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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Three Reasons Why I Love Pastels

'When the Autumn Winds Blow'          11x14        pastel          ©Karen Margulis
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It occurred to me today that Pastels Rule!  I already knew that of course but sometimes I take for granted just how wonderful they are. It was a busy day, my daughter graduated from college this morning (and got a job offer an hour later!) I only had a few hours in between the ceremony and our dinner plans and I wanted to paint. I took out an unfinished demo and spent an enjoyable afternoon painting and reflecting on how great it was that pastels allow this spontaneous interlude of fun! In case you need to be convinced let me share three reasons why I love pastels.

1. Pastels can be revisited at any time and nothing changes.  I can leave out a tray of pastels and not worry about them drying out or ruining brushes because I don't have time to clean them. The only thing I have to think about are my cats jumping on the table! This makes pastel the ideal medium for busy people or those who just want to paint but not spend time with the clean-up of wet media.

2. The colors! Of course a box of pastels are better than a box of chocolate and seeing all of the wonderful colors together are intoxicating.

3. And finally my favorite reason....the beauty and ease of making marks.  Pastel allows for so many variations in marks from thick to thin to detailed to wide and bold. Pastels come in hard and soft and round and square and even in pencil form. This allows for a wide variety of mark-making (brushwork in wet media)  This variety of marks adds interest to a painting. It is so easy to change the type of marks which makes painting with pastels so interesting and gratifying.


I took my unfinished demo painting and used a wide variety of marks to create more interest and add the finishing touches. Have a look at the above photo to see the type of marks I used.

What is your favorite mark -making technique?

Before adding the finishing marks

1 comment:

Leora LaGraffe said...

You really captured the reasons why soft pastels are so appealing as a medium! And your paintings here are breathtaking. I never see a painting of yours without feeling awe at your talent. I wanted to thank you again for the excellent, kind and helpful critique! I have taken your advice to heart! I realize providing critiques takes away from time you could spend painting and is really a form of charity towards those of us beginning our art journey. Thank you! And, as always, thank you for your blog.