2018 Workshop Schedule. New workshops added! click here for details.
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Read This If You Are Got Pastels this Holiday

'Eye Candy'       12x12          pastel            ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase on Etsy $125
Is there a 12 step program for pastels?  You know the inevitable affliction that happens when you discover the pastel medium. That urge to add more pastels to your collection.  The difficulty to resist buying yet another new set. 

 If there is a cure for it I don't really want it! I am a Pastel Collector and connoisseur and proud of it!  It really isn't a problem if you want to add to your pastel collection. The problems come when they aren't set up for painting.  I know I am guilty of not wanting to break up a pristine new set of beautiful pastels. But they do us no good looking pretty in their original boxes. They are eye candy but they also have a job to do!

We have to be brutal, take them out of their nests, take off the wrappers, break them into pieces! 

I haven't purchased new pastels in two years so it was time for replacements. I had saved some money and decided to splurge on a set of 120 pure colors by Diane Townsend. Right after I pressed the purchase button I received an email from a local artist/facebook friend who was downsizing and wanted to liquidate some of her pastels. Once I saw what she had It was futile to resist.  Have a look!

Diane Townsend soft form and Terrages

Terry Ludwig pastels including the Marsha Savage set

Eye candy

Diane Townsend soft form set of 120 pure colors purchased from Blicks

Unison pastels including the Albert Handell landscape set

My studio box 

So now I have the Diane Townsend set and the liquidated pastel sets I purchased not to mention the pastels I already have in my studio!  I love being a Pastel Collector or Connoisseur (sounds better than junkie)  but I am also a Pastel Painter so I need to get brutal and make sure I set them up so I can use them.

I thought it would be insightful for you to follow along and see how I integrate pastels into my collection so that I will be able to actually use them rather than admire them!  I'll start tomorrow with the set of Diane Townsends. Stay tuned!


Cris K said...

This will be SO helpful. I have a few new boxes (Ludwig, Unison) that need to join the daily workhorse set and I look forward to your blog tomorrow. I am curious, do you mix hard with soft?

On another subject, I use Liquitex gesso on gatorboard (your great tip) and am wondering if you find more coats makes for a bit less tooth. I roll on with a very fine foam roller but sometimes I like a smoother surface and still want to use board, not paper. Thoughts?

Denise Rose said...

Wow! Love it! I got my new pastels and am itching to set them up and get to work! Love seeing all of your new art stuff!

Judy Baker said...

My, what a collection! Love it! I've painted very little in pastels and am enjoying your posts so much--very insightful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I'm a Georgia girl too--in Gainesville.

Karen said...

Thanks for the comments!!
About the gesso you can add some powdered pumice to give it more grit. Dakota pastels sells it!

Paula said...

I am fifty shades of green with envy!

robertsloan2art said...

Thank you for another good article! I love seeing your collection.

Thanks especially for the photo of those Townsends. I've been tempted by that set but the photo on Blick made them look so muted that I didn't think the range had any brights in it. Even the "full color" box looked like it has gaps that your photo shows aren't there.

Very cool! I might get into those someday, especially if I keep painting on plain paper too. I love that texture on Mi-Tientes.

I have about a thousand pastels and past a certain point I have what I need. I'm past that point, but still enjoy getting new ones and always will. I keep the hard ones in their set boxes and some sets that make a complete palette in themselves - sometimes it worked to have several boxes stacked and change texture fast by what's on top.

Sandi G said...

I love your new pastels..bet it will be hard to break them..I never break my Ludwigs or Terrages ...will you ?
I love to read all your posts ,thanks for this blog.

Observe Closely said...

RE: the last paragraph of the post -- I am staying tuned! (Just got two new sets and your note about "integrating" new pastels has me intriqued. Can it be very complicated?) Thanks for sharing all your insights on this blog. Invaluable!! xxxxxxooooo. Jan