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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Do You Have a Box of Pastel Goodies?

'Wild Maine'            8x10             pastel           ©Karen Margulis
The painting needed something. It started as an alcohol wash on a piece of the new Pastel Premier paper. Today I tried the white fine grade piece. I wanted to see how the paper would take a wet underpainting. (it did fantastic) After the underpainting was dry I went about building the trees and the meadow. I put in the flowers and the big areas of grass. It was OK but it lacked something.

But what did it need? To answer my question I went back to my concept. My WHY. Why did I choose this subject to paint? What was it that I liked? It was the tangle of stuff. I loved how the purple flowers and grasses were intertwined. I loved the seemingly random sprinkle of white flowers. How could I get this effect?

I needed my box of goodies!

 I have a box of random Schminke pastels. I love them but they are almost too soft for me sometimes. So I save them for a special occasion. Like today. My painting needed something. It needed some bold and vibrant marks. The super soft and rich Schminkes would be perfect for these finishing touches. I love my box of goodies!

Note: Whenever I get the chance to see Schminkes in person I always choose a few colors. I look for colors that would make good accents, highlights or spices. I keep them in a separate box since I am so rough on my pastels. I don't want to crush these soft pastels!


Sue Marrazzo said...


robertsloan2art said...

This is so cool! Habits evolve over a long time and your box of goodies makes total sense to me - along with your method of restocking it.

I love that blue-green tree behind the yellow green grasses, it just sparkles! The colors in this are glorious. You have your favorites and the Schminkes just shine over the rest. I think texture adds to their vibrance.

G Sharp said...

Do you mainly use ludwig? what would be similar in a lower cost for a beginner

Karen said...

Thank you Sue and Rob!!

G, yes I mostly use Ludwigs. I also use Diane Townsends a lot. I would say that most of the comparable artist quality soft pastels are of a similar price. You can often find 1/2 stick sets from Unison, Great American and Sennelier. This gives you more for your money. In my experience, The student grade (cheaper) pastels don't give the same results as the above mentioned pastels.