upper_creek.jpg

I like the look from the curved sponge tool pulling down the chartreuse into the darker green---the variety across the top of the strokes and even a bit of grassy vertical texture. There are deposits of heavier pigment in spots. That's a bit different and interesting. Some of the areas, the orangy-golden to the middle right---has a texture, while other areas are very smooth. The texture has a bit of it's own personality and I've seen it in other PanP pieces I've done---and seems a bit different look that other pastels.

There are issues of handling---that are so different in WORKING the painting with PanP's compared to using our sticks. I love having the variety of choices. Extremely different qualities in many ways which can add greatly to the experience of painting. As one example, the FAST EASY ways of working with edges in a variety of ways. Now, while these things can be accomplished with conventional sticks and actions---hmmmm---how to explain this---there are some ways of pulling together an edge that just lets the new stroke melt into the previous color area, and then the very next stroke can have a clean, hard edge and it can morph into all manner of edges, meshing, contrast, etc. Again---not that something similar might not be pulled off with sticks, but---it's different, whether by the look of it or the way it feels to execute the stroke(s) or how quickly it can be pulled off---or any or all of the above. I don't know that I'm explaining this well. I'm 3/4 asleep and will head off to zzzzzz as soon as I finish this.

I'm just loving the way the color can be handled with the sponge tools. I enjoy the act of painting with them. That rather surprises me, but there is a real pleasure in the working with them. I consider that a wonderfully important new offering in the pastel medium---certainly for myself.

There are some things about the sheerness that I find appealing (yes--surprises me!) I like the way the PanP hugs the surface in so many cases. I've most often used the Colourfix---and there is such a tactileness that offers simply a different look/feel than the conventional applications of pastel do at times.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Nov-2007/77048-ArkansasCreek-detail-2.jpg

I'm really liking the way it lays on to the Cfix-Primed canvas. It's going on to the canvas in a different way than sticks would look, generally. And everyone who looks at the little Colorado River painting assumes at first that it is an oil. I just like the look of it. And it was so easy. In some ways, easier that it would have been to do this little piece in oil---or other pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Nov-2007/77048-1-CoRiverPainting-600.jpg

Plus---having experimented a bit with the 'glassless framing' by spraying the painting with diluted acrylic medium, the PanP's have such a better look that some of the stick pastel paintings done that way---which ended up rather clumpy looking. A fellow pastelist from several states away called this evening after she received the MAPS newsletter commenting on the program next week demoing these and she's been experimenting with pastels over acrylic paintings, then spray-sealed with areosol acrylic spray---just to finally find ways of doing pastels without framing with glass. This is something of huge interest to many pastelist. So---just one more thing where these may well shine! It took very little spray over several layers, then more painted layers then more diluted acrylic painting medium sprayed on----and next day when I scrubbed it lightly with a plastic knit pot scrubber under running water at the kitchen sink, no pastel came off! yea! While the color darkened a little, I was amazed it did not darken very much at all. Hmmmm! Of course, I would want to do any paintings I'd be sealing like this on a white background rather than a colored ground. That will help the issue of darkening a bit.

Not everything is easier. There are some types of imagery that are much easier to create with our sticks. Sometimes it takes me a bit of time to figure out a way of handling something---but then that has been true of any medium I've worked in. It's certainly a greater challenge to mix some of the colors. But the plein air painting I did this afternoon really flowed quickly and well. Hated the paper I worked on. A gorgeous very pale blue 100% rag etching paper. But new-born babies have more toothiness! :-) I'll spray with fix tomorrow and see if that adds a bit of 'traction!' :-) Ya never know! :-)

And the PanP's do seem potentially less dusty. We'll see.

All of these things and more are proving fascinating and useful differences to me---some of the looks, the handling enjoyment, the facility for many effects so immediately. I would add more but I'm about ready to conk out---nearly midnight, so perhaps this answers a bit of your question. It would be so much easier if you were sitting here looking at things IRL! :-) I've been using these for quite a few weeks now---and it could be that these are not for you---or that with only a week, you will begin finding some things that you will do with them personally that no one else has come across yet and that you'll love. Very best wishes! And sweet dreams! Donna ;-} zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tressa
11-21-2007, 08:22 AM
A very important issue that one needs to remember, is that PanPastels were not meant by any means to replace our sticks, but to be another enhancement to the pastelist!! I have found qualities in these that are unique to themselves ,just like a particular stick has a feel, application, etc..versus another.
I have had a blast using them alone, with my sticks, and trying different surfaces that I would not normally have bothered with, so this has opened up a totally new aspect for me.
Tres

MarieMeyer
11-21-2007, 10:13 AM
Then there are types of strokes I can make happen that have a different look that I'm usually used to seeing in different pastel paintings in real life.



Have you done any tests to see if you can get the same look using just the tools on marks made with conventional pastels? That has been my experience.

Donna A
11-21-2007, 01:21 PM
Hi, again, Marie! No, I haven't done stroke-to-stroke comparative tests. I've been more interested, curious in exploring the actual flow of the painting process---the natural intuitive-based building of a painting.

I suspect I could create some similar looks with a lot of my sticks that would look not at all unlike some of the ones I create with the PanP's---but it might often take many more steps or perhaps require far more care or be far less "ease-filled"---just as other strokes or looks or effects could be far more easy or natural to create with our sticks! And then there are some things that---let's say in one stroke only---would be impossible to create with a PanP----or impossible to create with any of our brands of sticks.

With (ohmigosh) over (yikes) 50 years of working with pastels, most intently the last 25+ years and with having worked considerably with my 25 pro brands, with most everything of everything (I'm tremendously curious about my materials always) and working with so many different surfaces, I've learned a lot about possible looks, effects, techniques, handling styles, attributes and so on. I could tell from the first strokes I made with them at IAPS that the PanP's had some different qualities---and were not going to have the single-stroke impact of a soft stick pastel. But---they surely did inspire my interest for other things they might make happen.

If I were to do a stroke-to-stroke test, (argh!) I'd have to pick just a few representative brands for comparison for time's sake---but, guess I'd rather paint! Each brand to me has it's own feel, it's own character, which I why I keep them all arranged by brand. I know what they each offer me in feel, colors, pigment load, handling, opacity or covering power, and so forth! When I was making etchings years ago---I did exactly what you are doing with your examples: I printed small test plates with various aquatints, engraved lines, shallow to deeply etched lines, embossing and other print-making techinques on to some 20 different papers and it was extremely revealing. It helped me choose a specific paper for a specific type of print.

But here, I guess I just really am more interested in the actual "in action" painting process, the progression of what type of stroke and tool and color load and pressure and angle, etc. would be inspired by the last stroke(s) and what the painting was looking like at that moment based on the vision, the Concept I had for the painting before I began and what the subject matter is inspiring at the moment.

LOL---guess it's a bit like a car test---it's sooo good to know the repair history for that general make of car, the gas milage, and so on---but then I also want to know what the car feels like when I get in and drive the thing. The first of two questions I asked the PanP people at IAPS was about the lightfastness of the pigments. Hugely important to me (car safety record, we might say.)

I'm most interested to know what the materials will feel like "on the road"---in normal usage, once my "safety questions" were satifactorally answered.

From Tres: A very important issue that one needs to remember, is that PanPastels were not meant by any means to replace our sticks, but to be another enhancement to the pastelist!! I have found qualities in these that are unique to themselves ,just like a particular stick has a feel, application, etc..versus another.
I have had a blast using them alone, with my sticks, and trying different surfaces that I would not normally have bothered with, so this has opened up a totally new aspect for me.
Tres

Tres, you make such great points. Well put!

It sounds like what all three of us are doing are some interesting tests that tell us each more about important ways we would tend to use the materials.

Marie, have you done any start-to-finish paintings, yet, with the PanP's? Just curious what you may have come across there so far, if you have. Again, there will be some of us who love these and some for whom they just don't flow with our natural way of working with our materials or for whom they won't deliver effects or impacts that are important to us. And I think that experiments, explorations, adventures, are really good for us to take on! It's great to hear about each other's experiences on WC---and I've felt fortunate, too, to be able to see what some other artists have been doing with the PanP's here in my studio. Looking forward to hearing more from you all! Donna ;-}

MarieMeyer
11-21-2007, 05:33 PM
Yes I have, that's been the basis of my thought-forming process. Simple sketches and compositions so that I can concentrate on what the new materials are doing for me. And I've got to say, I think they are really limited. I know that the argument is that you use them alongside your regular collection. But, lets face it: they are expensive and cumbersome. In fact, they take up so much space that I literally have a problem using them side by side with my sticks, as I don't have room for both on my work table. I think any new product - especially one that is costly - needs to really DO something in order to justify itself.

Donn
11-21-2007, 06:58 PM
Donna,
You should think of putting all this information on how you work with PanPastels into a small booklet as a teaching/learning guide for everyone who would get a set of them. It was interesting to see what you did when you first got them. Your observations on how they work differently than sticks, etc. This would be of great benefit to all newcomers. I sure hope they put this thread in the library eventually. You have a wealth of information here for everyone. Going through each page to pick out your instruction is a bit hard. I don't know of anyone else who has goine into the depth you have in working with PanPastels.
I haven't got mine yet, but my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and said a set of 20 would be great. I originally wanted to get the landscape set, but after one pastel artist mentioned that I should consider the Painting set instead since I do more than just landscapes (landscapes and seascapes I prefer). Looking over the different colors of both sets, I see the Painting set would be better and can add some of the shades or tints that come with the Landscape set later. There are 9 colors that are the same in both sets. And there are colors in the Painting set which I like better than what is in the Landscape set.
Looking forward to more basic instruction on their use.

rain24
11-22-2007, 12:41 AM
I'm looking at the Painting Set too after reviewing the colors that come with each set since I was also eyeing the Landscape set at first.

Donna, with the blendability of these PanPastels, can we get along for now without the tints and shades? I can't get the whole set unless I get to play around with a smaller set first to see how they work for me.

This is such a great thread that I've read the whole thing several times already. Thanks so much for doing this.

Tressa
11-22-2007, 09:50 AM
Yes I have, that's been the basis of my thought-forming process. Simple sketches and compositions so that I can concentrate on what the new materials are doing for me. And I've got to say, I think they are really limited. I know that the argument is that you use them alongside your regular collection. But, lets face it: they are expensive and cumbersome. In fact, they take up so much space that I literally have a problem using them side by side with my sticks, as I don't have room for both on my work table. I think any new product - especially one that is costly - needs to really DO something in order to justify itself.

I made the boxes like Donna has, and I must say that I found this to be very easy, and much less trouble to use, and move around than to just have the containers sitting on the worktable. To me it is like having a palette to work from, andI leave the lids off, just place the top foamcore cover on, and secure when I'm taking them along with me.
I don't think the product needs to justify itself:) , it is just like any other item, it's for some people and not for others.
It is not an investment for someone who is not happy with the results they are getting, and why purchase something if it is not going to benifit your style of artwork?
I find them very easy to work with, and love the results I have achieved so far. The ability to blend these and make such thin beautiful layers in a painting are a plus for me! I love color, and so far have been able to get bright full coverage on all the surfaces I have tried. The only one that is not quite my favorite is Canson, and that is my least favorite paper anyway. I will use the pieces I have, but will never buy any more, as it is not for me, but some people LOVE this paper. So it is not the product, to me, it is the way different artists use the product, and what they can accomplish and be satisfied.
Tres

beaver creek
11-22-2007, 12:05 PM
After reading this, I just had to order the panpastels....Cannot wait to get them... thank you for all the info regarding them... let you know what I think once I get them... Thanks again
Jude

Donn
11-22-2007, 04:24 PM
Thanks, Rain, for asking the question about shades and tints. I'm hoping we can get along without them for now. When I was looking through the colors, I came up with Per Grn Shade, Br Yel Shade and possible Turq Shad and Magenta Shade as possible additions.
I'll be anxious to hear what Donna says, too.
But I'm definitely going to get the Painting set.

PCool
11-22-2007, 09:53 PM
I ordered the 60 pan pastel set. I am looking forward to the challenge :). Hopefully, they will arrive by weeks end.

Peg

Donn
11-22-2007, 11:08 PM
Good for you, Peg. I couldn't quite go that high, so I just ordered the 20 color Painting set from Dick Blick and some extra tools from Dakota Arts.
They are a Christmas present, so probably won't even open the boxes until then.

Donna A
11-23-2007, 12:25 AM
Hi, Rain, Donn, Jude, Peg and Tres! Tres, I so enjoy reading your insights and understandings about your adventures with the PanP's! I hope the rest of you have a delicious time exploring them when your colors arrive! Do know that some papers make them shine and others---ohhh---bleck! :-)

I'm looking at the Painting Set too after reviewing the colors that come with each set since I was also eyeing the Landscape set at first.

Donna, with the blendability of these PanPastels, can we get along for now without the tints and shades? I can't get the whole set unless I get to play around with a smaller set first to see how they work for me.

This is such a great thread that I've read the whole thing several times already. Thanks so much for doing this.

Thanks, Rain, for asking the question about shades and tints. I'm hoping we can get along without them for now. When I was looking through the colors, I came up with Per Grn Shade, Br Yel Shade and possible Turq Shad and Magenta Shade as possible additions.
I'll be anxious to hear what Donna says, too.
But I'm definitely going to get the Painting set.

Hi, Rain and Donn! Pardon my not answering sooner! I think the 20-color Painting Set is a great choice in lieu of the full set---and will offer a great range of color and mixing opportunities for you! With the White and Black Pans, you can certainly mix your colors. Might take a couple more moments, but yes---that will work wonderfully! Goodness, I mix most every color I lay down, anyway! :-)

Donn, I think those extra colors would be very handy! I found myself using the Raw Umber Shade a LOT in my landscapes! Actually---for my dark foliage greens, I was constantly mixing the Shades of Thalo Green, Violet and Raw Umber. But that Permanent Green Shade is wonderful and one I also used constantly. I have, from time to time, dipped into the Black to mix into the existing Shades to take them even darker---so--actually---the shades are simply pure colors into which they've already mixed the Black---so---it just depends on the level of efficiency you want to invest in at the beginning. Ultimately, you WILL be mixing. So this works!!!

If you are doing portraits, I did find myself using a lot of the Tints of Yellow Ochre, Red Iron Oxide and Burnt Sienna for the two people I've painted so far---with fair complexions. As much as I also love painting still lifes, I have yet to do that with the PanP's. Manana!

Do get some extra sponges, too, tho if you can! Especially since you are going to be doing a fair amount of mixing. This will let you get a few sponges dedicated to warm darks and cool darks and cool lights, etc, and will save you a bit of time and effort. It has proven very useful to me. And they can be used for several different effects with your stick pastels, as well.

If you are going to be doing a lot of small paintings, I'd go for more of the pale-blue handled tools and if you are working larger---more of the medium block-ish sponges---plus those little black-handled ones with the small tips are really handy!!! Just nice to have as many as you can manage. But they will clean off between colors, too with only the ones that come with the sets---a good variety. But---gee, I hate wiping of a color mix I know I will be wanting to use again later! :-) Just a "laziness" I have in my oil painting, too! :-)

Donn, what particular subject matter will you be working with? And what sorts of colors come into play the most with your subjects? It sounds like you do have some particular "leanings" in the choice of extras you are considering. And any extras you can invest in right now will be your friends! :-) If it's extra sponges or extra colors---I'd more likely go with the sponges---for the reasons mentioned above. Of course---I'm always a fan of (when there is an Either/Or choice) BOTH! LOL! But you can do amazing things with only the 20-color Painting Set and the sponges that come with it. Beyond that---do what you can!

Let me know what additional questions you may have about this. Glad to help any way I can! And I am so glad this is being useful to so many of you. Speaking of mixing---it just dawned on me that it might be useful to upload my handout pdf on Mixing Colors. It's been a while since I've uploaded it and some of you may not have seen it. I'll add another one, too---about Discovering Contrasts. This has also been useful to a lot of artists.

Tomorrow I'll upload a plein air painting I did on a gorgeous sheet of etching paper Tuesday afternoon (when it was near 70 degrees---UNLIKE yesterday and today with it was below freezing and nasty gray and/or snowy! Geeee!) And will hope to start/finish a still life. Take good care! Donna ;-}

ps---I've also uploaded a pdf titled "Which Color Should I Use?" which addresses the effects of the colors of grounds---in general as well as particularly about the 20 colors of Colourfix---which is the surface that I've been by far the most pleased with, whether the paper or board---or painted onto canvas, both the regular and the SuperTooth.

Now---I do think that if you are wanting some particularly light, light qualities in your PanP painting and if they are wonderfully important---you are probably best off choosing to work on white or natural because the PanP's are sheerer than our stick pastels. Still, I've done several PanP's on very dark Cfix grounds---including Lisa's portrait on Aubergine and Golden Fields on Burnt Umber that I can think of off hand---and I've gotten the important lights I needed there. But---just something to think about! Rick, last Monday, using these for the first time, had a hard time getting the richer pale blue sky he wanted on his favorite Aubergine. I had a hard time getting the light glow of the blue sky on darker grounds, too. May just be something with the Ultramarine and other blue pigments. I don't know. So---that is why I suggest going with white or natural for pale-skied landscapes with PanP's when you first try them. And then---try other ground colors as you are inspired to! Have soooo much fun! It's an adventure---for all of us! And whatever we're painting with!!! I love it! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donn
11-23-2007, 11:34 AM
Thanks, Donna, for your information about the shades and tints. I'll probably get the extra ones later. I did order the 20 color Painting set from DB and extra tools from Dakota Art. Didn't order the extra colors, though.
My main interest is landscapes and seascapes. I've done some still life and flowers mainly because I had to do them for an on-line watercolor class. You can see what I've done on my Flickr. I've only been doing this about 2 years. I'm 72 so starting out late in life.
I do have some Colorfix paper (warm and cool colors) which I have not used yet and Canson's Mi-Tientes, Stonehenge and a few others.
Your information is very valuable and will probably be asking more questions as I work with them.
Oh, BTW, I usually work small, 6 x 9 and smaller, 8 x 10 would be the biggest I like to go.
Thanks, again.

MarieMeyer
11-23-2007, 12:53 PM
I don't think the product needs to justify itself:) , it is just like any other item, it's for some people and not for others.


My point is that successful products solve problems. Hard pastels solve a problem - they allow you to build the underlayers without filling in too much tooth. Soft pastels solve a problem - they allow you to build the topmost layers with thicker accumulations of color than is possible with hard pastels. Wallis paper solves a problem - it provides you with a nearly inexhaustable amount of tooth (and it accomodates solvent-based underpaintings, so I guess it solves two problems).

Deborah Secor
11-23-2007, 01:10 PM
Hmmm, 'solving problems' is a good way to look at new products, Marie. I found that the PanPastels did one thing particularly well. I wanted to do a subtle but colorful reflection in still water. I often layer a lot of soft pastel onto the Wallis and then feather with charcoal, but by using the sponges with the PPs I was able to build up a delighful series of colors that stayed thinner and somewhat paler than using the stick pastels alone. I used them as an 'underpainting', of sorts, then used the sticks atop, but when it came time to do the more muted yet colorful reflection I realized that the PPs had already accomplished just the look I was after! So, whenever I'm planning to do subtle, muted or delicate layers, I think I'll head for the PPs myself. It would be interesting to develop a series of reflections or very soft shadows using them, I think.

Deborah

MarieMeyer
11-23-2007, 07:02 PM
Thanks - nice to hear the specifics. I agree that the Panpastels result in much thinner layers than other soft pastels. However, that is due to the tools, not the Panpastels themselves. If you use shavings from a traditional pastel, or put the traditional pastel down loosely and then move it around with the Sofft tools, it will be equally thin. Any chance you could humour me and do a quick test to see if you can get a similar result using the tools with your regular pastels?

Donna A
11-25-2007, 03:24 AM
Hi, Everyone! I've had a great time the last two days doing more experiments and paintings with the PanP's! Yesterday, Loreta Feeback came over and we played around with some things from the "glassless framing" techniques for painting pastels that she learned about at an IAPS 2007 workshop, too. She brought materials for that along with two boxes of her Terry Ludwigs. More later about the experiment she did with sponges.

Here is a photo of the little test I did with LaCarte. I only had a small piece left over from my last technical pastel workshop. It's a lovely surface and the only problem I have with it is its great delicacy. But it surely did take the PanP gorgeously! Talk about suede-y!!! Wow!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-PanP-LaCarteTest.jpg

The earth colors are laid on and melded into each other. The Chrome Oxide Green went on with a 'block' sponge and I just pulled it across till it pretty well ran out of pigment. This is one of those things that the PanP's can do so extremely easily in a single easy fast gesture that would take more time/effort otherwise.

On a shelf in the studio, I came across a watercolor or acrylic ink underpainting I'd done on Blue Haze Colourfix maybe last year and forgotten about. Perfect for an experiment with PanP's. A beautifully sun-lit pond in NYC's Central Park which I took some years ago. Here are 4 pics---below---the Photo (which I'd scribbled extra image onto at it's top), the underpainting, worked in PanP's (not finished yet!) and a detail shot:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-CentralParkLake-photo.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-CentralParkLake-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-CentralParkLake-2.jpg

The PanP lights go on well over the darks of the underpainting. Here is a detail below:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-CentralParkLake-detail.jpg


Loreta, one of the other co-founders of MAPS and our first prez, had used the PanP's the other day, and the first thing Loreta did yesterday was to see how Terry's pastels would work with the sponges compared to the PanP colors. First she used a gessoed mat board she'd brought with her. This experimenting was all done rather casually and I"d only played with this a very little in earlier weeks. She looked for colors that were similar in both brands. They all went on rather 'mildly' on the mat bd, tho T's even a bit milder---which surprised both of us since they are sooo soft and sooo rich! And are one of my two favorite brands. I pulled out a sheet of Cfix SuperTooth to see what difference that would make with how the colors went on. Certainly richer in both cases, but T's still milder by comparison. Loreta stroked on tiny bars of Terry's colors from the actual pastel sticks next to the larger sponge bars of colors just to see the difference. Again, we were both surprised. Loreta commented that the PanP makers must be doing something in their formula that makes the color have more impact when applied with the sponges. It seems so. And I watched her load up each stroke really well on a very cleaned sponge. I took some photos---and we could see in real life---and also in the photo---that there are some pigments which seem to have more "umph!" than others across the brands. And then noticed last night when I checked in on WC, the way to slumber, that Marie had asked about the sponges and how conventional pastels would work with the sponges. So---Loreta's timing was good!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Nov-2007/77048-PanP_Sponge_Test.jpg

I do think other brands, softer sticks of pastels could be used with the sponges to augment the PanP's when needed---or, yes---the sponges can be used just with the soft sticks for some things. But the PanP's do have something in their makeup that does something really different. And I really like whatever it is.

I pulled out another painting yesterday---think it was a demo from a couple/three years ago---not quite finished---(wonder WHAT else is hiding on some of the other studio shelves)---so I worked on it with the PanP's to see how well they would go over some light, medium and heavy layers of stick pastels. Again---I was surprised. There were areas where the PanP's went on over more layers that I expected. Others, where, when the sponge pulls across, it's a bit like a snow plow clearing our Kansas City streets in the winter. Just pushes that powdery material out of the way, mounding it in it's path. But---it did leave good color in its path. I'd rather use the PanP's under---or---over lighter layers of stick pastels, but they certainly can have their limited or special places in the later stages of some pastel paintings.

That's it for now. Lots more pictures I've been working on. Started a small one on Wallis Museum this afternoon. PanP's going on beautifully over that surface, as well. Pics manana! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donn
11-25-2007, 12:36 PM
Great experiements, Donna. I can see that the PPs are really richer looking. I'm glad I ordered the Painting set. Also ordered Perm Grn Shade, Raw Umber Shade and Turquoise Shade along with extra sponges through Amazon.com.(FineArtStore) Prices through them were a little less expensive. If I hadn't had a discount coupon from DB, I would have gotten them through Amazon.com.
Will be anxious to try them.

pequan
11-25-2007, 04:01 PM
My word what a fabulous workshop this is............Donna you have typed out a wealth of information and I thank you for it all....there is so much to digest, I am going back and starting from the beginning one more time.....I have not had an opportunity to try the Pp's but certainly will have to after all of this...AND, I have not tried any of the "fixed" methods of painting on canvases and will definately have to try that as well.........thanks again for sharing all your hard work, experiments, and typing.........fabulous job!!

rain24
11-25-2007, 04:02 PM
Donna, thank you so much for all your input as far as the painting set goes. I think I'm going with that set along with the tools. I'll keep revisiting this thread to see what experiments you've done lately.

Donn, I think your idea is great - the painting set plus a few shades for landscape. I might go ahead and do the same.

Going to order my PanPastels very very soon!

Donna A
11-25-2007, 05:21 PM
Hi, Donn! Yes, the PanP's really are richer than the soft stick pastels when put on with the sponges---and the soft stick colors a much richer layer and impact when applied with the sticks---just to be totally clear to someone new who might be reading just this! :-) I think your choices are great---and will serve you very well! I'll have to check out the Amazon Fine Art Store you mention. Had not known about it. And---I'm really looking forward to hearing about your adventures ahead! :-)

Washing Sponges Revisited: Was cleaning up in the kitchen a while ago and using one of the brands of general cleaning liquids when I got to wondering how they would do on the PanP sponges. I had used Joy dishwashing liq. like Peggy---and neither one of us were thrilled with the cleaning job. So I picked a few of all the types and sizes of sponges and plopped them in a shallow sauce pan I'd just washed---sprayed on this kitchen-cleaning liquid and started squeezing sponges. The color just oozed out! I added water and squeezed more then 'poured' them into a large sieve and rinsed more then back in the pan and more liquid and squeezed still more. Geeee----sooo much pigment was coming out.

This cleaning liq., which is different than dishwashing liq., really made a huge difference. I got soooo much excess pigment out. The sponges that Rick got for a couple of us at the beauty supply store, which has much larger pores and much less compression, washed out almost white again in most cases. All the PanP sponges came out with mainly just staining from pigment remnants left in the very fine sponge pores---so---they will function now as new sponges! Nice.

I don't remember the brand name of the cleaning liquid since I just mixed the last portion of the dilutable cleaning liquid a couple of weeks ago and tossed the original bottle---but---it's red and apple-scented and widely available for kitchen cleaning, etc. (and comes in other colors and scents---and very similar products in other brands.)

I rinsed and squeezed and rinsed and squeezed---and I was able to get to clear rinse water pretty fast. Squeezed one more time and wrapped several of the largest sponges in a fresh kitchen towel---and squeezed some more. Boy, those sponges hold a lot of water! I actually laid the spnge/towel wrap on the kitchen counter and leaned on the heavy, too. Unwrapped---the were barely damp feeling. So they should dry pretty quickly in this dryer climate.

