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  #46   Report Bad Post  
Old 11-15-2007, 12:16 AM
Donna A's Avatar
Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie NZ
Hi Donna,

re the canvas primed with colourfix, will you be using a fixative on this at the end?

Hi, Natalie! I did actually use some fixative mid-way thru that painting, partly to darken the lower left corner, partly to generally test how the fix would 'play' with the PanP, since I had not used it on the PanPs before---and then also to 'anchor' and isolate some of the color in one area (don't remember which) because of the color I wanted to pull over it, preserving more than I'm 'invested in' sometimes.

Now---this afternoon in class, one of the artists is going to be showing something from the IAPS Convention last May about either PVA or acrylic medium diluted and sprayed onto pastel paintings as they are being painted so as not to need glass in the framing. Because of some of the 'happy surprise' I had using the fix on the PanP's Saturday on the Cfix'ed canvas, I told Loreta that I wanted to try it out on that combo, too. I primed a canvas and she and I played a bit. I was surprised that the PanP's did not darken very much at all. That is GOOD! And as Loreta observed, it also does not seem to have the often cloddy, coarse texture that some of the stick pastel paintings have had using this technique (which can look entirely UNpastel.) The PanP's actually stayed looking pretty much the same, using the spray acrylic twice after painting several PanP layers before spraying both times. So---another thing I want to experiment with is using Damar Varnish spray to fix the PanP's. I've done that on a couple of occassions when I used pastels in oil paintings and then embedded the pigment with oil to seal it into the painting.

Back to your original question, Natalie---I did not spray fix onto the painting Saturday when I finished it---but---???---I may. There is something that is so seemingly 'sheer' about the PanP's, while still having the color richness and the glow from the pigment particles, that I did not use fixative on the PanP's on the Colourfix papers----but---I did find it useful a bit on the canvas---but might not every time. I may give it a quick spray with fix before I frame. Even though the pigment does seem so well embedded. Now---I'm going to post some painting adventures that two other artists had in class with the PanP's today. Some very different uses that are pretty exciting! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:43 AM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Everyone!!! Four artists were working with Pan Pastels today in class---and each in a different way with a different effect or combination. Goodness---I just keep learning more and more about how broadly this particular version of pastels can work for us! I admit to being ever surprised. Pretty cool! :-)

Karen used the PanP's to lay in some of the larger expanses of the small still life she was working on---using Colourfix Aubergine, which is one of her favorite colors to work with. She's been traveling for several weeks, so this is only the second or third time she's used them---this time with a far fuller dynamic quality! She actually did the still life twice, the second piece in only about half an hour, maybe 35/40 minutes. She also used her Art Spectrum pastel sticks back and forth with them, the sticks more as some of her usual electric 'calligraphy' with her pastel strokes!



The PanP's have answered some issues which Karen was working with---some of the larger open expanses. Here is a detail that is to the right of the raku pot---and has delicious textures and vibrations of colors. The photo is just not doing justice to what it is like looking at the real thing. But---you get a hint below.



The PanP's have such a rich variety of strokes, both at first layer and then laid on over and over in more layers. The textures can be anything from ultra smooth and even to very textured and broken up in interesting ways that give added richness.


Louise worked on two of her beautiful series of watercolors on 20"x28" Colourfix with pastels worked over them in decisive areas. These have been WOW! Today was the first time Louise used the PanP's. (She's been traveling, too!) First is a painting of a family friend taken in a wonderful lighting situation! The small photo she worked from is at the lower-middle-right. Her stick pastel strokes are wonderful and full of intent, both very strong and powerful, as well as other areas which are very subtle and gentle. Again---my photos today just do NOT do justice to any of the works.



Today she used the PanP's to further soften and lower the intensity and cool off the shadowed front of the face. They layered over her established colors beautifully and extremely effectively. Louise had been using some AS pastels as well as some colored pencils over the watercolor. The PanP's gave a particular control and variety of effect that worked perfectly with the other ways of delivering the pastels. Here is a close-up of part of the face---which is terribly out of focus, I apologize---but may still give you a bit of an idea of how she worked with the planes of the face---including the varieties in color intensity, temperatures and values, as well as large, medium and small shapes, etc!



