Thursday, June 12, 2014

Breaking in New Pastels

'A Glorious Day'           5.5 x 7.5           pastel            ©Karen Margulis
sold
I have officially broken in my new Girault pastels. Really. I have broken them in half and taken them out of their little foam nests. It wasn't easy. I really did cringe as I broke the first one in half. But it got easier after a few and it was necessary. Why you may be wondering?  I'll get to that but first let me explain why I chose to add these Girault pastels to my collection.


My new Giraults. These are the Richard McKinley Plein air and Neutral and Friend selections
 Girault pastels (pronounced like Ji-row or Jee-row) are deceiving. They look like they would be hard. They are not hard but their shape allows for a lot of control. They go on like a soft pastel which is surprising at first. But they don't crumble like some softer pastels. These qualities make them very versatile. They are excellent for all stages of a pastel painting from block in to fine detail.  I have been wanting to add more to my collection so I decided to apply my recent award money to purchase these two sets.

I only used a few of the pastels for this painting
Why Break the pastels?

  • I find it easier to manipulate a smaller piece of pastel. I can use it on it's side or use the tip or top edge. A full stick doesn't feel as good to me.
  • I save the other half in the original box so when I run low on a color I have a replacement and can order another if I want.
  • I can fit more half sticks in a travel box. I am bringing these sets to Iceland so I can get 100 colors in half the space when I break them. 

Have you tried Girault pastels yet?  Share your thoughts in the comment section!

4 comments:

Eileen Sullivan said...

I'm fairly new to pastels and trying to teach myself how to use them. (You are one of my teachers--both through your blog and the demos I bought recently.) One thing I've noticed about the medium is that I always want to try brands I haven't got yet--sort of "pastel greed" or addiction. Does this happen to everyone? I've been greeding after Giraults since I first learned about them but I have no excuse (or funds) to justify buying them right now!

Karen said...

Hi Eileen. Yes it is a common affliction to always want more pastels. You really don't always need them and it is a good practice to make what you have work but new pastels are wonderful!

Lisa Graham Art said...

Your paintings are so calm and peaceful and I am in the places you paint as I gaze at them.

Thank you for the info on pastels. I like pastels...the looks of them...but working with them is not fun for me. I think it's because I have cheap set and they are hard. I will look into these.

Now following you on Etsy and Twitter as well. Love your work!

Karen said...

Thanks for discovering my work Lisa! I appreciate your comment!!