I won't do this every time I use them---but---every now and then, it should be nice to have a fresh start! Oh, an artist friend just stopped by for a few minutes to see the PanP pieces---so I checked out the sponges I set out to dry in the studio while we were talking and playing---and they feel pretty dry already. I'm going to try out a little painting with them when I go back to the studio. It's been maybe 2 hours now since I washed them---and really 'blotted' them as dry as I could with the kitchen towels. So that's pretty good! Now--back to the studio! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Dougwas
11-25-2007, 06:49 PM
Hi Donna. I just wanted to thank you for all the info you are sharing with us. I don't even have any PanP's and I am still learning lots. I copied your three PDF files on colour mixing and contrasts and I will be asking myself plenty of questions when I attemp another painting.

Thanks again,


Doug

Donna A
11-25-2007, 11:24 PM
Hi, Everyone! Something I keep meaning to mention is that I've learned that it's a good idea when using the smaller sponge tools to pick up our PanP color from around the perimeters rather than just always swiping up color from the middle of the pans---cuz eventually the center will become shaped a bit like a bowl---and when we need to use the larger rectangle, curved or pointed sponges or the still larger ones to pick up broad areas of color all the way across the sponge---we'll have trouble getting color to the middle area of the sponges. So---now I'm being very careful (almost always!) :-) to take up the color for small strokes from around the edges. It's helping.

I'm going to be very sure to tell everyone Tuesday night at the MidAmerica Pastel Society meeting when I"m demoing---and then everyone at the meeting will have about 25 minutes to work on a painting themselves---Hands-On! I invited any of you in the 'neighborhood' a week or so ago---but---will repeat since it's been a while. Again---one of our members drives in 5 hours one-way from western Kansas for every meeting and does not get back home till about 3 am---and he says it's worth every minute of the drive! And we have a LOT of members who live in other states and never make it to meetings, but enjoy the newsletter, etc. I'm the editor and try to have some interesting things in it. And we have some great shows for in and out-of-towners. OK--if you are anywhere near Kansas City and would like more Tuesday eve meeting info, please email me!

Linda/Pequan, Rain and Doug, I'm delighted that you are enjoying the info---even without the PanP's at this point! Glad that you are finding ideas that apply broadly! Yea!

By the way---the sponges I washed earlier this afternoon painted perfectly! I think that pressing out the water into the towels made the difference in drying time. For the small sponges in particular, it was really fast and easy to wash them out. Might do that more often, after all. And will definitely wash out sponges before the meeting Tuesday eve.

Oh---one more thing---LOL---I put on a nice large sweatshirt Friday and found that it got to be really handy to clean off the sponges just by swiping across my shirt. :-) Just really fast and handy---and shook it out outdoors when I took it off---and wore it again the last two days painting. I have also used paper towel torn off and made into a stack of several towels, but takes up table space---and have also used the roll of paper towels ON the roll, but do have to hold it in my left hand---and---not handy if I'm holding a couple of pans in my hand when I need a lot at one time. So---the soft sweatshirt texture has been great---and handy! And what I may do is figure out something "bib-like" that I could put on and take off, especially once it gets warm again---MANY months from now! :-) Take good care, ya'all! Hope you are having fun painting! Donna ;-}

Donn
11-25-2007, 11:43 PM
OK, Donna, how do we sign up for your newsletter? Sure wish I could attend one of your meetings, but you're a bit too far from Florida!
Now, if you can think of that cleaner you used, that would be helpful too.

Donna A
11-27-2007, 03:14 AM
Hi, Everyone! Several days ago I began a plein air with the PanP's on a beautiful pale, blue sheet of very good thick 100% rag etching paper. Turns out that otherwise-wonderful paper doesn't allow very rich color---though it does have an interesting mellow effect rather like 'an old watercolor,' as someone described it. Below is the plein air painting in situ---with the overcast afternoon loosing even more light---and I was ready to stop anyway, once most of the composition was laid in, which went very quickly---pretty handy for plein air painting, in particular. I'll work further on this, out of curiosity, with my stick pastels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2007/77048-BackYardPleinAir.jpg

Yesterday, I worked on a small still life, on that same pale blue etching paper which I coated with Colourfix SuperTooth Primer with a broad white bristle brush. Primed, it took the pastel from the PanP's beautifully---yet differently than other papers, etc. with that primer. I had not expected that. Interesting. Here is the sketch as I was roughing it in below, along with a photo of the set up and the painting-in-progress.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2007/77048-Oranges-StillLifeDrawing.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2007/77048-Oranges-StillLifePhoto.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2007/77048-Oranges-StillLIfe-WIP-.jpg

I had a really hard time coming up with colors I was satisfied with for the purple fabric backdrop. I like using that particular fabric, though it is challenging to achieve the color effect with the 200W incandescent light hitting it (orangy-golden light on reddish-violet fabric---the gold/violet along with the orangy/reddish playing off each other---but then that's a whole other story!) Mixing even with oils is challenging. But--geee---it IS fun!

This primed paper is taking the color really nicely in many ways, but it's not letting me do some of the interesting varieties in building strokes of similar color in large open areas like the Cfix regular and SuperTooth papers and boards or primed on a harder surface. So I think this painting may be a great candidate to bring in my stick pastels for the finishing---for the violet backdrop color as well as for the variations I want in the larger areas.

I have more work to do on everything here, though the pale blue-green napkin is mostly done. I slightly roughed in the teal blue bands on the orange napkin, but will save the last touches till late in the painting.

I've been experimenting to see how "refined" or "detailed" or such it was possible to get with the PanP's---and I was really amazed at what was possible. But now I'm ready to just pull all the stops with the next piece and get back to some big, bold works! :-)

Until then, here is a detail of one of the oranges. I found it easy to make an orange-skin texture in some of the areas by loading up the sponge well then gently pulling across the earlier, darker orange colors. With different pressures, it's possible to achieve different textures and effects.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Nov-2007/77048-Oranges-detail.jpg

This was fast and easy to do with the PanP's but would have been harder to achieve with stick pastels. All for now on that.


OK, Donna, how do we sign up for your newsletter? Sure wish I could attend one of your meetings, but you're a bit too far from Florida!
Now, if you can think of that cleaner you used, that would be helpful too.

Hi, Donn! Hmmm---thought I replied to this earlier today. :-) All the MAPS members receive the newsletter--8 to 9 times a year. Here is the web site with all manner of MAPS info, including joining---$25/year. http://www.midamericapastel.org/ We have so many members who live far away and can never attend meetings. And if you all ever happen to be in KC, do let us know!!!

The cleaner---you probably have something very similar sitting on a kitchen shelf, but I will check next time I go to the store and let us both know! :-) Need a new bottle soon anyway!

Take good care! More soon! Donna ;-}

Snowbound
11-27-2007, 05:54 PM
This has been interesting to follow. If nothing else, some wonderful demos of technique regardless of whether one uses pans or sticks! I'm still not interested in using pans, but can see their appeal, and who knows, the time may come I might want to give them a try, if only for background or detail.

Just wanted to mention-- earlier there was a mention of using a sealing coat between layers and creating a durable finished painting. This is similar to a traditional way of painting with oils: each layer is finished with a layer of sealer (varies depending on the oil and the painter), which isolates each layer from the next. This creates a depth and luminosity in the finished painting, which is also very hard and durable. I used a similar approach with some of my acrylic paintings, with made them look as if one were looking into a three dimensional space, very luminous. It sounds as if the pans might lend themselves to this kind of approach quite readily.

Personally, though, if I am going to be using varnish and tools, I will simply use oils or the newer acrylics. I can paint the varnish on instead of spraying, a process that does not appeal to me without a good spray booth.

Oh, call me a curmudgeon! This is just my take, a personal choice. I am actually enjoying the enthusiasm and enjoyment you all are expressing. And though I may choose not to use the pans, what you are doing is still teaching me a lot about painting!

Dayle Ann

Snowbound
11-27-2007, 05:55 PM
Oh, my gosh, I just became a veteran! 500 posts in one year? I spent entirely too much time here... no, I don't. Where would I be without you all?

Dayle Ann

maggie latham
11-27-2007, 07:23 PM
:) Donna,
First I would like to thank you for sharing your wonderful observations and experiences of using Pans and also for sharing the work you have created using them.
It is a very interesting thread, and I whole-heartedly agree with you that it is great to experiment, experiment, experiment… to find a comfortable personal way of working….. by testing and analyzing different surfaces, products and applications.
Maggie

Donna A
11-28-2007, 03:01 AM
Hi, Maggie---and Snowbound! So good to hear from you both!

Tonight was the program at MAPS with the Pan Pastels. We had 60 artists and they really seemed to enjoy seeing some new possibilities. I started by telling them these are not for everyone---but 6 of the artists there had brought pieces they'd done with PanP's and/or commented for the group on things they liked---each unique.

A couple of comments came up about "Either/Or"---but no---it's an "And/And!" And that was the sentiment of those who have actually worked with them. Here are a few pics of the half-hour or so they had to experiment with these tonight at the Hands-On portion of the program. (We've always tried to incorporate Hands-On experiences for our members at MAPS.) I was just sooo amazed at how actually serious and intent they were---the whole time. Cool! :-) Was fun and wild! We had Colourfix, Wallis, Canson and several other papers for artists to work on----many of them having brought photos as painting sources! Quite a few said they were going to order them. And some will come Sat. morning here to my studio to finish working on what they started tonight. It was fun! Take good care! Donna ;-}

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Nov-2007/77048-MAPS-3480.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Nov-2007/77048-MAPS-3483.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Nov-2007/77048-MAPS-3474.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Nov-2007/77048-MAPS-3473.jpg

binkie
11-28-2007, 06:55 PM
Donna,

I've been closely following your demos and want to thank you so much for offering them. They are wonderful paintings and your lessons are filled with so much information. If I ever conquer the sticks I'd like to try the pan pastels.

binkie

CJMonty
11-29-2007, 09:01 AM
Donna I am reading these posts over and over to get as much information out of them as I possibly can.

Can you believe, my Pan Pastels arrived just over a week a go and I atill have not used them yet. The reason being is I have promised myself that I will get a whole load of other jobs done that really need to be completed before I start a new project and I have so far stayed true to my word. Actually I may even get them out tomorrow and have a play with them if I get my other chores finished first.

I go back to work this weekend after being off on sick leave now since Oct 17th. My Hyperbaric Treatment starts on 17th December so we will have to reassess the situation then and see if it is practicle to continue working thoughout the course of 6 weeks of 5 days per week treatment.

I have plenty of Colourfix and Cason paper so should have plenty to play around with for the Pans. Really looking foward to this.

Keep the good stuff coming guys.

Take Care
Love Carolynn :) :heart::heart:

Dayle-Anne I should reach 500 sometime soon too. :clap:

Donna A
11-30-2007, 01:36 AM
Hi, Carolynn! Being at least a half day ahead on the calendar, I hope you were able to find time to dive into your new Pan Pastels! And that you have as much fun as a lot of us have been having! Goodness, you have been having a time of it! Sending you many, many well wishes!!!!

Hi, Binkie! Now---there may be some "kindnesses" that the PanP's may bestow, in support of your work with your other pastels---sooooo---just something to think about. :-) Must tell you all about the delight that Karen was having yesterday working with both her PanP's and her Art Spectrums!

But first---Hi, Everyone! Week #2 of Linda's White Linen still life. She will finish it next week, but it is just looking luxurious at this point.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-4.jpg

This is her very first experience with PanP's and she is really enjoying it! She has more work to do on some of the heavy antique linen, the crock and parts of the background, but everyone today was relishing looking at it! You can see the first steps of this painting, from the drawing---and the photo---on post #57, 11-16-07. Linda's working on Colourfix Aubergine, 20"x28". Below are a couple of detail pics.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-4-b.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Nov-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-detail-4-a.jpg

This is a very complicated series of folds, yet Linda is doing a lovely job of painting them---with the often subtle values and variations in warms and cools and hard to very soft edges!

Now Karen just seemed to be having a great time yesterday working on a new still life! She has a wonderful style with both broad strokes of pastel as well as almost caligraphic strokes of pastel, letting the matte surface of her Colourfix paper work for portions of her painting, too.

Donna A
11-30-2007, 02:48 AM
Hi, again Everyone! Argh! I had hit the wrong button and posted the last comments, so hit Edit and went on to add allll the rest I wanted to share this evening----but then suddenly (after a good while and just when I was DONE!!!) a window came up saying there was a 60 minute limit in an edit---and lost everything else I'd written and the posted pics. ARGH!!! Can't believe I spent that long---but surely did. Late now---so manana! Karen's work is really fun to see. And things she was discovering yesterday using both the PanP's and her Art Spectrum pastels back and forth together. Until tomorrow---enjoy enjoy! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-02-2007, 04:08 AM
Hi, Everyone! At least the last two days were fun as well as tremendously busy! Today MAPS artists came to work more with the Pan Pastels, but---that is for photos and report tomorrow! Today I'll share with you (again---the lost portion of post!) the work Karen did Wednesday morning! She's such a marvelous painter with a very strong, personal style that is consistent and striking! She's been exploring during the last month or two in her next burst of growth and it is always exciting to watch. Interestingly, the Pan Pastels have been a playing a significant role in the new dimensions her work is taking. This piece you'll see progressing below was a rather quick painting, but again marked by her wonderful calligraphic strokes played off against her sheer to strong massed color areas and the bare Colourfix she makes such good use of. Early stage, massing in some of the major color shapes, first with charcoal, then a few stick strokes and then swathes of PanP. After that, you'll see a photo of the still life subject she was working from.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-photo.jpg

The oranges are soooo constructed! Strong massed color planes. Nice! :-) Some with her sticks and some with the PanP's. They play soooo wonderfully together.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-detail-2Oranges.jpg

This is a significant benefit for many styles of painting!!! Contrasts of all sorts can add so much richness!! I'll upload a pdf file about Discovering Contrasts which many of you may not have seen. The textural differences between the sticks laid on on their sides and the PanP sponge strokes have so much personality and are just so unique to each other! It's a great asset to "harvest!"

Karen has been building further, including the white porcelain dish, which she very wisely laid in with pale grays and pale raw umbers with a few pinks and ivories. Some folks lay in "white" objects with pure white---and then---have no place to go to add the highlights! Most whites are soooo much darker-ish than many think! And then the highlights still need to reflect the color of the light source making that highlight!!! (Have you tried the 12 Extra Soft LIghts by Art Spectrum??? Yum!!! Perfect!)

Look at the stripes in the Guatemalan cloth on the table top---the way Karen is laying them in with her sticks, not as boring "ruler" lines, but with spirit and intent! (They'll get even better in the last photo!) Notice how Karen has added more and more color to the bottles, mostly with the PanP's. But areas in the background were laid in with the sides of her sticks, stroking lightly in most cases, letting the texture of the paper play through, contrasting in a fascinating way with the texture created by the color laid on with the sponges.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-2.jpg

Karen, a lovely mellow amazing being, would every now and then hollar out to the rest of us that she had just made another discovery!!! :-) One of them that I can stillll remember (it's been days!) was how much she like the effect she had just tired (you'll see it below) taking one of the sponge tools to the strokes she had made with her AS pastels, pulling out the color in to a broader, softer area, yet still retaining some of the personality of the original strokes. She was able to add some PanP to neighboring areas then able to lay into the areas again with new strokes, building on the qualities that both versions of pastels give us.

Notice in the last photo below (she may still add a few touches to this next Wed.) the newest stripes in the tabletop fabric. There are a few "zigzag" marks with rich golden yellow in the stripe, running "against the grain" and adding great zip! to the piece! Yet other stripes are just barely suggested with the side of the stick. Some great variety! More contrast. More interest.

Some colors of the blue and blue-green bottles were "pulled back" a bit. A rounded bar sponge was used to remove some of the color to give a sheerer glassy quality to the bottles. I think that the PanP's are going to prove to be a major blessing to pastel artists who have had a very hard time capturing the "look" of glass! And it's wonderful how the sponge can pick up color as well as lay it down. Of course you want to make sure your sponge is clean! Notice the lighter vertical line in the blue-green bottle right next to the dark area where the two bottles overlap. That was removed with a bar sponge's edge, laid on to the paper longways and pulled in the direction of the edge. Hmmm---am I saying that in a way that makes sense. The line she pulled was the same line as the line of the long corner edge she had set down in a diamond-shape angle rather than flat. Hmmmm---OK---if you just can't guess what I mean---let me know. I'll do a photo or two. On the blue bottle, the lighter area going up the center right side from where the bottle narrows and upward was also removed with a clean sponge. Just gives some particular quality that is different and very enhancing! The reflections of the orange just laid on sooo easily. It's a joy to lay on stick pastel over the PanP.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-3.jpg

And here is a detail of stick strokes going on over very sheer PanP---and also a contrast in cool reds (below) and warm reds (on top.) These wonderful contrasts set up visual vibrations that, while subtle in some ways, are still delicious and exciting---and add to a gentle sumptuousness of the painting. You can see the subtle blue greens (thalo) on the vase behind--and here, isolated in the detail shot, you see the green against the red----though both are 'blues' in that the green is a blue green and the bottle under color is a blue red. So they unify in that way, yet within that 'unity' are vibrating as complimentaries. I think that is pretty exciting!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Dec-2007/77048-KH-StillLife-detail-RedBottleNeck.jpg

Hope this gives you some interesting insights. There are still so many things to share with you. And so many more ideas I want to experiment with. These new materials just keep provoking more curiosity! :-) More tomorrow. Take good care! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-02-2007, 09:47 AM
this thread is so inspirational and informative :) I have read it over and over a numerous times and had decided to get a 20 color set which arrived last week. Been playing around with it since then completely neglecting the pastel sticks. And honestly, I prefer using the pan pastels more than the sticks, the only down side is the mini applicator sponges gets destroyed really fast on a toothy surface :D

thank you for starting this thread :)

Dougwas
12-02-2007, 01:35 PM
I would like to thank you again Donna, for sharing all this info with us. I told you before that I didn't have any PanP's but a little birdie told me I am getting the 20 piece Painters set for Christmas.:D Actually, my loving wife knew I wanted pastels for Christmas so she told me to order some, so I got some PanPs as well as some Art Spectrum and Great American(I couldn't stop myself).:evil: I am holding you personally responsible for this indulgence.:lol: I can see it now. On Christmas morning there will be a bunch of homes with people in their studios playing with their new toys and not caring if the turkey is in the oven or not. AND ITS ALL YOUR FAULT!!! :eek:

There. I said it. I feel much better now.

Thanks again Donna. In another 23 days I will be able to join in the fun.


Doug

Donna A
12-02-2007, 06:18 PM
Ohhhhh, Doug! I had sooo much fun chuckling happily at your post all through fixing lunch! :-) Hee hee hee! :-) Guess we know what you are going to be doing all Chcristmas afternoon and eve! What a lovely wife you have! Awwww! I hope you are as wonderfully insightful on her behalf! :-) And---OK---OK!!! I've been blamed for "far worse!!!" :-) Mia culpa! LOL! Countin' down the days!!! And---you are going to share your adventures with us, aren'tcha???? We'll look forward to it!

this thread is so inspirational and informative I have read it over and over a numerous times and had decided to get a 20 color set which arrived last week. Been playing around with it since then completely neglecting the pastel sticks. And honestly, I prefer using the pan pastels more than the sticks, the only down side is the mini applicator sponges gets destroyed really fast on a toothy surface

thank you for starting this thread

Hi, WC!!! I'm sooo happy this has been inspirational AND informative. Wonderful!!! Something I want to address in a post all by itself is the idea of EASE! And you might be alluding to it a bit! Guess you've been having a great time with the mini applicator. I haven't had any of those wearing down tremendously yet, but those on the blue-handled triangular tool sponges---yes! Really showing wear! I was lucky that a friend and artist who studies with me brought some from the beauty supply house, which have been great to suppliment for some things. One of the artists who came yesterday had bought some different little sponge applicators, rather similar, at the drug store in the make-up section. Very cheap, she said. She gave me a few and I played with them a bit. Some really nice things about them, too. Now---neither of these from the "beauty areas" are quite as accomplshed in serving our overall needs and uses as the ones from PanP---but---they do take some of the streses off the the "real" ones! :-) So---I'm liking having them all! Do check around your drug store or other place where you might purchase make-up and see what you can find, because they really are wondrfully handy!!!---but do what I'm going to do, too---order more of the mini's and the others that you use a LOT! There is something about what the PanP folks offer that just seem to work the best overall. Guess they must have really searched and researched to find what worked the best for the artist. But---there are sure other things that can serve, as well, for many effects! And I do love having different pieces of the same type of sponge tools for various colors. I can just work so much faster. Just spreads out the wearing down far longer, anyway. (I buy a LOT of the same socks when I need to replace---but have not had to do so for years! Winter gloves, too! 2 or 3 pair of the same can let me keep loosing or wearing out a LONG time!) :-) Good investment.

Also---if you have an auto supply place nearby where they have car-washing chamois at a usually-more-inexpensive price (my son taught me that!) you might give that a try, too! I found that I could wrap a snipped-off bit of chamois around the end of a stump or even a worn-down pencil tip and have a nice PanP tool for applying color! And I also used that cut-off bit of chamois to just rub on larger areas of color! Works great!!! Yes---I even used something similar-ish to liquid nails to blue a bit on to one of the blue-handled tools to try. It worked, too!!!! Different textural areas of the chamois do slightly different types of deposts of color.

I just keep finding more and more and more things to experiment with! I have used chamois at times with my stick pastels---and it can be great for different things there, too.

Several people have asked me about the effects with a brush. With the 50 million brushes I have, I have not even gotten around to trying one with the PanP's---but I will. Keep turning over rocks! :-) All I care about is if it is something archival and lightfast! And then if it is an expression of some important facet of my creativity! All of that is extremely important to me!!!

With brushes in mind (looking over to the right into my studio and the oil painting easel and table lined with pots of brushes) I do want to try some oil washes on Colourfix. I do do a lot of oils on Cfix, as well as using it for acrylics and wc! I'm curious how they will play together. And---how the PanP's might do with a Damar Varnish to seal them, with no glass required.

I'm just going to keep experimenting! Ya never know what might just excite beyond current belief!

I'm so glad you are having a grand adventure with your Pan Pastels already, WC---and that Doug, you are relishing yours in----(drum rollllll) 23 days! :-) And that so many others are having a great time, as well. I think there are sooo many possibilities that we have not even thought of yet! And---I do love how well these work with our "old reliables!" I do want to play more with the 2 versions of pastels together, more! Only two hands. Dang! You alllll take good care! Have glorious fun and joy with your painting! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-03-2007, 04:19 PM
yes, the ease of use is wonderful, and can be controlled with minimal effort, well, except for those really small details. My favorite is being able to put down an almost even layer of transparent glaze. I mostly use the mini applicators for most of the work since I am working small, whereas the knife tools are used very little. One thing that I did do is use a charcoal holder to extend those little handles. When those are gone, I will be using the long handle applicators with the replaceable heads (which I ordered quite few extra).

Haven't tried anything else other than the tools that came with the set except for one of those inexpensive makeup pads once. But I like experimenting with various papers and supports.

jillstefaniwagner
12-03-2007, 06:08 PM
I had never heard of these pastels. Now I have another item on my wish list!

Phil Coleman
12-03-2007, 06:26 PM
Panpastels, yet another option which does not appear to be available here in the UK, well Google didn't return and results for it!

Now what i would be intrigued to know is how soft do they feel within their container and could similar be duplicated by using little binder with the pigment and allowing these to set within the allocated containers?

I was in my local art store this afternoon and found that they have quite a good range of artist quality pigments, I should imagine the pigments will be the same or very similar and now assume it will be just a case of getting the formula right! Do you feel this could be achieved with a Little trial and error?

beaver creek
12-03-2007, 07:12 PM
WHOOOHOO!! My mailman just delivered my new Pan's!!!! Just like Christmas!
Now I have to read this whole thing all over again, now that I can read & Play!!
Thanks Donna, once again
Judi

Donna A
12-04-2007, 02:25 AM
yes, the ease of use is wonderful, and can be controlled with minimal effort, well, except for those really small details.

Hi, WC! EASE is indeed something I keep hearing from artist after artist. We were talking about that in class again today. One of the artists mentioned that she was loving how she could just skim on a broad area of color with the PanP's in one quick action where she would have to at least 2 lengthier steps if she used her sticks, first to lay it on and then to rub in. Some talk as much about the actual sensation of using the PanP's as how effective they have started proving themselves for many.

My favorite is being able to put down an almost even layer of transparent glaze.

Ohhhhm, yum! Yes! :-) Here is a piece Joyce started the other day---doing just that thing. It's just a beginning---and image about looking up through a window---painted on a board from RTISTX.com---the 280 board, which was black when I first saw it. Joyce was saying the same thing as you, WC! (Remember, Joyce had been using the PanP's for an entire 2+ hours by the time she began this.) About 9"x12"---and maybe 10 to 15 minutes using the large, thick trapezoid shaped sponge with a rectangular face.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-Window.jpg


I mostly use the mini applicators for most of the work since I am working small, whereas the knife tools are used very little. One thing that I did do is use a charcoal holder to extend those little handles.

What a great idea, WC!

When those are gone, I will be using the long handle applicators with the replaceable heads (which I ordered quite few extra).

That tool is really nice! I've loved drawing with it, as well as with the mini-applicators. I have found the little replaceable heads have worked their way out a little at times---and perhaps just cuz I was working them too hard. Don't know, but I really like both tools for drawing in my composition---or just enjoying the process of drawing for it's own sake.

Haven't tried anything else other than the tools that came with the set except for one of those inexpensive makeup pads once. But I like experimenting with various papers and supports.

Me, too---and there are just so many more things to try out! I'm so glad to hear your good tip! Thank you! Have fun! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-04-2007, 04:06 AM
Panpastels, yet another option which does not appear to be available here in the UK, well Google didn't return and results for it!

Hi, Phil! Take heart! One of the owners of PanP's is from UK (was able to talk with them a bit when they were demoing at their booth at IAPS Convention last May and answering all the questions we could think of asking back then!)---and the PanP's will be finding their way there, just as they will be in AU in a few months. Someone reported a release date in AU for March. Have not heard of a date for UK, but I know when anyone hears something firm, it will be shared here. Worth waiting for! Some have just gone ahead and ordered from the US, even with the higher shipping.

Now what i would be intrigued to know is how soft do they feel within their container and could similar be duplicated by using little binder with the pigment and allowing these to set within the allocated containers?

They feel compact and firm, although you can work up some loose particles, though they stay together larger than pigment dust. I think something a lot more complex is going on than that. Definitely something you might play around with---but I suspect that they have spent ages and ages in a lab to come up with something that seems to me, with the experimenting I've done so far using them and hearing others's comments, that this is not something all that simple. The PanP's are behaving very differently---first to the touch of a finger---some color will pick up on a finger tip, but not in the same way we can pick up far more color with many stick pastels. It doesn't smear on the painting anywhere like most stick paintings. In fact it barely moves at all (which has some nice qualities all on its own, tho it will erase beautifully.) It goes on richer with the sponge than the very soft, rich pastel sticks a couple of us have tried applying with a sponge. There's something really different.

