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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Trying Water Soluble Pastels

'Walk Among the Poppies'              5x7              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
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 I'm antsy today. I leave for Iceland on Friday and my bags are already packed. However I am waiting on pins and needles to hear if the Icelandair mechanics will go on indefinite strike tomorrow. That would certainly effect my trip but there is nothing I can do but wait and see. The government has stepped in so hopefully there will be no strike. [Breaking News! I just read that the government did ban the strike. So I can officially get excited!]

So I was  antsy all day. I decided to paint to get my mind off the strike. While packing supplies I came across a funny little set of Holbein water soluble pastels. They were given out as a bonus with purchase at the IAPS convention a few years ago. I had forgotten all about them.


I decided to give them a try on an underpainting. I took out a 5x7 piece of white Pastelmat paper. The only colors in the set were the primaries and black and white. I used the primary colors.
  • They went on the paper like hard pastels. I used a soft brush and water to wet the pastel. It spread the pastel very easily and evenly. Pastelmat is like a sponge so there were no drips. It was nice if you wanted to have a perfect even coverage. I usually prefer unexpected drips and happy accidents but this felt nice.  
  • The only drawback was that it took a long time to dry. I got busy with other things but it was at least 30 minutes before it was dry enough to work on.



I forgot to take a photo of the finished underpainting but it wasn't very interesting....just nice even spread of the colors. My softer pastels went over this underpainting without any issues. I used my new Giraults, some Terry Ludwigs and a Sennelier pink iridescent pastel.

I'm not sure I noticed much of a difference between these pastels and wetting any other pastel. If you have any experiences with them please share in the comments!

2 comments:

Dave Casey said...

Someday I'd like to go to Iceland and Greenland. Especially after watching the new Walter Mitty movie. Just watch out for volcanoes. :)

Maria said...

Yes, I have used them, (various brands) for the underpainting. I then use a spray bottle after my sketchy underpaintingw/1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 alcohol(isopropyl) and spray then let drip or use sponge or brush to paint. It dries quickly or you can do a dry pastel on wet works well too. If you don't like the underpainting the spraying works well to wash it off and add more or start over. I use Ampersand Pastel Board. love this painting.