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Old 05-30-2007, 03:30 PM
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Pabs Pabs is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Like many people before me, I too started with a very cheap set of pastels, and was very upset and disappointed with quite a few "hard shiny bits" on my work........ So, I took the decision to upgrade and bought some W&N soft pastels, which I must say I am very pleased with. Up to now though I have had to use Canson as it's the only stuff I can get locally. I have yet to make a final decision on it.
Other tips - well, I too use a small hand towel, but keep it dry, reason being that every now and then I have to get up to wash my hands. This gives me a physical break which I think we all need now and then, plus it also gives me a chance to re-enter my room and take a stepped-back look at what I'm doing.
My work is either taped to a piece of hardboard or thin MDF, or I use those "R" shaped clips when layed on their sides, which gives me the chance for a wide largin. I also like the look of a crisp edge when removing the tape. My borads are either placed on an easel, on a tyable-top easel, or just propped up on my lap and a table or desk.
Last tip is to buy a shower curtain - mine cost me £3 from B&Q, and I use it on the floor to protect the carpet (I work at home in my "office" spare bedroom. It's easy enough to pick up and shake outside or wash off, and so far I've found it very hard wearing and durable.
Regards,
Pabs
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:54 AM
KarenL. KarenL. is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

What is the best way to organize pastel sticks? Can the various brands be all placed together - then sorted by hue? What are not-to-be-without colors in favorite brands?
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Old 07-02-2007, 12:59 PM
KarenL. KarenL. is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

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Old 07-02-2007, 03:16 PM
BruceF BruceF is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Here are some recent threads on organizing your pastels:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=427722

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...php?t=337816&]

One from the Pastel Library on sorting by value:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/show...% 20as%20tone
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Old 07-03-2007, 08:01 AM
ggsl ggsl is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

I am a new member to Wet Canvas! and have been working in pastels for just over a year. Really appreciate this thread. Lots of great ideas. Hope to see it continue.
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Old 07-07-2007, 05:28 PM
mimidoll mimidoll is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

I am a newbie, 3 years in, I love to paint flowers/trees/nature. I want to expand my horizions and learn land/seascapes and portraits eventually. I have the 30 pastel set from Rembrant and the Sennelier set of 525 colors. I am quite intimadated. I do use my Senneliers at the end of my painting, because they are so buttery, I love the affect for the finishing touch. After reading today, I don't feel as intimadated....I think it's time to go for it!!!!
www.everettarts.com I have a few pieces under Mary Ann Cimino in the gallery. I'll take any comments. Thank you!!
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Old 07-22-2007, 09:17 AM
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OzieRTgal OzieRTgal is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

hi,
is there a terminology dictionary somewhere?
I have been using pastels for about a year. I am now working on my third portrait in pastel ( posted in the portrait forum and in the WIP forum) which I am finding very challenging indeed.
I have a very limited selection of pastels. Some cheap department store ones, some harder more expensive ones and some in between. Lack of finances have dictated the selection. I like the in-betweens best. Haven't made up my mind yet if I will stick to pastels...I think I might use them occationally. I do like thier vibrance and softness but find detail harder to manage with them than with other mediums. I have done the majority of my work in graphite with some acrylic and water colour thrown in none of which follows the general methods I read about in places like these forums
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Old 07-22-2007, 12:58 PM
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Selecting Colored Grounds

As a newcomer to pastels, I find that the question that stumps me the most is how to select the color of my support.

Also, the only class I have taken was for painting. The instructor was an acrylic artist, but I learned much that I apply to pastels. However, I am also stumped as to the use of underpainting in pastels. Is this done? If so, how do I apply color theory in chosing which colors to use?

And my final question: Is grisaille (unsure of spelling) ever used in pastels?

Thank you in advance for your replies!
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Old 07-22-2007, 05:01 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: Selecting Colored Grounds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooming
As a newcomer to pastels, I find that the question that stumps me the most is how to select the color of my support.

Also, the only class I have taken was for painting. The instructor was an acrylic artist, but I learned much that I apply to pastels. However, I am also stumped as to the use of underpainting in pastels. Is this done? If so, how do I apply color theory in chosing which colors to use?