I was in my local art store this afternoon and found that they have quite a good range of artist quality pigments, I should imagine the pigments will be the same or very similar and now assume it will be just a case of getting the formula right! Do you feel this could be achieved with a Little trial and error?

Well, not just a little. Maybe a year or two---if you already are well schooled in the qualities and the behavior of different pigments---and probably have a good lab to work in. Yes, I do think what you will find at your art store will be similar quality pigments.

But it can be a bit of fun experimenting making your own pastel sticks (and whatever!) :-) Just be careful working with that loose pigment! Good mask in an area that will not be devastated by the great amount dust that can get into the air (and everywhere!) Keep the kids and the pets in a different area! I've made soft pastel sticks with Gum Tragacanth and the preservative---4 different strengths of the binder solution for the varying qualities of the pigments. Ya know what!!! It certainly made me far more greatly appreciate our color makers! :-) But---it's a great thing to have a go at! For stick pastels, there are a lot of recipes out there. For the PanP's---this is such a totally new concept---and there seems to be something extremely unique. But if you do get to experimenting, will be fun to hear what you come up with! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-04-2007, 04:11 AM
WHOOOHOO!! My mailman just delivered my new Pan's!!!! Just like Christmas!
Now I have to read this whole thing all over again, now that I can read & Play!!
Thanks Donna, once again
Judi

Ooh, Judi!!! You are soo welcome! Hope you have a ball with these! And let us all know what adventures you are having---when you come up for air! And if you have any questions, let us know, too! Joyful creating!!! More pics and ideas to share tomorrow. Donna ;-}

Phil Coleman
12-04-2007, 04:19 AM
Thanks Donna, I can see such benefits from being able to sweep on colour and graduate the blend between two colours, a little like adding additional colour whilst applying a watercolour wash. I will look into the cost of shipping since the cost of the Panpastels isn't too great and my budget may just run to it.

Like you mentioned with the recipes for the pastel sticks and achieving the desired hardness, it would take much trial and error and even then it may not be achievable. I feel i would rather be spending my time applying the various colours than manufacturing them!

Thanks!

Donna A
12-04-2007, 11:47 PM
Hi, again, Phil! Yes, those easy qualities are pretty delicious! :-) And then all the other things that you can do with them, as well! I think you're right---spending your time painting rather than making things that others have spent all their time becoming expert at. I'd rather paint! :-)

Now, here is something Joyce worked on last Saturday morning as she continued her exploration of Pan Pastels. She loves figure painting and drawing! She used a drawing from her sketch pad from sessions with life models for the following small piece which she did on a tan Pastelboard (7" or 8" high.) First---an early stage of her PanP work sitting next to her sketch book below.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-figure-1.jpg

By the time she had done what you see above, she'd used PanP's at least 45 minutes, counting the half-hour or so at the MAPS meeting on another piece. Below, Joyce continues to develop the piece. Notice the lines along the lower areas of the arms. Also along the jaw. Plus the variety in the pigment amount of the lights against the sheerer shadows. Interesting to compare the next two progressions.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-Figure-2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-Figure-3.jpg

Nice to see some of the little nuances that can be achieved. I remember Joyce needing to work out which sponge tool to use to lay in the light of the background under and beside the chin, nose, etc. I think this is part of the process of learning to use these (or any materials!) Seems like the mini-applicator or the triangle pale-blue handled tool is what worked for her.

It's really good to test out different uses of different tools---with different angles with different pressures. LOT of possibilities there, just as there are with our sticks! There, as well, the pressure, the angle, how we start and stop the stroke, make a huge difference in the effect! (Same with brushes, too!)

By the way---the burnt red-orange to dark red-cinnamon color gradation at the bottom right of the painting panel, with the holding tape pulled off, is a test of merging or blending color when stronger color impact was desired. Was not appropriate for the mood of this piece, but was something we were discussing for other works that might be done on this Pastelboard surface.

I like the atmosphere-y quality of Joyce's background. She envisioned this as a somewhat casual sketch/painting, in keeping with her pen drawing. I do love the way we can enjoy so many versions of drawing or sketching with PanP's as well as doing fully complete paintings. Her original sketch below.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-FigureSketch.jpg

Here are two details from this piece. First the head, with a wonderful tilt. The "features" barely hover at the edge of the face plane, yet they are fully readable with the subtle marks Joyce has made.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-Figure-detail-head.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/04-Dec-2007/77048-JoyceN-Figure-detail-shoulder.jpg

Look at the very lovely edges that Joyce has created! As I've said before, we can often tell the mastery of an artist by the edges. Luxurious here! And it's such a small work! Wonderful!

More tomorrow! Take good care! Donna ;-}

beaver creek
12-05-2007, 12:31 PM
I attempted to use the pan's for the first time today. Was very few stroke and the sponge tip had a hole in it! They do not seem to be very hardy... am I doing something wrong, or is it the paper I'm using? I don't think I covered an inch of paper!! I am using velour.... has any one else tried it on this? ( it did go on nice tho, but I don't think I can use the soft tips)
Jude

Donna A
12-05-2007, 04:15 PM
I attempted to use the pan's for the first time today. Was very few stroke and the sponge tip had a hole in it! They do not seem to be very hardy... am I doing something wrong, or is it the paper I'm using? I don't think I covered an inch of paper!! I am using velour.... has any one else tried it on this? ( it did go on nice tho, but I don't think I can use the soft tips)
Jude

Hi, Judi! Hmmmmmm. First thing that comes to mind is a faulty sponge tip. I'm assuming you are referring to one of the mini-applicators or the blue-handled tools---or the removable-head tools, all small tips. Loreta has done a lovely smaller piece on Velour (don't have a pic) with all the smaller tools and some of the bar sponges---and no problems, so---only thing I can think of is one of those once-in-a-while manufactured pieces that get through the quality-control lines. I've worked all my sponges pretty hard (and so have a LOT of other folks) and, aside from having two of the triangle sponge tips getting a bit 'pilly' or rough, no problems. So---an isolated fault seems the most likely.

I use a range of pressure from extremely gentle and slight---to a fairly firm pressure that, while significant in pressure, is not HARD. Velour and LaCarte are two papers that seem to be the least able to handle strong pressure. Might let the art supply place you ordered your materials from know and inquire about it's being replaced.

Could it be you??? Just does not seem likely. Yes, maybe maybe maybe---but seems like you'd need to be painting on concrete block with a jack-hammer. LOL! Or at least working the sponge tool much too hard, not loading the sponge adequately and often enough nor letting the pigment WORK for you.

Judi, how have the other sponge tools been working for you?

Between the MAPS meeting and my classes, I've seen about 70 or 80 people experimenting for a minimum of some 20 or 30 minutes to weeks and weeks---and no one of us have had an experience like yours---so it does seem like it has to be a fluke---faulty sponge tool absolutely most likely. I do hope you will carry on with other tools and find the magic in these Pan Pastels for you and your amazing paintings! Do keep us posted! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-05-2007, 05:01 PM
I attempted to use the pan's for the first time today. Was very few stroke and the sponge tip had a hole in it! They do not seem to be very hardy... am I doing something wrong, or is it the paper I'm using? I don't think I covered an inch of paper!! I am using velour.... has any one else tried it on this? ( it did go on nice tho, but I don't think I can use the soft tips)
Jude

I agree with Donna, it is probably a fluke. I've been playing around with the pans for about a week now and though the tips on the mini applicators are a wreck now and lets just say I'm not very gentle with them :D they are still somewhat usable

Donna A
12-05-2007, 07:41 PM
Hi, again! Thanks for adding your input, too WC.

Speaking of mini-tools---Louise brought in a great little package of new tiny tools which she bought for $2 for a package of 100 at CVS Drug Stores under their store name---#5 above. These are well-compressed cotton-y things, but they do offer some additional options for us. They won't hold anywhere near as much pigment---but they will hold some and let us lay down a fine-though-sometimes-irregular line or small types of marks. I have not had much time at all to play around with them, yet, including the rounded side which is shaped as a flat disc---but think they will be useful in several ways.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2007/77048-Mini-tools.jpg

#3 and #4 were brought in by Rick from the beauty supply store---two different brands. I've used the #3's a fair bit the last month or so and they are very handy---and I have used the #4's a bit since last Tuesday evening when he brought those for the MAPS meeting use---$3 for 30 in a little purple plastic 'barrel container.' The #3's were about @7.50 for 100. None of the #3-4-5 will hold nearly as much pigment as the Mini-applicator #2 from PanP---but they are really nice to have on hand as well.

The sponges from PanP are denser and seem to hold considerably more pigment and also deposit much more---so when that is vital, I really need the mini. Or the #1, which is the changeable head tool---and I can't find the handle right now. (My PanP's and the various tools are getting used all over the studio and---it's like herding cats!) :-) (an art I've been practicing for decades and still daunted!) :-)

I love the #1s and #2s for drawing, as well as for 'detailing' smaller areas of the paintings. Also love the triangle tip for smaller details--as well as for laying on a straight edge or line(s). Then next finest line or area that can be laid on is with the side of the mini. The #3 and #4 above are fatter in profile (especially #4,) so with depositing less pigment, just not as good for the very finest areas. The #5 will make some nice lines---and one of the artists today (Louise generously shared these with everyone today in class) and Jean actually used the pointed tip to rub sideways against her painting to pull some of the color areas together a bit.

Like we've talked about before---experiment! Ya never know what happy surprises can turn up! :-) And---happiest idea to experiment first on some test pieces before doing important pieces! :-) OR---experiment on those corners we occasionally paint ourselves into! (I've been really good at that over the decades!) Take good care! Donna ;-}

LoreneT
12-06-2007, 12:21 PM
Donna, you are so inspiring! Thanks for the tips! I've put PanPastels on my Christmas list, and there was a time last week when my spouse answered FedEx at the door and told me when I asked that mysteriously, they had delivered no package, nope, nothing at all... so I have hope. ;)

Donna A
12-06-2007, 08:12 PM
Donna, you are so inspiring! Thanks for the tips! I've put PanPastels on my Christmas list, and there was a time last week when my spouse answered FedEx at the door and told me when I asked that mysteriously, they had delivered no package, nope, nothing at all... so I have hope. ;)

Hi, Lorene! Inspiring is such a very lovely compliment. Thank you! It really is my pleasure! I LOVE your little story! LOL! and hee hee hee!!!! Now---you WILL let us know, won't you! Come 12-25-07 or so???? When you have a moment! :-) That is so fun!

I had such a treat today. And artist who studied with me till a couple of years ago went off to tend to family and life things and returned today. Always had loved seeing her works! Pretty amazing woman! Well---I told her she was welcome to work with my Pan Pastels, along with her other pastels---and she ended up doing most of her work with the PanP's---on Canson---and it was just wonderful, though with the Canson was having trouble getting things as dark as she wanted!

Kim said, "Pan Pastels make me look like I'm a really good artist!" LOL! Well, she is---but had not been painting much for ages. She said these were going immediately on to her Christmas list. Awwww. Well---I'm with her! I'll post a photo or two of what she did today---within the next 24 hours! I'm running off to the movies and dinner with the artists across the street in a few minutes! Wonderful folks!

And Linda finished her gorgeous White Linen painting today. Will post photos of that, too!

And---I got to looking at some of the blue-handled tool sponge covers (must learn the 'right' name for those one of these days) this afternoon---and---OK---there are some that are definitely looking like "they've been rode hard and put up wet!" :-) Very lovingly used by a lot of the KC area artists! But---still useful. Just not pristine! But---some really good painting under their respective belts! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Kathryn Day
12-07-2007, 12:31 AM
I finally used the pan pastels. I have the 20 landscape set, but used them on a cat painting. I used pan pastels for the underpainting, then used sticks and pencils to finish. I must say they go on very smoothly and cover very well. Blending the transitions of colors is very easy. I finished this in about two hours and doing the underpainting is what helped to speed the process.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/7947-cat_013.jpg

Donna A
12-07-2007, 03:44 AM
Hi, Kathryn! Wonderful painting! I love the rich variety in the textures of the hairs in different areas. Great colors, shapes and I just enjoy the whole feel of the piece. (Wonder what that little cat is so intently focused on, too!) :-) Well done! Thank you for sharing with us! Look forward to seeing more!

I mentioned in a post earlier this afternoon that Kim had returned to class after a couple of years of life and family---and did a fast painting of a set up that Louise had made yesterday with things of her husband's---some extremely character-filled and well-used cowboy boots, hat, bandana, etc! This was the first painting that Kim has done in a good while---and she decided to try the PanP's.

She said she was loving working with them---and by the time class was over, said that these PanP's were going on her Christmas list. Here's what she painted in just over 2 hours---over a wonderfully expressive charcoal drawing. I think she absolutely captured the spirit of the boots!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/77048-Kim-boots.jpg

Kim was working on a sheet of Canson, and was disappointed that she was not getting some of the darks she was wanting. She had not yet been using any of the black pigment, nor her stick pastels. The Canson does not hold as much pigment as sanded papers, so sometimes does not deliver as much impact as we could want.

One of the things she observed as she was working today was that there was such a feeling of painting---and she reminded me of her short experience with oil painting which had not been a pleasing experience---and thought that this might serve as a bridge to oil painting while still being a great enhancement to pastel painting. I know there are a lot of us who enjoy painting in more than one medium. So, just thought this was an interesting thought she had.

Linda finished her beautiful White Linen piece this afternoon. She had made a change in the fabric that laid over the crock last Saturday and today worked a lot on finishing that change (which she re-changed considerably Saturday and was happy to discover that she could make significant changes---and rather easily.) She also worked on the table areas and background.

She really did a great job of developing a good "touch" for loading up a bar sponge evenly and well with several colors---and then laying the bar flat against the painting with gentle pressure to "glaze" over the painting with a new color. She achieved some beautiful nuances, giving even more atmosphere plus accomplishing the desired changes she was after. I'll include a picture of the state of the painting a couple of weeks ago, plus Saturday's and the final today, along with the original photo of the actual still life. A reminder---Linda was working from the actual still life.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-5.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-LC-fin.jpg

Above the finished painting, below a photo of the still life, a bit too orangey.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Dec-2007/77048-WhiteLinen-Still_Life.jpg

I hope you can find some of the variations from week to week (and please pardon my inconsistent color in the photos) in Linda's painting---and see how well you can make very minor to quite major changes in shapes and colors. The piece is 28"x20" on Soft Umber Colourfix paper.

I think Linda was able to capture the qualities in the subject and the effect of the light beautifully. Today, she said that she found that new little pointed cotton-y swab really handy to hone some of the tiny areas in the painting. We did have to talk her out of "fixing" a few of the painterly areas. LOL! One of my profs forever ago used to say, "it takes two people to do a painting---one to paint it and another to grab it out of the artist's hands!" It's good to have friends!

More tomorrow. Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-08-2007, 09:59 PM
Hi, Everyone! Let's look at using Pan Pastel OVER stick pastels and then using stick pastels for final accents (all of which can be applied to any subjects, as appropriate for each artist!!!)---plus portrait painting---along with 'gentle' effects.

We've seen some wonderful works from Louise earlier in this thread. She's been focusing on several portraits lately and they've been exciting---with both the treat they give the viewer as well as some innovative use of her materials (most often watercolor on Colourfix with stick pastels and finished off with PanP's!) She just finished a portrait of the grandson of a friend of hers---and there are some lovely things to learn from this painting about portraits in general and working them with PanP's---ETC! She had one of those challenges of needing to employ more than one photo, melding them together---and---(as some say) she ruled! :-)

First, Louise shares with us some comments that she wrote out after having finished the little boy's portrait below this week.
I am enjoying using Pan Pastels for pastel portraits because the sponge application of soft colors makes the delicate softness for cheeks and chins. The gentle gradations of skin tone can be blended with ease and sensitivity.

Now that I have tried Pan Pastels, when I try to work in the stick pastels at home, without the Pans, I am frustrated because PanPs create an effect that just isn't possible with sticks.

For instance, when describing highlights in the hair, one can sponge on an undercoat of light over dark, then put variations of color into that passage. Then one can go in for highlights with a smaller PanP applicator, and finish with a fine hair stroke with a stick pastel or pastel pencil.

For broad sweeping areas that are soft, the stick pastels can't compare. The sticks leave the color on the high spots of the grain of the paper. The stroke of strong pigment with larger sponge applicators leaves color on top of the grain, but also into the grain, blended evenly and beautifully, with no finger rubbing needed to smooth it out. —Louise Davis

Here is the 'rough in' of the portrait on Canson using her stick pastels. The little fellow had had such a great time playing in the water! Louise began with 'that wet hair-do' in the original photo, but exchanged what he'd been holding in his hand with his favorite toy, the green ball, and eventually---the look his hair has when it's dry from another photo.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2007/77048-LD-LittleBoy-rough-in.jpg

Unfortunately (duh!) I didn't get a photo of the photo of him with his gorgeous blonde hair DRY, posed at the same angle as he's sitting in in the original photo. Below is a comparison of Louise's original rough-in to the changes she made for the final painting, using the PanP's with accents from her stick pastels. A lovely sandwich of 'delivery methods of pastel!' :-)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2007/77048-end.jpg

I hope you can see at least some of what I was seeing IRL (in real life!) Louise was able to add so many gentle passages to the stick pastel work. Gentle in the 'mellowness' but extremely strong in the positive impact on the painting!

She was able to 'SCULPT' the various planes in a way that gave more strength as well as more subtlety! That is a pretty good pay-off! And the platform it set up for the final details with both the smallest PanP sponge tools as well as the final strokes of her sticks was wonderful!

Look at that blonde hair! The range of lights to darks, the warms to cools, the high to low intensities! Wow! You got it all! Along with the masses of the planes and the fine qualities of the hair! Beautiful and striking!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2007/77048-LD-LittleBoy-hair-detail.jpg

It's really important to FEEL the way we lay the stick of pastel or the sponge tool loaded with Pan Pastel against our painting surface. For anyone who has not read earlier posts---fairly early, I think, about the variations in pressure and variations in how we set down and lift from each stroke, you might find some interesting ideas on reviewing.

Honor that magic connection point of the pigment and the painting!

I really think it's magic. I live in that connection point when I'm painting. Honoring it. It's the center of the 'universe' that I'm making happen as a painting---that any of us are making happen as a painting. In classes or workshops, no matter the medium, I talk about that point---that feeling we need to experience constantly!!! Constantly! That is where the painting happens. It begins inside us, in our intuitive, filtering though us the imagery we are looking at---or sometimes totally imagining---and then expressing on to the painting.

The loving sensitivity we use in laying down our pigment shows in the final painting. This comes into play so much with the Pan Pastels as it does with every other painting medium!!! Give that to yourself!

I think Louise offers some lovely lessons in painting. She did such a great job of capturing the dry hair in the 'other' photo, in addition to other qualities. And last---she also accomplished a great way of finishing off the lower area of the portrait with her suggestions of folds of the little fellow's overalls, melding into the paper color with wonderful shapes of lights and darks using a combination of PanP's and sticks to achieve the suggestions of folds. Enjoy! Donna ;-}

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/08-Dec-2007/77048-LD-LittleBoy-cloting_detail.jpg

Donn
12-09-2007, 12:22 AM
What a lovely portrait of the boy. I can see that the PanPastels work a lot differently. I can't do people, but sure hope to be able to use them of other subjects after Christmas. Yes, can't get to them until then!
As someone else said, after getting theirs they had to start from the beginning and read all over again.
All this information needs to be put into a nice booklet to be digested leasurely. I know you can print this out, but that's a lot of pages!
BTW, I just my first drawing of a tree on Wallis Beige Mist paper. Never used sanded paper before. It sure goes on differently. Pastels used were NuPastels, Rembrandts and Cretacolor pastel pencil.
It's on my Flickr.

Donna A
12-11-2007, 02:38 PM
Hi, Everyone! Here's another lovely portrait of a little boy. And Donn, you are so right---the Pan Pastels do behave differently---in that they connect with the painting surface differently, which gives a wonderful variety when used with our sticks---and then there are other differences, as well. But the painting I'll share right now---the finish of one you saw in earlier stages in this thread---is a piece where the PanP's were introduced late into the painting and were wonderfully effective in the jobs they did. (You'll see one more in the following post.) Thought these might be interesting for you to see---in case you are as I was when I first saw them at IAPS---thinking these were maybe only most useful for underpaintings.

But first (by the by) one of the things about doing people---I still think it is ultimately about shapes of colors, as it is with any other subject---with any other painting---at least in general---and then PLANES! The planes of the face---or figure! With good lighting! Goodness that makes such a difference, too! Eyes-nose-mouth things play important roles certainly, but planes---as the lighting falls over them in various ways---so very basic and important to SEE and to make use of in capturing the essence of the subject! Won't go into the issues of our seeing things as Objects vs. seeing them as Shapes of Colors---other than to say that Obj. is Left Hemisphere (a GREAT place to be when balancing your checkbook!!!) and Shapes of Colors is very Right Hemisphered (intuitive, sensing and a FABULOUS place to be when Painting!!!) But that could be a whole 'nother thread sometime! (HUGE important issue!!!)

Now for the portrait of this other little boy by Louise! This is from her wonderful series of paintings (both portraits and landscapes) with watercolors as a lush foundation, laid on in a range of broad, loose strokes to some rather fine areas of brushwork---using various paler colors of Colourfix (which takes wc beautifully.) Then she comes in with her stick pastels with a full range of strokes, broad and fine, very gentle to emphatic pressure for some striking variety---and then with the recent portraits, she come in with Pan Pastels for the still different effects and qualities that they offer.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-LD-W+grndson.jpg

Here is a detail of the finished little grandbaby's face. Louise was delighted that she could endow the softness of the little face so easily using the PanP's, which contrasts with the look of the textures made by her pastel sticks and the sometimes abrupt edges of the watercolor, which she finds exciting. The PanP's can be used in varying amounts of sheerness to opacity to mellow or completely cover those contrasting edges and textures where desired.

When we rub our stick pastels strokes into the painting we can be further grinding* the sparkling grains of pigment, sometimes destroying the full beauty of the pigment's crystal. I'm glad to have a way of putting on a sheer layer of pastel where the full integrity of the pigment grain is preserved to deliver best visual richness. Yet, sometimes, rubbing in the stick pastel strokes is a great benefit in that it can "drab down" the pigment's color and make a very desirable contrast to fresh new sparkling strokes laid on over them. It just depends on the effects, the impact that we want. Being aware of the range of possibilities seems ever so useful in gaining even more modes of expression!

*Professional color makers grind a pigment to its perfect fineness---and each pigment has different requirements (some larger grains, some smaller)---and each also needs different amounts of binder (whether gum tragacanth for our pastels or linseed oil for oils, etc. Quite an art in itself!) And pastels can sparkle with that quality which they can deliver like no other medium! Pretty exciting!

Here is the full final painting by Louise.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-LD-W+grndson-fin.jpg

In this painting, even with the mellow color scheme and quiet figures in a quiet setting, it has a visual richness of values and textures, variations in edges and in color nuances, dynamic energies and varying color shapes, etc! The PanP's were used primarily on the skin areas of both figures to accomplish several different things, some of which are noted above and some in earlier posts on this thread. Thank you, Louise! I hope this inspires some of you to experiment with some combined-medium techniques that might open up something exciting for your personal style of painting! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-11-2007, 04:40 PM
Hi, again, Everyone! Here is a second painting where Pan Pastels have been used later in the painting and for specific effect or ease. You have seen the earlier stages of this 40"x28" pastel painting on Soft Umber Colourfix by Beverly---her second of two paintings of markets in Burma. Bev travels a great deal and has done works from her photos from around the world---plus some wonderful portraits and figure paintings---as well as landscape paintings from her own gorgeous garden and pond and woods (where we often have plein air classes or workshops---and just a few blocks from me!) And then there are her sumptuous bouquets!

Bev uses "rubbing in" of the pastel strokes as well as any pastel painter I've seen. Note the bottom middle of the painting below for one tiny example. On the other hand---the shadows along the left side of the painting on the ground as well as the building behind the distant figures is all Pan Pastel---and some areas in the sky/tree-leaf areas. It contrasts so well with the individual strokes of pastel with which she has "built" the rest of the painting! She delivers strokes with such intent and vigor and appropriateness. You can see a few of her works one her MidAmerica Gallery page: http://www.midamericapastel.org/GalleryArtists/Beverly_Rose.htm Blush---can't find her fairly new web site address.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket-2-fin.jpg

Below is a detail of the ground shadows to the left of the people and veggies at the market---hoping you can see the difference in the textures of the pastel strokes with sticks vs. the PanP's. They compliment each other beautifully.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket-detail-1.jpg

And just for the fun of it---a detail from an inner area of the painting where Bev was not using any of the PanP's---just to see more of the wonderful textures she achieves. She's letting some of the Soft Umber Cfix show through, too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket-detail-2.jpg

And last---here is another detail with a combination of PanP's and stick pastels again. In this photo, they are pretty much laid on back and forth---and---I think I'd better get the tripod out! I promise! But hope this still gives you a bit of an idea of how these look when they play back and forth with each other. There is rubbing and PanP's and strokes and rubbing and PanP's and strokes and so on! But---yes---looks better IRL!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-BR-BurmaMarket-2-detail-3.jpg

Hope you can try out some experiments like this just to see broader possibilities! I always look at it like trying on shoes! Have to see what fits and what does not! :-) And sometimes---what we least expect to work for us surprises us happily! Have fun! See what happens! Maybe give things a few tries! You never know...! :-) Enjoy! Donna ;-}

bluefish
12-11-2007, 06:50 PM
Donna - love every wonderful word that you so graciously acknowledge - I'm recommending to North Light that they publish your book on the subject!

But, as usual, I have a few questions. Lets consider a landscape, which you excel at - using LaCarte and Pan pastels only, would you spray the finished painting with Lascaux( light, multi-coats?)? Same painting on linen canvas,( raw canvas or primed for pastel), would you do the Lascaux thing?

Linen canvas and Pan Pastels - could we get away with a few coats of Lascaux, then a matt acrylic (maybe Krylon) spray job(maybe three coats) and frame as an oil/acrylic without a glass cover? This is a very interesting concept and since you love to experiment, maybe it would be worth a try - sure would love to hear how it turns out!

