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Old 09-05-2019, 07:27 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Diane Townsend dry grounds

Hey, has anyone ever tried this? I just noticed it in the Dakota website, under "spotlighted products" and I've never heard of this before. Apparently you can rub this on any paper and it will give you a pastel ground? Would like to know how it works, if anyone has used it. Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:05 AM
My Beloved Muse My Beloved Muse is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

Hi Richard,

No, I haven't used it yet, but your post intrigued me. I can recall reading that many pastellists in the past, including Rosalba Carriera, would rub their papers down with a pumice stone prior to drawing & painting with pastels. According to Diane Townsend's website:

"The dry ground is a pumice based chunk of material made to be applied to paper and rubbed in with your hand. The purpose of such a ground is to give a bit of "tooth" to a surface which will grab the pastel and make it smooth for layering."

So, from what I can tell, Diane is providing a tool that allows us to revive a historical practice. Casey Klahn seems to be using the dry ground in his work with charcoal and pastel. I will order some this weekend and report back with results. For those working on paper, it sounds like another nice tool to have available.

John
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Old 01-28-2020, 02:46 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

I got a couple of these in white the last time I was at Dakota to try out. I haven't used them as they are intended, since I really like sanded surfaces and I don't have any good quality textured paper to try out. Instead I wound up going over my sky colors with this, and it produces a wonderful effect. You can use it to blend and soften colors really well, especially in the sky colors. It is very gritty and filled with pumice, but it is really soft and a light touch goes a long way. There is pigment in it, so it will lighten up your surface, but it just makes colors blend like a dream. I've been using it all the time on my skies. You can lay down basic colors, go over it lightly with this, and then blend away, and you can come back time and again with other layers once the white dry ground is on there, and it will blend really softly if you want it to. You have to watch it, a little goes a long way, and it creates a lot of dust so work your skies first before the lower part of your painting, or there will be a soft white waterfall all over it! I haven't tried the other colors yet, but I'm anxious to. I already consider this an indispensable tool for my work!
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:29 AM
My Beloved Muse My Beloved Muse is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

Great to hear, Richard. I’ll try to grab a few soon and repost back as well

John
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:57 AM
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franglais franglais is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

From your description of using this to blend, Richard, I began wondering if perhaps using just some pumice stone, with no color, would to the same and help as a blending tool. Does anyone know if there is a pumice blending tool on the market. I'm going to search for some sort of block of plain, uncolored fine pumice.... to see how it would do. If I find something, I will report back,



Best to all... Mike
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:58 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

Yeah, I was thinking about that too, but isn't a pumice stone kind of hard? I'm thinking it is used to rough a paper surface up, because it is kind of like sand paper. This dry ground is very soft, in fact it gets used up pretty quickly. It's like ground pumice mixed with a small amount of white pigment and calcium carbonate and a binder, I'm guessing, and when you rub it on it creates a lot of dust that you can blend in, and then you can put more layers on top as well. It's kind of unique. Can you get a really soft pumice stone? I have some ground pumice, maybe I'll try making my own. Hmm.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:12 PM
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franglais franglais is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

I was just thinking that as I was reading your post, Richard. Those of you who save dust and make your own pastels..... could you make your own pumice stone using very FINE pumice? I don't know.... but it's worth looking into.



Mike
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:48 PM
Richard Barrere Richard Barrere is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

Yah, that's kind of what I was thinking. I make my own pastels, so I'm familiar with the process and I can usually tell what basic ingredients are used in the different manufacturers brands. Sort of, anyway. I can't figure out the magic dust that goes into the Terry Ludwigs, but the others I can sort of tell by the feel and performance. Anyway, I've never tried putting pumice powder into my formula, even though I have some that I've use on my gesso and paint combination for making paper ground. I'm going to try and mix some of that into a paste, and see what the results are. The grit is 400, I believe, on the pumice, which is pretty fine. I switched to Aluminum Oxide powder for my grounds because the pumice provided a bit softer tooth than I wanted. I believe Diane Townsend mixes a tiny bit of pumice into her pastels, and I think Sennelier does too, and maybe Art Spectrum soft pastels (not the super soft ones). They feel slightly grittier than other brands. Anyway, I'll give it a try and let you know what happens! FUN!
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Old 02-06-2020, 01:46 PM
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franglais franglais is offline
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Re: Diane Townsend dry grounds

I will look forward to the results of your experiment, Richard. I did buy a pumice stone yesterday, made for exfoliating the face.... fine pumice, it says.... but I have yet to try it out. Seems a bit gritty....but who knows??


Mike
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