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Old 11-19-2007, 02:13 AM
Donna A's Avatar
Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Everyone! Time for another "installment" of Pan Pastel Adventures! I have just had the best time the last 24 hours!!! Two friends came over so that I could paint their portraits with PanP's---one last night (Sat. night) and one today. I love to paint portraits. Portrait #1---Jim---was 11"x14" on Colourfix SuperTooth Primer primed stretched canvas and the one this afternoon---Portrait #2---Lisa---on Colourfix Aubergine paper, 20"x28". Geeeeee----both were so fun! And some great new discoveries, too, on each! Yea!

Here is Portrait 1---Jim, a friend for nearly 30 years.



Here is the first rough-in, which was all done with PanP's, laying in some major color areas to get the initial 'feel' of the face. The PanP's have proven themselves really easy materials for this---and that is being a blessing!



I was really "off" in several areas---but was easy to correct. This is a mid-stage of the portrait.



I do work from dark to light (a classically-founded pattern and for very excellent reasons!)---and I"ve been impressed with how well the PanP's can build the lights over the darker colors!

The PanP's have colors presented in series of Shade, Pure and Tint in a particular color---and 6 variations of black, grays and white. The Red Iron Oxide color is so valuable in portraits (and in other types of subject matter, as well---of course!) I've used the Shade of it a LOT in the portraits, particularly for reflected lights---and then the Pure (that word is not not included on the label, although Shade and Tint are)! And mixed with the Violet Shade (or is it Purple???) (hmmm---I need to look again---but manana! Pardon!) The Violet/Purple Shade mixed with the Red Iron Oxide for even darker, lower-intensity colors in the folds of skin and so forth!

Blonde hair will relish the Raw Umber range of colors. Add a few touches of Ultramarine and the pale golden yellows----and you've got the perfect colors for blonde hair (give or take a few interesting reflected light colors!)

The flesh color choices are great---for all complexions! Yes---we have to do some mixing for those of us who LOVE our fairly specific colors---but---hey! I have to find ways of doing that with my 4700 different pastel sticks----and my oils and acrylics and wc's, etc! So---that's fair! I'll write more later about some of the color combinations I've found very handy! And some of the techinques I discovered this evening!

Here is today's portrait---nearly finished but not quite. Lisa is the wife of our MidAmerica Pastel Society's Vice President---and Michael is a marvelous painter! I've wanted to paint Lisa ever since I met her at an exhibit! Michael watched the painting's progress---and I suspect he is going to join the ranks of new PanP users, himself. His great comments were so fun to listen to as I painted! Lisa has gorgeous black hair and loves wearing black---and has a wonderful pale complexion showed lovely subtle ranges of color in the lighting she was in.



I have several interesting close-ups to share with you---and some new techniques, etc. to report on----but---tomorrow. It's after 1 am now---and sleep sounds so inviting! So much more to share with you all! Have played a bit with some other various papers---so will report on that, too! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Donna Aldridge M-MAPS PSA xxxxxxx www.aldridgestudios.com

• Visit the Writings page for Studio Tips and other useful Information
I celebrate the beauty around us with Color and Light! Donna Aldridge
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:36 AM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi!!! Here are some more technique discoveries I've made using the Pan Pastels---this group while I've been working on the two portraits I did this last weekend. Below is the nearly-finished portrait of Lisa. I still need to finish the hat's veil and some background touches. The portion of the veil that can be observed right now are actually the Colourfix Aubergine paper color---with the black color of the hat and hair laid in between the threads of the veil. You can see the light drawing lines I made with one of the small PanP sponge tools for the outer-reaches of the hat's veil. I'm still amazed at what delicate lines I can draw with these. Painting the "negative spaces" to create the "look" of an object can be such fun! :-) LOL! Takes a bit of "seeing" but it is so energizing! Here's Lisa below. Her husband, Michael, VP of the MidAmerica Pastel Society and a wonderful painter! said it does look just like her! And members of MAPS who came to class today recognized her---and Jim. (LOL!---this is always good.) :-)

Oh, first---Lisa's photo taken just before we began her sitting. For the camera, she looked into the camera. Sitting, it was natural for her to glance down and to the side, which you see in the painting. Lisa has a marvelous sense of humor, but she looks rather wistful here.