This is one of the best threads ever on WC - your enthusiasm is infectious!

your good friend, 'bluefish':wave:

Dougwas
12-11-2007, 10:11 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Bluefish. I have learned so much from this thread, I can't wait until Christmas to open my PanP's. They arrived today and my wife has already wrapped them. I don't think she trusts me.:angel:

Doug
(14 days to go)

Donna A
12-11-2007, 10:53 PM
I couldn't agree with you more, Bluefish. I have learned so much from this thread, I can't wait until Christmas to open my PanP's. They arrived today and my wife has already wrapped them. I don't think she trusts me.:angel:

Doug
(14 days to go)

LOL, Doug! I ever-so suspect you're just confirming your wife's great intelligence and wisdom---not to mention insight into your character! hee hee hee! :-) BUT---then your heart, as well!!!! Hey---remember---the other day---it was 23 days! You're gainin'! And---they're on home turf, now! You're doin' good!

And---thank you so much, Doug!!! You are going to have soooo much fun! Joyful best wishes!!! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-11-2007, 11:43 PM
this thread has inspired me to get the 20 piece landscape set to try out (which I haven't done any of yet, but did quite a few portraits) which I love using and was going to get the complete set after the new year, but couldn't resist the urge and decided to get it while it is on sale at Dakota. Guess my Christmas bill just got bigger :D Anyhow, I want to thank you again for this thread or I probably would not have even tried the pans.

Donna A
12-11-2007, 11:48 PM
Donna - love every wonderful word that you so graciously acknowledge - I'm recommending to North Light that they publish your book on the subject!

But, as usual, I have a few questions. Lets consider a landscape, which you excel at - using LaCarte and Pan pastels only, would you spray the finished painting with Lascaux( light, multi-coats?)? Same painting on linen canvas,( raw canvas or primed for pastel), would you do the Lascaux thing?

Linen canvas and Pan Pastels - could we get away with a few coats of Lascaux, then a matt acrylic (maybe Krylon) spray job(maybe three coats) and frame as an oil/acrylic without a glass cover? This is a very interesting concept and since you love to experiment, maybe it would be worth a try - sure would love to hear how it turns out!

This is one of the best threads ever on WC - your enthusiasm is infectious!

your good friend, 'bluefish':wave:

Hi, bluefish! Ahhhh! Thank you!!!! And then Thank you!!!

Questions are marvelous! The beginning of many wonderful discoveries! :-)

I would probably not fix the LaCarte with Pan Pastels-only. (btw--another thank you!) The layers I built up doing the rich earth tones on the LaCarte, layers over layers over layers---seemed rich-but-sheer-enough to 'belong' to the surface. (image on a previous post)

I didn't spray the paintings with PanP's-only on the Colourfix before framing---and there, I built up a LOT more layers still! So---being a huge believer in fixative for 'regular' pastel paintings----no---I would not fix a PanP-only painting on LaCarte. That is a huge statement on behalf of what I have experienced with these.

Haven't tried PanP's on raw or only-gessoed canvas. But---hmmm---had not thought of raw canvas. (see eyes light with gleaming sparkles.) (heh heh heh!) With the Colourfix-primed gessoed-stretched canvas.

I did find it very useful to fix the purely PanP-painting to 'anchor' the pigment. What I'm assuming is that---between the 'open' texture of canvas weave along with the finer texture of either the regular Cfix primer or the quite impressive Cfix SuperTooth primer---the pigment just has even more spaces to build up in---but the canvas has some rather 'open' areas where the pigment is not 'as captured. This is utterly unscientific---so I'm just surmising. I just know that I will fix, mid-way thru, any paintings I'm doing on Cfix'ed canvas with Pan Pastels or any other brand of pastels!

Linen canvas and Pan Pastels---another wonderful question! I have tried the Krylon and it's pretty harsh and does significantly darken the pigments. I did like the results of spraying the gessoed>Colourfix Primer'ed cotton canvas with diluted acrylic medium. (Only beads up on Colourfix papers.) But the little sprayer from the hardware store loves to stop up. So---aggrevation there! But did not darken tooo badly! Just a bit. And if planned/painted for---it works! Testing more in this area has been on my list of To-Do's---so---guess I ought to just jump into that and find out still more! I have all manner of sprays to experiment with!

Certainly one of the main fantasies of many pastel painters is framing w/o glass. :-)

A dear friend---Loreta Feeback---one of the co-founders of MAPS and our first prez---came over a couple of Saturdays ago and we played with some things about the glassless framing. (some notes about that afternoon of adventure in past posts on this thread.) We did end up a bit on the disappointed side---BUT---we did find that the PanP's gave a far finer, lovelier final surface for spraying than our dearly beloved stick pastels, in some cases, which could be pretty 'gloppy and clumpy.' Yes---Loreta is still teasing me for those terms!

Since the grand ice-storm-lasting-several-days has inspired me to postpone yet another class this week---tomorrow morning---I certainly have some "extra" time! OK---I'll experiment! Yes---I DO love it! :-) I'll report!

This has been a grand adventure and I'm glad it seems "one of the best!" I love the idea of us all being cheerleaders for each other, finding what suits us each best and relishing our colors and our painting and our expression of the beauty all around us!

OK--I just have to share a photo I took from my front porch this afternoon! Kansas City and several states surrounding look like a sugar-coated fairyland! This is the Corkscrew Willow in my front yard, from my porch.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/11-Dec-2007/77048-CorkscrewWillow-Ice-KC.jpg

Supposed to get worse this evening. Goodness! But not like 5 years ago when the power in this neighborhood and soo many others was out for 9.5 days. Thank goodness for friends! :-) Pardon the Off Topic---but---it LOOKS gorgeous! LOL! And one more thank you, bluefish! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-12-2007, 03:54 PM
Donna, sure glad you missed the worst of the ice storm. Know what it's like being without electricity of 9 days, we had it here a few years ago when Florida got hit with 4 hurricanes. Lovely photo of the tree in your front yard. I'll let you have it. Too cold for me!
But back to PanPastels, looks like quite a few of us went out and bought them inspired by your thread here. Glad I'm not the only one. Looks like I'm in the same boat as Doug.....have to wait until Christmas for ours. PanPastel should be grateful!

PeggyB
12-12-2007, 05:18 PM
Donna - love every wonderful word that you so graciously acknowledge - I'm recommending to North Light that they publish your book on the subject!

This is one of the best threads ever on WC - your enthusiasm is infectious!

your good friend, 'bluefish':wave:

I second what Blue wrote above. And the sooner that book is published, whether North Light or another major art book publisher, the better it will be for everyone who is enjoying and experimenting with the PanPs. :) Then again, it takes time to write books and that would be time Donna isn't allowed to play on WC - that could be a mixed blessing indeed... Hey Blue, do you know how to create a 36 hour day so Donna can quickly accomplish all that we are asking of her? :lol:

Peggy

bluefish
12-12-2007, 07:29 PM
Donna - that tree photo is magnificent - only you could paint it utilizing your Pan Pastels. What a challenge to do all those twisted branches covered with ice utilizing the small tools via the Pan Pastel sets. A work in progress utilizing those small, delicate tools would be marvelous to see and we could call it chapter four in "Donna's Pan Pastel Festivities"!( a North Light best seller).

Peggy - good friends make 36 hour days - while Donna is experimenting for us and cleverly noting it in her manuscript, her good friends are helping with the dishes, cleaning, scrubbing, cooking, laundry, etc - you are a VERY GOOD FRIEND - right??????:lol:

PeggyB
12-13-2007, 01:12 PM
Peggy - good friends make 36 hour days - while Donna is experimenting for us and cleverly noting it in her manuscript, her good friends are helping with the dishes, cleaning, scrubbing, cooking, laundry, etc - you are a VERY GOOD FRIEND - right??????:lol:

Well I hope Donna considers me a good friend, even a very good friend, but since she lives in Kansas and I live in Washington state I sorta think the drive from my house to hers each day would be a bit much! :lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe you could drop by from New Jersey? more :lol:
Peggy

bluefish
12-13-2007, 05:48 PM
Love to, but I'm so busy promoting the new North Light best seller, " Donna's Pa Pastel Fantasies" that I don't have time to 'tie on my apron'!:lol:

Just got her elected " Miss Pan Pastel - 2008"!;)

Haven't heard from Donna lately - she is probably so busy experimenting with her Pan Pastels or has lost her power due to the ice storm - lets hope it's the former!

'bluefish':smug:

Donna A
12-13-2007, 11:40 PM
Ohhhh, Peggy and bluefish---LOL!!! You two wonders are just cracking me up! :-) I love it!

Soooo----how can you possibly think that JUST being hither in Washington state or thither in New Jersey would constitute a significant excuse for not running over every few days ...? :-) But ONLY a few states' distances aside, could we still do something about that 36-hour day somehow??? hee hee hee!

Have been busy plus out and about---and NOT painting enough---till manana---and then---whoosh! Hardly going to come up for air for a few days (she fantasizes!) :-) Having a little trouble deciding which one of so many lush subjects I want to paint next! That's my kind of problem! :-) NOOOO, not that gorgeous icy landscape outside! Though did take more photos of it today! There was actually some bright light in the sky they call something like---let's see if I can remember the word--- oh, yes---SUN!!!

Today in class (had to cancel Monday afternoon and Wednesday morning with the ice) another artist tried the Pan Pastels for the first time and Kim (who did the boots last week) was excited to use them again. We spent a good long time in class first with my sharing some ideas about color, using a pastel I'd done with several red tangerines and the same tea tin and several other very yellow-orange objects, so they only had about two hours to work on their paintings so far. Kim is working on a half-sheet of Soft Umber Colourfix (=14"x20") and Karen L, a quarter sheet of the same paper. Here is Kim's beginning and the current middle stage of the painting by the end of class.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2007/77048-KH-YO-RoseVase-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2007/77048-KH-YO-RoseVase-2.jpg

I wish I'd gotten a photo of Kim's charcoal drawing. She fully embraced the color shapes very much as a single color shape of yellow orange, as well as some form or plane-dividing lines as well. The contrasts in curves and straight lines along with the repetitions of shapes was something that Kim was wonderfully aware of and made great use of from the beginning. Very powerful. Below is the photo of the actual still life that Kim and Karen and several other artists were using as their source. I took this photo from between their two easels.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2007/77048-_YO-RoseVase-photo.jpg

Teaching color is something extremely important to me---and you'll see it in my Mastering Color dvd series---including some of the yellow-orange items above. What I've found is that teaching color with objects of several different colors, such as a yellow lemon, a blue bowl, a red cloth and a green vase---the painter can do ANYTHING in each of those hues and not have the grand challenge that working from several things that are the same local color!!! With the same local color---how is it that we can even tell them from each other? What is happening that lets us notice the variations in form, placement, texture and so on? Well---it's NOT the local color! You might have a bit of fun observing some of the differences within the temperature, value and intensity of this yellow-orange local color. I'll attach my Yellow Fabric Experiment which tells about setting up similar lighting conditions to this still life---and what to look for and how to use this as a marvelous color-SEEING and learning exercise! Do give it a try. Pretty amazing what artists from many levels of experience can discover or strengthen!

Here is Karen L's beginning, working on a much smaller paper. She drew in the composition very softly with a fine graphite pencil, using simply the four yellow-orange objects. She did a wonderful job of roughing in the 'patch-work quilt' pieces of the color areas as Kim did, each with their own styles. Although, as far as one's natural style goes, working with a whole new version of a medium---as Karen put it so well (I'm badly paraphrasing) "every new stroke is a complete surprise as to what will happen at first." LOL!!! I totally agreed with her!

Yes---you're walking into unknown territory---so some things will be much harder in finding the best ways of handling the tools, becoming aware of what the colors will do, how they respond to the painting surface! But I found that there are so many similarities to be discovered once we've worked with any two or three mediums and find coordinating qualities. And that can be so wonderfully useful when we begin making those comparisons.

I've been constantly surprised by the similarities I come across in using PanP's with other ways of painting in pastels---and in other mediums. Not unlike in languages---the word in English=garden, French=jardin, Spanish=jardino, Portuguese=jardim, Italian=giardino and German=Garten---for example. All the 'same' yet each different in spelling and sound---but the 'same!' So I believe that the more aware we are, the more sensitive we are to 'same-ness' and connectedness, the more that can help us, strengthen us in our creative expressions! And then that same sensitivity to the differences, as well!

OK---here is Karen L's beginning. Look at the way she is already---from the very beginning---noting some very significant differences in the planes of the tin tea box! Wonderful! The enameled up has some planes of the curved form built in already. The bowl I bought in Taos already has higher and lower intensities as well as values started.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2007/77048-KL-YO-RoseVase-1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Dec-2007/77048-KL-YO-RoseVase-2.jpg

Here is a mid-stage view above. That cup is great! The rich reddish reflected light that comes in from the interior of the handle glowing against the side, the cooler (bluish shadowed) plane and to it's left, the rich yellow-orange plane hit by the yellowy-orange incandescent light! Gorgeous little glow of light on the rim already. That yellow bowl does tend to often go very rich red-orange on the interior with its reflected light bouncing around and around and around, constantly intensifying itself! Karen has done a lovely job of pushing the bluish shadow on the orange, though still will be refining the shape and other qualities of it for the finished work. I love the exterior of the bowl, too, by the way. Karen handled it in a very different style than Kim---and both utterly based on reality! They each took the visual information a different way, yet it's there---actual effects that we can SEE when looking at the real thing! And---see a fairly good amount in the photo. Remember I'm a huge fan of working from real life! Yes---I do a lot of landscapes from my photos now, but---only after decades of work from real life learning what things really, really look like in different conditions, etc! Give that to yourself! It's a feast! Save your snacks from photos for later! :-) We have a whole gorgeous world every which way we turn around where ever we are this moment! Relish!!! :-)

Goodness---another long collection of thoughts. Well, hope something sparks some inspiration for you! Now---I wonder what those great, dear characters Peggy and bluefish might come up with now. LOL! Well---since they aren't going to come vacuum or do windows---(hah! such flimsy excuses!) we'll just have to settle for their lovely paintings and their brilliant thoughts! Take good care, everyone! Joyful painting!!! Donna ;-}

bluefish
12-14-2007, 07:15 AM
Wow Donna - you are amazing - you have those students 'singing' with the Pan Pastels! Since you stated you had some free time to 'play' some more with your Pan's how about going over to the 'glassless area' again.

I had to re-read your comment on NOT fixing the Pans on La Carte - I have always concurred with you 100% on fixing but you have found that the Pans adhere differently and more positively(in some cases) then our sticks - therefore to find a surface similar to La Carte but mounted on a masonite material that can be framed like an oil. I've always found 'pastelboard' to have a similar surface and it is on masonite. If we do a 'Donna A' landscape on 'pastelboard', then fix it lightly with Lascaux fixative( to lightly seal the surface with a transparent acrylic coating), then using a very soft mop brush we brush lascaux acrylic medium over the surface in one direction, let dry thoroughly, brush a second coat in a perpendicular(90 degree) direction, let dry and frame in a oil/acrylic type frame. We should have a painting with all the appearances of a pastel but none of the glare of glass!

I have done the above successfully with 'oil pastel'paintings but have stopped here and not gone on further. Pan pastels may give us the latitude to do the above, which until now we could not do with the sticks! In order to be archival, we would need to go one step further - we would need to coat our painting with a solvent varnish, which I'm afraid would darken it and make it look more like an oil than a pastel( this is only speculation on my part, it would have to be tested for accurate results). A hundred years from now, the restorer could remove the outside coat of varnish, not touching the pastel that is sealed by the acrylic medium, recoat and it would be good for another 100 years.

I became aware of the Pan Pastels at the time of IAPS but considered them a 'fad', much like 'hoola-hoops' (c'mon Donna, you remember Hoola-Hoops, Peggy probably still has her's in her garage:lol: ) but you certainly have changed my mind - I'm also ready to purchase the full set - waiting to see how you make out with the above mentioned 'bluefish glassless theory'! 'bluefish':wave:

Donna A
12-15-2007, 02:16 AM
Wow Donna - you are amazing - you have those students 'singing' with the Pan Pastels! Since you stated you had some free time to 'play' some more with your Pan's how about going over to the 'glassless area' again.

Hi, bluefish! Thank you! :-) Those wonderful artists I'm lucky enough to work with are indeed doing some lovely works with the PanP's. They seem to be quite fascinated---and I've been glad to let them use my colors till theirs arrive (or get unwarpped!) :-) We have artists working in pastels, oil, acrylic and watercolor, many of them in more than one medium, so it's always exciting to see what's cookin'! And also great to see so many different styles, so often looking at the same still life or the same model and each finding their own vision and expression!

I had to re-read your comment on NOT fixing the Pans on La Carte - I have always concurred with you 100% on fixing but you have found that the Pans adhere differently and more positively(in some cases) then our sticks....

Yes. I'm assuming it is due in part to the sheerness of the PanP's that they can "belong" to the textured surface so well. For me to be totally comfortable in not fixing a pastel painting---wow! The ones I've framed so far have certainly gone under glass.

But---for the Colorado River landscape and the portrait of Jim, the first two pieces I did on the Colourfix-primed canvases, I definitely was moved to fix those during the painting process as well as once they were finished. I did not plan them as pastel paintings I would seal with a material that would prevent a need for glass.

I decided to work with your suggestion from yesterday's post to do a Pan Pastel on canvas with the idea of sealing it to frame without glass. I've done a small piece---11"x14"---with a canvas I primed a couple of weeks ago with Colourfix Primer rolled on. Think I like it brushed on better---an for the canvas, probably the SuperTooth better---but this canvas was one where I rolled on the primer.

I've taken step-by-step photos except for the final. Ran out of natural light since I was shooting the piece on the easel, so will shoot the final photo tomorrow and then crop, square and size the photos to upload. I'm liking the painting. I fixed it quite well and then a while later also sprayed on a layer of areosol acrylic spray to give a bit of a waterproof layer. The fix and even more, the acrylic spray darkened the pigment considerably---but I had painted it PLANNING on it going darker. Tomorrow I will give the painting a few good coats of acrylic medium, which I'll apply with a brush. The pigment is at a point already where it will not rub off. Then I'll photo that, too and upload progression of photos of it---probably not till tomorrow evening. Will work on yet another painting tomorrow. Have had fun going through photos this evening of pieces I've been yearning to do! I want to work on a larger piece. And curious to do a serious effort where I am going to be using both the PanP's and my sticks on purpose from the beginning. Maybe experimenting with PanP's purely as an underpainting---which I have not done yet.

When I varnish---I use a bristle brush and various directions of the brush, but don't know that it matters as long as it gives us the outcome we want/need and it works at a good comfort level for us!

By the way---this new PanP on canvas has a great texture that really is showing off the texture of the canvas--- and is not at all giving the "lumpy, clumpy look" that I have seen on some of the pastel pieces done for a "glassless" framing. So that is pleasing me very much. That little head-study sketch I did the afternoon that Loreta came over and we used her acrylic medium or diluted PVA sprayers , the PanP piece looked really good then, too. OH---and at the MAPS meeting demoing in November, there was a sink in the meeting room, so I just walked over and turned the faucet on, stuck the little canvas under the water's stream and rubbed with my hand a bit to let them see how well sealed that first little piece was. Yes---had already tested that at home so I knew it was OK. :-)

I can't think off hand of a way to fix/seal the pigment well enough for glassless framing without darkening the pigment. When I'm fixing my paintings, I spray once-over quickly and let it dry, then repeat then repeat---a number of times, always letting the fix dry for at least several minutes before the next application. A slight nuisance--but--my pastel paintings don't darken. But---then I do frame them with glass. We have to get the pigment wet to darken it. That's the key. I don't know if we could build up enough protective layers doing such very thin layers over and over and over to eventually achieve a glassless framing---while not darkening the pigment. As I said, I planned for darkening as I was painting. Some of it still went a bit darker than I wish it had, but----all in all---looks pretty good.

I became aware of the Pan Pastels at the time of IAPS but considered them a 'fad', much like 'hoola-hoops' (c'mon Donna, you remember Hoola-Hoops, Peggy probably still has her's in her garage ) but you certainly have changed my mind - I'm also ready to purchase the full set - waiting to see how you make out with the above mentioned 'bluefish glassless theory'! 'bluefish'

LOL! Hoola-hoops---trying to forget them! :-) NEVER could master them! :-) I was visiting on the phone with a friend out of town this evening who was also at IAPS and we'd talked then a bit about the "seriousness" or not of these. He said he's heard so much positive now from artists he's talked to and is really impressed. He was commenting, as I think we have also talked about---about how Pan Pastels are the first truly new addition to the world of fine artist materials in a significantly long time. Completely innovative and---it seems to me---something where we have to wrap our heads around them in a new way where we can't just totally 'slide' into using them based only on how we would handle their "cousins"---our stick pastels. So it's pretty exciting, all in all.

Well---off to rest up for tomorrow's adventures! Hope my silly Cassie cat doesn't want to keep playing every few hours tonight! Grrrr! More tomorrow! Take good care, all! Donna ;-}

ps---in my last post I promised to upload the Yellow Fabric Experiment and forgot. Pardon. Here t'is! It's pretty amazing what you can SEE in color setting it up as noted in the exercise! Enjoy! D ;-}

bluefish
12-15-2007, 08:21 AM
Donna

What a wonderful piece of reporting on your experiments with the Pan Pastels - speaking for the artists 'worldwide', we really appreciate all you efforts and knowledge that you share with all of us!

It appears that we have to put a minimum 'crust' layer of fixative(finite acrylic coating) and NOT spray anymore acrylic spray on the painting prior to the 'soft brushed' medium being applied. Just want to put a miniscule layer of protective fix so that the Pan pastels do not come off on the brush and the miniscule layer is adequate to prevent the pastel from absorbing the medium(thus darkening). The medium molecular structure will bond to the existing fixative molecular structure, without penetrating through to the pastel layer, and we will have a 'glassless' pastel painting to display!

No question in my mind, we're going to solve this!!!!!! :thumbsup:

Can't wait to see your pictures of all the work you have described - again thank you ever so kindly for sharing all of this with us!

'bluefish': :wave:

Donna A
12-16-2007, 02:11 AM
Hi, again! Thank you very much, bluefish! It's a fascinating journey!

Here are pics from yesterday's painting on an 11"x14" canvas primed with Colourfix and finally sealed for glassless framing. I painted on it again today a bit to pull up some of the rich, intense warms again, and they held better since I knew to make them even lighter---plus they had yesterday's light and intensity underneath them.

Bluefish had asked me about doing something with the PanPastels for glassless framing---and we know that anything that goes on wet will darken the pigment. So the only trouble is---when we add more white, it not only lightens but also kills the intensity of the of the color, so---since I had picked a photo where there was a LOT of intense warm sunlight---I, of course, wanted BOTH light and intense warmth---but did think with this photo I would have a better chance of keeping the a good measure of the visual richness even knowing I would loose some of the light. I took this photo at Halsey, Nebraska where I was giving a workshop. This was September at sunset in the Sand Hills. Some amazing color!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-Trees!!!.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-bluef-4.jpg

The painting above is actually the next-to-the-last view of the painting beforI sprayed one more time after I photographed the additions of color I made from yesterday's fixed and sealed work. By the time I took the last photo I'll show you later, the snowy day's gray 'light' thru the skylights had faded considerably AND the layer sealing the painting had quite a gloss---both things changing the look of the work in the photo. But---let's start all over---at the first stage of the piece:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-bluef-1.jpg

I did not draw in anything before I began, but simply worked with the general shape of the sky area. This rather strange piece above shows the sky I roughed in using the Tints (from horizon to top) of the Permanent Green, Thalo Green, Thalo Blue and Ultramarine Blue. I also worked in the pure Ultramarine in the upper areas along with a bit of the Violet Tint since skies very often take that sequence of coloring. Then I worked in Titanium White to lighten a good bit of the sky area. I wantedit significantly light since I knew the sealing would significantly darken colors. I did not want the sky as light as it was in the photo, by the way. It was a much richer, darker sky in real life and wanted that quality---but---I did still want the glow of lightness! Because I did not want the white/light of the sky's pigment to mix with the pine trees, I fixed the sky with several very slight coats of Grumbacher Workable Fix.

Below you see the next stage I photographed. I first roughed in the masses of darks of the distant pines and ground leaving bare the areas of the foreground trees. Those trunks were "drawn in" as negative shapes, simply painting in the Pan Pastel colors where the trunks were not standing. The colors I used were primarily Shades of Raw Umber and Thalo Blue---along with Thalo Green (which always wants 'taming!') plus Violet and Black. The Violet adds the red that foliage greens need. The Raw Umber provides the goldeness.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-blulef-2.jpg

I used both the bar and the pointed and the flat bar sponges the most to lay on these dark colors. I needed to give a fair amount of pressure to the sponge to go into the crevices well. There remained some sparkle of the canvas in some areas, adding variety. Just did not want too much.

I began laying in the upper areas of the pines at this stage as well, along with a bit of Burnt Sienna and perhaps a bit of Orange Shade along the grass line which catches a bit of sunlight and the tree trunks where light also hits, but this was very secondary.

It's great to be able to lay in a short, medium or long line with the corner of a bar sponge or the triangle or the rectangle blade of the knife tools. For that---I just load up the color well, then simply lay it into place to give over the color. I do not have to move it very much at all. I really like being able to do that to achieve a finer line without drawing it---and I've used it on several places on stick pastel painting areas, too, so far. I'm laying in shapes of colors rather than drawing in outlines and this is something we can also do in several different ways with our stick pastels---or with brushes. It want's seeing the color shapes---rather than simply objects---and I love the expressiveness of working this way!

Then, I finished laying in much of the bulk of the upper trees with both their needed darks and then the warm, intense lights. For those I used the pure Orange, Burnt Sienna and Red Iron Oxide the most, along with their shades---and with several of the Shades and pure colors of the three Yellows---Ochre, Hansa and Diarylide.

It was very important to have some of the darks in the upper trees established to make the strikingness of the light. But it is also a play of warm colors against the cool colors, as well as the light against darks.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-bluef-3.jpg

I was very interested in keeping a bit of a loose, painterly quality. Oh---blades of grass---this is another place where we are best off remembering to consider them in the terms of what we actually SEE rather than the intellectual knowledge of their being separate, individual pieces all the same length and width---and---too often painted by many almost as though they had measured off with a ruler. Keep the pattern of the grasses 'alive' and---very irregular in their size and positioning! The look of irregularity is absolutely a prized 'secret' of making so many things look 'realistic!!!' Use that knowledge! It's so valuable! And ultimately, so very simple!

I spray-fixed the painting in several slight layers a while after the stage above then also began spraying with Kamar Varnish, which says it is of museum grade. The smell is horendous and I left the area quickly! I used it to waterproof the painting in preparation to seal it with acrylic medium the next day. (By now it was getting late into the day.) The Kamar certainly darkened the painting, but it it still did look good to me. The next day I decided to add a bit more color, out of curiousity as to the outcome. It took really well over this surface. In fact---I could not help experimenting with some of the ways I could apply additional color, very strongly in some very sunlit areas to very slight touches of color almost like the closest thing pastelists have to glazing (although glazing actually denotes transparent paint which will, if anything, slightly to significantly darken areas rather than lighten, as I was usually doing here. Adding lighter color is usually called scumbling when it is dryly laid over the surface, catching hold to just the upper layers of the painting surface.)