Here is another painting with grandfather reading to grandson.



First---I love the abstract shapes the watercolor washes create over all in any of the paintings in this series! Very dynamic---just for 'starters!' Louise has enjoyed the collection of pigment that settles at some of the edges of various washes on this surface. Here she used the PanP's on baby grandson's face to add further softness and roundness to it after working it with the stick and pencil pastels. This gently pulled together some of the areas that were more broken up with the various harder edges of watercolor, etc.



The result is a beautiful play back and forth of crisp edges and mellow areas! Very exciting---and they work together with a very natural look. They just seem to belong together and be extensions of each other! I had that enlightenment more on Louise's today than on anything I've been aware of before with these PanP's and the the other materials I've used them with---including wc, too. Just like a beautiful marriage.

Here is a detail of one of grandfather's hands. Again, Louise used the PanP's to soften areas and unify, etc.



She's kept it loose and strong, with interesting shapes and accents---and full of painterly "suggestion" which I find visually very exciting. I remember how the hand looked before she added the PanP's---but---right now, everything looks so unified and I can't find which were the PanP's stop and where sticks or pencils or the original wc begin. These are all working beautifully together----and what we SEE is one lovely painting!

I mentioned in the post just before this one what Loreta was doing some experimenting with today. And then Susan also worked with the PanP's. She's been doing a vine charcoal full-value study, a process she's been employing for at least a couple of months now, working on Colourfix before proceeding with her oil painting over it (she's also an accomplished pastel painter.) Right now, her subject (working from life) is an antique white linen cloth draped in some beautiful large rolling folds and lighted to give some rich blue shadows and warm golden lights and darker warm reflected lights with a great variation in hard to soft, gradual edges. She's working on Soft Umber Colourfix--a half-sheet---and built her medium to darker values beginning last week. Midway today, she began adding warm whites and other lights from the PanP's as well as the cooler shadows----all just rather gently, creating a rather quietly striking atmostphere combining a sense of both the romatic and real. I'm so sorry I did not get it photographed---but perhaps next week---oh no--Thanksgiving next week---so---two weeks from now before Wed. class meets again. But, perhaps the description might inspire some of you to experiment with something on this order.

I did a drawing a couple of days ago with the PanP Raw Umbers and White. (Yesterday just did the MAPS newsletter! Whew---it's done!) Just scribbled out a little head study in lights, mediums and darks and I LOVED doing it!!! Just a scrumptious experience---and fussed around with another one this afternoon when I was experimenting right after class. Just a joy! I want to work with more drawings for the sake of drawing with the PanPs and some of the tools. I just love the way they flow on to the painting surface. All for now! Take good care! I hope you are having fun painting, too! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-15-2007, 02:57 AM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie NZ
Hi Donna,

re the canvas primed with colourfix, will you be using a fixative on this at the end?

Edited to say....
On reading earlier posts, I see that you do use fixative. However, what I really want to know is whether the canvas needs to be framed.

Hi, again, Natalie! Yes, this particular canvas will need to be framed---first, just because it has staples on the side! But---yes---I did paint it with the expectation of putting it under glass, which I'm assuming is what you might be referring to.

But---if you saw my original reply to the first part of your post, I am going to experiment with several things which might let it be framed without glass. And the recent painting on the Cfix'd canvas was the first of the PanP paintings where I've used fixative. But--normally, I ALWAYS use fixative. I just build up sooooooo many layers. And do believe in the scientific research results of extensive tests conducted at the US National Gallery.

If I still did not zero in on what you are curious about, please let me know! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:15 AM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Thanks for your reply Donna, I will keep watching for the results of your experiments. Have you used normal stick pastels on colourfix primed canvas and if so were you happy with the outcome?
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:00 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Donna you and your students continue to amaze me in this adventure of discovery. You've shown us the PP are way more versatile then I first thought they could be. The patience of everyone of you in exploring a "new" medium, and then sharing the results with WC members is greatly appreciated by all of us.

I look forward to the next installment everyday, and find it well worth the wait when you have to take time out to do other things!

