View Full Version : Just starting along this dusty road

11-06-2010, 11:14 AM
Hi there, as I've said in the intro thread, been lurking and reading the mail on here for ages. Sufficient to get a set of art spectrum pastels and a warm and cool pack of their paper. Errr I am a bit heavy handed hence my choice - even then I will have to develop a softer approach. :crossfingers: I do have some Derwent pastel pencils.
But where do I start? How do I know which to use? Warm or cold support? I'll be trying any landscape demos/step by step/beginners images that are available. I do have some pieces of mount card that I could practice on - I also have some WC paper..... rough. medium and smooth.
I wont be concerned about producing anything worth anything for some while either ..... :lol:

11-06-2010, 11:23 AM
Hi Jim, welcome to the dusty side.

I'm heavy handed too, and what is working fairly OK for me is to think "caress the paper with the stick".

OK, you know you can brush the pastels off Colourfix, and paint over the 'ghost' of the old painting/drawing/doodle? Good. Then a way to do both, investigating your pastels and papers, and to find out which warm/cool support you want to use (it is personal preference), paint the same (sameish) thing on the papers. You'll se how the colour of the paper influences the result, but what is better, you'll internalize it and how the pastel sticks behave.

Have fun playing!

11-06-2010, 11:47 AM

Thanks for joining us! Just jump in and start experimenting with your pastels and papers! There's no rules or set methodology in pastels! Warm or cool paper?...It's all good - you decide. Some people like the paper color to show through a bit, others cover every millimeter. So the paper color can be used as one of the colors of the composition or - as others like to do - can be the complementary color. Try things out and see what works for you!


11-06-2010, 01:54 PM
:) Jim,

I remember my fist impression of pastels---not good. I was given a by a wonderful lady all, I mean ALL of her artstuff!!! I had been painting in watercolor, sold some cards of my work, and this lady thought she should do this and did! I was so surprized----anyhow, she had a lot, and I mean a lot of pastles bought in the 70's and 80's, mostly Grumbackers and Rembrants, Nupastles, and a lot of velour paper-----I mean , a lot. What bothered me , I remember , was that I was so use to mixing color to get what I wanted! You can use 3 colors, the 3 primary colors for example, and get close to 200 colors!!! And with pastle, you need to have all those colors!!!! Oh yes, I was so messed up about that, I didn't touch my pastles for almost 2 years after she gave them to me!! But NOW, WELL NOW, I can't leave them alone!!!! They are the best!!!! I guess I would say to you----Take a workshop from a local person first to get going, and buy books and dvd's ---it really helps-----and get online and read Deborah Secors book! Its great----or sign up for her daily class which comes in your inbox and is full fo great stuff----and of course, Wetcanvas! Good luck:) !

11-06-2010, 05:01 PM
Thanks all for the welcome, I do feel know your work though as I’ve been reading this site for some time.
Charlie, thanks for the tip on ‘caressing the paper’, that very effectively gets the message across to this heavy handed soul.
Ok Don on exploring this media to determine my own reactions to it. I understand that very well and will do just that.
Imaybe, nice to have a benefactor in these things. I wouldn’t have minded someone indulging me – these things don’t come cheap do they.
On the DVD front I do have a set of Arnold’s. We (my wife and I) did a weekend with him at Farncombe earlier this year.
I do have ‘The Pastel Bible’ but am open to suggestions on a good book.

Ok in Arnold’s terms then – I’d better get started!:crossfingers:

11-06-2010, 05:24 PM
Jim, two good books for the beginner are by authors Jackie Simmonds (UK) (she also has demos and paintalongs at www.artistsnetwork.tv), and Maggie Price (USA). Here, WC, is probably the best resource on the net.

11-06-2010, 06:13 PM
Jim - another way to think of application of pastel is to "breathe" it on the paper - just barely touch the paper or surface while holding the pastel the long way - not using just the tip. You will get a very thin, broken application where the undercolor will show through. Think breathe, it does make a difference! Just don't breathe IN the pastel!!!


11-07-2010, 08:47 AM
Jim, two good books for the beginner are by authors Jackie Simmonds (UK) (she also has demos and paintalongs at www.artistsnetwork.tv) (http://www.artistsnetwork.tv%29), and Maggie Price (USA). Here, WC, is probably the best resource on the net.

Thanks for that URL Charlie, it worked after I removed the punctuation at the end. I've currently to sort out my passwords at amazon/ebay as there are two books of JS's that I'm interested in when that is done.
I agree about WC being a good resource. I've been reading the mail for quite some time. Water colours initially, acrylics, WMO's then coloured pencils and from there pastel pencils and pastels. I'm enjoying myself :)

Hi ya Lynn and thanks for the 'breath on it' advice. I'm not sure about the long hold though because I know I'll forget and then break every stick. :(