This painting… pros and cons

This painting can go wrong in a second…

Work in Progress ©Cindy Williams
Work in Progress ©Cindy Williams

I have had to lighten it a lot, that is a problem with using a grey that the pigment grabs and it is hard to remove.

I have tried my eraser, and going back over it with a white pastel. I have had to use a white charcoal stick (sshhhh, this was going to be a total pastel painting).

With the charcoal it has helped to cover the really dark areas where the grey pastel has grabbed on the paper.

I have tried using fixative so that it will make a “tooth” again on the paper, but it still didn’t work.

I have thought about it and I decided to create a little “pros and cons of pastels” list to let you know what it takes to paint with pastels.

Pro: they are easy to use, you can just pick pastels up and start drawing

Con: They are quite messy and dusty, you need ventilation to keep from inhaling the dust

Pro: You can use heavyweight paper or pastel paper with a coarse tooth

Con:  You have to use heavyweight paper or pastel paper, pastels do not work well on smooth paper

Pro: They can be inexpensive

Con: The “cheap” pastels can be quite frustrating, as sometimes they will not do a good job at layering

Pro: With soft pastels, you can create immediately. They have no drying time.

Con: Soft Pastels smudge easily and your painting can be ruined in an accidental swipe.

Pro:  You can frame your painting to protect it

Con: You must use a mount to frame a pastel painting, as the pastel will stick to the glass on a frame

There are lots of pros and cons to soft pastels.

What I would like to try is the “underpainting”.  I only use pastel and build on it, but sometimes you can use an underpainting to make your pastel painting “pop”.

You can use acrylic for an underpainting or you can use an alcohol wash.

Pastels start losing their “tooth” and holding power when you layer them. BUT if you use a velour paper or a pastel paper that is basically a really fine sandpaper, you can make many layers and build and build layers until you are satisfied with the painting.

I am #36 today on Leslie Saeta’s 30 day painting challenge

Thank you for dropping by I appreciate all of my readers and followers!

Cindy Williams

5 thoughts on “This painting… pros and cons

  1. I know when Karen Margulis gets into the problems you are having she brushes them out and redoes certain places.
    A tip I just came up with is to put a plastic table cloth under where you’re working and collect the dust. Over time the mixing of all the colours will probably create a neutral grey like you need and you can put it in a container and use it like pan pastel.

  2. I am so grateful that there are other media to work with as pastels strike me as a lot of work. I tried them years ago and decided they were not for me. keep on plugging!

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