And Lisa's portrait nearly finished...below:



The background areas I've made very subtle. Something delicious that I've discovered working on this portrait was how I could lay in a color area and then 'mellow' the color into the background color by rubbing over it with a chamois skin. Notice the softly golden area to your right on Lisa's portrait. I let it stay strongest at the top of her shoulder and the neighboring hair curve. You'll see the ochre-gold merging into the Cfix Aubergine background color as it moves upwards and away from her figure. It was rather amazing through the whole process of this painting to realize how much I could constantly soften or merge or blend or mellow out color areas---even on darker color surfaces. To your left of Lisa, you see the red oxide/gold-colored vertical of the circa-1875-Italian woodwork behind her. There again, I used the chamois skin as well as one of the clean larger sponges to pull the color to the left in order to gradate it, softer and softer away from her into the Aubergine background color.

I was also able to soften Lisa's shoulders with the sponge, firmly yet gently pulling over it to pick up some of the black pigment I'd applied earlier, softening it's effect----again---wanting the color to disappear into the Aubergine of the background for an effect that would give a sense of unity.

There was a slight vertical pattern in the blouse worn by Lisa. I used the rectangular/cube sponge to pull the black color from the neckline downward. I'd reload the pigment onto the sponge then pull color down again two, perhaps three times, then reload again. The color was stronger just after that series of strokes, so I later used the chamois skin to pull up from the bottom of the painting, over and over again, to soften the effect by removing some of color, leaving a gradated effect.

Lisa says that she loves to wear black---and "will keep wearing it until they invent something darker!" LOL! So it was really fun to work on a dark under color, laying in the blacks, with the Aubergine working for some of the medium lights by leaving those areas uncovered with pigment---and then building in---layering in the lights. The hat's veil that you see right now in the painting is pure Aubergine Colourfix paper, with the darks laid in as "negative shapes" of the hat behind. Much of the medium-lighter areas in the hair are also the Cfix. With the lighter areas of the hat, I first pulled off some of the black pigment with the sponge, then laid in the pure Raw Umber because of the way the warm from the spot light (200W incandescent [email protected] 3400 K temp) was reflecting on her hat. The satin band reflected a rather bluish quality---so you see some of the Ultramarine and the Payne's Grey laid on there.

I need very much to go in to loosen up Lisa's hair. It is so amazingly gorgeous the way it falls in those rich curls! (I have hair that obeys gravity completely!!!) I've made it look, especially on the right side, look like it was sculpted with 5 gallons of hair gel. I'll fix it!!!

By the way---Lisa's bangs are very much Aubergine Cfix! Bits of black pigment have been pulled down from the hat area, but for the most part---it's another case of painting "negative spaces" by painting in the color of her forehead, leaving the paper "nekked." A technique like that leaves hair---or other parts of paintings----look more natural and integrated and belonging! Very important thing to make use of!!! Yes---it takes SEEING (which you want to be able to be doing, anyway!!!) and yes---it is a matter of working with shapes of colors rather than as objects!!!! HUGE issue! I promise!

Now for some earlier-stages of this painting. I did (for whatever reason I'm not sure) begin Lisa's portrait differently than I so often work portraits. Michael, Lisa's husband who sat in and commented on how much he enjoyed watching the process (very fine painter himself---and I think a pending Pan Pastel user) noticed that this was different than the portrait demo I did for MAPS last Nov. beginning with a pretty comprehensive charcoal drawing. There was something about Lisa that invited my beginning the work at the ever-important bridge of the nose and eyebrow area---and then building out.



