View Full Version : Is the spark still there?

07-29-2008, 11:49 AM
Hello everyone! For quite ahile we had a lot of postings about using the panpastels. However that thread has quited down a lot.

I was wondering if those of you who bought the pans are still using them a lot? If so do you use them mostly alone or in addition to the sticks? I am really in love with the sticks and the look you can get with them, but sadly the dust just doesn't love me as much!

Any response appreciated.

Moderators; I realize there is a panpastel thread, however when I posted this question I got no response...:( ...then again maybe that is my answer...hum...anyway if you feel it should be removed or moved please feel free to do so.

With thanks,

07-29-2008, 12:25 PM
I was wondering if those of you who bought the pans are still using them a lot? ...Moderators; I realize there is a panpastel thread, however when I posted this question I got no response...:(

Hi Pam, I don't think there is any *requirement* for posts about pan pastels only in that one single thread! That thread has gone on so long I don't follow it anymore. In fact I started a pan pastel thread of my own a while ago, but it short of vanished too, :lol:.

I bought some pan pastels when the hype was hot. I admit I'm not one of those who became totally enamored of them and did lots of stuff exclusively with the pans. However the one thing I found about them is that they are a *dream* for doing an underlayer of color on your support. I work almost exclusively on Canson, and they are marvelous for putting down a background of color on the Canson before starting with the sticks.

So that is primarily what I use mine for, as an underpainting medium - and then use the sticks after that. And from that standpoint I do like them a lot - but don't know that I will continue to make a big investment in them, as I find fiddling with screwing and unscrewing the caps, and using the little applicator tools, is a right royal pain.

But for the ones I do have I'll continue to use for underpainting.

07-29-2008, 01:02 PM
Debbie, thanks for the note! I have been in quite a slump and have found the pastel sticks seem to hold that spark I have needed to get started once again with my paintings. However due to the dust factor I have had interest in the pans...but I am trying to be a little more realistic about the art supplies I purchase. Just don't need to add more to the collection of things I didn't use...

I really enjoy the oils(paints - never used stick pastels in oil)...I just think the paintings have a glow that is wonderful. However I have limited space, especially when it comes to the drying factor...so kind of trying to find a close replacement I guess...

I am a christian and believe that God is Good! I can only be greatful for all art toys I have already aquired! Guess if trying to buy or not buy pans is my biggest problem of the day life is very good!

Enjoy your day!

Thanks, Pam

07-29-2008, 02:18 PM
I bought the pan pastels....but to be honest I think the colors are a little wierd....and just can't get into swabbing them on the paper....I prefer sticks

07-29-2008, 02:36 PM
Hi Pam

I have a full set of Pans and still plan on using them. I have neglected my sticks for such a long time, I felt I better start using them again before they forget who I am.:rolleyes: I plan on using the Pans with my sticks and by themselves. It just gives me more options.

You said that you have a lack of space. The Pans might be a good option for you. I use them in my livingroom while sitting in my recliner. I made 2 foamcore trays (Donna's design) and when the urge hits I put them on an end table beside me and paint away. I have a bad back so it is difficult for me to sit infront of my easel in my studio for any great length of time. I can now start painting whenever I want.

I haven't posted in the pan Thread for a while because I just got too busy with other things. It is not because I got tired of the Pans. Donna hasn't posted for a while but that doesn't surprise me at all. She is so busy with other things and she still has to make a living. I am sure she and others will continue to post in the future. I have learned so much from her. Not just about the Pans but colour theory, lighting and other things only someone with her experience would know.

I hope this answers your question. I am glad I bought my Pans and plan on using them in the future.


07-29-2008, 02:38 PM
Pam since you say you enjoy working with oils you just might enjoy working with the pans too. I'm one who has continued to use them, but lately I've not had time to use any type of pastels as I've been otherwise busy. The reason I mention you working with oils is because in my experience anyone who's familiar and enjoys working with "tools" loves the pans too. As an oil painter you are accustomed to working with a limited palette and know how to create different colors by mixing. The pans aren't all that different in that manner. You can scrape different colors together to create any color you want, add a bit of rubbing alcohol, let it dry, and you're good to go. One thing to know is you need to load the sponge tool heavily to get the best results (at least 3 swipes across the pan each time), and just like a paint brush, frequently reload it. I prefer using it on Art Spectrum paper rather than Canson. I found the colors much more vibrant on any color of AS more so than Canson.