Peggy
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Old 11-15-2007, 01:13 PM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Donna,

I can't thank you enough for your pan pastel inspirations. I am going to try them over watercolor next, what a great idea! I PM'd you on this, but I am wondering if you have tried rinsing out the sponges and did it work?
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:53 PM
PeggyB PeggyB is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shari
Donna,

I can't thank you enough for your pan pastel inspirations. I am going to try them over watercolor next, what a great idea! I PM'd you on this, but I am wondering if you have tried rinsing out the sponges and did it work?

Shari, I don't know if Donna has washed the sponges, but I have. I followed the instructions as given with each set - soap and water. It is a chore! Water alone didn't remove the PP from the sponges, and soaking them in soapy water didn't work either. I ended up applying Joy dishwashing degergent directly to each sponge and then rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing, and rinsing - well I think you get the idea. Then I learned just wiping them on paper towels is enough to do the trick. Even if they aren't absolutely clean, they don't create mud when using different colors on each sponge. Some of the small sponges on the stick didn't do well when being cleaned. One fell right off the stick - and I could't get it back on. A couple others seemed to wear out very quickly too. Oh yah - I didn't mention the drying time.... If you wash them, don't expect to use them any time soon.

Peggy
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Old 11-15-2007, 07:28 PM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

thanks Peggy, I had a feeling they would take forever to dry. I think I will just buy new ones when these have "hit the dust" so to speak.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:33 PM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

I guess when mine arrive I'll have to find some way of cleaning them and getting them to last as re-ordering from the US is going to become rather expensive shipping wise. I believe they are not going to be available in Aus until about March next year and that doesn't necessarilly mean available in WA though.

Continue having fun with them, I will use this thread well and truly when mine arrive.

Love Carolynn
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:44 PM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Shari---and Peggy! Pardon! Has been a very busy day! Peggy, you've really done (your usual!) great job of answering a question. I was surprised when I washed sponges that not very much came off. But---at least the wash water was a bit colored! :-) But they still look about the same afterwards. But then that also has to tell us how well 'excess' pigment becomes permanently embedded and NOT available to come off into other color strokes, once we've wiped off the sponge on paper towels, as you have mentioned. Good thing to have experimented with---and then we get to learn that the 'staining' of sponges does not affect new strokes. We just want to keep a pad of paper towel immediately on hand to clean between various colored strokes.

I'm wearing down some of the little tool covers for the pale-blue plastic handled tools, which I think I mentioned before, but so far, no wear showing up on the block sponges.

And I also mentioned early on that I was so thankful that I had ordered extra sponges with my full-set order. Mostly because I love, when I oil paint, having a LOT of brushes in play at the same time---with 'dedication' to specific color ranges---and just because I find it 'handy.' But we could paint with a very small selection of tools---so---part of it is just style of working. But, just as I wear down my brushes (and boy---I DO!) I know that if I'm painting with full passion and vigor, in time I'll need to finally toss a tool----or simply relegate it to a limited type of use. (Some of my bristle brushes are total blessings in their "second life" very worn down, for scrubbing in transparent underpaintings---so I'm expecting a lot of the PanP sponges to let me discover even more qualities that I can get from them!)

In the long run---I'm with Peggy---we're evidently just as well off simply wiping our sponges across paper towel a few times---and then we can pick up new colors and they'll come off on to our paintings with no holdover from the previous colors. Very best wishes! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:40 AM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Natalie! Thank you! You asked:
Quote:
Have you used normal stick pastels on colourfix primed canvas and if so were you happy with the outcome?

I had scribbled around with stick pastels on 'plain' canvas (not primed with Colourfix.) But---nothing particularly inspired me to do a serious work in pastels on canvas---until last Saturday. And I am really excited by the 'look' of that first PanP painting on the Cfix-primed canvas and am going to do another tomorrow.

One thing I'm wondering about is if I had used the regular Cfix Primer or the newer Cfix SuperTooth Primer on last Saturday's canvas---which I had primed over two months ago when I was doing some demos about using the Cfix Primers--and don't remember which I happened to use at that moment.

