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PencilPusher
02-28-2009, 10:56 AM
I've read about plenty of people using cotton buds (Q-tips in the USA) with their pasels, and I tried it today. Obviously I'm doing something wrong because all it did was remove the pastel from the paper! Half of it ended up on the bud, the rest fell onto the floor and only a tiny bit remained where I wanted it. I was being gentle, and it was on rough paper (the back of a piece of Murano) so I'm confused about what I'm doing wrong. Anyone else had this experience?

Pencilpusher

Lisa Fiore
02-28-2009, 11:10 AM
Yes! I could never get q-tips to "blend"--now I only ever use them for removing pastel if I'm not happy with a certain area of the painting. There are others with way more experience than me who should probably answer this, though--but my personal experience with q-tips has been the same as yours...I've been finding that I like the effects of layering pastels better than blending, anyway.

Deborah Secor
02-28-2009, 12:12 PM
Go take a long look at this thread by (username) Gaka, Photorealism...How Gaka gets his detail... (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69226&highlight=cotton+buds). It is a long, labor-intensive, extremely slow process resulting in gorgeous depth.

Hope that helps! I sure haven't the temperament for this process...

Deborah

Colorix
02-28-2009, 12:29 PM
I guess you would have to dab gently, much as applying powder to ones face (if one's a woman). Pick up dust with bud, and then dab.
Cotton buds work for rubbing in a very sheer first layer that gets very even.

Q-tips are great for removing dust in thin lines or small patches, on ordinary paper. It gets stuck in the sand of sandpaper and fibres torn out, so very soon you get a very funny q-tip.

What did you try to acheive with the cotton-bud? Blend? Paint? Tell, and you'll get specific help to get the effect you want.

Charlie

PencilPusher
02-28-2009, 01:53 PM
Go take a long look at this thread by (username) Gaka, Photorealism...How Gaka gets his detail... (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69226&highlight=cotton+buds). It is a long, labor-intensive, extremely slow process resulting in gorgeous depth.

Hope that helps! I sure haven't the temperament for this process...

Deborah

I've seen that, it's amazing! That's one of the things that prompted me to try cotton buds. But I just can't see how to get such fine details from a ball of cotton on the end of a stick, it's not even pointed!

Charlie, I've started on a piece of Murano paper and inadvertently used the back (rough) side. It has so much tooth I'm wearing away my pastels at a frightening rate and still not covering the area smoothly. I can blend it with my fingers (always been my preferred method) but that's no good for making sharp lines. What I'm looking for is a way to apply the pastels to a specified area so I get a solid colour with sharp edges, like painting with a brush.

Pencilpusher

Colorix
02-28-2009, 02:37 PM
Ah, I see, thank you for clarifying. I'm not the gal for you, then, as I mostly use broken colour. Though one thing comes to mind, what if you spray the area with water or alcohol, or dip a brush in either of the two? Then you can actually use a brush to brush the dust to where you want it. I did that for an underpainting, and found that water worked best, giving totally clean and sharp edges.

PencilPusher
02-28-2009, 03:02 PM
Thanks Charlie, I'll give that a try :)

Deborah Secor
02-28-2009, 04:36 PM
You know, Gaka used a lot more than just cotton buds. He used Colour Shapers too, which I think you might like. Maybe you have them, but if not they're like a paintbrush with a rubber tip. He also used mostly tissue paper, which he could fold up and use to push a line or edge into place. He painted almost entirely on the smoother side of Canson Mi Tientes, too. Basically, as I gather, he let loose pastel dust fall onto the paper, blended it down into the nap, and then used folded tissue or cotton buds or a Colour Shaper to push it to the line or edge he wanted. It wasn't adhered to the paper by much, trust me.

Gaka said:
I will use a cotton bud where possible, But if I cant then I will apply the Pastel by Hand using a sharp Pastel and then blend this into the B'Ground. Your detail can be as fine as you can keep the point on the Pastel and sometimes my Pastel is just laying on the surface of the Paper with very little pressure at all.

...working the detail with a very sharp pastel or working the blend with a pointed peice of rubber.
The Colour Shapers come in very small sizes. I suggest you look into using some of the Sofft tools, too, if you can get your hands on them. They come with little foamy socks that you can slide over a plastic applicator.

Have you tried the PanPastels? They might be of some interest to you, as they apply like powder! I bet Gaka would have loved them.

Just a few more thoughts for you...

Deborah

PencilPusher
03-02-2009, 11:01 AM
I found some colour shapers in the local art store today, I'll have a play when I get home. They look simple enough - wouldn't it be possible to cut down an eraser to make something similar? You could make it to your desired dimensions, too.

Pencilpusher

Deborah Secor
03-02-2009, 12:51 PM
Yes, probably, but the shapers are a bit more flexible and seem to do less rubbing away and more pushing around somehow. Play around and see...

Deborah