|'Magic at the Ranch' 12 x 12 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
Are you looking to spice up your pastel paintings? There is nothing like a little sparkle to to spice up an otherwise dull painting. Metallic, iridescent, pearlescent are the names given to these pastels. It depends on the manufacturer. I recently rediscovered my set of Diane Townsend Metallic soft form pastels. I say rediscovered because they were lost in my studio and found during my studio clean up.
I haven't used these pastels in awhile but decided to use them for an experimental underpainting. I had an old unfinished painting from a trip to Grand Teton National Park. I had done a gouache underpainting. I added a layer of metallic pastels and sprayed some workable fixative.
|close up of the metallic pastel layer|
I worked some Terry Ludwig pastels over the metallic layer and the result is a subtle glow which was hard to capture in a photo. I then remembered some other experiments I did with the metallic and water. I will have to try more of these!
|'Golden Dreams' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
The painting 'Golden Dreams' was done completely with the set of metallic pastels. I put down a layer of several of the colors and sprayed the painting with water. I was curious to see how the metallic pigment would react to the water. I wasn't disappointed. Some of the colors rose to the top of the puddles and swirled like an oil slick. I tilted the board slightly and let some of the wet pastel drip. I let it dry. You can see the sparkle of the gold and copper pastels.
|Diane Townsend Metallic set of 12 pastels|
- I LOVE Diane Townsend pastels Her soft form pastels are some of my favorites. These metallics are no exception. They are so rich and beautiful.
- The metallic pastels are extremely soft and buttery. They go on like velvet. You need to use an VERY light touch. A little bit goes a long way. They are so soft that they crumble easily. (see photo) If you press down too hard they crumble right in your hand. Of course I am saving all of the pieces to reconstitute someday.
- I now know to use a very light touch but for the pastels that have already crumbled I will use them in other ways....sprinkle dust, apply with soft tools like pan pastels....No pastel dust will go to waste!
- I love the rich metallic colors and will try to use them as spices or accents in a painting rather than for the entire painting.
- I haven't tried to use them for an underpainting with an alcohol wash but since it just occurred to be I will have to try and report back!
Do you like to use metallic or iridescent pastels? Do you have a favorite way of using them? I'd love to hear from you!