Above is a close-up of the early part stage of the portrait. You can see how I am laying on areas of color. I'm really USING the Aubergine Cfix!!! I laid on color lighter to take advantage of the undercolor of the paper. Other areas, I laid a rich build-up of pigment. Under the nose to the right side you can see a good example of that. This is being done as a "patch-work quilt" of colors. Looking at what shapes of what colors. It's really easy to pick up several different colors from various pans and then laying on strokes with the sponge tools---different pressures, different angles of applying the sponge---and so forth. I think everything here was done with a tool labeled Applicator. It has a wooden handle with very-easily interchangeable sponge heads---and I love drawing with this tool, as well! Michael remarked on how I was using the same tool and just picking up different colors, if I remember correctly.

Here is the next photo I took. More color areas. I like this photo. You can see the different color areas---and as fair as Lisa's complexion is, there were so many wonderful colors showing up in her face because of the great lighting she was sitting in---200 W incandescent to her right and a north window above her to the left. The 200 W gives off a very orangy-golden light (the wavelength is about 3400 K) and the north light, which is very bluish (the wavelength about 7500 K)----and this gives a glorious variety in color! YUM!!! Vol. 1 of my Mastering Color DVD series goes into this in depth! Very important to understand! PanP's let me mellow one color into another, giving wonderful transitions from color to color. But---I can still have very clean, sharp edges where I need them, as well!

Here is a detail of the eye---below:



Here is a detail of the right cheek, showing how easily color can be pulled from one area into antoher, yet still retain areas that have an interesting crispness. I just LOVE how colors can be pulled together!



Below is an early-stage of the veil.



Here is a detail of the painting of the bangs I mentioned earlier---below: (another not perfectly focused shot---please pardon)



And below is detail shot of the right side of the face/hair---showing more of how the paper is being left to work as light accents for the hair. This was earlier in the painting---and when Lisa's ear lobe was not showing as much. You can see in this particular image how soft-medium-and-hard-edged the PanP color areas can be. Variation in edges can so often show mastery.



A few comments I heard at the IAPS Convention, where the PanP's were introduced last May 2007, that the strokes seemed to all have soft edges---as artists were given the opportunity to test the PanP's. So that has been one of the things I wanted to explore. And---I learned that we can accomplish all manner of edges with these! It just takes getting a little bit acquainted with the materials! I can make a long list of what we CAN do with these---but don't know that I could make up a list of what we can't do at this point. There's gotta be something! :-) Just not sure what, yet! :-)

It is very easy to make a very crisp, hard edge---and deliciously easy to also make gradations---and anything in between. Yes---we have to work with it a bit to get the feel for it---but that is true of any material.

More tomorrow! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Donna Aldridge M-MAPS PSA xxxxxxx www.aldridgestudios.com

• Visit the Writings page for Studio Tips and other useful Information
I celebrate the beauty around us with Color and Light! Donna Aldridge
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:16 AM
jtstone jtstone is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Donna,
I love your work. I've had my PanPastels for over a month and struggle with them, tried every surface. Nothing seems to cover mistakes except the soft Rembrandt Pastels. Is there a tutorial? I need to learn. I've invested in all the PanPastels plus extras so I need to learn, I know they are do-able because I've seen the result. I'm used to Acrylics, pastels, and Pencils, these are totally different.
Jeannine
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:10 PM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtstone
Donna,
Nothing seems to cover mistakes except the soft Rembrandt Pastels.
Jeannine

I've observed the same. The Panpastels are semi-transparent, whereas other pastels are opaque. So, with regular pastels, by using heavy pressure, you can completely cover up an underlying area; that can't be done with Panpastels. You need to erase first.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:05 PM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Jeannine and Marie! Hmmmm---I've been able to make a LOT of changes and/or corrections on my PanP paintings. So there has to be something in the pick-up of pigment on the sponges and/or the way it is laid down onto the painting. And/or painting ground. Let's see if we can figure out what's been working for me that could work for you.

