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Old 06-21-2007, 08:23 AM
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flyfisherflyfisher1 flyfisherflyfisher1 is offline
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How do you keep your colors straight?

When doing a painting of any size I like to keep my colors straight by putting them in a ziplock bag (separated from thier friends) until the end of the painting. I then put them back into the box with the rest. this way I rarely get them mixed up.
Some artists However, Write on the edge of the painting which colors they have used for what.
Another question I have is do you clean your pastels or is this some kind of gimmick?
Pete
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Last edited by flyfisherflyfisher1 : 06-21-2007 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:16 AM
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Donna T Donna T is offline
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Hi Pete. I put the pastels I am using in a styrofoam tray (meat tray) and keep them there till I'm done with the painting. If I'm working on more than one painting at a time I don't get my colors mixed up because they are in separate trays. When I'm done I wipe off any that are really dirty with a rag before putting them back. I usually have a test section at the edge of my paper so I can hopefully match a color again if I need to. Labeling the colors wouldn't work for me because I take the labels off when I get them and break them into smaller pieces.

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Old 06-21-2007, 12:33 PM
Daveylynn Daveylynn is offline
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

So far what works for me is to put my working pallet in a plastic container with a cover that snaps closed. I have to "cat proof" everything, including raising my easel between settings and covering my pastels. My one cat in particular is rather clumsy plus he like to lick the pastel.

I got this 7"x11"x2" container from Staples. I line it with paper towels and change it out after I am done with a painting.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:48 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Hi Pete,

My pastel box sits on a table a bit wider than the box itself so as I'm painting I just put the pastels on the table in front of the box. Though half the time I put them on my lap (I wear an apron and sit at a drafting table that is slightly elevated).

As far as cleaning, I just wipe them on a paper towel or put them in a plastic container full of corn meal and shake them gently and it cleans them right up.

Paula
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:03 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Wow! Those are great ideas! I love the corn meal Idea . Is it original or did someone tell you? (wish I thought of that ) one of the problems for me is that shiney coating on the side of my Rembrants. Not very condusive to using the side of the stick...Maybe the corn meal will take that off .

Davey-Your studio is way Organized, I could learn a thing or to there just by the photo. Are those lists of colors taped on the side? What are the little white dishes for?..Thanks.

Donna test section

I hope more people answer. I'm getting some great tips!
Thanks,
Pete
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"Old Artists never die... they just vanish into Plein Air." - Peter C. Lavin

"To be an Artist is knowing the value of and with color." -Peter C. Lavin

Last edited by flyfisherflyfisher1 : 06-21-2007 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 06-21-2007, 01:11 PM
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Paula Ford Paula Ford is offline
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherflyfisher1
Wow! Those are great ideas! I love the corn meal Idea Is it original or did someone tell you? ......

Nope, not original. Somebody here at WC shared that.

Paula
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:23 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Pete, have a piece of scrap sanded paper next to where you work and hold the pastel on it's side and sand off the shiny, hard surface. You can't be afraid to waste a little pastel to get the pastel like you want it because until you get that hard surface off and make sure the pastels is evenly flat you can't get that great side stroke. Hope that helps!


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Old 06-21-2007, 03:35 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Pete, here is another tip that might help with the clean up. Wrap a piece of plastic mesh (that you get grapes or produce in from the supermarket) around the end of you vaccum attachment hose and vaccum your pastels in you pallet box or wherever you have pastels. The mesh will prevent you from sucking up your pastels but does an effecient job of getting the loose dust and crumbles of pastels that are making your other pastels dirty. I use the mesh when I'm vaccuming anything near my pastels and I've never lost one yet.


nana b
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:53 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Quote «When doing a painting of any size I like to keep my colors straight by putting them in a ziplock bag »

As in CSI ?

Well, I put mine over a piece of toilet papper (so what ? ) that I place over the table.
I keep putting them side by side as I need them.
Many times I can't remember where I used which one and even less from where I took them

Kind regards,

José
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:55 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?


