Saturday, October 08, 2016

Another Option for Toning Sanded Pastel Paper

'Feel This Moment'         18x24             pastel         ©Karen Margulis
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It is time to tone some more paper. I love Uart sanded pastel paper but I prefer a middle value gray-brown paper for my quick landscape studies.  I like the way the color looks when it peeks through my pastel layers. It is not at all distracting so I don't have to do any kind of underpainting. I can just pick up my softest pastels and quickly respond to the scene in front of me. Back in the day my go-to paper for plein air studies was Wallis Belgian Mist. I had to find a replacement when it was no longer available and I have several ways I like to tone my Uart paper. I shared one option in last week's blog post. Here is another option:

My Belgian Mist substitute
One of my students came up with the idea of using her used pastel dust to tone Uart sanded paper. She saves her dust and made a pastel with it. It was a nice warm neutral gray similar to the belgian mist tone. I didn't get a photo of her sample but I do have a jar of collected dust so I will try my own.

In the meantime I decided I would mix some acrylic paint to match belgian mist and use it very thinly to tone some sanded paper. Before I got around to that I happened to be in Home Depot and found a small sample jar of 'oops' paint...samples that were rejected. It was very close to the color I wanted and best of all it was only 50 cents!  I toned a piece of Uart 240 grit....I found it to be the closet mach to the Wallis grittiness.

Result: It was slightly lighter when dry and also a bit warmer than the belgian mist. But I liked it. I put it to the test with a large painting 18x24 (see top)  I loved it!  I didn't do any kind of underpainting or block in for the painting. I just went right in with my soft pastels ( a mix of Terry Ludwig and Diane Townsend)  You can see places where it peeks through and I like the effect. 

UPDATE: Since I originally wrote this post I have discovered another good paint for toning paper. It is Atelier Interactive acrylic paint  in Toning Grey Yellow. Be sure you thin any acrylic paint so that it doesn't fill the tooth of the paper.

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