Here again is the view that actually still looks most like the painting does now (though in some of the sunlit areas is darker, now.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-bluef-4.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Dec-2007/77048-bluef-5.jpg

This shows so much of the glare of light catching on the threads of the canvas and the much-changed color of the light---and best to use as a lesson in bad photography situation! But--you can see, at least, that there is some warmth and lightness lost---but it does look better than this. I did want to get these pictures uploaded this evening---and did not want to leave you all with the idea that sealing the painting did not leave it unchanged!

Still---it does have a nice feel to it---just not what I intended. As bluefish says--- No question in my mind, we're going to solve this!!!!!!

Once I had a certain amount of Kamar on, nothing else I added seemed to darken it any more. Tomorrow, I may decide to go back in yet again and add more light and then.... You know the drill! :-) I'll report.

By the way---the Pan Pastel color textures look great. The texture of the canvas is still very alive! Even with having laid on a number of layers of color, there is no lumpy, clumpyness. And for that, I'm very thankful! And the light of the sky has held extremely well. It's more the intensities of the warms that loose vitality. But areas where I used more of the Titanium White retained more of their light. Look at the trunk of the tree to the far right. I added more and then more of the Tint of Orange and used that as well in several other areas of the sunlit tree trunks. You can see those areas standing out a bit more in the last photo.

Well---that's enough 'excitement' for now. LOL! Take good care! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-19-2007, 08:23 AM
I'm not sure if you attempted this and mentioned it, but I tried washing an unfixed pan pastel painting under running water with little effect, however, I didn't try to scrub it. But most of the colors stayed where it was.

Donna A
12-21-2007, 02:05 AM
I'm not sure if you attempted this and mentioned it, but I tried washing an unfixed pan pastel painting under running water with little effect, however, I didn't try to scrub it. But most of the colors stayed where it was.

Hi, WC!!! Cool!!! So---you inspired me to play with that today!!! Yes! Wow! Well, that led to all manner of experiments, which I will post tomorrow! Have a series of photos which I've uploaded to my computer---but---"T'is the Season" and it's been busy!

In the meantime---I just received a jpeg from a very dear friend in Victor Harbour, Australia, near Adelaide and I'd sent him just a meager 2 colors of Pan Pastels---and bless him, he made them look gorgeous!!!! Here is an image of his painting with them:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Dec-2007/77048-Pan_Pastel_Snow_Scene.jpg

This is from Bill Truslove, President of the Pastel Artists of South Australia. He is a marvelous painter and we have been friends long distance for several years. I so look forward to meeting Bill and his wife, Wendy, one of these days! His work is so beautiful! And as amazing as I know him to be---he still amazed me yet more with what he did with only a pale blue and a pale violet! Here is a selection from the note he included to me.

I was sent two pan pastels by Donna Aldridge in Kansas City. Violet Tint 470.8 and Ultramarine Blue 520.8. She invited me to try a painting using these two pan pastels. The result is attached. I also used Schmincke White and Schmincke Ultramarine blue 063M and a few CarbOthello pastel pencils.*****

I was thinking about how wonderful it was that in Australia they are surely well into spring with lovely blue skies and such, while in the northern hemisphere we are approaching winter. Well, Bill used these two colors for so much more!!!! Yea! A "full" painting! Thank you, Bill! Well----more tomorrow. Mellow day! Ahhhhh! Very best wishes for you all! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-21-2007, 12:46 PM
Donna, love yor step by step painting of the trees. Really helps me see what I need to try when I get my pan pastels (4 more days!). And Bill's painting with just 2 of the pan pastels and a few regular pastels is really fantastic.
Wow, what a painting!
Can't wait til Dec 25!

Donna A
12-22-2007, 02:15 AM
Donna, love yor step by step painting of the trees. Really helps me see what I need to try when I get my pan pastels (4 more days!). And Bill's painting with just 2 of the pan pastels and a few regular pastels is really fantastic.
Wow, what a painting!
Can't wait til Dec 25!

Hi, Donn! Oh, great!!! Both the only 4 (now almost 3) days---and that the step-by-step helped with ideas about the trees! Great!

Now---more step-by-steps of some experimenting I did yesterday inspired by both WC Lee (quote below) and bluefish's interests in the sealing of pastel paintings for "glassless framing."

Originally Posted by WC Lee
I'm not sure if you attempted this and mentioned it, but I tried washing an unfixed pan pastel painting under running water with little effect, however, I didn't try to scrub it. But most of the colors stayed where it was.

So, 'built' a collection of colors on a little scrap of Colourfix Soft Umber about 8"x9". First below is the test color panel.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2007/77048-IMG_0230.jpg

Below I ran water over the far left side, top to bottom---and it was indeed amazing how the color stayed put, as had been WC's experience. Of course, we'd still need glass, since one of the things we need for a painting is a protective layer which can 'take the dust and grim' of the astmosphere over the years and be cleaned off from time to time (as with oil paintings' removeable final varnish.) I knew that dry, it did not smudge much with a finger rubbing across it. The Pan Pastel pigment really does stay in place superbly---particularly when left alone. :-) But still there was far less difference between where the water had flowed and where it had not, except for the extra layers of color and where I kept handling the paper on the right edge. Of course, the water did not flow in a straight line, so I made a few soft pencil marks to show the edge between water'ed and dry---between the two sets of red marks to be sure of knowing where the edge had been.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2007/77048-IMG_0232.jpg

Next, I sprayed the whole sheet with fixative, with about 2" blocked off from the spray down the center. I sprayed lightly 8 or 9 times, as I often might do in the middle stage of a painting---NOT because I felt the need to fix a PanP painting on Cfix paper or board, but because I wanted to check the potential darkening---there was none---and also to fix this to see if I might be able to brush on diluted acrylic medium over the surface of the test piece without it disturbing the color too much---on behalf of bluefish and the others who are curious about how the PanP's work in the quest for 'glassless framing.' Below---the much-fixed test. Just didn't darken at all.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2007/77048-IMG_0234.jpg

Below shows the darkening after my brushing on a layer of Old Holland's New Masters Acrylic Medium (Satin finish) diluted 2 parts water and 1 part medium. I used a 1.5" wide soft, white synthetic square-tipped brush to lay on the medium solution---and did seem to leave a bit of an extra ridge of medium on the right edge. You can see where the brush did smear some of the pigment where it was particularly heavy. The under layers didn't seem to move at all. Lovely! Then I did go back and lay in an additional narrow layer of color top to bottom---the Thalo Blue Tint at the top, then White, then the Tint of Perm. Red, the Greens and maybe the Orange at the bottom, too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2007/77048-IMG_0240.jpg

Here below, I went back over this one more time with diluted acrylic medium---but this time, out of curiosity, sprayed on with a small hand-pump. This little hand-pump spray did the same thing it did several weeks ago with a lovely little landscape I'd done---and it just beaded up in fine little bumps of acrylic and dried looking like a little tiny reptile's skin. Hmmm---not very good looking on a painting! (That one goes on the bonfire.) But decided to try it here---and---same little bumps---so---I held the test paper vertically and rolled the medium around, letting it smooth out and excess run off, respraying in a couple of places where it needed a bit more. OK---I'm definitely ruling that out as something I want to play with again. However---I found it very interesting that as the pigment levels build up several times, the color has a bit more impact, still, when sealed for 'glassless framing.' Darker, definitely, but if planned for, it would work for someone wanting the 'glassless." I do think the Pan Pastels keep a lovely surface when sealed.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Dec-2007/77048-IMG_0250.jpg

Now that is the end of my 'glassless framing' adventures for a good while---and what I want to explore more now is some big bold massing in with PanP's and then working the stick pastels into them. Earlier, I focused almost entirely on painting with Pan Pastels on their own and I was so surprised to see how very well they can stand alone! But now I want to play all my pastels together. (And some mixed-media pieces on the list, too!)

I hope that those of you who are eagerly awaiting your new colors have an absolutely joyful adventure working with them! I'm so excited to hear about what you all do with them! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

bluefish
12-22-2007, 09:24 AM
Donna

Thank you for all your input on those marvelous PPs - and the 'glassless framing' is a viable option utilizing the PPs as you so convincingly demonstated!

I will stay tuned to further adventures of "Donna and Her PPs"! - that will get you more questions :D !

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season - 'blue....':wave:

Dougwas
12-22-2007, 03:23 PM
Hi Donna.

3 DAYS!!!!:D :D :D


Doug

Donn
12-22-2007, 04:34 PM
Yep, 3 days, Doug!!!:D :D :D
Donna, thank you for your demo on the PP and fixatives. It's something that I can see without having to use that expensive paper (for me) to do it. I guard my Colorfix paper with careful use because I can't get it locally and have to order it at a cost of s/h which is sometimes more than the paper! Almost afraid to try it for expriments and practice.

Donna A
12-22-2007, 11:49 PM
Donna

Thank you for all your input on those marvelous PPs - and the 'glassless framing' is a viable option utilizing the PPs as you so convincingly demonstated!

I will stay tuned to further adventures of "Donna and Her PPs"! - that will get you more questions :D !

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season - 'blue....':wave:

Hi, bluefish! Thank you! And thank you! And---yes---there are more adventures coming! Have been planning the next two paintings today---larger ones and looking forward to getting back to just painting madly, passionately, loosely with some SPACE! Has been fascinating to focus on some smaller pieces (which I very rarely do) (beginning this fall with those 8x10s I did for our MAPS Small Painting Show---and other smaller experimenting pieces---and also working to see how much detail and so forth would be possible---but now---as my Daddy used to say, "Katie, bar the door!" No, don't really know what that meant, but he said it with so much fun and gusto! I'm pretty excited about the new pieces (sparkles in my eyes---and heart!)

One glorious sunrise, which I photoed when presenting a workshop in Nebraska a couple of years ago---will be on a Blue Haze Colourfix board, 40"x28"---which I think I'll do as a 31"x25" for a very lovely frame I have. Will start it tomorrow. And keep you all posted. I plan to use some of my stick pastels as well---but---who knows. I may end up doing everything with the PanPastels. And another landscape is planned, too. And I'm going to do yet another portrait, too. A good friend and neighbor. Very, very handsome. His mom comes up every spring and summer from Mexico and she studies with me and we have a ball---and are very much like sisters. I'm doing portrait workshop early February, so is being wonderful to work more with portraits again lately! And a Pan Pastel workshop in early March. So that will all be so much fun! :-)

Hi Donna.

3 DAYS!!!! :D :D :D

Doug

Hi, Doug!!! Hee hee hee!!! Now---I just hope that you---and Donn have something lovely waiting your wives under the Christmas tree, as well, so that they will be having their own delightful times while you head to your respective easels and celebrate color in a whole new fun way---in a VERY FEW days!!!! Yea!!! I'm loving your countdowns!!! Now don't you DARE leave me hanging toooo long wondering what adventures you are having!!! Enjoy enjoy!!! And remember---this is something completely new, so don't let frustrations you MAY have get in your way!

• Load up your sponges well. • Be sure to use enough pressure where you want a significant amount to go down on to the painting surface, particularly sanded papers---and • enjoy what different effects you can create with variations in pressures. • Make great use of every edge and flat surface of the sponges. • When you are pulling one color into a different one repeatedly---and the colors are significantly different in hue or value, etc, clean off the sponge after the stroke and reload your sponge for every following stroke for best-looking results.

The bar sponges seem to me to put down THE most pigment. The knife tools and the mini's lay down great amounts of pigment, but for the most---go to the bars. If you try other little sponge tools from the drug store, don't ever expect nearly as much color to go down. They just do not hold as much. Different enough materials, it seems, and even with having experimented with different sponges---I am realizing that as I work, it's the PanP sponge tools that keep giving me THE MOST and THE BEST. :-)

And if you do have questions, do let me know. I'll help however I can! And so will others here! Enjoy!

Yep, 3 days, Doug!!!
Donna, thank you for your demo on the PP and fixatives. It's something that I can see without having to use that expensive paper (for me) to do it. I guard my Colorfix paper with careful use because I can't get it locally and have to order it at a cost of s/h which is sometimes more than the paper! Almost afraid to try it for expriments and practice.

Hi, Doug!!! Boy---I so empathize with you and Doug! I remember when I was waiting (and waiting and waiting....) for my Pan Pastels! Was so exciting when they finally arrived!

I surely do understand that sense of 'guarding' your Colourfix! Certainly do some experimenting on other surfaces---BUT---also remember that when we were learning to drive a car, we practiced by driving cars, no little foot scooters. Dang! So---to some extent, you will need to dive into the precious paper! And---I've washed off Cfix papers to reuse after some awful pieces--or quick little demos---not yet with PanP's but with other pastels, and I will usually use a bit of dish-washing detergent and a white-bristle brush with the water, usually in the bathroom shower for 20x28 or larger sheets---to get the pigment moving and washed off easily. The pigment always stains a bit, some pigments more than others, but there is nothing but pigment stain left, so the paper remains extremely receptive! And---usually when I take the paper to the shower, I end up getting the back wet---so I will make sure I get it wet evenly---then blot with paper towels and press between a lot of sheets of news print or newspaper with something flat and a bit larger than my paper to make it dry flat. It is, after all, watercolor paper. It needs a lot of dry newsprint or blotters, etc, to pull away the water soaked up in the Cfix paper, and the pressure---to let it dry flat. So---perhaps that will give you a bit of an 'out' to feel a bit more comfortable with some experiments on the Colourfix. You might even want to order a jar of the Colourfix Primer next time you order paper. Is so nice to 'freshen up' the look of a washed sheet---or to roll or brush onto other good papers. And goes a long way and dries fast and does not wrinkle good papers.


Wishing very happy holidays for all of you and yoursl! :grouphug: Take good care! AND---in the Northern Hemisphere---our days are NOW getting longer again! yea! Donna ;-}

bluefish
12-23-2007, 10:08 AM
Donna

I bet the PPs would do wonders on 'pastlecloth' - give you any food for thought?:rolleyes:

'blue....':wink2:

Vandeleur
12-23-2007, 01:56 PM
Hi Donna,
I am getting a full set of these for Christmas, they were just ordered yesterday. Could I ask please, what you find best , most improved with these in comparison to the traditional pastels. Is the detail really easier to achieve?
My website is http://www.puppydogpoker.com The German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy in the round, was done in pastel. This site shows the variety of medium I work in. I am looking forward to perhaps working even more quickly with these pan pastels, they look like thy might be able to facilitate this. Do you find that you can work more quickly with the pan pastels verses the regular pastels?
Also, what surfaces to you reccommend?
Thank yo so much for sharing, your work is quite stunning.
Sincerely,
Vandeleur

Donna A
12-23-2007, 09:09 PM
Hi Donna,
I am getting a full set of these for Christmas, they were just ordered yesterday. Could I ask please, what you find best , most improved with these in comparison to the traditional pastels.

Hi, Vandeleur! First, some of that depends on each individual artist---and things that support their personal style and/or habits. I'm impressed with the terrific ease of quickly laying in a gradation in either value or color. I love being able to lay in an ultra-thin line of color with the corner of a sponge bar tool. I love the difference in how the color lays on---but then I love the way the color lays on with my sticks, too. Which foot do I like best---my right or my left? I like them both! Each is different in ways from each other and each the same in some ways. I've written a lot about things the PanP's do in this thread, so you can check the other posts out as you have time.

Is the detail really easier to achieve?

No, I don't think it's necesarily easier in general, except for the very fine lines and a few things like that. And I'm assuming you mean super-fine detail, having seen your paintings and drawings of dogs, etc. (quite lovely!) but laying in an underpainting with the PanP's can let an artist who uses pastel pencils for detail or even their stick pastels to have a much easier go of it than plowing through thicker layers of stick pastel to add fine bits. And I've been able to get a LOT of detail with the PanP's on their own---which rather surprised me very happily!!

My website is http://www.puppydogpoker.com The German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy in the round, was done in pastel. This site shows the variety of medium I work in. I am looking forward to perhaps working even more quickly with these pan pastels, they look like thy might be able to facilitate this. Do you find that you can work more quickly with the pan pastels verses the regular pastels?

Yes---there are sooo many things I've been able to do faster. And other things that are not any faster. For your canine subject matter, you will probably want to use both Pans and sticks. I just do not see the PanP's and stick pastels as necessarily being either/or---but so often BOTH, even though I've done most of the pieces so far as 'stand-alone' PanP's.

And there are other things that are not materials-dependant that you might find interesting to look into and to develop that also let you work more quickly.


Also, what surfaces to you reccommend?

I've tried a lot of surfaces and what I keep going back to is Colourfix paper or boards---or primer. The piece I began today---a 31" x 25" is on a very large Colourfix board. This afternoon I've been roughing in the drawing and then massing in color areas to get the composition in place. It's a pretty complicated subject with lots going on---and I'm so pleased with how easy it is to manuver the color---and here and then lifting off some color with a kneaded eraser to change the placement of what I consider a "dynamic energy" line. Just sooo delightfully easy! And fast. :-) And I'm doing the drawing with the PanP mini sponges and some of the bar sponges. And keeping it pretty 'mellow' at the moment to be sure of getting allllllll 'the stuff' in place. By mellow, I mean that I'm staying extra sheer in a lot of areas. Tomorrow I'll upload a couple of photos of what I'm working on.

Thank yo so much for sharing, your work is quite stunning.
Sincerely,
Vandeleur

Thank you, Vandeleur! I hope this has helped and you are going to make so many wonderful discoveries with what you do in making these work for you. Do let me know if you have any other questions! So glad to help. And I look very much forward to hearing from you about your adventures with these new pastels! I really enjoyed visiting your web site! Very best wishes and Happy Holidays! Donna ;-}

bluefish
12-24-2007, 08:01 AM
Donna

How about the 'plain old fingers' ? Have you dipped your fingers in the PPs and then smeared the stuff on the paper? Can you roll the PPs around on the paper and blend with your hands as we do with the sticks? Love smearing the sticks and now my acrylics with my hands - yes, to each his/her own!:p

'blue....':angel:

Donna A
12-24-2007, 02:19 PM
Donna

How about the 'plain old fingers' ? Have you dipped your fingers in the PPs and then smeared the stuff on the paper? Can you roll the PPs around on the paper and blend with your hands as we do with the sticks? Love smearing the sticks and now my acrylics with my hands - yes, to each his/her own!:p

'blue....':angel:

LOL, bluefish, you wild thing! :-) Well---I love getting my hands into my colors, as well! That was the THING with stone lithography---NEVER supposed to get our hands on the stone since depositing skin's oil onto the stone compromises the image---well, I began my first one with a composition which included a big handprint. Just had ta! :-) But I digress.... Yes---I've definitely tried my fingers. Just turns out that our fingers are not as wonderfully cushy and textured as the special sponges, so finger Pan-paint goes on over the high-points of the surface, and doesn't pick up alllll that much of the pigment, but certainly something we can do with some limited efficacy. So we can surely get our fingers involved, but it just doesn't do all that much compared to the sponges. Once down, we can smear the Pan Pastel a tiny bit, but it loves being where it is! Which is one of its great blessings, I think---and would preclude much rolling them around on the paper, etc. Yes, the more layers we have laid down, the more available pigment to move a bit. But---gotta say---as much as I love getting my fingers into things, I just love the way the various sponges feel to work with. This might be one of those trading one pleasure for another. You know---like can't go snow skiing when we are laying about the beach getting sand between our toes. :-) LOL!

Just taking a few minutes break from working on the new large sunrise piece---and first time I've worked on such a large piece---actually 32x26 on a 40x28 sheet of Blue Haze Colourfix Board---and I've been grinning about how enjoyable it is to lay the pigment on with the sponges. This piece, larger and more 'open,' is really being fun to make larger, looser strokes. I'm still mainly 'roughing in' color areas and working out a few final placements---plus deciding how to deal with a couple of fairly minor changes I want to make in the composition from the photo I took three years ago in Nebraska early, early in the morning. I'll upload a series of photos later of the steps I've been taking.

Will share a couple of interesting techniques I've been fussing around with, too, that have been handy. Take good care! Enjoy!!! Donna ;-}

Dougwas
12-24-2007, 04:28 PM
Hi Donna.

ONE DAY.:angel: :evil: :angel: :evil: :angel: :evil:


Doug

Donn
12-24-2007, 04:36 PM
Hi Donna and all,
Yep, just one day left! And a very Merry Christmas to everyone.

Donna A
12-25-2007, 02:20 AM
OK, Doug and Donn---I wanna hear about it! :-) Aren't those colors just soooo beautiful and inviting!!! :-) And the others of you that found new Pan Pastels under the Christmas tree. OR---just took matters into your own hands and ordered them yourselves. :-) I'm going to play with mine again tomorrow. Well--guess it IS officially tomorrow, now. Mellowing down after another fun wild Christmas Eve with all my nieces and nephews, related family and my son. Hope you all are having a very loving, joyful and blessed Holiday! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-25-2007, 02:21 PM
:confused: Well, the day is here. They are beautiful colors. Haven't had a chance to try them yet. But I do have questions.....what do you cover your "jars" with? There's a cover on the top 5, the no covers for the 15 others!
Do you need to cover them? At least the 4 I got from open stock have covers.
I'm in the process of starting from the beginnning of this thread to print the instructions, ideas, tips, etc that you have made. For some reason, I can't get all of page 3 to come up. I get half okay with the pictures, the other half all I get is a box with and "x" in it. So, I'm at a loss of what to do.
Wish you had a booklet or something with all your ideas, tips, suggestions, and how to in it.
Hope you have a good Christmas.

WC Lee
12-25-2007, 02:34 PM
Donn - What I do is make the trays like Donna has and stack them when not in use, and on the top tray, cut another piece and glue handles onto the top and use that to put into the tray on top of the jars. Also, on the top three trays, I glued small pieces to the corners of the bottom so it aligns with the inside corners of the tray underneath to keep it from sliding when I have to move the whole thing.

Donna A
12-25-2007, 03:58 PM
:confused: Well, the day is here. They are beautiful colors. Haven't had a chance to try them yet. But I do have questions.....what do you cover your "jars" with? There's a cover on the top 5, the no covers for the 15 others!
Do you need to cover them?

Hi, Donn! Yea!!!!! Need to cover them---naw! Well, unless you are putting them away for a while. Or leaving them sitting out but not painting for a few weeks. Then---yes---cover. Seems like they were designed to be screwed together into 'columns' of any number of pans when storing for a while---and each pan has the ability to work as the lid for the next pan, except for the very top-of-the-column pan, which definitly wants a lid. Screwing them together into the column form certainly also seems like a great way to travel with them long distances---such as by air. But, as WC mentioned---trays are a great way of laying them out in the studio and storing them temporarily---or even long-term---and it was in trays that I took them out plein air painting. If I was traveling by car and had the space, I would also carry the Pan Pastels in their trays. BUT---one of the lovely things about these PanP's is that they can be organized very easily into very secure small spaces, easily packed into limited spaces when storing or traveling. Takes a few minutes to screw and unscrew the pans, but the huge convinience of the great space-saving is an important aspect, it has seemed to me.

At least the 4 I got from open stock have covers.
I'm in the process of starting from the beginnning of this thread to print the instructions, ideas, tips, etc that you have made. For some reason, I can't get all of page 3 to come up.

Hmmmmmm! By "page 3"---do you have your WC set up to get the latest posts 'on top' or vice versa? Evidently, that can make a big difference in pagation on WC. At what Post # do you loose info? I actually went back recently and copy/pasted the info I've written and have it saved post-by-post by Post number---and then, little by little, by subject(s) commented on. Have more to catch up on. LOL---painting 'got in the way!!!' :-) There is always the "old Quit/Reopen an application" that can help sometimes---or even the "Restart the computer 'thing'" that can sometimes solve an issue. Maybe try either of those---but---otherwise, I would be glad to email you a missing post if you give me the number.

I get half okay with the pictures, the other half all I get is a box with and "x" in it. So, I'm at a loss of what to do.

A little while ago (minutes), I had an issue with WC with boxes with 'x's allllll over the place. Wonder if we were having that issue at the same time and was just a temporary WC problem that is fine now. Ya know how it is with computers! Ya don't know! :-) Try again and if you still can't get your page 3---let me know and I'll see what I can do to help with the missing info!


Wish you had a booklet or something with all your ideas, tips, suggestions, and how to in it.

:-)


Hope you have a good Christmas.

I have had a very lovely Christmas with friends and family and all of last week, lovely Holiday celebrations with the wonderful artists who study with me! And this evening my son and I are going to have our own little Christmas Day. And wishing that for you, as well, Donn! And for all our WetCanvas friends! Thank you! I look forward to hearing back from you about how I might help securing the 'missing' info here on WC. AND---with your adventures using your shiney new Pan Pastels!!!

By the way---don't worry toooo much about getting the tops of the Pan colors 'dirty' with other colors as you begin mixing colors, which you WILL want to do! Remember to pick up color from around the sides and not just the middle when using the small tools. Wish I'd thought of that sooner and shared the idea in the beginning with all the artists who also used my colors. And when I'm picking up color---when I have other color already picked up on my sponge, I try to 'pick a side' to repeat the pattern of those 2 or 3 colors I'm going after to get 'just THE color' I want. So maybe I use the 'west' side of the Pan for the dark cool mixes I'm going after, and the 'east' side for the light warms I'm 'building.' Has been working pretty well for me! And---if I need to clear off the surface, it does not seem to take much.

Of course, this has been a progression. Work first on the single colors and experimenting with the loading of the different sponge tools and the variations in pressures and angles of using them. That will make wonderful differences! And the more one understands about Color, and the better one SEES Color, the easier many things will be---as with our stick pastels and other mediums.

Sumthin' I just figured out yesterday was that, for the arrangement I like with my flow of colors in my 4 trays, if I put a dot in the 4 corners of the trays that are adjacent, I can place them in that order instantly rather than having to 'figure it out to make sure...' when I have moved them from one area to another. And I'm looking forward to rereading WC's comments on what she has developed for trays.

I'm going to upload the info about the trays I posted early-on again so that it will be 'right here.' With the second image, all you need to pay attention to there is the red imagery and the "bird's eye view." The rest is about what I"ve made for my stick pastels, beginning forever ago! :-) Altho---outer storage box info can certainly apply! And---I made a foam core 'lid' for my colors---for the top of the stack. I've fallen in love with bungee cords---andmy local hardware store has a great selection. But---would be lovely to build a box that all the trays would fit into.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Dec-2007/77048-PanPastelFoamCoreTrays.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Dec-2007/77048-PastelTravelBox-construction_notes.gif

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Dec-2007/77048-Pastel_Travel_Box_drawing-DA.jpg

Oh---in the last pic---partition pieces---I've used these partitions with the trays for my tools. Built two tool trays, one with deeper sides.