One of the things I've become aware of when seeing artists in my classes work with my set is that there is a tendency at first to load very little pigment onto the sponge, and then to try to daub it or drag it out forever (not unlike many artists' habit of picking up a bit of oil paint on a brush, then stroking the canvas with it over and over and over again, rather than loading up the brush, making one or two strokes and then loading up again.) Perhaps double-check to see if you are loading the sponge tool enough. I found it useful to vary how much I load on the sponge depending on what I want a particular stroke(s) to do and if I'm laying it on early in the painting or layering over many other layers.

And then something that I find many artists over the years having issues with, in any medium, is how they do or do not feel the contact point between the pastel stick or brush or, here, sponge tool and the painting surface. It's sooo important to sense that connecting point---and for every stroke. Really important! I hear artists commenting on that when I"m doing a demo---how they notice how I vary the pressure, the manner of my strokes, etc. Sometime to experiment with! I suggested to an acrylic painter yesterday in class to spend the next 10 minutes or so of her painting to first, form an Intent for the stroke, and then to make that stroke, carefully sensing the connecting point, and then pulling the stroke across the painting with that specific Intent----and then start all over again for the very next stroke and for every stroke for that 10 minutes----just to begin altering a habit. I think that sense of connecting point, the Intent, the real sensing of the pigment/tooll against the painting surface in any medium is one of the things that helps me so much. A wonderful habit---a wonderful honoring of our painting process to appreciate that connection!

I've been pleased with how well the lights will lay on over the darks with PanP's---but when doing a landscape with a large light/bright blue sky, for example, on very dark grounds, it's just easier and faster to work it with my sticks. So far this is the only thing I've run into where I just can't make something desired happen exactly the way I want it with the PanP's. Other than that---I know there are ways to make pretty much everything happen! Sometimes, I've just had to play around a bit to understand how.

I remember that when acrylics were first introduced---40-some years ago---and they were billed as being "just like" oils. So---duh---I tried using them just like oils. Well---the acrylics had their own personality and they gave me some very specific and unique and wonderful qualities that oil would not provide! And yet there are things where they do very similar things, as well! And I'm thinking this is a similar case with the stick pastels and the PanP's---so much the same---and yet some very lovely unique qualities---and we have the opportunity to learn new ways of laying on color that can greatly expand what we can make happen with pastel painting! And that is very exciting!

On Lisa's face, it was so wonderful working over the dark Aubergine Cfix, letting the more sheer layers let the Aub. play up through the pigment---and then other areas, stronger layer of pigment---and in the planes hit most strongly by the light, very opaque, strong deposits of the light pigments laid on.

Would you both---or either---want to post an example--and description of something you've been wrestling with and let's see if we can find a solution? I'm all for working the PanP's together with our sticks----and they play together beautifully----but when you WANT to make something happen with the PanP's and it isn't, yet---it's good to find what the issues are and find solutions. I think this could be useful for a LOT of artists! Include the painting surface you're working on, perhaps notes about how much you were building up pigment on the sponges with some of the strokes, what your source image was, what was feeling like a mistake and how you wanted to change that area.

I made several significant changes in the portrait of Jim, posted a couple of days ago. I did not post the pic of how the portrait looked at the end of Jim's sitting---but instead posted a new pic taken after I made some corrections to Jim's left eye and his upper hair mass, atop his head and from his part, sweeping down and around toward the forehead and---hmmm---what else??? I knew there was something that I had lost toward the end of the portrait---but couldn't tell just what so I checked out the photo I'd taken of Jim and---whew! There it was.

I had extended his hair shape---and just way too much, so I cut the background back into the hair and it made a huge difference regaining Jim's likeness. And I repainted a good bit of the background with the pale ochres and grays, then lightly pulled a pale blue mix over the pale ochre-y yellows. Worked much better! Also the eye---was just not the right angle for the upper lid. Also changed the brows and a bit of the forehead a bit on both sides plus redirected the pupils, tho Rick pointed out in class yesterday afternoon that the left pupil is smaller than the right! LOL! Wow, is he ever right! Good to have friends! Never noticed the difference! :-) Also did a bit of added shaping to the the jaws.

