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Old 02-03-2003, 02:05 PM
bethann bethann is offline
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basic advice please

Greetings from a novice,
I've been doing portrait commissions in graphite and have had several requests for something in color so I chose pastel pencils. I love them but need some basic advice.
I want a smooth solid finish which I've seen done by other artists but have been unable to achieve that on the Canson Ingres paper I'm using; some of the paper texture show through. I also am having trouble getting some the darks I want.
I love Jane Lund's and Deborah Deichler's work.
I'd appreciate any advice.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:36 PM
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sandge sandge is offline
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I think to get a smooth look like Deborah Deichler, you need to be working on a surface with much more tooth such as a sanded paper. This holds much more pastel and allows you to build up many layers and thus achieve more subtle blends. There are questions about how archival sanded papers are since the glue may not stand the test of time meaning all the grain would drop off. If this is a concern, you may want to prepare your own surface such as in this demo - Preparing Pastel Boards....

As for darks, you have to hunt about for brands that do a good range (Terry Ludwig's spring to mind).

- My flickr gallery -
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:41 PM
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LadyPearl LadyPearl is offline
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I choose a paper with a medium tooth…you do need some as to hold the pastel. I am a portrait painter as well and enjoy doing realism. Pastel lends itself beautifully to this. I use mostly stick pastels and my fingers to blend. Of course you can use other things. Then for details would I then go in and use the pencils if you wish. Unless your doing very small pieces, it would take you forever to base coat with the pencils. And for that even smoothness you desire you really do need to blend. Plus the pencils just don’t come in a wide array of colors like the sticks do. I know what’s going on here. Your trying to use pastel pencils as u would colored pencils. Sorry, but this simply does not work. Pastels, believe it or not, really is more like painting more that drawing. Build layers! If you would like more details about pastel painting, I would be glad to help you out. Just PM me.
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:51 PM
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Redsy333 Redsy333 is offline
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Excellent advice given thus far!!! I couldnt agree more!
I do my portraits in Pastels as well! Try useing the textured side of your Canson paper, but you do need to try putting down a layer with soft pastel sticks first, then go in with your pencils for details. Try blending the first layer in with your fingers, then spraying a light fix if needed and then add your pencils for detail if you choose.
After experimenting a bit more with the pastels, Im sure youll find a groove that fits your personal style.
Hope to see some of your work soon!
~Redsy~ a.k.a. "TIMIDTONIA" SuperMuse fighting the evil Politically Correct Patrol!
~Courtesy of MarkL~
~My New Site~
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Old 02-03-2003, 11:30 PM
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Gaka Gaka is offline
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Hi Bethann

Firstly welcome to the pastel forum. I am also a fan of Jane Lunds work, but I have not seen the other artists work yet.

I have an article in the pastel forum about painting Hyacinth Macaws, you may like to check it out as you never know it may give you some ideas for your paintings.

Seeya Gaka
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Old 02-12-2003, 02:56 PM
bethann bethann is offline
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Thank you all for responding.I suppose I'm a little late in my thanks. I've seen your work before Gaka and am in awe but am also in a hurry so I don't know if a have the patience for your technique. It's similar to what I would like to produce though.
I pmed ladypearl twice for more info. Am still waiting. I have one finished work but it's a little large for my scanner and my computer is old. Will keep trying.
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