Below is an experiment on canvas primed with 'regular' Clear Colourfix Primer. I played around a bit with come color areas but also did a little head study that I was just making up. Then sprayed with diluted acrylic medium through an atomizer my friend Loreta brought for us to experiment with yesterday in class. I painted on a second group of layers of Pan Pastel to see how well it would take new color over the sprayed surface and it looked great! Sprayed it again. Today---held this little canvas under the faucet at the kitchen sink and lightly washed over it with a little plastic woven pot-scrubber 'ball'----and nothing came off! Geee! :-)



Using this spray---diluted acrylic medium---or PVA diluted---comes from a session Loreta attended at the IAPS 2007 convention about creating pastel paintings in a way so that you do not need to use glass in the framing. I thought the look of this worked. There were some demo pieces at IAPS with stick pastels that looked clumpy and coarse and not inviting. But Loreta said that she did some a few where it really looked fine. Something else to experiment with. But for now, back to just the look of PanP's on Cfix-primed canvas....

One of the artists in class today worked on a canvas I had primed with Cfix the day before. Pat is a dynamic oil painter and colorist---and began working in pastels only 3 months ago or so---and WOW! She just dived into them with the same gusto! Now a week or two ago, she began a small and more 'mellow' piece (mellow---as in not her usual fiery rich flurries of exciting colors on larger paintings)---and the first piece just didn't please her, so she painted it today, first with the PanP's and then with her Art Spectrum pastels and some back and forth---and it turned out so well---even tho it is still very, very mellow and small for her!







I admit that I wondered where Pat was going with the brisk swipes of reds---but she surely did know, as you'll see in the (almost-) finished piece! The reds were very effective and made the blue-shadowed snow so much richer and exciting!

I noticed that the pastel was not so easily finding its way to the depths of crevices of the canvas weave as it had done for me last Saturday. Pat let me make a few strokes in the early sky---and this canvas was taking the pastel differently than the other one. What I realized was that I had rolled on the Cfix Primer for Pat's canvas, rather than brushing it on as my Sat. painting surface was prepared----and that this was a different brand/style of canvas----and that I may have used Cfix SuperTooth instead of regular for the canvas used last Sat. Something in the differences kept the pastel from 'taking' as deeply and richly---or as easily as what I did Saturday---so---more experimenting. I'll report! Anyway---even without the pastel taking to the canvas the same way it did the other day, the painting still has a wonderful look! Here's more below.



Below, Pat had started adding strokes of colors with her AS pastel sticks.


I love that subtle little swirling pale blue line thru the sky. We ended up stepping outside to spray fix the conifers to both darken them a bit and to also anchor the existing layers in preparation for more layers. The canvas seems to want fixing where there has been a lot of build up. I'm curious to understand why---though this is just from two pieces. (and the third was the first one in this post---where I had intentionally set it up in order to test the acrylic spray.)



And below---the almost finished painting. She has a bit more work to do on the left side's snow deposits and maybe a few other touches. With the first piece, she was feeling challenged by the snow deposits and their very important and complex patterning---both shapes and positions. She did such a great job with the small PanP sponge tools and they really look great where she has finished on the right. Love what she did with the ground snow in the mid- and foreground! The others in class were really enjoying the looks of it, too! Pat has a wonderfully loose and bold style, although this is a considerably 'tame' piece by comparison! :-) I really like it! I think she is pleased, too. Now---there is work by another artist from today--but will save posting it till tomorrow! Take good care! Donna ;-}

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Old 11-16-2007, 08:56 PM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, everyone! Yet another 'installment!' :-) This is a quote from Linda, one of the artists who studies with me--and she worked yesterday with the Pan Pastels. :-) She's been doing very striking and award-winning pastel paintings. After she shared such great comments with me yesterday afternoon about her experience using the PanP's for the first time, I asked if she might want to email me some comments that I might post along with a picture progression of yesterday's painting. And by the way---she has a most wonderful dry sense of humor---which you'll catch a glimpse of! :-) From Linda:
Quote:
Today I had the opportunity to try pan pastels for the first time! I arrived at class without my own pastels and my teacher, *who is beginning to explore pan pastels herself, was kind enough to let me try her new set. I admit I was a bit skeptical. After all, they did resemble eyeshadow. But I had been feeling the need to expand beyond my usual modus operandi and this happy accident paved my way.

