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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Use of Pearlescent Pastels

'Celebrate the Bees'      12x16      pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $165
A little bit goes a long way. I have to remind myself of this point whenever I take out my pearlescent pastels. It is so easy to get carried away.  A box of pastels are often compared to a box of chocolates. Pearlescent pastels would then be the special chocolates....the ones with gold embellishment or in  special wrappers. They stand out from the others. They sparkle and shine and begged to be selected.

I keep my pearlescent pastels in a separate box. They tend to be softer and more crumbly and fragile than other soft pastels. I forget to use then since they are not in plain sight. When I do remember I tend to get carried away. They are just so much fun! For today's painting I managed restrain myself. I used a piece of pale green pearlescent pastel by Great American Artworks. I used in in place of a regular pale green in my flowers. You can see the shimmer in the photo below.

close up of the pearlescent pastel detail 
I like the shimmer of a pearlescent pastel in a painting when it comes as a surprise....when the viewer gets close to the painting and sees the subtle glint of the pastel. It's like a spice. It enhances the dish but only a small amount is needed so as not to overpower it.

Note: I have several brands of pearlescent or iridescent pastels. They are all fun to use and make a great addition to your collections. Here are some to consider:

New for 2016 Diane Townsend soft "Pearl Gems" 
Great American Pearlescents (love Sage and Grunewald)


Liz waisner said...

Sennelier also has some pearlescent, more easily accessible to all at blicks!

robertsloan2art said...

I love pearlescent pastels! I have an iridescent white Sennelier and several Roche metallics. They're gorgeous! I've also got the pearlescent Pan Pastels. It gets interesting with Pans, because I tend to bring them in blended with other Pans and the effect does become subtle, they are sometimes exactly the right mid-light value between Tints and pure colors. There's also the glitter mediums, both black and white, in Pan Pastels and I think Sennelier has an iridescent black for putting a little shimmer in the darks.

They are a lot of fun, the effect can be very natural sometimes. Iridescent white can work well for something like frost or dew too, picking up a natural iridescence. I used it in sea foam on surf on some seaside scenes instead of the regular white and it was striking!