Again---many blessings and joys to you all! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-25-2007, 04:12 PM
Thanks, Donna and WC. I finally got page 3 to come up okay. It happens now and then even on blogs.
OK on the cover bit. I did get some foam core board so will make a tray too.
BTW, did you ever find out what your cleaning liquid for cleaning the sponges was?
Glad you all had a good Christmas. Two large gifts I got my wife, we're going to have to return. One too flimsy the other too small to work with. Sad day for her.

Donna A
12-25-2007, 04:17 PM
Donn - What I do is make the trays like Donna has and stack them when not in use, and on the top tray, cut another piece and glue handles onto the top and use that to put into the tray on top of the jars. Also, on the top three trays, I glued small pieces to the corners of the bottom so it aligns with the inside corners of the tray underneath to keep it from sliding when I have to move the whole thing.

Hi, WC!!! Sounds like you have made some lovely improvements with the tray designs! When you have a moment, would love if you could photo your tray set up and share with us. Sounds great!

Hope you have been having a marvelous time working with your new colors! Looking forward to seeing what you have been doing with them! Thanks so much for your great ideas!!! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-25-2007, 04:48 PM
Thanks, Donna and WC. I finally got page 3 to come up okay. It happens now and then even on blogs.

Yep! Computers! :-) Glad the problem is solved!


OK on the cover bit. I did get some foam core board so will make a tray too.
BTW, did you ever find out what your cleaning liquid for cleaning the sponges was?

Yes---it was Mr. Clean. Did have email communication with the PanP folks and they said they've been using Dial Foaming Hand soap, so bought some of that, too. When I had written that I was using Mr. Clean, they said that perhaps that might be a bit harsher to the sponge materials than the Dial Foaming Hand soap. So---with Mr. C---don't need to rinse as much. With Dial Foaming...the folks who really know the materials think it's easier on the materials.


Glad you all had a good Christmas. Two large gifts I got my wife, we're going to have to return. One too flimsy the other too small to work with. Sad day for her.

Aww, I'm soooo sorry. BUT---on the other hand---she knows you were thinking of her and---extending Christmas, she can go out and find just THE perfect things! I hope! :-)

And I do hope you get some time to go experiment with you wonderful new colors! Look forward to hearing more about your adventures! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-25-2007, 07:33 PM
Thank you, Donna. Will have to get one or the other the next time we go into town. Thought I'd have to send some of these PanPastels back to DB, couldn't get the jars apart! Each stack of 5 had at least 1 or 2 I couldn't get apart. Finally did though, thanks to some of those rubber jar openers tht I've had for 10 years! Used to give them away when I worked at a bank as Purchasing Agent years ago.
I'll probably start out making a color chart like I have with all my other drawing and painting media. Will probably put it on watercolor paper or Mi-Teintes paper as I want to save the Colorfix for something special.
BTW, the 4 colors I got from open stock 3 had sponges in the bottoms. So I have even more extras.

Donn
12-25-2007, 10:41 PM
[
I've tried a lot of surfaces and what I keep going back to is Colourfix paper or boards---or primer. Very best wishes and Happy Holidays! Donna ;-}[/QUOTE]
Hi Donna,
What surfaces have you tried the PPs on and what are your observations on each type of surface, except Colorfix. I know you like this best of all. I'm just curious what other surfaces you have tried. It would help me a lot.
Thanks.

WC Lee
12-26-2007, 01:50 AM
Donna: I needed to make those additions because I don't have space to keep it laying out all the time. Anyhow, here are some photos of the trays. Please excuse the lack of taping finesse and the mess on my desk behind the trays :D

EDIT: I also glued the pieces together and held in place with masking tape until it dried before replacing the masking tape with the black gorilla tape I had on hand. The glue is to add an additional layer of stability since I didn't have much of the gorilla tape left. Some of the sketches/paintings are in various threads in the 'Open Pastel Studio" and a few can be found on my blog that is linked to on my signature.

The trays are exactly the same as yours except for the cover and the little legs. This first photo is of them all stacked together.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2007/122017-DSC00882.JPG

this is one end of the bottom of the top tray which is the same on the other end and the next two trays.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2007/122017-DSC00883.JPG

this one is of the cover that is made for the tray that I built for the 20 piece set, I haven't made one for the full set yet, ran out of foam board.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2007/122017-DSC00884.JPG

Dougwas
12-26-2007, 04:14 AM
:eek: I got the 20 piece Painter Set of Pans!! I was sooo surprised!! Well, maybe I knew I was getting them, but I still didn't know how big the box was, so I didn't know which present it was.:) I hope I get a chance to play with them today, but if I don't there is always the next few days.

Our son is home for the first time in a year and it is the best present that my wife and I could ask for. :) :) :) He is a Graphic Desisigner so he knows how exciting it is to get new art supplies. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Talk to you all later. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas.


Doug

Donn
12-26-2007, 12:02 PM
Thanks, WC, for posting the pictures of your storage trays. It helps.
Doug, glad you were surprised. Yes, it's a nice set. Haven't got into mine yet either.

Donna A
12-26-2007, 02:17 PM
I've tried a lot of surfaces and what I keep going back to is Colourfix paper or boards---or primer. Very best wishes and Happy Holidays! Donna ;-}


Hi Donna,
What surfaces have you tried the PPs on and what are your observations on each type of surface, except Colorfix. I know you like this best of all. I'm just curious what other surfaces you have tried. It would help me a lot.
Thanks.

Hi, again, Donn! I've used, in addition to Cfix in their several versions and in many of their 20 colors, Wallis Museum, LaCarte, Ampersand, Pastelboard, UArt, Richeson, Canson, Arches watercolor cold press, AU Blue Mountain watercolor (in blue--great texture and over a wc painting,) then I've tried many gorgeous 100% rag etching papers (I have sooo many from my etching days!) including Rives BFK and a wonderful pale blue etching paper (whose name I sadly can not find, now) and one of my orientals, Iyo glazed print paper. That's all I can think of off hand.

Wallis takes the pigment beautifully, as does Richeson and UArt and the other sandeds---but some of the more 'aggressive' surfaces can be a bit rough on the sponge tools if they are not well loaded with pigment. Each sanded paper has its own qualities---and can vary depending on the style of the artist, so I will leave that up to you all to 'find that particular shoe that fits you best.' What color the paper is has a defininte impact, as well. Another experiment to have a fascinating time experimenting with. One of these days---I'll go thru and do a background colors test and post.

Canson will work. (But most of the folks I know around here who have tried it and then tried the sandeds, set it aside and choose the sandeds.) My main problem with Canson first for any pastels is that it is not acid-free and then also that the medium and darker colors fade. And then there is not as much pastel-inviting texture to build layers of color. But a lot of people are really satisfied with it and prefer it! The shoe fits.

A lot of the etching papers, even thought they are not sized to the extent that watercolor papers are (sealing the rag fibers together a bit more for wc to keep the pigment from sinking into the depths of the paper's body, loosing much of the impact of the color on the surface) still don't seem to pick up as much pastel pigment as I would have expected. We do get a softer, mellower amount of pigment---and if that meets with the Concept of the painting and the artist's, it's great! If going for intense, richly pigmented paintings, etching papers are not your best pick.

The PanP's do go on over watercolor paintings on wc papers very nicely---at least with the two rag papers specifically made for wc that I've tried. And that is something I plan to pursue even more----in my spare time! (LOL!) One of several delicious mixed-media opportunites!

Every surface will give us something a bit different---and I always remember that there are different fits for each of us---as with shoes---and we need to experiment. I think it's important for us to be inspired by things others report---but to never follow 'blindly!' We don't have to re-invent the wheel all by ourselves, but we do need to modify to suit our own needs and our own styles and desired outcomes when appropriate. I do always hold lightfastness and archivalness as a standard! Anything we do that is visually satisfying to us in expressing our own vision and creative spirit AND that is lasting in color and material for whomever may acquire it seems perfect to me!

I do think we need to find ways of doing most of our experiments and our learning on materials that we'll be using for our finished works! :-) Yes, there are economy issues---but when we learn to drive a car and to pass our driver's license tests, it IS on cars we practice learning---and not on bicylces*! It CAN save us in the long run with fewer frustrations and fewer unsuccessful paintings,etc!

Still we often need to weigh the issues of economy---and there are certain things we can learn on our *'bicycles' such as variations of pressures, ways of holding the tools for different types of strokes, practice loading up the sponge tools, pulling one color's stroke into another (to some extent.) Now---the actual way those various pressures, angles, etc. LOOK will change from surface to surface. But getting really adept at those ways of handling to tools is soo important---and we could almost do them on typing paper. Well---almost! :-)

Very best wishes on your experiments---and may they be fascinating trials---and NOT tribulations! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-26-2007, 02:51 PM
[QUOTE=WC Lee]Donna: I needed to make those additions because I don't have space to keep it laying out all the time. Anyhow, here are some photos of the trays. Please excuse the lack of taping finesse and the mess on my desk behind the trays :D <snip>

The trays are exactly the same as yours except for the cover and the little legs. This first photo is of them all stacked together.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2007/122017-DSC00882.JPG

this is one end of the bottom of the top tray which is the same on the other end and the next two trays.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Dec-2007/122017-DSC00883.JPG

Hi, WC! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and photos! One of the things I was regretting was that I had not made my trays about 1/8"or3/16" shorter so that the bottom of the tray stacked over the lower one would press against the top of the pans in the lower tray---and hold in place any loose particles I had 'worked up'---BUT---you idea of the feet, helping hold the trays in their stacking position, is great---and I think what I'll do is make just one big foot that will also press against the pans when I'm stacking and moving around---which will be really handy when going plein air painting, bouncing around in the car, etc. So---your idea has turned my regret into a happy accident! Thank you!!!

Lovely b/w portrait in the background.

The glue is a nice idea for those not taping solidly inside! I'm surprised how long the original clear packing tape lasted on my original trays for sticks back in the mid-'80's. Changed out the tape on the orignal travel trays after nearly 20 years---just because the tape's stickyness had given up in places. Sounds like you have a great tape, too! Thanks again! Will take a look at your pieces in the other forum! Take good care and happy painting! Donna;-}

Donn
12-26-2007, 04:08 PM
Thanks Donna. Good to know. Some of the papers you mentioned I never heard of. BTW, my Canson Mi Teintes says it's acid free.
Also saw on the PP website on substrates, they indicate a right side and wrong side of the Mi Teintes. My question, is the right side the rougher side or the smoother side?
WC, what type of glue did you use? Hopefully you can answer today as we are going into town tomorrow and I can pick up some. Thanks. Like your photos of the trays. It helps. BTW, I think the girl's portrait in the background is great. How I envy those who can do people.

Morgaine
12-26-2007, 04:51 PM
Ahhhhh---I always think in terms of the original meaning of 'amateur'---'lover of....' :-) I'm so sorry we have lost that lovely connotation. At any rate---you love painting! yea! :-)


Wow, what a great use of the word. I agree with you - we should get back to the original meaning. I'm an amateur and proud of it!

Dougwas
12-26-2007, 05:15 PM
Well, I just played with my Pans for about half an hour (it's all my back would allow me) and the first thing I noticed was how many colours you can layer without making mud.:) I can see this will help liven up some paintings.

I know I am going to have to start reading this thread again from the start because there is so much info here I can't remember.:o Oh well. They say your memory is the second thing to go. I can't remember what the first thing is.:rolleyes:

BTW Donna. We got the turkey in the oven on time yesterday and I left my Pans alone until today, so you are off the hook.

I am looking forward to learning how to use the Pans and also looking forward to seeing how other people are using them. I know it will be fun and exciting.


Doug

WC Lee
12-26-2007, 05:23 PM
Donn: I just use ordinary white elmer's glue :D Thanks for the compliment on the portrait :) oh to answer your question on the mi teintes to Donna, the right side is the textured side while the smoother side is the wrong side.

Donna: I thought of using a single piece for the footing on each tray, but I only had one foam board left and wanted to finish it all at the same time (and immediately so I can start using them). Yep, I'm was very impatient :D and thanks for the compliment on the portrait too :)

Dougwas: one thing great about the pans is that it produces almost no dust. This allows me to sit comfortably anywhere and paint with them instead of using an easel.

Donna A
12-27-2007, 12:14 AM
Ahhhhh---I always think in terms of the original meaning of 'amateur'---'lover of....' :-) I'm so sorry we have lost that lovely connotation. At any rate---you love painting! yea! :-)

Wow, what a great use of the word. I agree with you - we should get back to the original meaning. I'm an amateur and proud of it!

Hi, Morgaine! Welcome to Wet Canvas!!! So glad to you you with us! I'm glad you have that same appreciation of the original meaning of amateur! Yea for loving what you're doing! :-) Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-27-2007, 12:26 AM
Well, I just played with my Pans for about half an hour (it's all my back would allow me) and the first thing I noticed was how many colours you can layer without making mud.:) I can see this will help liven up some paintings.

Hi, Doug! So good to hear from you! What a great insight about the PanP's and colour!!! Excellent! That is a big issue! A great and helpful blessing!!!


I know I am going to have to start reading this thread again from the start because there is so much info here I can't remember.:o Oh well. They say your memory is the second thing to go. I can't remember what the first thing is.:rolleyes:

Argh!!! I'm with you on that one! :-) I always say that I am soooo proud that I remember that I used to have a memory! :-)


BTW Donna. We got the turkey in the oven on time yesterday and I left my Pans alone until today, so you are off the hook.

Ohhhh, Doug---I'm so impressed with your patience! :-) I know the family had to be pleased to have you right there celebrating the day with them (instead of running off to the easel!)



I am looking forward to learning how to use the Pans and also looking forward to seeing how other people are using them. I know it will be fun and exciting.

Doug

Absolutely!! I'm so looking forward to hearing more about your adventures! And---hope you back settles down! Let me know if you have any questions! Take good care and very best wishes!!! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-27-2007, 12:33 AM
Hi, Donn. Yes, as WC noted, Canson's textured side is the right side---and most who use Canson use the "wrong" side. :-) Yes, really! :-) From what you say about the label saying 'acid-free'----sounds like they have changed their formula. Great! That's a real improvement. Good to know! Thanks! Enjoy!!! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-27-2007, 12:46 AM
Thanks, WC, on the type of glue. Will get some tomorrow. And thanks on the note on the Canson paper, the "wrong" side being the smoother side. I prefer that side myself.
Got to get another foam core board too, the one I have is a bit warped, good for sides and feet. I'm going to make 2 15 PP trays. I have 24 colors and will probably add a couple more. It's late, so will ask your opinion of the additional colors to get.

WC Lee
12-27-2007, 04:52 AM
The question of which color to get is probably more suited to be answered by Donna, I have limited experience using colors but it really depends what subjects you paint the most. If you do landscape, where you live dictates on what colors to get.

WC Lee
12-27-2007, 12:08 PM
Got a few more foam board yesterday so this morning, I finished making the top tray and cover to go with the other trays. Here is a couple of images showing what they look like. This tray also has the little legs on the bottom too. Again, ignore my lack of taping finesse and the mess behind it :D

lpb
12-27-2007, 01:01 PM
EXTRA LIDS for PP

Hi, I asked the PP people if we could get extra lids, as I wanted to organize my boxes differently and didn't have enough lids. Here is their reply.

Regarding the lids, your PanPastel retailer should be able to supply you with extra lids. They can purchase them from us (PanPastels), 8 lids are $2.99 (list price). The item code for the lids is 32012.

FYI, in case anyone is interested.

Donna A
12-27-2007, 07:32 PM
Great addition to the info, Lorraine! Thanks!

And speaking of lids---I've made my own special color in one of the lids---something I tried a few weeks ago and repeated a few days ago to get a handy very dark foliage green color mix that I can quickly and continuously dip into to cover a fair sized area with greatest ease---with some improvement this second time.

With a spongeless triangle knife, I scraped off bits of the Shades of Thalo Green, Raw Umber, Violet and Black, in different proportions into one of the lids. I mixed the colors together and then added in some drops of rubbing alcohol to wet it---and mixed some more to get it evenly combined, using that knife tool. Decided to add still more alcohol to get it wet enough that it might be soupy and level out, which it did with a few careful side-ways shakes plus taps against the table top. Then, I left it sitting while the alcohol evaporated. The next morning it was ready! Yea!

This is what it's looking like this afternoon---sitting next the first one I did a few weeks ago---and the knife I mixed it with this time. You can see a bit of other pigment that I've had on one of my sponge tools as I've mixed between the regular Pans and my mix. I made much less the first time, so most of that is gone---and you can see that I used different proportions that time and, if I remember correctly, no Black.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Dec-2007/77048-DarkFoliageGreenMix.jpg

So---with this pan of home-made color blend, I was able to paint sooo fast to achieve the dark and very darkest foliage greens---using the mixed color as a base for adding in other colors with different sponge loads of color. This is the only type color I've tried this with, but I've been extremely pleased and will surely do the same for other very particular color mixes needed in a fairly good amount. Below is about a 6.5" x 7.5" area of the bottom right corner of this 26"x32" painting that I've been working on. Finally beginnning to do a bit of actual painting rather than roughing in, although this corner below is still rough-in state. Guess I should take the camera off the tripod and upload some pics later this evening----or---maybe manana!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Dec-2007/77048-DarkFoliageGreenMix-applied.jpg

I've been learning some more things. Will share! Hope you all are having a grand time! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-27-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the info on the lids, WC. About the lids, was that $2.99 each with a minimum of 8 purchased or a total of $2.99 for 8 lids? I'm very interested in getting additional lids.
As far as the colors go, I like mostly landscapes and wanting to try more flowers. I was thinking of getting Phtalo Blue Tint, Burnt Sienna Shade, Magenta shade and Paynes Grey Tint 840.8. I'm questionable on Perm Red Shade and Phtalo Green shade. Thinking about an additional white since I don't have many tints. Opinions?
How often are the greys used? I do have Paynes Grey 840.3 and Neutral Grey 820.5.
Donna, your new green sounds interesting. Think I'll leave that experimenting to you! Way beyond me at this point.
I was able to pick up a package of 20 soft tip eye applicators from our CVS store. They didn't have anything larger. Thought these would be good to use on my color ID sheet for my color notebook.

Donna A
12-28-2007, 01:35 AM
T<snip> As far as the colors go, I like mostly landscapes and wanting to try more flowers. I was thinking of getting Phtalo Blue Tint, Burnt Sienna Shade, Magenta shade and Paynes Grey Tint 840.8. I'm questionable on Perm Red Shade and Phtalo Green shade. Thinking about an additional white since I don't have many tints. Opinions?
How often are the greys used? I do have Paynes Grey 840.3 and Neutral Grey 820.5.

Hi, Donn! How about posting a list of the colors you have, listed with Shade, Tint and the pure color together in any pigment---and that will give me a better idea of colors I would suggest adding. Definitely the Thalo Green Shade. Raw Umber Shade, too if you don't have that. Well---I'll wait for your list. There are certain colors that just make things easier! I'm being ever more aware of the colors I end up using the most---or---combinations that I find tremendously useful!


Donna, your new green sounds interesting. Think I'll leave that experimenting to you!

Well---that's a pretty simple and useful thing for some color you'd use often. So---do keep the idea handy for when you really get rolling with these! But, no---you're right! You don't need to bother with that for now!

Way beyond me at this point.
I was able to pick up a package of 20 soft tip eye applicators from our CVS store. They didn't have anything larger. Thought these would be good to use on my color ID sheet for my color notebook.

Just remember those don't lay down quite as rich a layer of color---but you should find them useful---especially since it gives you separate applicators for 20 colors!

I'll look forward to seeing your list of colors and will share some suggestions---and the whys and wherefores for any particular color rather than another. Might give you a bit more to consider as you decide what other colors to add. So---mainly landscapes and flowers, hmmm! OK! :-) Take good care! Donna ;-}

lpb
12-28-2007, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the info on the lids, WC. About the lids, was that $2.99 each with a minimum of 8 purchased or a total of $2.99 for 8 lids? I'm very interested in getting additional lids.
Donn, I posted exactly what PP said. I interpret the this to mean that a "package" of 8 lids will cost a total of $2.99. The information I received did not say 2.99 "each". This seems quite reasonable to me, and I may order a couple of packages.

Donna, thanks for explaining how you made a new color. This just excites my watercolor heart and I will be sure to try it!

Donn
12-28-2007, 11:49 AM
Hi Donna. The colors I have are: Permanent Red 340.5, Magenta 430.6, Violet 470.5, Hansa Yellow 220.5, Darylide Yellow 250.5, Orange 280.5, Ultramarine Blue 520.5, Phthalo Blue 560.5, Turquoise 580.5, Turquoise Shade 580.3, Phthalo Green 620.5, Permanent Green 640.5, Permanent Green Shade 640.3, Chrom Oxide Green Shade 660.3, Raw Umber 780.5, Raw Umber Shade 780.3, Paynes Grey 840.3, Bright Yellow Green 680.5, Yellow Ochre 270.5, Red Oxide 380.5, Burnt Sienna 740.5 Neutral Grey 820.5, Black 800.5 and White 100.5.
The shades above are what I got extra. The other colors are what was in the 20 color painting set. I have tried to upload an attachment of the sleeve my pastels came in.
I like to do mostly landscapes and seascapes, very little still life (if any at all) or flowers. Would like to try more flowers.
Your suggestions are more than welcome.

Donn
12-28-2007, 11:53 AM
Donn, I posted exactly what PP said. I interpret the this to mean that a "package" of 8 lids will cost a total of $2.99. The information I received did not say 2.99 "each". This seems quite reasonable to me, and I may order a couple of packages.

Donna, thanks for explaining how you made a new color. This just excites my watercolor heart and I will be sure to try it!

I wrote them too and got the same answer. FineArtSupply, where I got mine, said they would try to get some on an order they just placed. So, we'll see. Yes, that seems quite reasonable to me too. I could use the extra 16 lids.

Donna A
12-28-2007, 08:22 PM
Hi Donna. The colors I have are: Permanent Red 340.5, Magenta 430.6, Violet 470.5, Hansa Yellow 220.5, Darylide Yellow 250.5, Orange 280.5, Ultramarine Blue 520.5, Phthalo Blue 560.5, Turquoise 580.5, Turquoise Shade 580.3, Phthalo Green 620.5, Permanent Green 640.5, Permanent Green Shade 640.3, Chrom Oxide Green Shade 660.3, Raw Umber 780.5, Raw Umber Shade 780.3, Paynes Grey 840.3, Bright Yellow Green 680.5, Yellow Ochre 270.5, Red Oxide 380.5, Burnt Sienna 740.5 Neutral Grey 820.5, Black 800.5 and White 100.5.
The shades above are what I got extra. The other colors are what was in the 20 color painting set. I have tried to upload an attachment of the sleeve my pastels came in.
I like to do mostly landscapes and seascapes, very little still life (if any at all) or flowers. Would like to try more flowers.
Your suggestions are more than welcome.

Hi, Donn! You've got a great palette to work with and expand on. From here in Kansas, I don't do seascapes with 1,500 miles of "beachfront!" east and west---but colors I use so often for landscapes in my PanP's, which you do not yet have, are: Violet Shade, Orange Shade, Red Iron Oxide Shade, Thalo Green Shade and Thalo Blue Shade. I also use the Yellow Ochre Tint a LOT and think it would likely serve you very well for those pale warm fields and warm lights in clouds, for which I've been working them hard in the new sunrise piece, and for other strong warm lights. The Thalo Blue Tint will serve you well, too! If you had to take something off this list, first, I'd delete the Thalo Blue Shade, wonderful as it is. You could accomplish many qualities right now with the Ultramarine and Thalo Green Shades. Or Black, Ultra and the Shade of Thalo Green.

• I use Thalo Blue Shade a lot with the Raw Umber Shade for some of my dark, dark greens. (Raw Umber is a yellow---a very low-intensity and often slightly greenish yellow---and one I use constantly in pastels.)

• But even more often for those important darker greens, I use Thalo Green Shade with Violet Shade with Raw Umber Shade, dipping the sponge tool into one color then the next and then the next---and then often back to the first---and then paint on the color mix. Always in different proportions for naturally-occurring color nuances we find in real life. Thalo Green for it's potency of 'green-ness,' the Violet to give a bit of red for a far more natural foliage green (taming that very bluish, very intense Thalo Gr.), and then the Raw Umber to learn it warmer---and to also nudge down the intensity, as well. And goodness knows---that Thalo needs to be 'knocked down a few pegs!!!" :-)

Now---about that mixing I was mentioning above---I was doing that kind of color mixing this afternoon with the flesh tints instead of foliage greens while painting one of my grand nieces. We can just dip into (well swipe across the top of) the Pan and then repeat with another Pan color---and then, as needed, a third Pan color. I almost always go back and pick up a bit of the first color again as I'm picking color on my sponge tool to create a needed color mix.

• Other color mixtures I use soo often, in pretty much any subject matter and certainly constantly in landscapes is the Red Iron Oxide Shade and Violet Shade---with each other and then often one or the other (or both) with other colors. These two colors, used in various proportions together, create wonderful warm, lower intensity darks that I find constantly valuable.

• The Red Iron Oxide Shade or Red Iron Oxide .5 mixed with Black make great versions of browns that many would rely on Burnt Umber to create.

• Paynes Gray Shade is a wonderful ally in darkening, cooling off and/or graying a color "mixed" with other colors.

• I use all three Oranges a LOT! The Orange Shade mixes into warmer darker, darker Greens and gives so many useful colors for landscapes (and other subjects) with very warm, golden glow aspects. I find it extremely useful in many ways.

I do tend to use Magenta, Perm. Red and Burnt Sienna Shades a bit less than the other shades, but still they are lovely---but they might give you a bit less right now as you are building your collection.

• With Red Iron Oxide and Orange Shades, you can accomplish many important color effects that you might use the Burnt Sienna for. But wonderful Burnt Sienna would not do what the other two can with a smaller palette. When I help artists choose pigments when they are beginning with a medium---or when they are selecting a limited but powerful palette for plein air or compact traveling, it's always a matter of going after particular pigments which give you the most versatility to accomplish most everything you'd be painting---and giving up some lovely and very convinient pigments which have striking qualities, but---in a pinch, others can combine to deliver great effects that come very close!

I use the Yellow Ochre, Orange and Red Iron Oxide Tints a LOT---and also the UltraMarine and Thalo Blue Tints a LOT. These would be the first Tints I'd invest in if building a collection of Pan Pastels. These do all seem to come into play constantly no matter whether I'm doing a landscape, a portrait or a still life. I use the other Tints a lot , as well, but these seem to come into constant play the most frequently.

