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Old 01-06-2005, 12:07 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Hi everyone! Last week Goobiemom and I had the pastel MAKING process demystified for us! We went to Kitty Wallis' studio and actually made pastels with her! I took my camera because I thought it would be fun to chronicle the process. Until we did this, making pastels seemed like smoke and mirrors or at least like some sort of voo doo. lol. Follow along and see how easy (and fun) it was! Tired of not finding the right colors...make em!!
This is what we needed to start:

non serrated table knives
layers of paper towels
glass tile or marble surface (optional)
spray bottle (water)
food dehydrator (one with a thermostat and never used for food)
surgical gloves
Kitty Wallis Pure Pigment colors
Gum tragacanth (in Wallis pre measured jar)
finely powdered whiting (in Wallis pre measured packet)
the chopstick is to make sure our whiting is free of any lumps
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Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:13 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Here is the whiting dry in the bowl and what it looks like after adding the moisture (the gum tragacanth and water)
It is necessary to get this to a nice consistency, not too sticky so that it hangs up on your gloves.
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Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:18 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Our work surface is clean and we have scads of paper towels, you find out later why you need so many (stacked into individual sheets)
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:20 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

We are ready for the really fun part now! Kitty opens a jar of pure pigment Ultramarine blue and places a dollop next to our freshly made up white.
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Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 01:04 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:27 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Our very FIRST stick is a lump of "moist" pastel pigment out of the jar. We roll it to form a tube. We roll on our palm, fold in thirds and roll again, continue rolling and folding. (it reminded me of "making snakes" when I was a kid)
Our very first pastel is plenty dark...wooo woooo!! & now we are ready to start making TINTS. We take a small walnut size lump of color add an equal volume of white, voila! a tint!!
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Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:38 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

When we break our color in half we are reserving one half each time, rolling into sequential sticks until our last stick is almost white. (sounds confusing in words but it is really a snap) All these tints were made using one stick's worth of moist pastel (and there are more blues to come, not all shown here).
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Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:51 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Remember all those paper towels? they were for handling everything--after all, we weren't just going to work with blue all day. The smallest crumb of the wrong color can muddy a large amount of another color. We had to change our gloves with every color. To avoid color "contamination", we used paper towels to handle equipment. Very fun, like working in a forensics lab. Here is our water bottle that we used if any of the pastels did not seem quite moist enough.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:55 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

I complained that my rembrandt greens are candy colored so Kitty showed me how to make beautiful greens by adding Hansa yellow to Pthalo green light. Well, what do you think? aren't they beautiful?? This is only a FEW of the greens I got to make!
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:58 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Kitty made several beautiful earthy yellows and here you can see some "disk" shapes--the wonderful thing about making your own pastels (aside from acheiving these luscious colors) is also being able to create any shape you would like (well within reason, of course)
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:08 AM
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Khadres Khadres is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Wow, look how NEAT you guys stayed all day! I was SUCH a mess when I did the one-day workshop in Santa Fe!! I think Kitty's son was about ready to kill me for "contaminating" my work area all the time! I'd never make it in a "white room"!

Was fun, tho, eh? I don't think I'll ever make my own on a big scale, but it was sure fun to give it a try and the colors we got to bring home are wonderful, indeed!

How lucky you are to live up there in Portland near Kitty! Thanks for sharing the workshop with all of us here!
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:15 AM
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Khadres! I know--! I can't believe how fun this was and how generous Kitty was with her time! After a solid day of rolling, folding, mixing and laughing we placed our sticks into trays for the dehydration process..check out how beautiful the results!
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:25 AM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

So that is IT! I am not so sure I explained this all very well but I know Kitty can check the thread and see if I left out something major. The most important thing was making sure that the sticks had no dots or streaks in them (and it was very easy to check by breaking them open while we rolled them --when they were mixed pure through we would call them finished). Thanks to KITTY WALLIS for not only inventing that fabulous paper but making it so anyone can make their OWN pastels! It was simple, it was fun and I am a convert! I got Kitty's instructional tape on pastel making to show to my friend Sondra! I plan on doing much more of this! Thanks for checking out our pastel-making day!

Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:29 AM
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Sherry Richardson Sherry Richardson is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Thanks for taking pictures of the process. I love the last picture with the pastels on the round trays. I looks like a work of art.
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Old 01-06-2005, 03:10 AM
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Kitty Wallis Kitty Wallis is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Very good report Celestia, You get an A

Only one correction: The chopstick is for mixing the Gum Tragacanth into the water when making the white.

I love making my own colors. It's as fun as painting, and makes painting more fun.
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:32 PM
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Yokovich Yokovich is offline
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Re: We MADE pastels! with Kitty Wallis! LOOK!

Oh THATS what the chopstick was for!! (lol)
and now for some results from my new pastels!
On the left is my very first plein air pastel (Laurelhurst pond in Portland). The scene had so much green in it, this was all I could do to try to translate what I saw. Since the day I created it I have found it difficult to look at because of the candy colors. I had it turned to the wall in my studio (lol)...I very nearly threw it away but I am glad I didn't! After I made these new greens with Kitty last Thursday I simply went over my previous attempt. The result is on the right----so what do you think??? BETTER?? (er, it is alright if I give myself a clappie man, isn't it? lol)

Last edited by Yokovich : 01-06-2005 at 12:46 PM.

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