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Old 10-05-2007, 06:16 PM
jtstone jtstone is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks for this thread, definitely needed here. Jeannine in Alabama
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:17 PM
jtstone jtstone is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

The Colorfix took my fingerprints yesterday, I'll have to find a new way to blend the soft pastels on the course paper.
Jeannine
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:33 PM
Ol' Don Ol' Don is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

That's kinda funny.

Yep. Sandpaper will put up a fuss with the fingertips! I like the Colorfix black paper a lot though.

Could anybody recommend a good outlet for getting the Colorfix paper in the larger sizes? I always see it at 19 x 27 inches here in the USA but never the larger size. ( 27 x39 I think). My local stores simply don't carry anything like that. Any tips would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:47 PM
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Deborah Secor Deborah Secor is offline
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Welcome to all our newbies taking part here. Sorry not to be interacting with you all much, but somehow I was unsubscribed! (Doncha love programs that do that?) Anyway, welcome one and all!


Quote:
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?
I suspect this has been answered long since but for the record, my opinion is that it's too waxy. It never really settles in with soft pastels.


Quote:
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?
I'm sorry to say that I know absolutely nothing about oil pastels! I hope you found our Oil Pastel Forum since posting this and asked your questions there!


Quote:
The Colorfix took my fingerprints yesterday, I'll have to find a new way to blend the soft pastels on the course paper.
Jeannine
One thing to think about is NOT blending! I use layering instead of blending, which gives a vibrancy to the colors. When you blend with your fingers you leave behind the oils from them, plus you break down the lively crystal structure of the pastel particles, resulting in dull, sometimes muddy colors. If you instead layer several colors into and over one another, especially on a nice sandpaper like Art Spectrum or Wallis, you can build some very delicate and beautiful colors. In time the layers marry and become a new color, or you can keep the strokes separate and achieve a visual blend (broken color). Either can be effective. There's a place for finger blending, too, but I suggest you practice layering and keep blending in the toolbox to be used when it will be most effective, rather than relying on it for everything you do in pastels. For instance, here's an early stage of one of my snow paintings, showing layering:

Quote:
Could anybody recommend a good outlet for getting the Colorfix paper in the larger sizes? I always see it at 19 x 27 inches here in the USA but never the larger size. ( 27 x39 I think). My local stores simply don't carry anything like that. Any tips would be appreciated.
Go here to Dakota Pastels. I think they have it...

Hope everyone has a lot of fun playing with their pastels! The BEST thing to do is post your work in the Soft Pastels Studio and ask for help... We don't bite and we're glad to help!

Deborah
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:56 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

thankyou sooooooo much for this thread, much apprecated from a newbie (one painting to my name).

Question - do you NEED to use fixative, or can you work without it?????
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:00 AM
jeni34 jeni34 is offline
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Question Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

hi-great site.
not sure if this is the right place to post-as this is my second try-my 1st didnt end up in the pastels section?if this is wrong again-please tell me.
I was wondering if any of u had ,had long experience with monte art soft pastel pencils?as my mothers teacher says they will eventually peal.so i am looking 4 a second opinion?
many thanks-jeni
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:10 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

There is now a oil pastel forum, go to bottom jump forum and you will find it.

There is a thread on getting started in oil pastels that one can read for lots of info, very well done.

Come on down and check it out, Andi
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:54 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulbay
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!
One of the best things I have found are the Art Fix boxes made especially for pastels. They hold three layers of sticks. The trays are white plastic so a nice thing to do is to take them and spray paint them a medium value gray. Makes it ever so easy to choose colors accurately if you are working directly from the trays.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:21 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Thanks so much for this thread!!!!!!!

I am a newbie at pastels and have found it so helpful!

