Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Something different with pastels

I've been trying to find a minute to blog about something new I tried recently.

Like many of us, I have a stash of all different kinds of art media. That includes soft pastels and oil pastels. I've never liked using pastels, because they are so incredibly messy, and I get pastel dust everywhere. I never seem to have fixative to hand (I don't use hair spray either) and the results have never been all that satisfactory.

Then recently, I read about a different way to use pastels. First, you lay down soft pastel colour, blending several similar shades. Then you paint over the loose powder with either gesso or gel medium. I used gesso, which softens the colour considerably; apparently gel medium retains the bright colours.

This sounded like fun, so I decided to make my May trees for my journal using this method. I created a background with the soft pastels and gesso, and then used my tree stencils to add more pastel colour and gesso. On some, I raked the loose colour on the stencil from the previous time back onto the next background. I added shadows with dark and highlights with white oil pastels, once the gesso had dried.

It was fun to do and I like the results much better than my previous attempts with pastels of any kind.