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EBristow
03-12-2009, 03:50 AM
decided to take the leep i have both soft and oil pastels. and i have a couple questions if i can bug everyone.

do they have a certain time to use them the soft pastels seem old. i got them when i was in college (5 years ago) but never took the plunge to use them.

do i have to prime my canvas? I have a Gesso (acrylic canvas ground):cat:

thanks for the help

Deborah Secor
03-12-2009, 08:56 AM
Hi Beth, and welcome to the forum.

Your pastels aren't too old. They should be perfectly useful, but you need to peel the paper and think of them as tools you can use on the long, flat side, not as another kind of pencil or chalk. This is paint in stick form!

I wouldn't use pastels on canvas, primed or unprimed. Some do, but to get started use some sandpaper or anything that has enough tooth for the pastel to hold onto. There's a dandy package of different papers available at Dakota Pastels that you might try.

Take a look at the thread in Soft Pastel Talk called "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=392571) for a lot more information!

Have fun!
Deborah

K Taylor-Green
03-12-2009, 01:12 PM
Hi Beth! Welcome to the pastels forum! Deborah's link is right on for help in getting started in this wonderful medium. There is all kinds of info in it for a newbie. Hope we some of your work, soon!

DAK723
03-12-2009, 08:22 PM
Welcome to the world of pastels! Deb has provided a helpful link. Don't hesitate to ask any other questions, if they come up!

I have numerous pastels that are over 20 years old. They don't normally get old!

Don

Donna A
03-13-2009, 12:10 AM
Hi, Beth! Pastels NEVER get old! So that's great! Do be bold with your pastels! And try a LOT of different ways of using them! That is sooo important in learning about them and finding YOUR way! And---yes, try different paper surfaces! Expect different papers to behave differently! And try different colors of paper and perhaps various types of underpaintings, as well!

You have a wonderfully exciting time ahead of you! Ask questions of yourself and keep asking here, as well! Very best wishes!!! Donna ;-}

EBristow
03-13-2009, 01:46 AM
wow thanks everyone. i am off right now to check out that site. i'll let u know how its all going.. ttfn

Deborah Secor
03-13-2009, 12:24 PM
(With all this talk of how pastels never get old, it occurs to me that maybe those who USE pastels will never get old either... :D )

Deborah

Aires
03-14-2009, 09:54 PM
Just to add my two cents worth - I have soft pastels purchased in the 1960's that are as usable today as they were then. Some artists sharpen their soft pastels on a screen, keep the dust and reform it into new pastel sticks so that probablay gives you an idea of the lasting qualities of the medium.

Scottyarthur
03-15-2009, 06:17 PM
Deborah LMBO :lol: :lol: :lol:

EBristow
03-18-2009, 03:28 AM
Just to add my two cents worth - I have soft pastels purchased in the 1960's that are as usable today as they were then. Some artists sharpen their soft pastels on a screen, keep the dust and reform it into new pastel sticks so that probablay gives you an idea of the lasting qualities of the medium.


HOw do u take the dust and reform it?

Deborah Secor
03-18-2009, 09:34 AM
Collect the dust, then add a couple drops of distilled water to make a paste and reform it like clay to the shape and size you want. You can roll it on the table to make a 'worm' or flatten it into a squared-off stick. Let it dry completely, until it's no longer cool to the touch, before using it. It makes the medium go a long way, though sometimes the sticks you reform turn out to be mostly grayish colors. They can be quite beautiful and useful grays, however!

Aires--do take some care, as the pastels you have from the 60s might contain more harmful pigments such as lead, cobalt or cadmium. There weren't as many legal restrictions protecting us in those days... You might want to use barrier cream on your hands, or wear a mask.

Deborah

Little Mary
03-20-2009, 02:36 PM
I am new to pastels. Is there a good place to fine steps to do pastels?

Scottyarthur
03-22-2009, 01:39 PM
Sure, It is at the top part of the pastel talk forum. But here is the link

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=392571