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Old 03-01-2007, 05:32 PM
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Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

March 5 to 18

Hi everyone and welcome to the dust bin.

I’m so thrilled that you that you’re about to discover what I refer to as the “Chocolate” of the painting mediums. I’ve used pastel for over 30 years and it’s still my favorite.

There are as many methods of applying this medium as there are brands of pastel. I’m sure you’ve discovered as much if you haunt the pastel forum and each artist will soon discover just what works for them. My methods could easily be broken down into either blended or non-blended and the choice I make depends on the subject matter I’m painting. It’s safe to say the 99% of my still lifes are blended and that’s the method I will be demonstrating in this class.

It wouldn’t be difficult for you to determine that I love realism and the challenge of depicting textures. In the process, I tend to intensify colours and values and to accomplish this, I have to examine closely just what I see in front of me. I opt for photographic reference material because this allows me to really study reflected light and colour in great detail. Having spent many years doing just this, I can now confidently invent lighting situations and employ hues not present to enhance or emphasize at will.

This session is designed to show you how I control and manipulate pastels as well as to encourage you to see with your eyes rather than your mind.

Cheers, Dianna
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Last edited by ponting : 03-01-2007 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:40 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

This list is what I recommend my students bring to one of my workshops. Not having everything on here won't stop you from experimenting with the medium to see if it really is for you however it will limit your results. Therefore be sure to temper your final decision with the fact that in pastel, more is better and you may have better results with a larger selection of supplies.

PASTEL SUPPLIES

A good colour selection of soft pastels - no oil pastels. I recommend buying the largest set you can comfortably afford. A set with a bare minimum of 72 colors would be a starting point but I would go to around a 96 colour set if you can afford it. I can't stress enough here just how important a good variety of pastels is to the success of your learning the medium.

Recommended brands? Any firm pastel of artist quality is suitable for my type of work. Brands as soft as Schmincke are not. Theyíre wonderful for non-blended works so make great final touches but are too soft for delicate work. Unison, Rembrandt, NuPastel, Polychromo, Terry Ludwig, Holbein and Windsor Newton are some of the brands Iíve got on my work table but there are many others out there that Iím sure are just as good. My preference shifts as I experiment longer with each brand. At present if I were to have the option of starting from scratch, I would most definitely choose Unison, Terry Ludwig darks and would still have to supplement them with either NuPastel or Polychromo and selected Holbeins.

Koss, Mungio or SMI are definitely NOT recommended nor do I advise purchasing any other pastel of "student" quality. These pastels are usually easily identified by their lack of weight, large square design and low price. They have a very low adhesive quality and if you are taking classes with me because you like my style of work, you will not be able to achieve results even close with these types of pastels.

Pastel pencils are optional if you have them. My preferred brand is Carb Othello although I do use Conte, Derwent and Pitt.

1 Mungio, Koss or SMI black Charcoal stick. I know, I know..., I said "No Mungio, Koss or SMI" but the black sticks are only charcoal rather than pastel and work greatÖitís the coloured sticks that I donít recommend. This brand of black also matches the Pitt charcoal pencil. This is important to my work.

1 Pitt soft charcoal pencil. There are other brands but I prefer Pitt

1 General white charcoal pencil (this is not a pastel pencil)

La Carte Pastel Card is my paper of choice. Though there are many comparable sanded surfaces that I have sampled such as Wallis, Fisher 400 (UK), Estra and Sanfix, I find I prefer the La Carte for all my work and especially for teaching on as the deepness of the grain allows it to be worked a little harder without disturbing what one has already accomplished.

1 or two white clickable eraser (much like a mechanical pencil). These come in different thicknesses (1/4 and 1/8 inch) and a variety is always good as I use mine a lot. Pentel, Tipp-Ex or Tuff Stuff are some of the brand names available in different countries.

1 rectangular white eraser.

1 colour shaper #0 angle chisel (optional)
1 colour shaper #0 cup round (optional)

Coroplast, matboard, hard board, foamcore or other stiff surface large enough to tape each of your paintings to. I prefer Coroplast which is a type of corrugated plastic, a sign painting up to 4 x 8 sheets

Masking tape. The regular type not the easy-to-remove painterís tape.

Flat, non-folded cartridge paper or vellum. One for each painting you plan to do. Cartridge paper is available at most major art stores in large inexpensive pads. It is very white and retains this whiteness so is an ideal sketching paper at any time.

2 old facecloths or hand towels.