I think one reason the other thread is a bit slow right now is because Donna, the originator, has been pretty sick off and on for several months now so she hasn't had the energy to participate with her words of wisdom and experience. Don't worry - nothing life threatening, but it just seems to be she let herself get a bit worn down and one thing after the other creeps up.

Gotta run now as a student is here, but if you have more questions just ask and I'll try to answer. I learned heaps of information when I went to her workshop!


07-29-2008, 04:50 PM
Same here, I have the full set, extras and am teaching classes on the pans. I just had a class yesterday with a member...but, I get busy, and don't post stuff, like anyone else. I totally agree with Peggy, that oil painters will take to these like ducks to water. I love the tools, and the vibrancy of the colors, along with the ability to mix, and I do use them for underpainting, but mostly for full finished pieces....so no spark dying as far as I'm concerned:D

07-30-2008, 10:35 AM
Doug, thanks for the encouragement! Sounds like they are fairly compact...and since they are pastels of course I don't have to find a place for drying them...One reason I like he pastels I think...they are pretty immediate! You are so right! I have learned so much from Donna! You can just feel her excitment when she post the info!

07-30-2008, 10:43 AM
Peggy, thanks for taking the time to post a note to this thread! I know what you mean about getting so busy you hardly have time to do anything muchless post on Wetcanvas! Very understandable!

I didn't make myself clear when I posted about oils. I really like the look of the finished painting...There is a glow that you just can't get anyother way IMHO. Actually I am not real fond of working with them...but sure like the look produced. Your info helps a lot...always nice to know when students as well as the teacher have input about this.

I am really sorry to hear that Donna is not feeling well. Seems she has had a time after the "bug" got her a while back.

As Doug and others have said we have learned so much on this forum from everyone! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!


07-30-2008, 10:48 AM
Tressa, sounds like you are really enjoying the pans! Thanks for posting a reply.

Everyone who has posted a finished painting using the pans has put up fine examples of their work!

I have been using a very limited selection of Rembrandts and pastel pencils. Enjoying both a lot. Just wish the dust wasn't such a big factor. I can work outside on occassion which would certainly help with that problem.

Thanks, Pam

Deborah Secor
07-30-2008, 11:43 AM
I like the PanPastels a lot, too, and use them both for underpainting and for works unto themselves. I just moved so I don't have a studio now, and limited space in the last house kept me from having the PanPs out all the time, but once I get set up here I intend to keep them where I can use them daily.

I don't think of them as a replacement for stick pastels, however, except in limited ways. The aren't 'dustless', just somewhat lower in dust, unless you're very careful (not a word many people use to describe me!) I'd suggest investing in a few of the pans to see how you like them before going whole hog. They are a nice addition to the medium because unlike stick pastels that are more opaque they give you a way to use semi-transparent layers of color.

I am a christian and believe that God is Good! I can only be grateful for all art toys I have already acquired! Guess if trying to buy or not buy pans is my biggest problem of the day life is very good!

I couldn't agree with you more--having such a problem is a blessing! God is Good. :thumbsup:

Have fun!


07-30-2008, 01:52 PM
I just finished this one recently working with Tressa. I posted it elsewhere, but I put it here too. It was almost entirely done with Pans, about 95%. I love the painterly quality I can get with the Pans and the various tools and sponges. Since I was used to oils and brushes and pallette knife and impasto application, this works nicely for me. I usually use Colourfix or Wallis paper, but this one was done on Uart. I intend to use the pans a lot.:heart:

07-30-2008, 03:14 PM
Im a "Duck" here. comming from oils, I decided to try the PanPs becouse of the softools and such. I was/is/am hooked completly. it is such a natural transistion for me Im just loving it. I put off using trational pastales in the past mainly due to the dust and feeling of them on my fingers. now Im sadly negelecting my oils.... :) all in all I love them, thier fast imediate and clean to work with...

07-30-2008, 03:24 PM
Nice vibrant example of a pan pastel painting Helen. Thanks for sharing.


07-30-2008, 09:03 PM
Helen your painting is really lovely! I too like the painterly look produced by these panpastels! Pam

07-30-2008, 09:06 PM
Richard, sounds like you have found a happy answer to the pastel sticks and all their dust. I think these little pots of pastels are getting closer and closer to living in my home!

Peggy,I too enjoy Helen's posting. The softness is really pretty on the screen and I bet even nicer in person!