Some changes were pretty major, with lights and darks and such---and some others were rather subtle. I'll post below the end-of-the-sitting portrait photo---and then the fixed version to see if that offers any insight in the types of changes made. Also, if you look back at the post of the portrait, you'll see a big difference from the first rough in pic to the next---just how very much I changed the original rough-in! I really had some things in the initial drawing OFFFFF! Goodness!



Final Portrait below: (and actually looks more like Jim than the photo I took of him. Hmmmm. Don't usually take face portraits with that camera, so I need to check out the lens setting next time so the face is not distorted!)



I do hope we can pursue some of the problems you are having specifically and find some solutions that will work happily for you! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Donna Aldridge M-MAPS PSA xxxxxxx www.aldridgestudios.com

• Visit the Writings page for Studio Tips and other useful Information
I celebrate the beauty around us with Color and Light! Donna Aldridge
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:34 PM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

I wouldn't say that I am struggling with anything. I'm just offering my observation that Panpastels have less covering power than conventional pastels.

Here's a simple experiment. Start with four squares - two similar oranges, two similar yellows, one pair Unisions, one pair Pans:


Now, let's change the orange squares to yellow. With the Unisons, its done in 10 seconds. With the Pans, with some careful strokes done with a fully loaded applicator, I've got yellow-orange:


Part of my problem is that I am picking up orange from the surface of the support and then intermingling it with the yellow on the surface of the applicator when I reload:


So I clean the applicator after each stroke before I reload and go in for another stroke. After a bit more of this routine, I still have yellow-orange:


At this point it has become a bit tedious, and I conclude I would have been better to have gone in and erased the Panpastel orange square in the first place!
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Old 11-20-2007, 09:52 PM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, Marie! I see what you are talking about here. Really great examples that you've done! Yes, there is definitely a difference between the pigment layer a soft pastel stick can lay down and what the PanP's can.

I've been painting so far, pretty much with the PanP's by themselves---seeing what they can do on their own---and then also with what they can offer the pastel medium as a whole which expands the medium---and I've found a LOT there, too! No, they can not duplicate or replace the pigment impact of soft sticks and no one should think so. So good that you are helping clarify that if anyone had been thinking so.

But---what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do. And that is being fascinating to me. Also, I'm surprisingly enjoying the way of working with these! There will be artists who will not like the working with.... Rick in class yesterday, another very fine, professional-level painter, tried them yesterday. He works exclusively in pastel and loves the medium totally! He found it annoying that he had to keep reloading the sponge. He loves the pigment-loaded sticks that just keep feeding color to the painting. I, on the other hand, having painted so much with oils and acrylics, etc., am so used to constantly reloading a brush.

I'm such a believer in experimenting---in that exciting "seeing what will happen if...." I rather view it as trying on shoes, seeing what fits and what doesn't. Great way to grow---and also can help us know our own perimeters!

Perhaps the thing that surprises me most is that I utterly relish thick, luscious, delicious pigment!!! Yummy gorgeous brushstrokes, too! And I'm not a blender---that is---I don't rub the pastel. But I'm having a ball rubbing the sponge over the Cfix,etc. Funny, I think! :-) I'm finding the sheer areas elegant---and it just dawned on me that I love the classical oil technique of transparent underpainting---which is sheer---and then I also love the effects of using the alcohol underpainting with pastels, again, something very thin. So---I just keep learning, becoming more aware of what's going on for me with the materials.

What I want to do more this next week is to work more with the PanP's and my stick pastels and explore more how they play together. This is more like comparing steak and peaches than apples and oranges for me. I love them both and they are so different in so many ways! And you make a very good point about a significant difference and also the fact that the sponges will pick up pastel from the painting as well as from the pans---or actually when rubbed over a stick of pastel, as well! There are ways of experiencing the qualities as downsides or as advantages. Just depends on what we want to make happen and how we want to do it. I love the greater possibilities! Take good care! Donna ;-}
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Donna Aldridge M-MAPS PSA xxxxxxx www.aldridgestudios.com

• Visit the Writings page for Studio Tips and other useful Information
I celebrate the beauty around us with Color and Light! Donna Aldridge
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:04 PM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna A
what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do.