Using sponges to apply pastel was different but the textures one can achieve are intriguing. I liked the way I could block out large spaces and basically do a value study which included color. **I tend to tighten down too soon in a painting and this method kept me freer and able to focus longer on the big picture. *I often get tied up in one part of a painting but because I’m using a sponge with a particular color on it I am inclined to use that color where needed all over the painting. The edge of the sponge allows for some strong emphasizing strokes without getting nit picky.

I think pan pastels could nudge my work in a new direction!

Well---I'm all excited to see what Linda does next! Below is a photo of the still life she was working from---a heavy antique linen cloth with an aged crock and a brand new orange! :-) I set this up as a great opportunity for folks to explore painting folds and drapery, warms and cools, lights and darks and hard to soft edges (the latter three groups being the "secrets" of painting fabric well---along with high and low intensities!)



Below is Linda's drawing---made with charcoal on Colourfix Aubergine paper 20"x28". As with all her drawings, it's so strong---and this has such a beautiful flow.



Below is Linda laying on some of the first areas of the PanP color.



Here are additional areas laid in, below. This was as much as Linda had time to do yesterday.



Something you can see from her painting is how well the lights will hold their own over very dark under color! You can also see how effectively she used laying on the same color softly to let some of the undercolor play through---or, loading the sponge heavily and pressing firmly---how rich and opaque the color can be. In the upper left, which I believe is one of the first areas she began working, you can see the effects of pulling the color a 'long' distance, where it begins to run low on pigment----but this way, can also gradate from the opaque deposit of color to very sheer, letting the undercolor mix in visually. I think Linda really 'GOT' the orange---immediately---with seeming ease! :-) Both the mass essence and the nuances. And pardon---I shot this close-up out of focus.



I think it's pretty amazing how much of a good 'feel' Linda managed to get for some of the particular 'special touches---or techniques' that Linda managed to achieve in barely an hour! Here below is a small area of folds---with some great subtleties, gradations and still preserving strengths from her drawing---which she often makes great use of in her paintings. To the right, you see where she will continue the finesse when she begins working on her painting again after Thanksgiving.



Below is a nice detail from the crock. I LOVE the way she has moved the PanP colors up to and/or into the charcoal lines. Beautiful! Often, you can see some of the greatest ability of a painter revealed in the handling of edges! Wow! And I'm really liking the textures that Linda and others of us have managed to achieve with the PanP's on the Colourfix surfaces, whether Primer on canvas, regular Colourfix paper or boards or the SuperTooth. I still want to explore more surfaces, and I know each offers something fascinating.



And last---I just really liked this little "abstract" bit in the painting. Again, great edges---and value, temperature and shape/size contrasts, etc.



I hope you have been enjoying seeing what Linda and Louise, Pat, Bev, Jennifer and I have been doing, so far---and at least hearing a bit about others whose paintings have not been photoed. Hopefully, I'll have a new piece with new discoveries and observations tomorrow! Enjoy, enjoy! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:44 AM
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Great thread!

Peg
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:47 PM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan Borgas
Donna I am open minded about using a fixative; I just need to find a supplier for Grumbacher Tuffilm Fixative to try it out.

Susan - Tuffilm is now sold as a Prismacolor brand, you might have better luck looking for it under that name.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:58 PM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Marie! Thanks so much for letting us know about the ownership change for Tuffilm (the final Fix) and Myston (the workable.) Marie, your sharing this news is such a great example of the many vaules of WC! Being such a visual group of people, I thought I'd look for what I assumed would be the new label. Yep. (When they changed label designs last time, from the brown and the green to the white and white labels---well---it was frustrating for a while to FIND the danged thing on the art store shelf!) :-) Here's a pic. Donna ;-}



ps---I just hope they haven't changed the formula! My mom used to shudder every time she read "New and Improved" on her favorite laundry detergent, etc! D :-)
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Last edited by Donna A : 11-17-2007 at 02:02 PM.

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