Friday, October 19, 2012

Playing with paper

Fields at Dusk, 8 1/2x11 pastel, copyright 2012

Dairy Barn, Evening Sky 8 1/2x11 pastel, copyright 2012

Thanks to a post by pastelist Karen Margulis (check out her work - she's very good!) I have discovered a new pastel paper called Shizan.  It's handmade 100% cotton rag made from recycled material and is quite reasonably priced.  The texture is irregular, as are the edges and sometimes the size.  

With the first one I quickly discovered that it won't hold many layers, and vine charcoal does not work at all.  That was a bit frustrating, although it does make for a sort of vague, sketchy painting.  On the second one I added a single thin layer of pastel primer, which gave it enough tooth to hold more layers.  The texture and color of the paper still come through and force looser, sketchier images.  That's a good thing since I usually feel that my looser paintings are better.

Both of these paintings are from reference photos taken a few weeks ago when my husband was kind enough to drive me around just before sunset.  A native of the area, he chose the route down a winding, quiet road that ended at closed bridge (and haunted) bridge.   It was a beautiful drive, and I was able to get plenty of good photos that will hopefully find their way onto this new paper.

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