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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Why We All Need a Gutter

'Silver Ribbons'           12x18              pastel            ©Karen Margulis
sold but other marsh pastels available in my etsy shop
 I can't paint without my gutter. I may have a great new vacuum cleaner but my gutter saves my floor and my pastels. Gutters come in all shapes and materials. Pastel artists get creative with their gutters! If you use pastels than you probably have your own version of  dust collector. (the thing we put under our painting board to collect falling dust) I had an artist friend call them gutters and that word has stuck.

Yes pastels do create some dust.  I have never used a vacuum system or air purifier but I do vacuum and dust at least weekly. Frankly I get more dust upstairs where I don't paint than in my studio where I paint every day!  Dust isn't really a big issue. Sanded papers grab pastel so well that there is very little flying dust. Here is what I do to control the bit of dust that is produced:

My pastel gutter is coated foamcore board

  • I prefer to paint with my board/paper on an easel that is not tilted back or forward. This allows the dust to fall straight down. It is collected in the gutter.
  • Occasionally I will tap the top of the board to dislodge any loose dust.
  • I NEVER EVER blow on a painting to dislodge dust. This only puts the dust in the air where we might breathe it in....or where it will settle on the floor or furniture.
  • I put a dust collector (gutter) under my painting board.
  • My favorite gutter is made of a piece of coated foamcore board from an old advertising sign. I cut it into 4 x 24 or 36 inch strips. I score it lengthwise on the back which forms a nice dust collector. The coated surface makes it easy to wipe clean.
In the past I have used tinfoil, paper towels and  butcher paper but my foam core gutters have been the most durable. I wouldn't be able to paint without them!  

It's your turn!  I know you have great ideas for gutters. What do you use to collect your pastel dust? Share in the comment section or feel free to email me your ideas and photos. I will compile them into another post so we can share the great ideas I know you have! kemstudios@yahoo.com

Today's painting: 12x18 on uart 500 with a dry wash underpainting in cool colors.

1 comment:

theoboy said...

my husband made a gutter for me from aluminium in 2 sizes for my papers I use most of the time