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Friday, April 06, 2012

Pastel Techniques to Try...Dusting

'Blowing in the Breeze' 16x20 pastel ©Karen Margulis
Purchase painting $250
If you are in the Atlanta area I invite you to come to the Southeastern Pastel Society meeting this Monday April 9th at 7pm. I will be giving a presentation and demo on painting a Wildflower Meadow.

I love trying new techniques with my pastels. Dusting has become my new favorite technique to use and I am having fun discovering new ways to 'dust'. Dusting isn't a new technique to pastels. Bill Creevy talks about it in his book 'The Pastel Book'. Degas used the dusting technique in his work. I was playing around with dusting at the same time that Richard McKinley posted about it on his Pastel Pointer blog. Richard gives a wonderful description of the technique HERE. I am still experimenting but today's painting is an example of how I used dusting.
Tools for dusting with pastels
Glassine paper and a rolling pin make dusting easy

For this painting, the pastel dusting comes at the finish. When the painting is almost done and just need some final touches I lay it flat. I choose the pastels (colors and values) that I think will give me the effect I want. I am using Jack Richeson pastels to dust because they are large and not too soft and crumbly and the colors are very vivid and rich (I also got them for a great deal so I don't mind shaving them into dust!)
  • I shave my pastel using the side of a palette knife. I vary the pressure to create fine dust to chunks depending on what I would like.
  • I mix colors and vary the fineness of the dust to create more interest.
  • To set the dust I simply cover the painting with glassine paper and roll it with a pastry rolling pin. I like the size of the pastry rolling pin. I get better control than with any other tool.
  • For this painting my dust got too thick and I covered up too much of the painting. It's easy to get carried away! But it was actually a good thing. I took my palette knife and drew back into the dust creating stems and grasses. Cool!
To see another painting of mine that utilizes dusting see this blog post HERE.

6 comments:

Dawn Hartigan said...

what a cool idea to get that really soft dreamy look. Lovely!

robertsloan2art said...

Thanks for a great demo! I love that effect, like spattering in watercolor. I'll definitely have to try it sometime!

Karen said...

Thanks Dawn! It is so much fun to do...easy to get carried away :)

Karen said...

Rob,
It is too much fun. I have ne=ow discovered you can draw into the 'dust' with a pin to get some fin lines. There is always something fun to discover!

Vanessa said...

Dusty has a lovely effect!, I've only used it once but slowly trying to figure out when I should use it. And yeah it's easy to carried away with it, it's kind of exciting once you start lol.

Karen said...

I think it has a lot of potential! I plan on doing some experimenting!