Hang a wallpaper roll-soaking
tray from your easel to catch pastel dust. It will also keep your
pastels from smashing onto the floor should you drop them. A piece
of picture wire threaded through holes at both ends of the soaking
tray will allow you to hang the tray from your easel.
Make Your Own Pastel Painting
Make your own pastel painting surface by mixing
gesso with pumice stone or marble dust, which is available at hardware
stores. Paint your desired surface, masonite, gatorfoam, etc., with
the mixture and let dry. You may even tone your surface by adding
acrylic paint to the mixture for your second coat.
Watercolor Paper as a Pastel
Watercolor paper makes a good pastel ground as
it has more tooth than pastel paper. Tone it with acrylic or watercolor.
Or you might want to paint color shapes as your first layer. Complementary
colors painted under the pastels make the colors shimmer as they
bounce off each other. You will need to stretch this paper first
if you use watercolor on it so that it lies flat for the pastels.
Watch for next months tip on how to stretch watercolor paper.
Pastels do not
always have to be Matted:
Pastels do not always have to be matted. Use a
wood frame that oil painters use where the "mat" is actually
wood that is the same color as the frame (often gold, silver gold,
etc.). Add a spacer between the frame and the glass so that the
painting is not in contact with the glass. Install turn buttons
on the back of the frame so that you can easily mount a painting
or remove it to clean the glass.
Why are Terry Ludwig Pastels
While more difficult to make, Terry Ludwig designed
square pastels for the following reasons:
" No rolling: A frequent complaint
of pastel artists is that their pastels roll off of flat surfaces
and break, sometimes even shatter. Terry Ludwig Pastels stay in
" Variety of strokes: The square
corners of a square a pastel allows you to create fine lines,
and the flat edges produce smooth, broad strokes.
" Ease of travel: Square pastels
pack better into tight spaces, do not roll inside travel cases
and generally are easier when traveling.
" Greater control: Square pastels
fit better in your hand and are easier to control than round pastels.
Have tips to share? Send
them to us at JWElizer@aol.com
and we will incorporate in future issues of Artist's Tips.