1 good quality fuzzy-backed plastic table cloth for placing under your work. I prefer the round ones for the floor and square if you are working on the table. I use these with the flannel side up to catch the dust and hold it while the plastic side keeps it from going through.

If you have any questions about supplies or suggestions as to where they can be found in your country, please don't hesitate to ask or add information.

Cheers, Dianna
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:06 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

WOW! I'll give it a try. I hope I have enough time to keep up. Thank you for this opportunity Dianna.
Cecilia
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:42 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Oh I have been needing a prod in the right direction and you have captured my imagination - ONCE AGAIN Dianna.
I started back at the watercolour class in the Alps today, but it has been a while since I have done any artwork. I cannot pass up the opportunity to attend this class of yours Dianna; so I shall set aside time for it and forego the skiing with Mike - he's better than me anyway at the moment. I have been collecting all sorts of pastels since your UK workshops and now armed with the right tools I have no-one to blame but myself if it does not come up to standard.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:22 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Hello ladies, how great to see you here...and to know I am taking precedent over ones hubby. Here is a little information about pastels...The good, the bad and the ugly!

About Pastels

For those of you that choose this medium, you will enjoy it for it's immediacy and it's luminous qualities. A particle of pastel pigment seen under a microscope looks like a diamond with many facets; therefore pastel paintings reflect light like a prism and can actually glitter.

Pastel is pure pigment, the same pigment used in all art media. When properly framed, it is the most permanent of all when applied to archival ground. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause the surface to darken, fade, yellow, crack, blister or oxidize with time.

This lack of binder however allows these pigments to become airborne so one must be careful to institute practices that control the amount of pastel we inhale or absorb through the skin. The use of a good dust respirator and latex gloves or finger cots and commercial vacuum filters are the only true methods of protecting oneself but there is no substitute for common sense. Outdoors is the ideal environment but not always feasible. Overhead fans should not be used and any method you can concoct for trapping the particles that inevitably fall as we use the sticks will increase the safely level. Check your manufacturerís labeling; as in all mediums, fewer and fewer are using as toxic components as were once common.

A ground sheet is a necessity but not so much to keep the floor clean as to contain the dust. For this Iíve always used flannel-backed plastic tablecloths (flannel side up). These work far better than sheets or towels which can allow some of the dust to work its way through. The benefit of the flannel (or more likely polyester fiber on the newer cloths) is that it does a great job of catching and holding the dust while the plastic backing keeps it from sifting through and theystand up to many washings.

Other methods I have employed are attaching a shallow tray to the ledge of my easel. Damp paper toweling can be placed in the tray. The Coroplast that I use as a backing board isnít affected by the dampness. Wide masking tape (tacky side up) can take the place of toweling if your worried about moisture near your work.

I was just discussing commercial filtering systems with my students this past weekend. Never having heard one I was pleased to find out that theyíre very quiet which was my biggest concern so I will check them out further ASAP.

Alas, the best advice however, is that if you have respiratory ailments of any kind, I wouldnít recommend soft pastels.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:15 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Hi Dianna...My husband knows his place too....he must work to earn the pennies...so I can buy the pastels...and learn from the best! Luckily...he doesn't read WetCanvas!!!
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:15 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Hi Dianne

Ohhh I looked up that eraser. General's Factis Black No. 18. I could have sworn it said pastels on the wrapper-but I don't have that anymore. On the web it says for charcoal and graphite--but I used it on pastels and it works great.

Thanks for giving us so much info
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:22 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

I'm planning to join the class - yay! I purchased Koss pastels two weeks ago and they're not recommended, unfortunately, - whoops! Well, I may chug along with them for a bit until I get frustrated enough to buy the good stuff

Cheers,
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:34 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Oh my... I have to join in! I used to paint in pastel years ago and just this past year got back into it - but life has gotten in the way and I haven't painted in months (again!). This is just what I need, a back to the basics class to refresh my tired old mind with how much fun pastels can be!
I love the table cloth trick! I have lots of pastels, but will have to check to make sure I have all the other fun things you listed... Looks like a run to Jerry's is in my near future!
I have to say, I'm thrilled to have such a wonderful artist teaching this class. I can hardly wait to get dusty once again!
Thanks so much for the inspiration Dianna.
K.A.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:41 AM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Hello everyone! Do you wear a robe or a special piece of clothing when you work? What size of paper would be best? I'll go shoping this weekend.
Cecilia
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:49 AM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

I read over the introduction for this class and found it so interesting, so informative, that I've decided to follow along as well. Course, there's the added benefit of getting to go back to the art supply store and shop for supplies.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:25 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Oh goody, goody, GOODY! I will be back often for this thread (hope I don't get fired). The supply list was already most helpful...especially with the black. And just in case I forget to say it...Thank you, Dianna! I have been waiting for one of these!

