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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Trying Water Soluble Pastels

'Walk Among the Poppies'              5x7              pastel             ©Karen Margulis
 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!


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.