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Saturday, September 01, 2012

A Quick and Easy Textured Pastel Surface

'Storm Along the Turquoise Trail'    3.5 x 3.5    pastel     ©Karen Margulis
available in my Etsy shop  $40
 I found a new favorite surface for pastels!  It is inexpensive and easy to do.  I enjoy painting on my own home made surfaces but I don't like to prepare them. I don't like the mess of mixing the pumice and gesso. I don't like waiting for them to dry. So I don't bother making my own supports. Until now!

I was introduced to this method by a student who also works at a frame shop. She has a pastel artist customer who told her about using clear gesso on paper or boards. The clear gesso alone makes a wonderful surface. I tried it on these two small paintings.

'The View Towards Abiquiu'    3.5 x 3.5      pastel
available in my Etsy shop  $40
 I am using scrap pieces of mat board courtesy of my student. (it's great to have a framer as a student!)  I used Liquitex Clear Gesso. I simply brushed it on the mat board with a 1 inch brush. I made some smooth like linen weave (top painting) and some with more random brush marks. (bottom painting) They dried quickly though I didn't paint on them right away.  I also applied some of the clear gesso on some Somerset white paper. I have some BFK Rives that I also want to try.

I am very happy with the amount of tooth that the clear gesso provides. I don't think I'd want it any rougher but I could add some pumice if I wanted to. I could also tint the gesso with liquid acrylics if I wanted toned supports.  But that would defeat the purpose of quick and easy!

Making my own pastel surface 
If you are interested in other methods of creating your own pastel surfaces you might like to read my post on home made surfaces.


Sharon Whitley said...

this is very interesting - I've tried pastels in the past but only on pastel paper (Daler Rowney) and I don't find that surface very satisfying to work on - pastel supports aren't that easy to find - they don't seem to stock them in most art supplies shops, so this is definitely something to try and may get me into pastels again!

Lora said...

I have tried preparing my own pastel paper before, but I was never happy with the results and it was such a pain. I will have to give your technique a try. Thanks!

Bethany said...

I use scrap museum rag matboard primed with clear Colourfix primer and love it! I also use clear or colored Colourfix on BFK Rives. The paper does warp but I have had luck mounting it on board first. Last time they were out of clear Colourfix so I bought the Golden pastel grounds... Haven't tried it yet!