Can you show any specific examples of these? I've been experimenting for about a week now and haven't noticed anything that I would consider really significant. Some things that are different, yes, but not anything I would categorize as useful.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:20 AM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna A
what they CAN do is let us create wonderful qualities, looks, effects that the sticks will not do---or not easily do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieMeyer
Can you show any specific examples of these? I've been experimenting for about a week now and haven't noticed anything that I would consider really significant. Some things that are different, yes, but not anything I would categorize as useful.

Hi, Marie! First---it reminds of of when the kids were little---and they loved licorice---and I have never been able to stand it! LOL! I loved mushrooms and they DID NOT! So we used these any time we needed to point out instances simply of personal likes. So it is easy to imagine for one person some qualities would not be useful, while to someone else they would be of prime importance! So---from that thought, I'll share these:

The first thing I noticed working with the PanP's was the rather luxurious suede-y look in the first several pieces I did. And it's nothing that will show up in a photograph. But a number of artists who saw at least two of them very favorably commented on what a different look they had than other pastels. It's a different look than using very soft pastel sticks on their sides on Wallis or Colourfix, etc. Those photos were in some of the first posts I made.

Then there are types of strokes I can make happen that have a different look that I'm usually used to seeing in different pastel paintings in real life. This detail shot below might be a good example of some of them. Hmmm---can't find the photo on the computer---but went back and found it on post #38--page 3---and made a screen shot:



I like the look from the curved sponge tool pulling down the chartreuse into the darker green---the variety across the top of the strokes and even a bit of grassy vertical texture. There are deposits of heavier pigment in spots. That's a bit different and interesting. Some of the areas, the orangy-golden to the middle right---has a texture, while other areas are very smooth. The texture has a bit of it's own personality and I've seen it in other PanP pieces I've done---and seems a bit different look that other pastels.

There are issues of handling---that are so different in WORKING the painting with PanP's compared to using our sticks. I love having the variety of choices. Extremely different qualities in many ways which can add greatly to the experience of painting. As one example, the FAST EASY ways of working with edges in a variety of ways. Now, while these things can be accomplished with conventional sticks and actions---hmmmm---how to explain this---there are some ways of pulling together an edge that just lets the new stroke melt into the previous color area, and then the very next stroke can have a clean, hard edge and it can morph into all manner of edges, meshing, contrast, etc. Again---not that something similar might not be pulled off with sticks, but---it's different, whether by the look of it or the way it feels to execute the stroke(s) or how quickly it can be pulled off---or any or all of the above. I don't know that I'm explaining this well. I'm 3/4 asleep and will head off to zzzzzz as soon as I finish this.

I'm just loving the way the color can be handled with the sponge tools. I enjoy the act of painting with them. That rather surprises me, but there is a real pleasure in the working with them. I consider that a wonderfully important new offering in the pastel medium---certainly for myself.

There are some things about the sheerness that I find appealing (yes--surprises me!) I like the way the PanP hugs the surface in so many cases. I've most often used the Colourfix---and there is such a tactileness that offers simply a different look/feel than the conventional applications of pastel do at times.



I'm really liking the way it lays on to the Cfix-Primed canvas. It's going on to the canvas in a different way than sticks would look, generally. And everyone who looks at the little Colorado River painting assumes at first that it is an oil. I just like the look of it. And it was so easy. In some ways, easier that it would have been to do this little piece in oil---or other pastels.