And my final question: Is grisaille (unsure of spelling) ever used in pastels?

Thank you in advance for your replies!

Hi to all the new faces here. I thought a couple of answers to Blooming might clarify some of the other questions/discussions that have come up here...

First off, there's no 'right' or 'wrong' color paper to use. I always tell my students, when in doubt use a neutral like gray or beige, but I also encourage them to try different colors to see what they will do. Experience will teach you a lot so be experimental and try things. I do a class where I have them make three small paintings, all of the same photo, on three different colored grounds. Then they can see how much influence it has (assuming you don't fill up the paper with a lot of blending or too many layers, but let some of the paper show through the pastel.)

Underpainting isn't necessary--many pastelists do it, many don't--but it can help you get going, if you want to use this technique. You can lay pastel down over lightly-applied acrylics, but most people use watercolors, or even markers, which don't fill the grain or tooth of the paper, allowing the pastel to grip the paper. I find that underpainting on sandpaper like Wallis launches the painting quickly, allows me to see some interesting color variations, and I'm not tied to the painting but can easily fix things with my pastels.

I often use a grisaille method of sorts with my pastels. I do a complete underdrawing in extra soft thin vine charcoal, working out the composition carefully, then I use pastels directly over the top of the charcoal, very much the way painters do with a grisaille underpainting.

Here's a link to a painting using an alcohol over pastel technique for underpainting. Here's another one showing how I tone my paper overall one color without using any solvent. One more showing a painting I did underpainting with Createx Pure Pigments. And one that was started on location, then the final painting was done in the studio with the grisaille technique. Here's a simple tree demo and a simple stream demo.

Okay, that's way more than enough! If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Deborah
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Old 07-23-2007, 12:12 AM
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Re: Selecting Colored Grounds

Thank you Deborah. Your reply and links and been very informative as well as inspiring! I am off to play in my pastels!

Roma
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:29 AM
GMGen GMGen is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

will conte work for an underpainting, or is it too waxy?
does it fix like other pastels?
will it be easier to work over with softer pastels after it dries?
is this a good hard-soft range: conte=hard, girault=medium, art spectrum=soft?
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:31 PM
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Smile Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

I am new to pastels (very) and I am so excited about finding this website and all of the wonderful people and info here...

I was researching how to sort my pastel box by value and not having much luck, the info was incomplete and what the heck is value? until I found this site and the thread started by Khadres (sorry I found her too late to meet her ) and all of the sudden bingo...I got them sorted in 30 minutes give or take and now I get it! Darks, mid, lights...not color !!!!

here is the link..
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188064

I wish I would have found all of you at the beginning but I will be sure to give your site to all the wonderful budding artists in my class...

Deborah thanks for starting this thread...it has been very helpful as was your book I read a couple of weeks ago TY TY!!!!
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:12 PM
Carol891 Carol891 is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Hi ---

I am a "true" newbie, starting in pastels just a few months ago after taking a local class. During class hiatus this summer, I've been practicing on my own and have had my share of frustration while experimenting. At the same time, I'm starting to see a little progress too, and that keeps me going! I keep telling myself that I have to crawl before I can walk...

I hope, in the future, to be able to offer some meaningful comments to this thread, but in the meantime, I'll content myself with eagerly reading all the wonderful information and tips that have already been posted.

Thank you for starting this thread to benefit us beginners.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:14 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

ok- I'm a newbee to pastels and oil pastels.... and I'm broke, so the oil pastels that I have are the ones that my mother gave me 5 years ago with one of those cheap children sets and I want to play with them now~ only I don't know how to make them look smooth. Can anyone help?
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Old 09-08-2007, 10:19 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Storing pastels....I have a large art box that is basically a big tackle box. It has three levels plus a large bottom. Each level has separaters for long, small individual spaces. On the first level, I keep all of my pastels and put them together by hue. The next two levels hold my colored pencils by hue...the bottom bin holds things like finishing spray, boxes of drawing pencils, eraers, sharpeners, etc. It's great and it's portable.


Blending....the best way I've done small area blending is by taking a small piece of tissue or napkin and twisting it onto the end of a toothpick. It is tiny enough to get into fine spots to blend more carefully.

Those are my two cents....Great thread!
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