Hello,
I just had a vision of all of my lovely schmincke pastels being sucked into the tube! Then I read the bit about the mesh! Great idea.
I too use a small plastic tray lined with paper towel, I tape another piece of double paper towel to a small piece of gator board next to where I am working and use that to clean any pastels which get dirty. I also keep a small square tupperware dish close by with warm soapy water, and frequently dip my fingers into it (when I don’t have gloves on) and dry my fingers on more paper towel. This way I don’t have to keep running to the kitchen or bathroom if my hands get icky. I always clean my pastels before they go back home with the others.
A piece of Wallis paper taped to your easel is great for scribbling and testing out color combos before you commit to paper.
Hope this is helpful.
Maggie
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:55 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Hm, interesting. I don't keep out the colors I use. I simply replace them in their spot on the palette and pick them up again when I need them. Since I arrange by value and color, if I should pick up a neighboring color it often strengthens the painting, since it's usually very close to the same color and value. The only time I save a color out is when I find a 'bridge' color (one that looks dark in a light area and light in a dark area--a treasure!) Then I simply put it along one corner of my palette.

Deborah
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Last edited by Deborah Secor : 06-21-2007 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:57 AM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Hi:

Another hint to remove dust is to just use an old piece of hose over the vaccuum nozzle - this works well for picking up loose beads too. Any bits that are large enough will be available for retrieval in the hose too. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:13 AM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

What great innovative ideas! You guys are great! Another question is :If you wipe of your soft pastels with a damp cloth and let them dry, Does it mess up thier colors or hardness?

Deborah - What if you do like 'half' your trees and 'half' your sky and call it a night? I get really mixed up the next day or two trying to figure out what colors I used to make the other half of those things.

Another thought is that some people paint from top to bottom in lines and some work on the entire painting all at once (I kind of do both probably the reason for the mix-ups). what is your method?
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"Every subject has every color in it. The trick is to pick the colors that best represent the mood your trying to convey." - Peter C. Lavin

"Old Artists never die... they just vanish into Plein Air." - Peter C. Lavin

"To be an Artist is knowing the value of and with color." -Peter C. Lavin

Last edited by flyfisherflyfisher1 : 06-22-2007 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:58 AM
Daveylynn Daveylynn is offline
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Pete - The little white dishes hold shaved pastel scraped with a blade. I dip a color shaper in the pastel for small details. At least I'm trying to learn this technique from http://www.colourshaper.com/pastels.htm

I love the mesh/hose idea.

Deborah - I'm not organized or neat enough to trust myself to clean and put my pastels back in their storage container as I progress. My working pallet is a mess when done, and then I carefully clean each piece and put it back. But I can see where an experienced pastelist, who knows their colors and values front and back could work directly off of the pallet. Maybe some day...
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:50 PM
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Re: How do you keep your colors straight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisherflyfisher1
What great innovative ideas! You guys are great! Another question is :If you wipe of your soft pastels with a damp cloth and let them dry, Does it mess up thier colors or hardness?

Deborah - What if you do like 'half' your trees and 'half' your sky and call it a night? I get really mixed up the next day or two trying to figure out what colors I used to make the other half of those things.

Another thought is that some people paint from top to bottom in lines and some work on the entire painting all at once (I kind of do both probably the reason for the mix-ups). what is your method?

Well, I hold to the idea that the colors on my palette are like the notes on the piano. You can always find that color again if it's in a fairly predictable spot. So I keep my palette organized by color and value like this:



This way I can find the notes. For me this is the best way because I usually have a half-dozen paintings in progress at any given time. Trying to keep a palette selected for each one would be impossible.

I have to confess that it's usually not this clean! I clean the whole palette about once every two months. I use a (dry) paper towel to wipe them off and place them in their accustomed spot again. If I'm short on colors I replace them at that time.

I paint all over the painting, in loose layers, using hard, soft, medium pastels and anything else that will accomplish what I want to do. I usually make one pass over the paper so that I have a layer of color all over before going on, in order to compare values and colors. Then the second, third, forth, etc. passes I add more colors, building up using the correct values and increasing detail in the focal area.

Deborah
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