So---there are some thoughts to toss into the pile as you make your decisions in what to bring into your palette next. They are all just sooo yummy! :-)

One thing a lot of artists do is try to find single colors that will not require any mixing---but---most of the visual world just does not cooperate with us enough! :-) We have to mix. And it's kinda fun! Does take a bit of getting the hang of it, but---exciting to experiment and find the amazing possibilities! And it gives the artist a magnificent power!!! Worth every bit of practice it takes!!! I'll upload the Mixing Color pdf file which might be of use to you and/or some of the other artists.

Wishing you well in your choosing! And have fun using what you have already!!! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-28-2007, 10:10 PM
Wow, thanks, Donna, for your suggestions and info on colors. We don't live near any seacoast either, but I do like to paint seascapes.
As far as the colors your suggest, it looks like the Violet Shade, Orange tint and Thalo Green shade along with Thalo Blue tint and Ultramarine Blue tint for 5. If I go one additional it would have to be the Yellow Ochre tint.
Any comments on the above?
I don't think I'd use the orange shade and red oxide tints now. After looking at the color of Orange shade sample from fineartstore, it's pretty dark and it looks like I might use the orange tint more. The blue tints I can use for my skies and water.
Have to limit my colors to total of 30 as that's all the room I have in the 2 15 color trays I built today. Not as pretty as yours or WC's, but functional. Now have to build something for the tools and sponges. For some reason, my second tray turned out better than the first one. Wonder why???:)
Thanks for the link to the mixing colors handout. Haven't had a chance to look at it yet.
Hopefully this weekend I can start using them.

Donna A
12-29-2007, 02:15 AM
Hi, everyone! I had such a great time painting one of my great nieces this afternoon. We got a late start so only worked maybe an hour and a half, so will probably finish from photos I took of her before and after, as we were loosing light. I had really intended to begin with the PanP's and then go to the stick pastels, but---just kept having such a wonderful time with the Pans, loving the effect they were giving---so---not yet. Maybe, maybe I will add some sticks later. Here are some pictures, one of which Emily's sister Elisa took. I'll paint Elisa tomorrow afternoon. Elisa is majoring in art at college, so she was watching the progress---and we set up a mirror so that Emily could watch, as well---see the progress of her portrait. Both have enjoyed doing art work over the years and was fun to get to spend this time with them today!

Below, the roughed in drawing of Emily in fine vine charcoal on Colourfix Leaf Green 20"x28".

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-drawing.jpg

Photo of Emily. (I realized later that I used a lens setting that was sooo not good for faces---making them a bit bigger in the center of the face and smaller beyond. Need to remember that!!! Argh!) I chose the Leaf Green color---a cooler, moderate-intesity medium-valued green to play off against the warm olive green of her top and the reddish tones in her dark hair.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-photo-290.jpg

The portrait so far. A lot left to do. Nothing really brought near a finishing point except perhaps her left eye, on our right. And things to fix.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-1.jpg

Here is a close-up of part of Emily's face. I've hardly done anything on behalf of the nose yet---save a bit of light down the center and a few fast swipes of color---but need to pay attentnion to the nostrils and other things. I love the flesh tones that are just sooo easy with these PanP's. And how easy it is to gently leave some of the cooler or lower-intensity color of a background playing through. Such ease. I love the look that can be achieved so easily with these colors. You can see in the detail how loose this piece is in many ways---and yet definition where I want or need it. I want to keep a sense of casualness about it while still a mellow refinement.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-eye-nose-cheek.jpg

The light is just so lovely in Emily's eyes. We worked with the light a good while. It is so important to set the lighting up well. In the shadow area of the eye near the hair, you can still see the background of Leaf Green---and around the inside corners of the eyes (so far)---and small areas around the nostrils, and several areas where the warm pigments just barely cover the Leaf Green, such as at the bottom right of the detail pic---cheek area.

Here is a picture of us at work.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/29-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-DA_painting.jpg

Emily is sitting in front of the 1875 confessional made in Italy and imported to a church somewhere in Nebraska way back then---that has been living in my classroom studio some 30 years. Such beautiful wood work.

Tomorrow I paint Emily's sister Elisa. Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-29-2007, 11:53 AM
Donna, that's just lovely! What a beautiful portrait. You've done wonders with the PanPastels, I don't know if I would add any regular sticks to it or not. But, as I said before, I admire anyone who can do portraits. I can't draw a person worth a darn! Thanks for WIP.

PeggyB
12-29-2007, 12:16 PM
Donna you are amazing! What you've done with the PPs is an inspiration to anyone who is even thinking of trying them, and your great niece is really a lovely young woman so I can see why you are inspired to paint her.

However, only you would have an antique confessional in your studio! What a beautiful piece of - - ummm furniture? :lol:

Peggy

Donn
12-29-2007, 12:27 PM
Hi all,
For those interested, I just got an email from Mike at http://www.fineartstore.com/ and he said he'll have the lids in stock around Jan 2. One pack of 8 lids for $2.99. You can order them without the stock number by placing the info in the instruction box when you order from them.
Thought I'd pass this along.

bluefish
12-29-2007, 01:05 PM
Donna

Have you tried the PPs on 'Pescia' multi - media papers, especially the Pescia light blue?

'blue....';)

Donn
12-29-2007, 06:00 PM
I just did a color chart of the colors I have. The blank spaces are for colors on the way. The lighter colors to the left of each color is with white added.
I will say one thing, these are the best pastels I've ever used. Like the way then went on the Mi-Teintes smooth side. They are soft, yet very striking colors.
I decided against the Violet shade for a Paynes grey tint 840.8. I thought my regular violet was plenty dark!
BTW, the chart was lightly sprayed with a fixative so I could scan it. I saw no darkening of any of the colors.
The chart is on my Flickr. I resized it for Wet Canvas, but don't know how it will be large enough to see properly.
How do you all add photos large enough to see the details? Is there a trick or way of doing it? Seems like the attachments are too small. This one included.

WC Lee
12-29-2007, 06:44 PM
Donn: The pan pastels are great, aren't they? You'll find that they don't need fixative and will happily stay where they are even for scanning, one of the reasons why I prefer these over regular sticks, even a faint smell of fixative gives me a headache.

Shirl Parker
12-29-2007, 06:54 PM
I just used Prismacolor Matte Fixative on a PP multicolor sky I am working on, and see no harm. Anyone else have experience with this?

Shirl

Donna A
12-29-2007, 09:28 PM
Donna, that's just lovely! What a beautiful portrait. You've done wonders with the PanPastels, I don't know if I would add any regular sticks to it or not. But, as I said before, I admire anyone who can do portraits. I can't draw a person worth a darn! Thanks for WIP.

Thank you so much, Donn. I've always loved doing portraits. And these in PanP's, particularly those on the medium to darker Colourfix, have been utter delights. Aside from the lovely flesh tones I can create so very easily, I just love the feel of the way the pigment goes on.

Donna you are amazing! What you've done with the PPs is an inspiration to anyone who is even thinking of trying them, and your great niece is really a lovely young woman so I can see why you are inspired to paint her.

However, only you would have an antique confessional in your studio! What a beautiful piece of - - ummm furniture?

Peggy

Oh, Peggy! Bless you! Thank you! They just keep amazing and delighting me. And thank you on behalf of my great niece. Today I painted her sister--and will finish tomorrow afternoon.

LOL! It is really beautiful---the confessional! 11' high---and I've used some of the wonderful woodwork detail in many still lifes and some portraits as well. Came across it laying in the drizzle in the back yard of an antique store where I'd gone to borrow a Russian samovar for a special still life. LOL! Well---there is even more flavor in the whole background of it's coming into my life---but---that's enough for now. It's such a shame---my own confessional and nuthin' interestin' ta confess. Dang! :-)

Again--many thanks to you both! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-29-2007, 09:32 PM
Donna, that's just lovely! What a beautiful portrait. You've done wonders with the PanPastels, I don't know if I would add any regular sticks to it or not. But, as I said before, I admire anyone who can do portraits. I can't draw a person worth a darn! Thanks for WIP.

Thank you so much, Donn. I've always loved doing portraits. And these in PanP's, particularly those on the medium to darker Colourfix, have been utter delights. Aside from the lovely flesh tones I can create so very easily, I just love the feel of the way the pigment goes on.

Donna you are amazing! What you've done with the PPs is an inspiration to anyone who is even thinking of trying them, and your great niece is really a lovely young woman so I can see why you are inspired to paint her.

However, only you would have an antique confessional in your studio! What a beautiful piece of - - ummm furniture?

Peggy

Oh, Peggy! Bless you! Thank you! They just keep amazing and delighting me. And thank you on behalf of my great niece. Today I painted her sister--and will finish tomorrow afternoon. Another late start---there is something today that I'm just not 'getting.' Grrrrr.

LOL! It is really beautiful---the confessional! 11' high---and I've used some of the wonderful woodwork detail in many still lifes and some portraits as well. Came across it laying in the drizzle in the back yard of an antique store where I'd gone to borrow a Russian samovar for a special still life. LOL! Well---there is even more flavor in the whole background of it's coming into my life---but---that's enough for now. It's such a shame---my own confessional and nuthin' interestin' ta confess. Dang! :-)

Again--many thanks to you both! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-29-2007, 09:40 PM
Donna

Have you tried the PPs on 'Pescia' multi - media papers, especially the Pescia light blue?

'blue....';)

Hi, blue! Pescia sounds familiar from my printmaking days. No, I have not tried it, but will look through my printmaking papers and samples soon and find a piece to try out. I experimented with so many papers 'back then' and have such a love and respect for beautiful papers.

Thank you always for your great inspirations to new experiments! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-29-2007, 10:26 PM
Hi, Donn! Glad you got your color chart made and new colors ordered! Guess something like the chart would have to be uploaded in sections---larger pieces of each. And---maybe larger swatches of each color just to have enough area to really review---for your own use.

Donn: The pan pastels are great, aren't they? You'll find that they don't need fixative and will happily stay where they are even for scanning, one of the reasons why I prefer these over regular sticks, even a faint smell of fixative gives me a headache.
I just used Prismacolor Matte Fixative on a PP multicolor sky I am working on, and see no harm. Anyone else have experience with this?

Shirl


Hi, WC. I've really been pleased, too, that the PanP's seem to stay so well where we put them down! A great blessing!!!

Shirl, I have used what's now Prismacolor (still in the former Grumbacher label) Fixatives on the Pan Pastels when painted onto the stretched canvas---but also on etching papers and Cfix when I want to either seal off one layer(s) of color from another---or to attempt to darken areas of color---or---when I've really, really piled on the PanP pigment, which is very possible!

But, for the most part, I blessedly don't find fixative needed with PanP's---and for me to say that is just remarkable!

I am such a firm believer in fixative for stick pastels! Of course, I typically layer deeply muchly! :-) And a now-retired gallery owner her in KC would call me every 6 or 8 months and ask me, "Now, Donna, what is it again that you do to keep your pastels from coming off on everything inside the glass?" She hated working with most pastel artists because when she'd give another one a try, she would have to end up reframing so many.

I don't think that the fixative would cause any problem at all when spraying in quick, light, repeated applications, letting it dry in between each. If it feels most comfortable to do it, go for it! :-) Here is the fixative page on my web site with illustrations and commentary from Ross Merrill, head curator of the National Gallery, Washington, DC, on their tests of using fixative on pastels.

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

Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-30-2007, 03:14 AM
Hi, Everyone! I began a portrait of another grand niece today---Elisa, Emily's sister. I was again just practically salivating over what remarkably gorgeous flesh tones can be made soooo very quickly and easily with the Pan Pastels. Just sumptuous colors and effects that seem to be both strong and delicate at the same time. And hair is so easy, too. Today I worked on Storm Blue Colourfix since Elisa was wearing a deep teal top of about the same value as the Storm Blue, so it gave me a great dynamic, going between the cooler paper color and the warmer blue (yellow-leaning-by-way-of-green.) I sat her in front of different area of the confessional, so the rich dark orangey wood vibrates against the blue. Well, more about that tomorrow.

I'm just still shaking my head with delighted amazement and gratitude for the ease and beauty of the flesh tones. I'm used to them in my oils and my stick pastels---but there is something with these PanP's that seems to come even easier, in ways. And it is being so very easy to pick up a fresh sponge and pull off a bit of pigment if I want to reveal a bit more of the base color of the Cfix---as in these two paintings---using the paper color to visually mix with the pigment color to alter the temperature and intensity of the flesh tones! I've used techniques like this with my stick pastels over Cfix or color from alcohol underpaintings, or in oil painting using several versions of the very classic transparent underpainting. I just keep finding things that inspire happiness.

It's so silly---this afternoon I was thinking that this is just sooo delicious laying in these gorgeous flesh tones---and so easy and so inviting---that why would I ever want to paint anything else. So silly, because I am fascinated by all manner of subject matter around me in real life---but it was interesting to me that I had such thoughts. Still---I've been having such a grand time working on the most recent landscape---perhaps I should say a skyscape with land. This is the largest piece I've done with PanP's so far---32"x26"---and is still mainly rough-in, though I did start painting in some of the upper clouds several days ago and just loving it----using seriously the Sofft Tool for the first time with its sponge covering.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-Dec-2007/77048-NESunRise-4.jpg

It was a glorious sunrise---in Halsey, Nebraska where I was doing a couple of workshops. I remember waiting 20 minutes that morning for that particular sunrise. :-) (I'm a "night person." Most sunrises I've seen [many] have come from the midnight side!!!) The photo was sooo worth it! A LOT more work to do on this painting and I've set it aside for a couple of days for the new portraits. For now, will concentrate on the portraits of my great nieces, since they must get back to their college in a few days. But I can glance over to my right and see into the studio the 'skyscape' on the easel waiting! So many gorgeous things around us to paint! Yea!!! I so hope you are finding things to paint that are as enjoyable! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Dougwas
12-30-2007, 04:12 AM
WOW Donna!! That sky is looking fantastic. I can't wait to see it when you finish it. I am also looking forward to seeing your portraits of your great nieces. The first one is looking so good. I bet she loves it.

I have been cleaning my studio, so I haven't had any play time. I have to make room for all my new supplies and get rid of some junk. One good thing about pastels is you can leave everything out when you are finished for the day. :) One bad thing is you can leave everything out when you are finished for the day.:( Oh well. At least I will be organized when I do begin playing. I am having fun watching you discover new things with the Pan P's. It must be fun for you.


Doug

Donn
12-30-2007, 01:23 PM
Wow is right! This is beautiful as is. I don't know how much more you can improve on it. It's a georgeous skyscape! Wonder if I can ever come a quarter to do anything like this with the PPs.
I did find out one thing, they don't work too good on smooth paper! I started a farm scene in my sketchbook which has smooth paper and it doesn't go on like it did on the Mi-Teintes paper I did the color sheet on. But I'll finish it the best I can and post it later. But at least it's a start.
Anxious to see what you did with the new portrait of your grand niece.

Donn
12-30-2007, 09:51 PM
Hi all,
I've just finished my first painting with the new PanPastels. First of all, it was done in my sketchbook (6 x 9 inches) which has smooth paper. Needless to say, the pastels didn't take to it very well. Very hard to get one color on another, but I did the best I could. They are easy and fun to work with nevertheless. Next time it will be on paper that will take pastels!
I had to use regular pastel pencils for the tree trunks and windows. Just couldn't figure out how to use the PPs that small. My sponges are too big.
It's on my Flickr in case I can't get it attached here big enough.

WC Lee
12-30-2007, 10:13 PM
Donn: nice painting considering the colors won't stick after the first layer. I noticed that I have a very difficult time using the pans on white paper, but the toned papers works okay. The papers I found that works good with the pan pastels are Canson Mi Teintes, Strathmore Artagain, Strathmore charcoal, and Fabriano Tiziano. And in my opinion, avoid using the white and the black. I would attah some paintings but don't wan't to hijack the thread :D but they can be viewed on my website and my blog, links on my signature :)

Donna: the portrait of your daughter is looking great as is the skyscape/landscape painting :)

Donna A
12-31-2007, 01:12 AM
Hi all,
I've just finished my first painting with the new PanPastels. First of all, it was done in my sketchbook (6 x 9 inches) which has smooth paper. Needless to say, the pastels didn't take to it very well. Very hard to get one color on another, but I did the best I could. They are easy and fun to work with nevertheless. Next time it will be on paper that will take pastels!
I had to use regular pastel pencils for the tree trunks and windows. Just couldn't figure out how to use the PPs that small. My sponges are too big.
It's on my Flickr in case I can't get it attached here big enough.

Hi, Donn. Nice little first piece---in spite of working on smooth paper. I like the way you let the ground change color from the foreground to the background. That gives a great sense of space and distance. And nice to give light to the road and ground just in front of the dark barn. Nice contrast that takes the eye right there.

For narrow lines, I love using the straight sides of either the triangle or rectangle knife tools. I've been able to get some wonderfully richly-colored fine lines with them picking up a very good amount of color then simply laying the edge against the painting and then lifting it again. And the tip of the triangle knife is great for little tiny spots! I LOVE all the things I can do with the triangles---as well as the other knives. You can also get fine lines with the long or short corners of the bar sponges. The trick is in developing a good habit for loading the sponge. One of those great things to experiment with a bit so you'll be ready when you really need "The Touch!" :-) So far, so good! Yea! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-31-2007, 01:26 AM
Donn: nice painting considering the colors won't stick after the first layer. I noticed that I have a very difficult time using the pans on white paper, but the toned papers works okay. The papers I found that works good with the pan pastels are Canson Mi Teintes, Strathmore Artagain, Strathmore charcoal, and Fabriano Tiziano. And in my opinion, avoid using the white and the black. I would attah some paintings but don't wan't to hijack the thread :D but they can be viewed on my website and my blog, links on my signature :)

Donna: the portrait of your daughter is looking great as is the skyscape/landscape painting :)

Hi, WC. I really enjoyed seeing your pieces on your Pan Pastel spot. Had visited one of your other gallery spots some days ago. You have some lovely works! Would love to hear more about these papers you've been experimenting with---if there is any thing in particular you might want to take the trouble to share. And would love to see some of your paintings, here, too if you want. I'm just fascinated by what different artists are discovering--or having problems with, etc. We all learn things from each other---or---sometimes just simply enjoy!

I haven't tried any black papers yet, but some rather darks that gave some great effects. I've used white several times and no problem---but sanded papers. I do think I like using the PanP's on colored surfaces, better, too.

And thanks! I painted my other grand niece today (and yesterday.) And tomorrow hope to get back to the skyscape. Emily and Elisa wore me out the last three afternoons! :-) Posting pics and some things I learned from the new portrait next. Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
12-31-2007, 02:40 AM
Hi, again, Everyone! I had a great time painting my other great niece, Elisa yesterday afternoon and this afternoon. Yesterday my niece, Catherine, her Mom came along. Today, a friend of Elisa's who is also an art major came along, too. Was fun! I had some trouble really 'getting' Elisa. Finally!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/77048-Elisa-12-30-07--334.jpg

Think I'll still do a bit more work on the Elisa's shirt---which right now is not letting her look trim, as she actually is---and the background. Here's a photo of Elisa below---and things photoed under this hot spot light always show up a LOT more red-orange on camera than they do to the eye in real life---so you'll see her hair color much different between the photo and the painting. It's really more the blue-blonde in the painting (plus she's practically sitting under the sky light which is above and to her right.)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/77048-Elisa-photo-0318.jpg

A package of new sponges had just arrived and for the first time I tried the round sponge. Had missed it earlier, somehow. I LOVE IT! Wow! It's thinner than the bar and larger sponges and I found it fabulous to hold cuppling up the two sides and painting with it that way. Gave me soft, graduated edges, which was perfect for so many things. I found it so handy to turn the sponge tool 90 degrees to use for another color, etc.---and also used the other side---so it gave me a lot of 'color areas' on just one tool---and easy to go back and forth between them. Remarkably handy! I was able to overlay a new layer of color or gently pull over one color into another color area to get wonderfully subtle gradations. For those who love blending----WOW! This does perhaps an even even better job than some of the others---perhaps. Each tool offers some special ways of achieving blends. And it was so easy to soften edges without destroying existing color impact.

Here is the charcoal drawing I did along with the early flesh tones I roughed in. You can see on both sides of the jaw and in the shadow area of the neck how it was so easy to lay on sheer layers of warm flesh tones, retaining some of the Storm Blue Colorfix visually mixing for shadow tones. It is so easy on these Cfix papers to go back in with a clean sponge and pull off pigment to get the right balance of under color and surface color. And something we can do with many other color papers or 'fixed' underpaintings (watercolor, etc,) as well.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/77048-Elisa-drawing-0322.jpg

Below is a detail of Elisa's face. Pardon. I should have taken it with the Macro lens setting. A bit blurry and I didn't have a pure white in the image to do a White Balance in PhotoShop to get the right color---so---the piece looks 'rough.' But still....

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/77048-Emily-detail-0336.jpg

So---another cool thing I realized today, that helped me achieve even more easily some of the nuances in the face, was that the roll of paper towel I use to whip clean a sponge tool can also work as a bit of a 'softening palette.' Had previously used a piece of foam core board (had laying around) now and then to rub my sponge against a bit to be sure the several colors I'd picked up had been unified into a single color---or to lay off a bit of color, as one does sometimes with and oil or acrylic brush, to achieve a particular amount for a certain stroke.

Well, I realized that there was a particular area where I'd kept cleaning off the sponge when I'd lay on an Ultramarine/Red Oxide mix with a bit of Red Oxide Tint, cleaning the sponge of any color I might have picked up with that stroke, before I reloaded again. I realized that by using the 'collection' of pigment from this mixture on the roll of Bounty paper towels, (my favs) I could use this 'captured' pigment to help 'moderate' the very careful mix I was using again---either by making sure it was the same over and over again or by picking up some of the wiped-off color to slightly alter the color(s) on my sponge tool. Don't know if I'm explaining this in any sort of way that makes any sense at all---but---it's something I'm going to include in my regular PanP painting techniques.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/77048-portrait.jpg

And last---here is Elisa as she was sitting for the portrait---in front of a different area of the confessional than her sister had posed. This has been such fun! Still need to finish backgrounds in both pieces---and I'm eager to get back to the skyscape, too! Great way to finish off 2007!

Wishing you all a very healthy, happy, peaceful, prosperous and painterly 2008! Love and Hugs! Donna ;-}

Donn
12-31-2007, 03:33 PM
Lovely, Donna. What more can I say. Your portraits are outstanding.

How do you get your art work displayed within the body of your comments?
Using that "attach file" for an attachment is too small.

Donna A
12-31-2007, 04:10 PM
Thank you, Donn!

To post the photos, I click on the little picture postcard icon above the text field. Then you seach for the file, just as in the 'attach' choice. The limits are 500 pixels wide and 600 px high. For someone who does more horizontals than verticals, ...sniff. Wish we had the option for the 500x600 for the horizontal images, as well!

In PhotoShop, I always assign a color profile as well---the smaller color space sRGB. I'm suspicious that the color ends up looking a bit better with that than without---but---that could just be a fantasy. :-)

Now, off to the studio. Have a very wonderful New Year! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-31-2007, 05:10 PM
Donna: sorry, I should have been more specific, when I suggest avoiding using the white and the black papers, I was referring to regular paper and not the sanded ones. The reason why is that the colors looks washed out on the white and the black is just too overpowering. However, it may be the way I paint with thin glazes of colors.

Some experimental sketches done with various types of paper .. these are 4 x 6 inches or smaller except for the rose on Mi Teintes which is 7 x 9 inches. The one brand/type of paper I tried and didn't like is Borden and Riley Charcoal paper. The paper used in the following pretty much behaves the same and quite decent and inexpensive for quick sketches and even finished works, and best of all, no prep time unless the paper needs to be cut to the desired size.

Strathmore Artagain:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/122017-sketch01050.jpg

Strathmore charcoal paper, one on the textured side and the other on the smooth side.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/122017-sketch01089.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/122017-sketch01092.jpg

Black Mi Teintes, smooth side:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/122017-sketch01075.jpg

Fabriano Tiziano:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/31-Dec-2007/122017-sketch01091.jpg

bluefish
12-31-2007, 05:37 PM
that rose on the black MT is outstanding - great job!

'blue....':wave:

Donn
12-31-2007, 06:48 PM
Wow, WC, thanks for the samples of your work on the different papers. How lucky you all are on being able to do people and portraits. I have some samples of some of those papers, so will have to give them a try. The artagain and charcoal papers I don't have.

Donna A
12-31-2007, 07:19 PM
Hi, WC!!! I'm so glad you posted these pieces! Thank you! Lovely works and interesting to read your comments about the papers---some of which I am unfamiliar with. I'm with bluefish---I love the rose, too! :-) But the folds of fabrics on the two head coverings are such complicated things to do and you've done them beautifully! And the feel of the paintings are so fresh and alive!

Wishing you a very happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous and painterly New Year! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
12-31-2007, 08:01 PM
thanks Bluefish, Donn, and Donna :)

Donn - experiment with any type of paper you have on hand, you might prefer some that I might not and vice-versa. But the sanded papers are the best but they destroy the sponges rather quickly (for me anyhow). Regardless, let us know how it goes.

Donna - happy, healthy, peaceful, prosperous and painterly New Year to you too :)

PeggyB
01-01-2008, 05:49 PM
This thread has been not only fun, but so very instructional as well to follow. I really like that others are feeling welcomed to post their images and experiences too. Seeing how everyone handles this new form of pastel medium is very helpful.

WC I am especially fond of the last portrait. Not only are the fabric folds well rendered, you've captured a sense of serenity on her face that is pleasing to me. It is probably just my monitor, but could there be a hint more highlight on the iris of the eye closest to the viewer?

Peggy

lpb
01-02-2008, 02:17 PM
Here is my color chart of the 60-pan set.

Details:
Fabriano Elle Erire white approx 10x14
I applied the pastel using the small eye-shadow type applicator, rubbing 2-3 circles on the pan
I applied the pigment vertically (with the grain) working my way across the square (usually with one load of pigment but in some cases I had to reload)
Then I reloaded and applied horizontally across the top half of each square
3 values of each pigment are adjacent.
The pigment #, name PP # are noted on each.
On my monitor the colors here are pretty close to IRL. Some of the dark values of blues & green appear brighter here than IRL.
I drew my initial grid with pencil, and some of it smudged and caused some contamination in yellows & light values.
I sprayed with fixative after testing on a separate sheet, and determined that it did not appear to alter the color or value.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/02-Jan-2008/61016-P1070948_003_edited-1.jpg

Hope this hs helpful to someone!

PS - This is the first thing I have done in a medium other than watercolor. The pigments that are the same as my w/c pigments looked just about as I would expect in the pure version. Some of the dark values were a little different. Plus I became acquainted with several new pigments!

Donn
01-02-2008, 04:06 PM
Thanks for posting it. Nice to see all the 60 colors. I've only got the 20 color painting set with about 10 extra tints.

