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View Full Version : what i can use to blend pastels?


JPQ
05-13-2010, 12:34 PM
what i can use to blend pastels? i mean what are safe for user and work. finger sounds nice and i use it but some pigments are maybe toxic... i know washing of hands works and and one link what i found only one what i these exampels gives something which looks what i want is finger. and i talk this link:
http://painting.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_blend_pastel

PeggyB
05-13-2010, 01:14 PM
In this country we have a product called "Gloves In A Bottle". It is a barrier creme that not only protects your skin from various toxic substances, but in the case of pastels makes it much easier to get your hands clean after painting. It is used by many other professionals too; health care providers in particular since they are exposed to so many chemicals and have to wash their hands so often. It doesn't take much to cover your hands, and once dry it is greasless and won't come off on your paper. There are other brands of barrier cremes, and maybe you could find one of them or for all I know, GIAB is available in Finland too. I highly recommend using one even if you decide to use something other than your fingers to blend. I've tried just about all other suggestions for blending, but find my hands/fingers work the best when I want to blend.

Peggy

Paula Ford
05-13-2010, 01:15 PM
That article mentions some good items to blend with, but why don't you allow the pastels to blend themselves instead of using an "instrument."

You could also use gloves, and as Peggy mentioned, Gloves in a Bottle.

PeggyB
05-13-2010, 01:17 PM
That article mentions some good items to blend with, but why don't you allow the pastels to blend themselves instead of using an "instrument."

Good advise Paula, but remember there are other techniques, completely legitamate techniques, that use all or almost all total blending to achieve the effect the artist wants. Susan Bennerstrom and Diana Ponting are two very successful professional artists who come to mind who use this method. It would be a pretty boring world if all pastelists had to work just one way. :)

Peggy

Paula Ford
05-13-2010, 01:47 PM
I agree Peggy, but I can just wanted to share what my technique is for blending, knowing that lots of folks would come into this thread and share lots of other ways too.

Dharma_bum
05-13-2010, 01:56 PM
Certain types of foam packing peanuts work very well for blending. You want the firm, smooth ones. Br breaking them, you can create sharp edges when needed.

Dan

helenh
05-13-2010, 09:36 PM
When I blend, which is not a lot, I like to use the sponge applicators that are used for the Pan Pastels. They come in several sizes and shapes and work just great. I tried using my fingers once on Wallis paper. Yikes, that hurt. I had a raw fingertip for several days. So I'm wary of using my fingers on sanded surfaces.

rankamateur1
05-14-2010, 10:08 AM
I used to use packing noodles (infinite supply, disposable) but lately I've been using a chunk of pipe insulation. Carol (aka Devonlass) gave me a piece when we painted together and I really liked it. My mother had a stairlift put in recently and part of it came wrapped in the same stuff. I now have an infinite supply!

Luana

sketchZ1ol
05-14-2010, 02:15 PM
hello.
what do you mean - blend ?
:} Ed

Elena in Exeter
05-14-2010, 04:05 PM
I use a couple of 'blenders' sorry don't know what the proper name is! They look like paint brushes except they have a rubber tip instead of bristles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes.

Elena

adventureartist
05-14-2010, 04:40 PM
I use tortillons, some people call them "stumps". They are made of rolled up soft paper. They are the original pastel and charcoal "blenders" if you don't want to use your fingers. I was taught that fingers are a "no no" due to the possibility of getting body oils on the paper/painting and the pastels we used 40 years ago were not non-toxic. (Doesn't mean I don't use my fingers, after all rules are made to break sometimes!):lol: Here's a photo of some brand new ones I have not gotten all dirty. As you can see, they come in different sizes and widths for detailing. I find them particularly handy for blending in portraits for eyes and some flesh and fur undertones and still life studies. You can sand them down for fresh, clean ends or just peel them, I use my DH's belt sander in the shop.:evil:

JPQ
05-14-2010, 05:49 PM
i must test my own stump when i found it with schincke. with w&n i dont like what i get. but i dislike (expect few colours) w&n range.

*Deirdre*
05-14-2010, 06:09 PM
I use a couple of 'blenders' sorry don't know what the proper name is! They look like paint brushes except they have a rubber tip instead of bristles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes.

Elena
Colour shapers:)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-May-2010/33616-shapers.gif

robertsloan2
05-14-2010, 09:55 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned a chamois. You can get a big one in an auto repair shop or a little one at an art store, and they are the same. Wrap a chamois around your finger and you still have the control of finger blending, but the extra color winds up on the chamois and can be washed. Get one big one from the auto department at Wal-Mart or wherever and cut it into pieces about 6" or so, like 5" x 7" and you'll have plenty of chamois -- including keeping them sorted by color groups until they're washed.

I like using Colour Shapers, the soft white-tip ones are very nice for soft pastels but Firm gray ones work well too. I also like using Sofft tools from Pan Pastels, including the sponges that are so handy. I've done a lot of finger blending and used cardboard tortillons and stumps.

Then I took a class from Charlie (Colorix) right after one by Deborah Secor and discovered I could blend using a stick, which is what I'm experimenting with a lot now. Some artists combine different textures and techniques within a single painting -- blend the background and then use stick-blending on the foreground and it'll push forward with a fresher texture.