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Friday, October 07, 2016

How to Add Shimmer to Your Pastel Paintings

'Quietly She Whispers'         6x6         pastel         ©Karen Margulis
available $95
 I couldn't leave town without trying them.  I finished my errands and packing in the morning so I could have some studio time. Yesterday I found a set of pearlescent watercolors at Hobby Lobby and had to get them. They were only $5 so I didn't have high expectations. You usually get what you pay for but you never know.....they might have been a great surprise.

Well you do get what you pay for and the watercolors were not exactly amazing. But they were kind of interesting. They were certainly beautiful in the pans but on paper they were very weak. I persevered and in the end the color dried light but with a subtle shimmer. Not bad actually.

cheap pearlescent watercolors

underpainting with the pearlescent watercolors
If you click on the underpainting photo to enlarge it you can see the shimmer. I decided to paint a soft moody and foggy landscape. I enjoyed the shimmer and it got me wanting more. I have several sets of pearlescent pastels so I grabbed my set of Diane Townsend metallic pastels. Now we were talking!

These pastels are supper soft and will cripple if you press to hard but they go on like butter and the shimmer is beautiful. It sadly isn't well captured in a photo. The shimmer is much more subtle in person.
Diane Townsend metallic pastels
If you want to add some shimmer to your pastels try a pearlescent underpainting and metallic pastels. These are other ways and I will share them in future blog posts.

And now for some shameless self promotion......Next week it will be time to register online for the 2017 IAPS convention. I am on the faculty and will be presenting a two hour demo on the Landscape in Bloom and a seminar on blogging for artists. Even if you are not interested in flowers I will be sharing and demonstrating many of my top LANDSCAPE tips and techniques. I am planning a fun and information packed demo!  Study the preview on the IAPS website so you will be ready to register! click here for the preview.

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

For a good archival pearlescent shimmer paint, look at the Daniel Smith Luminescent watercolors - Iridescent, Duochrome and Interference watercolors. I put together a spectrum of those and use them often in anything where I want shimmer water media or underpainting. I like pearlescent and iridescent watercolors too, love the metallic and pearlescent Pan Pastels in a painting when I get a little crazy in a painting. Dry underpainting with Pans can work well too. Going to have to look at those Diane Townsends and other brands, see what's available in iridescent pastels!