Plus---having experimented a bit with the 'glassless framing' by spraying the painting with diluted acrylic medium, the PanP's have such a better look that some of the stick pastel paintings done that way---which ended up rather clumpy looking. A fellow pastelist from several states away called this evening after she received the MAPS newsletter commenting on the program next week demoing these and she's been experimenting with pastels over acrylic paintings, then spray-sealed with areosol acrylic spray---just to finally find ways of doing pastels without framing with glass. This is something of huge interest to many pastelist. So---just one more thing where these may well shine! It took very little spray over several layers, then more painted layers then more diluted acrylic painting medium sprayed on----and next day when I scrubbed it lightly with a plastic knit pot scrubber under running water at the kitchen sink, no pastel came off! yea! While the color darkened a little, I was amazed it did not darken very much at all. Hmmmm! Of course, I would want to do any paintings I'd be sealing like this on a white background rather than a colored ground. That will help the issue of darkening a bit.

Not everything is easier. There are some types of imagery that are much easier to create with our sticks. Sometimes it takes me a bit of time to figure out a way of handling something---but then that has been true of any medium I've worked in. It's certainly a greater challenge to mix some of the colors. But the plein air painting I did this afternoon really flowed quickly and well. Hated the paper I worked on. A gorgeous very pale blue 100% rag etching paper. But new-born babies have more toothiness! :-) I'll spray with fix tomorrow and see if that adds a bit of 'traction!' :-) Ya never know! :-)

And the PanP's do seem potentially less dusty. We'll see.

All of these things and more are proving fascinating and useful differences to me---some of the looks, the handling enjoyment, the facility for many effects so immediately. I would add more but I'm about ready to conk out---nearly midnight, so perhaps this answers a bit of your question. It would be so much easier if you were sitting here looking at things IRL! :-) I've been using these for quite a few weeks now---and it could be that these are not for you---or that with only a week, you will begin finding some things that you will do with them personally that no one else has come across yet and that you'll love. Very best wishes! And sweet dreams! Donna ;-} zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:22 AM
Tressa Tressa is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

A very important issue that one needs to remember, is that PanPastels were not meant by any means to replace our sticks, but to be another enhancement to the pastelist!! I have found qualities in these that are unique to themselves ,just like a particular stick has a feel, application, etc..versus another.
I have had a blast using them alone, with my sticks, and trying different surfaces that I would not normally have bothered with, so this has opened up a totally new aspect for me.
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Old 11-21-2007, 10:13 AM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna A

Then there are types of strokes I can make happen that have a different look that I'm usually used to seeing in different pastel paintings in real life.


Have you done any tests to see if you can get the same look using just the tools on marks made with conventional pastels? That has been my experience.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:21 PM
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Donna A Donna A is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Hi, again, Marie! No, I haven't done stroke-to-stroke comparative tests. I've been more interested, curious in exploring the actual flow of the painting process---the natural intuitive-based building of a painting.

I suspect I could create some similar looks with a lot of my sticks that would look not at all unlike some of the ones I create with the PanP's---but it might often take many more steps or perhaps require far more care or be far less "ease-filled"---just as other strokes or looks or effects could be far more easy or natural to create with our sticks! And then there are some things that---let's say in one stroke only---would be impossible to create with a PanP----or impossible to create with any of our brands of sticks.

With (ohmigosh) over (yikes) 50 years of working with pastels, most intently the last 25+ years and with having worked considerably with my 25 pro brands, with most everything of everything (I'm tremendously curious about my materials always) and working with so many different surfaces, I've learned a lot about possible looks, effects, techniques, handling styles, attributes and so on. I could tell from the first strokes I made with them at IAPS that the PanP's had some different qualities---and were not going to have the single-stroke impact of a soft stick pastel. But---they surely did inspire my interest for other things they might make happen.

If I were to do a stroke-to-stroke test, (argh!) I'd have to pick just a few representative brands for comparison for time's sake---but, guess I'd rather paint! Each brand to me has it's own feel, it's own character, which I why I keep them all arranged by brand. I know what they each offer me in feel, colors, pigment load, handling, opacity or covering power, and so forth! When I was making etchings years ago---I did exactly what you are doing with your examples: I printed small test plates with various aquatints, engraved lines, shallow to deeply etched lines, embossing and other print-making techinques on to some 20 different papers and it was extremely revealing. It helped me choose a specific paper for a specific type of print.