Donna A
01-03-2008, 12:13 AM
This thread has been not only fun, but so very instructional as well to follow. I really like that others are feeling welcomed to post their images and experiences too. Seeing how everyone handles this new form of pastel medium is very helpful. <snip>

Peggy

Thank you, Peggy! I think it's wonderful to see what we all are making happen with these! We all get to both learn and enjoy from each other! I love it! Looking forward to seeing more. Thank you WC for sharing some of your lovely pieces!

Lorraine, thank you for sharing your full-set color chart. Nice detail to do both one layer and second layer. Donn---you've got a great set of colors!

Now back to putting together the next MAPS Members' Juried Show Prospectus. What was I thinking! :-) Manana---some notes on some new techniques I've been playing with earlier today. Hope 2008 has just been wondrous already for you all! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
01-03-2008, 05:50 PM
Peggy: thanks :) nope, it's not your monitor, the eye is missing highlights :D those were experimental sketches primarily to test different papers to see how they will accept the pan pastels.

Donna: you're welcome and thanks for allowing me to post them :) I probably lowered the quality of the thread now :D

PeggyB
01-03-2008, 07:45 PM
Peggy: thanks :) nope, it's not your monitor, the eye is missing highlights :D those were experimental sketches primarily to test different papers to see how they will accept the pan pastels.


Gee WC - would that my "experimental" portraits looked anywhere near as good as your's do. Come to think of it, I've not done any portraits in pastel at all, and those I've done were in charcoal or pencil about 20 years ago! :lol:
No you've not lowered the quality at all, but rather added your own unique touch to an already interesting thread.

Peggy

Donna A
01-04-2008, 02:59 AM
Oh, Peggy and WC---LOL!---you've both displayed some wonderful samples of your respective senses of humor! yea! Now---I must agree with Peggy's last sentence, WC!...

(to WC) No you've not lowered the quality at all, but rather added your own unique touch to an already interesting thread.

OK---promises--promises. Thought I would have pics to share by now, but painted so long today that I ran out of light to photo in the light I wanted. Manana!

Something I'm noticing the last couple of days is that the color mixing with the PanP's is getting faster and faster, and now just totally natural. It's very common for me to lay on strokes with either 2 or 3 colors, though there are times when a single color is exactly what I want. I'm terribly, horribly, altogther picky about color. A real fuss-budget about it. I am sooooo happy to have found so many ways of easily getting the color I want---and I want to encourage any of you who are new to working with these that you can 'nail' that color with a bit of practice mixing. (Yes, as with any of our painting, knowing and seeing color in general is an important part of it.)

One of the things that has become so useful in the last few days is this: I've found the use of the paper towel to be a blessing to 'moderate' the color in many situations where subtly is important, only recently 'discovered.' I'm using the (my favorite Bounty) paper towel that is still wrapped on its core, nearly used up. Between the kitchen and the two painting studios, I seem to have a great supply of nearly-used up rolls of paper towels. Easy to handle---and have even used a nearly full roll sometimes---and is bulkier, but---it works great.

So what I've been doing (after accidently noticing) is letting a particular color build up in one area on the towel and then I can either lightly brush my sponge tool against it when I've dipped into 2 or 3 colors to make up that mix in order to moderate it or to mix it together well or soften it---and then paint it on to the painting surface. Sounds 'busy' but it's become so natural and so easy. A very nice and useful habit. It's worth working for. Practicing. And I had to stumble across this particular lovely aid---but you know about it now and can really develop its service to you.

There are other things to share---but sleep sounds so inviting right now! Very best wishes, everyone! Donna ;-}

More tomorrow! I just keep discovering so many 'cool' things about using the Pan Pastels. They keep surprising me. Take good care! Hope 2008 has started out well for you! Donna ;-}

Donn
01-04-2008, 03:40 PM
Interesting about your comment of using the colors on your paper towel. You should see my paper towel! My wife says it's picture in itself! We use Bounty here too because of it's toughness. But haven't tried to lift any colors off of it. Will have to keep that in mind.

Jennifer S
01-04-2008, 03:50 PM
Hi, Donna and Friends--This thread has been so amazing and informative, thanks so much for all the information.

Donna, I noticed on your web site that you have a Pan Pastel Workshop set up for early March in Kansas City. Will you be doing some demos? It would be great to actually see first hand how you handle the pan pastels to get some of these wonderful effects. What all do you plan to cover?

Donna A
01-05-2008, 12:20 AM
Interesting about your comment of using the colors on your paper towel. You should see my paper towel! My wife says it's picture in itself! We use Bounty here too because of it's toughness. But haven't tried to lift any colors off of it. Will have to keep that in mind.
Hi, Donn! Yes, the paper towel has turned out to be sooo useful to not just clean the sponge tools, but also to just touch the sponge against to moderate the color! You may need to frame that Bounty, as well as your paintings! LOL! :-)

Hi, Donna and Friends--This thread has been so amazing and informative, thanks so much for all the information.

Donna, I noticed on your web site that you have a Pan Pastel Workshop set up for early March in Kansas City. Will you be doing some demos? It would be great to actually see first hand how you handle the pan pastels to get some of these wonderful effects. What all do you plan to cover?
Hi, Jennifer! Thank you!!! Yes, demos of important basic techniques with all sorts of 'tips' and 'tricks' to get the most out of the color and the sponge tools--and then 'advanced' techniques that can take using Pan Pastels to pure 'magic.' :-) Everyone gets to experiment mastering these techniques and finding ways to serve each artist's personal style. We'll work with color mixing plus some color theory which can help a LOT! And then painting, using PanP alone or with pastel sticks, as the artist prefers. More on the Workshops page.

I'd assumed originally that these would be great just for quick underpaintings, but I'm almost flabbergasted at what is possible with them. And just keep learning more. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Donna A
01-05-2008, 02:01 AM
Hi, Everyone! Today I put the last little finishing touches on the portraits of my two grand nieces.

Here is Emily. I wanted to keep her painting on the looser side. Didn't really do anything to the original couple of hours work of the portrait itself, but did finish the background and her arms---and paint the pearl necklace, which Emily reminded me my mom, her grandmother gave her and she loves. Awwww.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-pearls-fin.jpg

Emily's top had very short sleeves, but did not want the light color at the sides, so painted it as though it were long-sleeved---and then kept them as shadowy-lower intensity as possible to keep attention in the center oval. Wanted to keep the woodwork very soft and suggested as well.

Here is a detail of the pearls.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-Emily-pearls-detail.jpg

There are several 'tricks' to painting pearls. First, really important to work from dark to light---and to look at the pearls as shapes of colors rather than as objects (as with about everything else we paint!) I laid in the warm shadows beneath the pearls on Emily's skin. The somewhat cool green of the Leaf Green Colourfix had earlier been 'painted up to' the location of the necklace, and since I was painting pretty fast and loose, had had the 'tail ends' of my sweeps of flesh tone slip into that area, which softly lightened it and cooled it a bit more, setting it up beautifully for the base color of the pearls themselves. In some areas I needed to darken slightly with a bit of cool-ish color---and other places needed to lighten a bit with a cooler medium value. And then with the tip of the triangle knife tool, I cut in with flesh tone the top shapes of the pearls. Had used the shadows below to cut in the shapes underneath.

Then I built in smaller light areas that occupied about half the surface or less, upper right of each pearl. Used a creamy color---the Ochre Tint, if I remember correctly. Next with even smaller touches---with the very tip-end of the triangle knife tool, I picked up the palest yellow and added the very small highlights.

Went back and cleaned up under and over. Rounded out a few of the pearls, etc. Wanted to keep it loose, even though the pearls were pretty small. It's absolutely possible to get very tiny details---and even within something that is generally a bit on the looser side.

Here is a detail of Emily's shirt to see the strokes and the color changes within the hue of the warm green. You can see a bit of the charcoal in the gathers, too from the original drawing just above the midriff's band.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-Emilys_shirt-365.jpg

This was so easy to paint. If I remember correctly, I used the rectangular knife tool---and laid in the values and the color changes, using both the flat of the tool as well as the side and corners. Once we get a feel for handling each of the sponge tools, we can be pretty expressive in using different parts of them.

Tomorrow I'll upload Elisa's portrait.

AND Ceci was kind enough to send some PastelMat paper to me to try out. Last night I began a skyscape on it---and was hoping to get it finished today, but no. Tomorrow! Here is the first little bit of roughing in. The photo I'm using is a 'cousin' of the large skyscape I began before I painted my nieces. Looking forward to finishing that piece, as well.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-PastelMat_skyscape-366.jpg

The paper color is a soft, rich warm yellow. Touching the surface of the paper, one would assume it is a regular smooth piece of very stiff paper. The sanded texture is very fine. It takes the pigment well. More tomorrow! Take good care, all! Donna ;-}

bchlvr
01-05-2008, 09:47 AM
The portrait of Jim (page 5 of this thread I believe) you said was done on stretched canvas with colorfix primer...how will you frame it? I like that idea so was wondering if you will have to use glass to frame it or just leave it bare.

PeggyB
01-05-2008, 02:24 PM
Hi, Donna and Friends--This thread has been so amazing and informative, thanks so much for all the information.
in that
Donna, I noticed on your web site that you have a Pan Pastel Workshop set up for early March in Kansas City. Will you be doing some demos? It would be great to actually see first hand how you handle the pan pastels to get some of these wonderful effects. What all do you plan to cover?

and I'm going to be in that workshop! :clap: I don't often go to workshops so far from home, but this is one I really don't want to miss after all the information that has come through this posting. An Artists' Angel has offered a place to stay, and my husband offered some of his thousands of frequent flyer miles for the airfare so there was no reason not to go! I' m so excited I can hardly stand it.... :heart:

Peggy

WC Lee
01-05-2008, 02:48 PM
Donna: Beautiful paintings of your great nieces :) Is it just me or do you also find getting the darks dark enough with the pans a challenge?

Peggy: have fun at that workshop :) when you going to post some of your sketches/paintings with the pans??

---

anyhow, just want to show the extent of what can be done (or rather what my limited capabilities can do) with non-sanded surfaces. This is done on an 8 x 10 inch fabriano tiziano pastel paper. I'm sure that more refinements can be done but I stopped in fear of overworking it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/122017-sketch01100.jpg

Donna A
01-05-2008, 02:57 PM
The portrait of Jim (page 5 of this thread I believe) you said was done on stretched canvas with colorfix primer...how will you frame it? I like that idea so was wondering if you will have to use glass to frame it or just leave it bare.
__________________
Linn

Hi, Linn! Yes, I will frame "Jim" behind glass. There are some other PanP pieces I've done on canvas where I've sealed them so that they do not need glass, but they all do darken a little to a lot---and this portrait is so right on, that I don't want to loose that quality. I did t his piece expecting to frame under glass, whereas the ones I sealed, I did expecting to seal, and therefore worked to get the values even even lighter than normal---before the sealing. I do really like the look of the Cfix-primed canvas---particularly with theSuperTooth Cfix primer. Take goodcare! Donna ;-}

PeggyB
01-05-2008, 04:10 PM
[quote=WC Lee]
Peggy: have fun at that workshop :) when you going to post some of your sketches/paintings with the pans??

WC I did post some of my very first PP in the pastel studio sometime last month. I don't remember now what the title of the post was though :o
I've been so busy since then I've not gotten back to the studio. I'm hoping to do so next week, but first I'll have to finish a stick pastel landscape I began way back last fall. I'm on my laptop at the moment and don't have pictures saved on it yet so can't repost them to this page. I think if you search for my postings, you'll find the other one though,

Peggy

bluefish
01-05-2008, 04:17 PM
maybe you can give that 'confessional' a go while @ the workshop :lol: :lol: :lol:

PeggyB
01-05-2008, 04:35 PM
maybe you can give that 'confessional' a go while @ the workshop :lol: :lol: :lol:

You referring to Mio, Blue? To what could I confess? Don't you know me better than that by now? I'm "innocent" - :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hey! why don't you come join us? You could stay in disguise, but wear your blue - or are they orange - suspenders! :D

Peggy

Donna A
01-05-2008, 04:49 PM
and I'm going to be in that workshop! :clap: I don't often go to workshops so far from home, but this is one I really don't want to miss after all the information that has come through this posting. An Artists' Angel has offered a place to stay, and my husband offered some of his thousands of frequent flyer miles for the airfare so there was no reason not to go! I' m so excited I can hardly stand it.... :heart:

Peggy

I'm soooo excited, too! Will be so wonderful to actually get to visit with you, other than snippets of time at IAPS. And hopefully, we will find some time to get into a little trouble, too! LOL! But bring your vitamins. I'm pretty much always 'last man standing' at my workshops! Everyone really works hard! But we laugh a LOT, too! Looking forward to it! Sooooo many things to share IRL!!! Take good care! Yea!!!! Donna ;-}

Donna A
01-05-2008, 04:55 PM
maybe you can give that 'confessional' a go while @ the workshop

You referring to Mio, Blue? To what could I confess? Don't you know me better than that by now? I'm "innocent" - :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hey! why don't you come join us? You could stay in disguise, but wear your blue - or are they orange - suspenders! :D

Peggy
"You Guys" are soooo funny! You crack me up! I love it! hee hee hee! Donna ;-}

Donna A
01-05-2008, 06:20 PM
Donna: Beautiful paintings of your great nieces :) Is it just me or do you also find getting the darks dark enough with the pans a challenge?
Hi, WC! I was sure having trouble getting foliage greens dark enough until I did a mix of pigments in one of the lids and added some alcohol and let it set. For the two portraits, didn't seem a big problem, but then I started with the vine charcoal drawing on medium-dark grounds---and did go in and 'back off of' some of the darks I established. But---yes, I do think the darkest darks can be the biggest challenge just because when I bring in the black pigment, it can so very easily overpower. If I remember correctly, it is Lamp Black (essentially soot!) Pretty intense 'stuff.' So I have to be pretty careful when I'm dipping also into the black along with the Shades I'm mixing with so that I get to keep the hue, but also get the value I want. The more I paint (practice) the easier it gets.

But it does take finding that 'touch' and I agree with you that that can be some of the most difficult to 'get the hang of'---that finding the darker darks. But doable, thank goodness! I definitely dip back and forth and back and forth between 2 or 3 pans of color to get THE color---THE value I want.

You know, you've gotten me realizing that sometimes when we have something worked out so well in "one format," it's hard for us to remember we had to work that out when we've moved over to a "new format." Human nature, I suspect! :-)


<snip>
anyhow, just want to show the extent of what can be done (or rather what my limited capabilities can do) with non-sanded surfaces. This is done on an 8 x 10 inch fabriano tiziano pastel paper. I'm sure that more refinements can be done but I stopped in fear of overworking it.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/122017-sketch01100.jpg

Hi, WC! Awww! What a cute little fellow! I really like your portrait! Looks like that paper is taking the PanP's pretty nicely. Really nice fine touches as well as boarder smooth and textured areas! You are getting some beautiful edges---soft and hard and very interesting ones in between! Well done! You are really making these work for you! I'm so glad you are sharing your pieces! I hope others will, as well. It's just so great to see what everyone is doing. I love the variety in all our styles! Each has their own way of expressing with their various pastels!!! :-) This looks like a very good paper for the Pan's!

I'm off to finish (she hopes) the skyscape on the PastelMat from Ceci. And want to upload my other great niece's finished portrait before the day is over. Thanks again! Take good care! Donna ;-}

WC Lee
01-05-2008, 07:20 PM
Peggy: I seen those, but I was assuming that you have soem new ones now that you had more time to play around with them and not sharing them :D Anyhow, I wish I could go to that workshop, but I'm broke since I spent all my money on pastels and art supplies :D

Donna: thanks :) thought I was the only one having trouble getting the darks dark enough. As for the portrait, I was about to toss it during that ugly stage but figured I might as well finish it, I might learn something. It actually didn't come out all that bad at the end.

Rusla
01-05-2008, 08:22 PM
Well, I can now tell everyone what happens when you drop your PanP's on the floor. My table easel fell over and knocked a roll of them onto the floor. It didn't loosen the two that were stuck together but it knocked a chunk out of one of the pots that hold the sponges, no biggie. However the pastels stayed intact except for a small amount that was loosend on the top one.

Next I decided to try using them on something I have never used pastels on before. It is one of the Frederix acrylic boards, I am not sure I am liking it. Has anyone else tried this?

Randi-Lee

PeggyB
01-05-2008, 08:27 PM
[quote=WC Lee]Peggy: I seen those, but I was assuming that you have soem new ones now that you had more time to play around with them and not sharing them :D Anyhow, I wish I could go to that workshop, but I'm broke since I spent all my money on pastels and art supplies :D

:lol: I so understand being pastel product rich and pocket poor WC! Been there done that many times.. I will always share me new experiments, but I won't be able to get to the studio for awhile because of other commitments. When next I use the PP I will post the result here.

Peggy

Donna A
01-05-2008, 11:40 PM
Well, I can now tell everyone what happens when you drop your PanP's on the floor. My table easel fell over and knocked a roll of them onto the floor. It didn't loosen the two that were stuck together but it knocked a chunk out of one of the pots that hold the sponges, no biggie. However the pastels stayed intact except for a small amount that was loosend on the top one.

Next I decided to try using them on something I have never used pastels on before. It is one of the Frederix acrylic boards, I am not sure I am liking it. Has anyone else tried this?

Randi-Lee
Hi, Randi-Lee. Goodness! I've wondered what would happen if I dropped one of the Pans. Sounds like they take 'the hard knocks' pretty well. Thanks for reporting. Not one of those 'experiments' any one of us want to do! :-)

I'm not familiar with the Fred. acrylic boards. Is it a smoother surface? What material? texture? Look forward to hearing a bit more about your experience with it. Thanks!!! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Donna A
01-06-2008, 12:42 AM
Hi, Everyone! Finished the background on my other grand niece, Elisa' portrait. Here it is---all Pan Pastel, again, as her sister's portrait--both of them painted from life, this one on Storm Blue Colourfix 20"x28" and no need for any fixative at all with either portrait, even though there are areas where I laid the pigment on pretty richly.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-Elisa-portrait-fin.jpg

Here is a detail of the left side of her face to get a bit of an idea of the delicacy, the detail, the blending, and still some loose painterliness plus the lovely flesh tones that are possible with Pan Pastels. And this is only the fourth portrait I've done with these. I LOVE painting portraits with the PanP's!!! Just wonderful! Almost easier than in oil or with stick pastels, I think. But then it depends on what kind of portrait we are doing. They are all glorious! :-)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2008/77048-Elisa-left-detail-356.jpg

Notice the jaw line above. I really worked that a bit to get that very soft, cool edge that was clean but gently drifting around the curve of her jaw as moved back toward her throat---and the color changed from the generally cooler pale flesh under her cheekbone to a warmish rich color up across her pink cheeks and then softly transformed to a paler, warmer, less pink, slightly more orangy tint on up toward her eye. There are subtle planes that go a bit cooler or a bit lower in intensity or on in some other way(s) change ever so slightly---and which can make some nearly magical visual effects as we learn to see and use color ever better. I learned a LOT about managing very delicate shifts in color here, manipulating both the Pan colors and the sponges to achieve just the right edges and color qualities in this entire area.

And here is a detail of the right side of Elisa's face. I was so glad to be able to get some of the subtle colors that can make such a difference in more 'realistic' portraits. The shadow colors can often be the more challenging. This is where, often times, the paper towel color-build-up touches to moderate the color on my sponge tools had come in so handy, as I was mentioning in a post a day or two ago. The blending ability is just luxurious! It can be as utterly 'baby-bottom smooth' or created with a bit of 'personality' while still easing across a lovely series of mellow gradations.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Jan-2008/77048-Elisa-right_eye-detail-358.jpg

And here is a detail of some of the woodwork from the antique confessional which served as the background for Elisa. I worked very carefully to make the edges of the wood workings soft and subtle so that they would not upstage her. The original color of paint that is in the little carved-out area in the piece that angles out on the corner happens to be about the same color---a teal blue---as Elisa's shirt. That was too fun to resist! With her cool blue-blond hair, I liked the rich orangy color of the wood playing off in contrast---some of which shows even more in the full painting. And above Elisa to her right is a large north skylight, so very lovely blue light was softly pouring in on the planes facing toward the skylight, while I used a 200W (orangy-colored light) incandescent bulb to her left, giving wonderfully warm lights in contrast. I get so much richer color with that lighting set up!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Jan-2008/77048-Elisa-Conf-detail.jpg

I haven't done a self portrait for a couple of years---so I think I may take up Kat's fun challenge for us for the next portrait! But soooo want to get back to work on the two skyscapes, first. Take good care! Donna ;-}

Rusla
01-06-2008, 10:33 AM
What awesome pictures Donna. I need to ask how you got the sharp edges
of the wooden chair is it behind her. I seem to be having that problem with my PanP's.

As for the Fred board it is not rough like sand paper or smooth like velour. It is kind of pitty, not sure I am liking it but I will finish the picture, that I am not expecting to be very good and post it. I think that board would be better for Acrylic or Oil painting.

Randi-Lee

artinwc
01-06-2008, 12:08 PM
I finally got through the entire thread and have gone back and done some spot reading. Honestly, this is just the best kind of information...with examples and all (wonderful examples, at that)!

I tried playing a bit yesterday over an incomplete watercolor and found that my application was maybe too hard. I used the larger bars, but left "bar marks" in the sky where I didn't want them. I guess the right touch comes with time and lots of practice.

Today, I have done a watercolor background on Wallis sanded (a first for me). It went on really nice...no buckling. I'll work later with the PPs.

Then I got really bad :D and went to the Fine Arts Store online and started an order for more PPs (I got the 20 painting colors started set for Christmas), some Colourfix 20" x 28" sheets, some Colourfix primer (both white and clear) and some fixative to use with the non-sanded surfaces.

I read a good bit about varnishing too, in this thread. My husband did some research in varnishing of watercolors and I have several paintings that are framed without glass. The color is wonderful, but we're talking watercolor and not pastels. I will get him to experiment with the same equipment and materials on a pastel practice piece, as soon as I can finish one.

Thanks again for all your wonderful information and advice.:wave:

Judith

Rusla
01-06-2008, 12:49 PM
Things I love about PanP's is the smoothness they have, they way they go on, and the how easy it is to erase your mistakes. I have also on some sanded paper used a paint brush and some water, I love how it darkens the colours with some and gives greater contrast.

Randi-Lee

lpb
01-06-2008, 04:49 PM
Donna, your demos are just fabulous! Can you tell me how you get the very fine details & specific shapes, such as the highlights in her eyes, her eyelashes,the line between her lips, etc?

Also, how do you use the color shaper tool. I played with it last night & couldn't see it shaping anything. (I am brand new to pastel of any kind!)

Oh, also, is the highlight in her eyes white that looks bluish because it was laid over blue, or did you use a light blue?

Thanks for your help!

Donna A
01-06-2008, 06:12 PM
What awesome pictures Donna. I need to ask how you got the sharp edges
of the wooden chair is it behind her. I seem to be having that problem with my PanP's.<snip>

Randi-Lee

Donna, your demos are just fabulous! Can you tell me how you get the very fine details & specific shapes, such as the highlights in her eyes, her eyelashes,the line between her lips, etc?

Also, how do you use the color shaper tool. I played with it last night & couldn't see it shaping anything. (I am brand new to pastel of any kind!)

Oh, also, is the highlight in her eyes white that looks bluish because it was laid over blue, or did you use a light blue?

Thanks for your help!

HI! Thank you, both!!! OK---sharp edges---(actuallly, that's a circa1875 confessional from Italy.) :-) I loaded up a rectangle bar sponge and laid it against the painting surface the long way vertically, and pulled it downwards, more or less pulling down from my elbow and letting my lower arm and hand follow. Several times on both sides of the edge I would lay down a bar sponge loaded with color and pull horizontally away from the edge. I actually went back in and softened the edges there considerably so that they would stay in the background. Extremely clean, sharp hard edges are quite possible, too, where you really need them. Unless it is a center-of-interest area, our eye does not usually see things that hard/sharp, so everyone should always be careful of how focused an edge is for where in the subject it is and what 'job it has.' :-)

For shorter/smaller hard edges, I use the pointed bar sponge a LOT! And then the wonderful, wonderful triangle knife tool! Bless it bless it!!! I use this tool sooooo much! Load up the edge and bottom well, place the edge carefully against the edge you want to paint and pull away from it. The rectangle knife tool, too! Even the tip of it.

The very fine details & specific shapes, such as the highlights in her eyes, her eyelashes,the line between her lips, etc?
So many of those come from the tip of the triangle knife tool---or carefully controlling the side, as to how long a stroke I make. I also have used the curved knife tool for strokes like this where the line needs 'to come and go' softly. I use the edges of the tools. I load them well, then carefully place and, very often,simply press and then lift. Sometimes I pull the tool a bit, but I get the best color in the way I described.

is the highlight in her eyes white that looks bluish because it was laid over blue, or did you use a light blue?
Absolutely a mixed light blue. The real color was a mellow pale blue where the light passed through the translucent eyeball. I'm going to have fun demoing again in my upcoming portrait workshop the (hee hee hee) luscious "secret" of making an eye really look like a real eye!

how do you use the color shaper tool. I played with it last night & couldn't see it shaping anything.

I love my love my "regular" ColourShapers and---I was with you at first about---what to do with this one with the little rectangular sponge cover???? But ahhhhh! When I began working the 2 or 3 layers-later layers of palest little puffs of clouds on the large skyscape that I HAVE to get back to, I figured it out! Ahhhh! Bless it's heart! Nice round-y surface with no hard edges "in the way" insome ways we can hold this tool. I was just loving how I could power on those puffy bits fast as I could load up each pale warm mix of color! I just had not needed it before, I guess! Now, I' am seeing other thigns to do with it and did use it some, if I remember correctly, in the last two portraits.

I've come to think that the Pan Pastel inventor (who I learned also invented the original ColourShapers and the Oil Bars) really worked out the shapes of these tools well---and more than I had assumed at first look. I keep finding versatility in each of them---and LOL---it makes me thnk a bit of something that an artist said once in a class years ago, "Hey---I figured it all out----you just have to be smarter than the brush!" LOL! Have never forgotten that! :-) Now--there's our challenge! Have fun! And experiment like wild! The possibilities are there all over the place! I hope that helps. It's sooo much easier to show than to tell! Very best wishes! Donna ;-}

Rusla
01-06-2008, 06:18 PM
Donna, thank you so much for those tips.
I will give it a try and hopefully it will improve my project.

Randi-Lee

Diana_pastels
01-06-2008, 06:46 PM
Absolutely a mixed light blue. The real color was a mellow pale blue where the light passed through the translucent eyeball. I'm going to have fun demoing again in my upcoming portrait workshop the (hee hee hee) luscious "secret" of making an eye really look like a real eye!


Oh Donna, your portraits are fabulous! Sure would love it if you would have an ON-LINE portrait workshop and share that luscious secret with us!
Diana