Much love to you all, Judith
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:27 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Wow there is so much info here I will have to read it over and over just to take it all in. But I would like to add my 2 cents If I may being a newbie and all to pastels. I like the gallery pastels in the full sticks and mostly the Gallery Mungyo soft pastels in the sets of mini's they can be bought at Hobby lobby each for under $30.00. If you get the sunday newspaper and go to the arts and entainment section on the back page for me, they have a 40% off cupon. I believe they are student grade but are very nice, and inexpensive in cost which for a newbie like me on a budget are great. I do have Sennelies and schemche but have yet to try them. I like the canson Mi because again it is inexpensive, but really like the colorfix paper so I am sure I would love the wallis paper but it is very expensive to learn on. I blend with my fingers as I like the feel of them, one of my fav. artist (Wolf Kahn) once said it's like the dust on butterflys wings, and the colors are like a stick of dynomite they are so powerful. as for the dust a pastel artist here in denver uses a three(3) inch tube with caps on the ends with a cut out in it from side to side leaving a 2 to 3 inch peice on the ends. I then added my own touch to it but using clear shipping tape to line the inside of the tube. I can then put my board into the cut out and all the dust falls into the tube. The tube is 30" long and 3" diameter with a 25"x3" cut out. Then it is easy to pull one of the caps and knock out all the dust. I have tryed lots of different papers but have found if it does not have any tooth to it you are very limited to the amount of pastels that can be applied, Some types of card stock work well. I use painters grade masking tape to hold my paper in place it has a high tack to it, the blue type tape while I am working on a painting. When storing them after I am done I lay them flat and cover them with acid free paper ( Kinda like tracing paper) I go to a place called meininger which is the best art store here in denver. I did ask them what would be best and they pointed to this paper. The only other thing I can think of is a hog bristle brush #7 is what I use to clean out areas I don't like and a sanford Magic rub eraser to finish cleaning off what the bristle brush won't remove then I can repaint the area I didn't like. All this being said keep in mind that I am a newbie to soft pastels myself. These are things I have learned over the past 4 months, and still I know very little compaired to the others here. I hope this helps from one newbie to another. By the way Thanks deborah for starting this as I am sure it will help us all, You are truly a great teacher and person.
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:26 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Deborah and everyone else.
Just want to say I've thoughly enjoyed this thread. Getting ready to teach a class and found some very helpful infomation here.
Thanks Deborah!!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:52 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

I see that there was a link to this thread on The Pastel Journal blog, so I thought I'd drop in and leave a note here welcoming anyone who should find us.

Feel free to come on in and leave a comment, a question or your thoughts! We're glad to have you visit and everyone here was a newbie at one time, so we have a heart for where you're at today! No question is stupid. (Why do people think that? Guess we sorta hate to have to ask--but it's how we all learn!)

So, ask away!

Deborah
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:38 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehorse_Australia
thankyou sooooooo much for this thread, much apprecated from a newbie (one painting to my name).

Question - do you NEED to use fixative, or can you work without it?????

I too am fairly new, alot of pastelists refuse to use fixatives as....depending on the brand and on the way it is applied, it tends to darken the colors. Pastels are pure color, and when they are fixed they just aren't pure anymore. Some artists will use it on a painting and mask off an area that is getting it's "tooth" full, they will spray that area so additional pastel can be layered on top. Some will "fix" the underpainting, so layers that go above can be removed easily to the underpainted part if they want to rework some of it. I have tried fixative with both success and failure. I somehow managed to "fix" a velour painting of a dog pastel (totally not recommended). The result was ok, no splotches, it did darken so slightly, but it actually enhanced the painting, and I used it very very very sparcely. Another painting, I actually loved, I ruined as the spray... sprayed drops onto the painting . I had made sure that I test patterned onto some cardboard to be sure the fix would come out misty, tested fine, but there were some spurts of gas or something and I trashed the painting. You can do a search in this channel to see what people have said about fixatives. Fixatives are very caustic. They should be used outside. If you are inclined to try it please try it on sample paintings that you could do without if ruined.

Welcome one and all!

Carol

Last edited by nvcricket : 03-05-2008 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:28 AM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Herb from Israel (New Member),
I loved the ideas, but somehow they dont all seem to be me. I'm not a purist in any media. When I worked in water colorsI always needed to add gouache here and there. Then I started to work in body color (that is water color mixed with white gouach to give it body), but then I seemed to need a few marks with pastel over it. Is there anyone out there with some suggestions.
What I love about pastel is getting pastel dust all over myself. Probably didn't get enough toilte training as a child.
The most interesting idea was the one about working over soft material, that is another piece of paper of the same size (or two) below. It felt great in the fingers right away.
Herb from Israel
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:00 PM
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Re: "How to Get Started in Soft Pastels" for our newbies

Very informative thread, just what I've been looking for! I've assembled some soft pastels, pastel pencils, & paper.... think I'm about ready to start playing. -- I'm curious about the fixatives, if you don't use fixative, is there something else you do to the surface of the finished piece to prevent the pastel from rubbing off, or just mat & frame? I see there are a variety of finishing sprays at the art supply store. (I apologise, I know this sounds like a dumb question)
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