|'Up in the Cardinal Tree' 8x10 ©Karen Margulis|
When it works it really works! It is a bit unpredictable but that is part of the excitement. Anytime that pastel is washed with a liquid it creates a whole new wonderful world! The dry pastel turns into paint and interesting things can happen. I love the possibilities!
Pastel can be liquified with any liquid. Water is an easy choice and I use it often. I also love to use rubbing alcohol and odorless mineral spirits. So which is better? It is a personal preference but I give the edge to rubbing alcohol.
|The application of dry pastel. I used a few harder Nupastels|
- Rubbing alcohol dries a bit faster than water. Since it quickly evaporates it doesn't sit on the paper leading to less chance of buckling.
- Rubbing alcohol can create some interesting spider web-like drips. Click on the photos below to see them closer. The results are unpredictable so I am always excited when I get some good runs like I did here. When I get some interesting drips it becomes my goal to allow as much of this underpainting as possible to show in the finished painting.
Tips for an alcohol wash: You need to use a surface that can get wet. Most sanded papers will work even when unmounted. Some artists prefer Pastelbord by Ampersand which is a board and will not warp or buckle. I use 70% alcohol which has a lower flashpoint than the 90%. Using harder pastels work best. The softer the pastel the gummier the results. If you do use a softer pastel be sure to use a very light touch.
|8x10 Uart 500 unmounted. no buckling!|
|close up of the cool spider web drips|
******Do you see the little cardinals in the tree? They are my spice. More cardinals coming!*****