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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

A Quick and Easy Way to Tone Pastel Paper

'Moonlight Serenade'       11x14       pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available $145 with paypal
Sometimes white paper just won't do.  I like to paint on white paper because gives a feeling of light to a painting.  But there are certain subjects that do best on a colored surface. Sometime the white of the paper peeking through the pastel are distracting. If you don't have colored paper or use a white or light colored sanded paper (Uart, Wallis) then this method if a great technique to try.

Toning UArt Paper 
It is quick and easy to tome a piece of paper with a stick of hard pastel and a piece of pipe insulation foam.  Simply use the side of the pastel and cover the paper with a light layer. Use a hard pastel so you don't fill up the tooth of the paper. You only need a light layer since you will be rubbing it in. I use a piece of foam pipe insulation that I cut into small pieces to rub the pastel into the paper.

Why would you want to tone your paper?

  • Toned paper helps unify your colors. The bits of the toned surface will peek through giving instant color harmony to your painting.
  • The color of your paper helps set a certain mood or feeling. A warm color lends a warm sunny feeling while a cool color can give a moody, cool feel to the painting.
  • Toning the paper can help take the fear of facing a 'blank canvas'. Just the physical act of spreading the pastel on the paper can help you get warmed up to paint.
This week my studio pastel classes are back in session and we are painting the night sky!  I will be sharing some of my lesson on the blog tomorrow so be sure to check back. If you haven't signed up for updates I Invite you to sign up (on sidebar on the right)

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