But here, I guess I just really am more interested in the actual "in action" painting process, the progression of what type of stroke and tool and color load and pressure and angle, etc. would be inspired by the last stroke(s) and what the painting was looking like at that moment based on the vision, the Concept I had for the painting before I began and what the subject matter is inspiring at the moment.

LOL---guess it's a bit like a car test---it's sooo good to know the repair history for that general make of car, the gas milage, and so on---but then I also want to know what the car feels like when I get in and drive the thing. The first of two questions I asked the PanP people at IAPS was about the lightfastness of the pigments. Hugely important to me (car safety record, we might say.)

I'm most interested to know what the materials will feel like "on the road"---in normal usage, once my "safety questions" were satifactorally answered.

Quote:
From Tres: A very important issue that one needs to remember, is that PanPastels were not meant by any means to replace our sticks, but to be another enhancement to the pastelist!! I have found qualities in these that are unique to themselves ,just like a particular stick has a feel, application, etc..versus another.
I have had a blast using them alone, with my sticks, and trying different surfaces that I would not normally have bothered with, so this has opened up a totally new aspect for me.
Tres

Tres, you make such great points. Well put!

It sounds like what all three of us are doing are some interesting tests that tell us each more about important ways we would tend to use the materials.

Marie, have you done any start-to-finish paintings, yet, with the PanP's? Just curious what you may have come across there so far, if you have. Again, there will be some of us who love these and some for whom they just don't flow with our natural way of working with our materials or for whom they won't deliver effects or impacts that are important to us. And I think that experiments, explorations, adventures, are really good for us to take on! It's great to hear about each other's experiences on WC---and I've felt fortunate, too, to be able to see what some other artists have been doing with the PanP's here in my studio. Looking forward to hearing more from you all! Donna ;-}
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Old 11-21-2007, 05:33 PM
MarieMeyer MarieMeyer is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Yes I have, that's been the basis of my thought-forming process. Simple sketches and compositions so that I can concentrate on what the new materials are doing for me. And I've got to say, I think they are really limited. I know that the argument is that you use them alongside your regular collection. But, lets face it: they are expensive and cumbersome. In fact, they take up so much space that I literally have a problem using them side by side with my sticks, as I don't have room for both on my work table. I think any new product - especially one that is costly - needs to really DO something in order to justify itself.
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Old 11-21-2007, 06:58 PM
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Donn Donn is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

Donna,
You should think of putting all this information on how you work with PanPastels into a small booklet as a teaching/learning guide for everyone who would get a set of them. It was interesting to see what you did when you first got them. Your observations on how they work differently than sticks, etc. This would be of great benefit to all newcomers. I sure hope they put this thread in the library eventually. You have a wealth of information here for everyone. Going through each page to pick out your instruction is a bit hard. I don't know of anyone else who has goine into the depth you have in working with PanPastels.
I haven't got mine yet, but my wife asked me what I wanted for Christmas and said a set of 20 would be great. I originally wanted to get the landscape set, but after one pastel artist mentioned that I should consider the Painting set instead since I do more than just landscapes (landscapes and seascapes I prefer). Looking over the different colors of both sets, I see the Painting set would be better and can add some of the shades or tints that come with the Landscape set later. There are 9 colors that are the same in both sets. And there are colors in the Painting set which I like better than what is in the Landscape set.
Looking forward to more basic instruction on their use.
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Old 11-22-2007, 12:41 AM
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rain24 rain24 is offline
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Re: Having a BALL using Pan Pastels!!!

I'm looking at the Painting Set too after reviewing the colors that come with each set since I was also eyeing the Landscape set at first.

Donna, with the blendability of these PanPastels, can we get along for now without the tints and shades? I can't get the whole set unless I get to play around with a smaller set first to see how they work for me.

This is such a great thread that I've read the whole thing several times already. Thanks so much for doing this.
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