PaperMoon, you are going to be amazed with Dianna's work, if you haven't already seen it. If you haven't go LOOK! She's amazing.

Ronda
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:37 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Good morning everyone. Everyone wave at Deirdre....as she is the instigator in my presence here...Hi Dei

I've read here somewhere that it's preferable on the classroom threads to keep the chatter to a minimum Ö.I donít know how I shall ever be able to comply with that but I will endeavor to be good so if I donít personally acknowledge your wonderful comments, please donít think Iím unappreciative of themÖ..I really am beaming here at home.


About Papersóthe low-down

I will feature La Carte made by Sennelier as itís my paper preference

Good Ė This is a great sanded paper for beginners because itís slightly coarser than some others which means it traps the particles better so you have more time to Ďfool aroundí whilst learning new techniques.

Bad Ė This paper cannot stand even the slightest about of moisture on its surface. The glue used to adhere the vegetable fibers to the backing paper is not water proof. SoÖno perspiring over the paper, if you must blow in it, do be sure there is not spittle in that breath (laugh if you will be you would be surprised how often that happens) and dry those hands and accompanying jewelry VERY well before touching the surface.

Ugly Ė Oh dear! You accidentally got some water on it and are left with a small white shiny area! No pastel out there will cover this so what you want to do is to purchase a small container of Art Specturmís Colourfix Primer or product like Goldenís Acrylic Ground for Pastels. Take a Ď00í (double ought) watercolour brush and using the just the tip, dab on the tiniest amounts barely covering the white background. Less is better in this instance as too much will cause a bump when you re-apply the pastel and it is easier to apply more paint later than to get it off.

Available in manyplaces but these are some of them
Canada through Loomis Art Stores www.loomisartstore.com $8.95 CDN per sheet
USA through Dakota Art Pastels www.dakotapastels.com
UK through www.artifolk.co.uk, www.heatoncooper.co.uk


Wallis, Fisher and Estra are also sanded surfaces that Iíve used. They each have varying qualities that should be checked out the novices since experimentation is the only way to ascertain which surface will give you the results you desire. Wallis is especially good for those who wish to apply base colours in either acrylic or watercolour washes.
Ampersand makes a pastel board much in appearance to that of a canvas board.
Art Specturm and Sabertooth make painted surfaces with a little less grit than sanded papers.

__________________________________________________ ____

EP if you have a sanded paper, the Koss may not be too bad. The problem with student quality pastels is that they are mostly filler with very little pigment and tend to disappear when one attempts to blend them. A sanded paper would certainly aid in holding them on. Just donít let it discourage you if itís not working.

Ceccy you can adapt your painting to fit any size you like. Iím a firm believer in working large enough to ensure that what ever you choose to do wonít leave you will teeny areas to blend with only your fingertip as a tool. A full size sheet of La Carte is 19 x 25Ē (approx. 48cm x 63cm) and around half of that would be a good size. Iíll post some of my work here along with the sizes so you can get a feel for how much detail can be worked into various sizes."

Cheers, Dianna
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:13 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Here are some examples of my work. This is what I truly love to do...any thing that is a challenge. Additional pieces can be seen on my web site at www.ponting.com



Allsorts of Colour La Carte - 10.5 x 14.5" - 25 x 37 cm

Now this is a perfect example of a object size ratio to paper size giving you lots of room to maneuver those large fingers around in the pastel.

The following are examples of what one can obtain with a little effort and practice however I wouldn’t recommend doing such intricate patterns as the corn or the colour shifts required for the Swiss chard until one is comfortable with the medium and even then I would opt to do it on a larger scale than what you see here.




Three Oranges La Carte - 9.5 x 10.5" - 24 x 27 cm



Raspberry Corn La Carte - 12.5 x 18" - 32 x 46 cm



Bright Lights La Carte - 6 x 13" - 15 x 33 cm

Cheers, Dianna
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Last edited by ponting : 03-02-2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:31 PM
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Re: Basic 102: Class 12---Pastel with Ponting

Oooo Dianna...I'm soooo in awe of your ability! One day, when I grow up.... I wanna do them JUST like yours!! Hmmm....I've just counted the liquorice allsorts.....where are the rest of them?
I'm certain there were more in that packet!!
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