Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Tip For Controlling Pastel Dust

'Light Up the Night Sky'        11x14        pastel          ©Karen Margulis  SOLD
A shower of pastel dust falls gently as I paint. What to do with this dust is the question. Pastel artists are quite resourceful and have devised ways to collect this dust. If we don't control it somehow it will fall from our paper and cover the floor or our shoes!  I have been using a piece of folded kraft paper that I place under my drawing board. I call it my paper gutter and it has done a good job of collecting the dust as it falls. That is until now.

My new dust collecting gutter.....a piece of metal flashing
I have a very creative student who is always finding ways to repurpose materials into art supplies. She was frustrated by the paper gutter. It got in the way of her hand and it just didn't hold up for long.  She was on a hunt for a better gutter at where else....Home Depot!  She found a great solution. It is a piece of lightweight metal flashing. The best part of this goody is the price....it is just 99 cents for a 42 inch piece!
  •  It is the perfect size and shape for resting under a drawing board. 
  • It comes with the front edge already bent so it sits nicely on the easel ledge.
  • It is lightweight and stack-able if you want them for more than one easel.
  • The slick surface means that pastel dust slides right off into the trash or a collection jar (in case you want to make pastels from your dust)
  • She recommends cleaning the gutter with pledge to make it even slicker. The dust just slides right off for cleaning.
  • The edges are sharp so I taped mine with artist tape. Another friend recommended coating the edges with rubber paint.
Here is a closer view of the new dust collecting gutter
 Today's painting is my interpretation of a meteor shower in honor of the Perseid Meteor Shower. It is based on a night photo I took out west at Jackson Hole Wyoming.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I use a piece of foam board 3-4 inches wide and as long as you need or want and cut down the long middle so it can be folded and the board can sit on it. I covered it in wide tape transparent tape. It can be wiped down with a damp cloth and it is very light weight.

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Wow, this is great! I'm going to share it on MyArtTutor's Tips 'n Tricks FB group...

Karen said...

Thanks for the tip about using a foam core gutter. I like that idea a lot and think they would be great to travel with!!

Karen said...

Thank you Vicki. Thanks for sharing with your group! Much appreciated !

vickiandrandyrossart said...

Would love to have you post direct there with some of your tips...

Karen said...

Thank you Vicki, I'd love to!!