Monday, December 26, 2011

Playing with pastels

Round Chair 16x20 pastel, copyright 2011

As promised, here's a look at my play with the new pastels.  This was a fun one with no expectations going into it.  The goal here was just to experiment and see what would happen with new pastels and a new surface.  The pastels are Sennilier half sticks, a set of 80 landscape colors.   I've used them before as I also have a set of 40 random colors, but it's nice to have a larger variety.  Sennilier makes a total of 500 colors, though I'll have to win the lottery before purchasing the full set.  They are very soft in texture and flow easily over the paper but also break easily - one has already been dropped and broken.  But that's okay, it still works!

The paper is black Canson pastel board, coated with Colourfix pastel primer, 16x20 in size.  The board has a large tooth to it and the primer has a very fine texture - the combination works very well for lots of layers.  And I worked in a lot of layers.  In a few places I blended and/or took off pastel with a paint brush.  I also blended with my fingers.  At one point I lightly sponged the surface with a wet rag then moved the damp pastel around with fingers, coating it with more pastel after it dried, which made an interesting texture on the wall behind the chair.

I'm pleased with the results, these soft pastels are perfect for large areas with minimal detail.  Combing them with a harder pastel, and a bit of fixative between layers, should work well for me in a larger format.  This is the first time I've worked with the Canson paper/pastel primer combination and the first time I've worked on a black surface, and I like how deep the darks can get.  I think it will all work quite well for me.


  1. I like this. It's like I can sense you looking and feeling the space and materials. Reminds me of one of my old forays into pastel.

    More please?