View Full Version : pastel mat question

04-06-2010, 06:50 PM
Can I wash off a failed painting from pastel mat like I can on wallis?

04-06-2010, 08:29 PM
I have a feeling I read somewhere it is not as robust as Wallis, having said that...I would try brushing off the pastel- as much as possible and if it's not enough maybe add a bit of water or rubbing alcohol and make it the underpainting of your next painting...but hold on...there may well be someone who has used it more than me, to give you a different solution!

04-06-2010, 10:23 PM
I have found that it leaves much more of a ghost of the previous picture than Wallis does. But still workable.

04-07-2010, 09:59 AM
Welcome suruchi! My experience agrees with Carol's: Pastelmat washes up fine but leaves a ghost image.

I "scrubbed the surface with a brush under running water. Then I put them in front of a fan to dry. Result: no buckling, no de-lamination of the surface. They had a significant 'ghost image' but otherwise seemed as good as new, the tooth clean and ready to go." From my review, here (http://jan777.blogspot.com/2009/10/examined-pastemat-paper.html).

Hope this helps.


04-07-2010, 12:28 PM
Jan, Carol and Deirdre,

Thanks so much!!!! I did the wash and it is drying right now. I'm so excited! Makes Pastelmat much more economical. :clap:

So now here's my main concern. I'm open to any and all comments and suggestions from anyone who cares to jump in and help. I have just taken up pastels recently after being away from art for a while. I had a business that I recently sold and now have the time to paint and draw to my heart's content, wholeheartedly supported by my husband. He's the best!!! I also have a spare bedroom that is entirely mine for use as a studio. However, I am so frustrated with my progress. I just seem to waste paper and not have many things turn out good at all. (Hence needing to wash off Pastelmat and Wallis.) I am going to attach some photos here so that you can see that I do have some talent and experience. One is a colored pencil of my son's childhood boots (blurry shot), one is a watercolor of a steer scull, one is a pastel of my grandaughter (the only pastel I have done that I think is Ok and was my first pastel portrait) and one is my son's lower leg and boot in carbon pencil on Bristol. I took a few classes here from a man who does pastels but mostly oils. I think he is really good but I felt that I needed time to just work at my own pace and practice, practice, practice.
I have subscribed to Artists Network TV in the last couple weeks and I am really trying to view videos and study daily. I'm am also on Wet Canvas daily reading, looking at the gallery and viewing things in the learning center. I even have Wet Canvas on my iphone so I can see it anytime I have a few minutes and am away from the house. I also just subscribed to Pastel Journal and ordered Maggie Prices's book "Painting with Pastels" which I can hardly wait to get. I have a full set of Nupastels, a large set of Derwent pastel pencils, a set of thirty Rembrandts, and just ordered some Mount Visions from Dakota. (Maybe I need a 12 step program for "Art Supply Addiction". LOL!!!!!) Anyway, I'm sure many of you had the same feelings when you were starting out. What did you do and what do you think I should focus on in order to start moving forward. Sorry this is so long. Thanks so much in advance for any help or encouragement.


04-07-2010, 01:19 PM
Hi Dena,

My advice would be...relax...and have fun! From what you have shown us, you have a lot of ability, and quite frankly, your one pastel portrait is excellent! It looks like a portrait done after years of experience!

You obviously have experience in other media, so you probably have a good foundation of general art knowledge. So now it is probably just a question of practicing and getting familiar with the pastels, the papers, and the technical process of applying them. So play! Don't worry about creating finished pieces right away. Just experiment, and who knows, a finished piece might result anyway!

Most of us are our own worst critic, so my guess is that your efforts so far have probably been better than you think! That portrait is definitely far better than OK!

You have a lot of good sources on information from your Artist Network TV, the magazines and books, and, of course, Wetcanvas! But don't let it get you bogged down. Trying to take in too much at once can be overwhelming! I would experiment with one or two concepts at a time, rather than try to cram everything you are learning into each piece.


04-07-2010, 02:05 PM
Thanks so much! I was looking at your tutorial on portraits yesterday and put them all into my favorites file. I think you can see that I really love portraits. I have done a few in graphite and also in colored pencil. I will try to give myself permission to just "play" and not expect perfection. You are so right in that we are so hard on ourselves. I'm hugely goal oriented and it is hard to loosen up and let it flow. I'll play and post and let you see what i have accomplished. Thanks again!


Gerri Mc
04-07-2010, 02:26 PM
I think your work is great Dena!

What a wonderful opportunity to have the time to devote to your art. I wish you the very best of success.:thumbsup:

04-07-2010, 05:38 PM
Dena, your examples rock. Relax and enjoy the dusties. If you look in the Pastel Library, you can find some beautiful demonstrations and ESP classes -- two that really helped me were ESP: Snow by Deborah Secor and ESP: Still Life the Colourful Way by Colorix. You're very good at all these subjects, observe well, get good proportion on all or most of them (I don't know if the cow skull is distorted by the angle of the photo or if the cow itself had some skeletal anomalies before you painted its skull), but those two classes both did so much to open up my eyes to color.

Deborah Secor's snow class taught me tons about light and helped me overcome a problem with inconsistent light sources as well as break me of using white for snow and clouds. She has a couple of videos up on ArtistsNetworkTV that you may want to take in since you subscribed too, the beginner one on Landscapes completely changed how I look at clouds and use grays. Also look down these threads for the link, she's posting her book a chapter at a time as a gift to us. Bookmark her book blog and read it, that book is marvelous not just for landscapes but also observation and technique and color.

Charlie's class revolutionized how I look at color altogether and I've been using the crazy four stage method with the garish underpainting and rich final results many times since I took it. You might have a lot of fun with that too and you're skilled enough already that I think you can get a kick out of trying it. The results sparkle off the page.

Last, for realism, hunt down demos by Dianna Ponting, she's just ponting here. Every one of them goes into ways to get clean trompe l'oeil results with pastels and pastel pencils.

Welcome to the Addiction... you have a nice range of textures there between the hard pastels, medium soft and the Mount Visions which are fluffy and pretty soft and huge.

04-07-2010, 07:21 PM
Robert, thanks for the great compliments and the load of info. I'm adding your post to my favorites so that i can try out all of them. i have been reading Deborah's online book and it is so great. I'm so blown away that folks like Deborah and Don put so much of their energy into helping us and sharing. What a great gift they give to us each day. I think Don is right that i am just trying to load too much info my brain right now. So i'm going to slow down and try to concentrate on learning one thing at a time. Not too easy for me!!! I want to know it all and be good at it all today!!!! I really love reading all your posts and love looking at your work. Seems I am addicted to not only art supplies but Wet Canvas too! Ha! Thanks so much for taking the time to write and encourage me. And yes the scull is that way beause of the photo angle. It was a gift for my son a few years ago and I was trying to take a picture without the flash glaring back from the glass in the frame. Forgot to take a picture before i framed it for him.