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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Try a New Pastel Technique

'Firefly Summer'         9x18         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $175
I went through a pastel dusting stage a few years ago. Everything was fair game for a dusting of pastel. It was a great technique for wildflower meadows and snow. After awhile it became too much and I stopped dusting. Today  I was reworking an old marsh painting (above) and decided that it might benefit from some firefly dust!  It was a lot of fun to dust. Maybe I will revisit the technique in other ways.

Have you tried the dusting technique? Here is an older blog article  that describes the process. Enjoy!

'Blowing in the Breeze' 16x20 pastel ©Karen Margulis

I love trying new techniques with my pastels. Dusting has become my new favorite technique to use and I am having fun discovering new ways to 'dust'. Dusting isn't a new technique to pastels. Bill Creevy talks about it in his book 'The Pastel Book'. Degas used the dusting technique in his work. I was playing around with dusting at the same time that Richard McKinley posted about it on his Pastel Pointer blog. Richard gives a wonderful description of the technique HERE. I am still experimenting but this painting is an example of how I used dusting.

Tools for dusting with pastels
Glassine paper and a rolling pin make dusting easy

For this painting, the pastel dusting comes at the finish. When the painting is almost done and just need some final touches I lay it flat. I choose the pastels (colors and values) that I think will give me the effect I want. I am using Jack Richeson pastels to dust because they are large and not too soft and crumbly and the colors are very vivid and rich (I also got them for a great deal so I don't mind shaving them into dust!)
  • I shave my pastel using the side of a palette knife. I vary the pressure to create fine dust to chunks depending on what I would like.
  • I mix colors and vary the fineness of the dust to create more interest.
  • To set the dust I simply cover the painting with glassine paper and roll it with a pastry rolling pin. I like the size of the pastry rolling pin. I get better control than with any other tool.
  • For this painting my dust got too thick and I covered up too much of the painting. It's easy to get carried away! But it was actually a good thing. I took my palette knife and drew back into the dust creating stems and grasses. Cool!
To see another painting of mine that utilizes dusting see this blog post HERE.


Sherry said...

That is an interesting technique, Karen. I would love to try it some day. I seldom work with pastels any more, but this makes me want to pull out the old box and have a go. :o)

robertsloan2art said...

I've seen this technique occasionally and it's interesting. Cool about the Richesons. I haven't tried those but they do run big - seen other people's ones!

Patty Lynn said...

Yes, The Pastel Book by Bill Creevy. Page 80 Dusting...Interesting technique, and your paintings show how beautiful this technique actually is!! Just a thought, but you should have your own book out on Pastels...Yes, do a book, Karen!!!
Blessings to you!