2019 Workshop Schedule coming this week!
Visit my Patreon Page for more painting instruction. New Paint-Along Videos coming!

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Brilliant Hack for Sorting Pastels

'Softly Goes the Day'            9x12       pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $145
I love teaching! Sometimes I learn just as much as I share. It was the case the last couple of days. I had the privilege of sharing with a wonderful artist and new friend form South Carolina. Linda came to my studio for a two day private session. I love having these in depth one on one workshops. Not only do we get the chance to cover a lot of material I have the opportunity to get to know the artist. 

And I learned much from Linda. I started a list of tips and ideas she shared with me but this one was the best!  When she arrived at my studio she was holding a round thing covered in tin foil. Did she bring cookies I wondered? I was intrigued and quite surprised when she removed the foil to reveal a wonderful tray of pastels!  

I thought it was interesting and very pretty but I didn't immediately see the brilliant solution she had for sorting and bringing her pastels to my class.

I love this hack for sorting pastels!
On closer inspection I saw that she was using the sections of a catering tray as a color wheel!
  • The tray was a sturdy multi compartment tray from the deli department of the grocery store. (she had thrown away the lid before she thought of this hack)
  • A Pocket Color Wheel fit perfectly in the center of the tray.
  • The sections were lined with paper toweling.
  • Using the color wheel as a guide the pastels were sorted by color, value and temperature. 
  • The lighter value pastels were placed at the wide end and were arranged by value to the darkest pastels at short end of each section.
  • The color wheel serves as a guide for each section. 
  • The pure colors and neutrals are kept together. Though the center could be used for the neutrals.

Closeup of the green and yellow section
I love this hack because it makes use of a relatively easy to find tray. Here are some more reasons to try this hack.
  •  It is a great way to sort and organize pastels without the expense of a box. I like it even though I have a box. It would make an efficient working pastel tray for the studio. It isn't that practical for travel unless you are driving to and from class.
  • Taking time to organize your pastels in this manner is a great way to see what you need. You can see what colors, temperature and values you are missing and then make a list to order open stock or a set that has the missing pastels.

A big thank you to Linda for sharing this idea with me. I hope you find it as helpful as I do!

Today's Painting notes: This is a 9x12 pastel on Moonstone Canson Mi-Teintes paper. This is one of the demos I painted for this class.


Marsha Savage said...

What fun that would be to have that set up ... on a rotating lazy susan! Thanks for posting, and I know you had loads of fun. I love teaching because it also teaches me things, just like you said!

Karen said...

Ah yes! A lazy susan would be great. She also said she had an even larger deli tray she may move up to!!

Linda Kriegel said...

Thanks Karen for a delightful time! I can't believe how much I learned and am really looking forward to working on my assignments! Seeing your work up close and in person is amazing!! You just don't get that perspective on a screen. Thanks again for this wonderful opportunity and I look forward to our next lesson!

Sandi G said...

That's a great "hack" , I'm looking around now for something I might have around to create the same for a pre selected Palette. Thanks.

Patti said...

I love this idea!

Wendy said...

Fantastic idea! I have had trouble trying to keep colors and values sorted. Now I'm off to the grocery store...my granddaughters are coming over and I think they'll make quick work clearing off the veggies in preparation for the pastels. Thanks for sharing!!!

Brenda Maas said...

I bought a plastic one of these that is a good size at our local Dollar Tree.

Ricardo García said...

Marcus Tullius Cicero said: "If you want learn, then teach"
And you do!
Thans, Karen & Linda!

Denise Van Balen said...

Love this idea! For the first time I can see the arrangement...it make sense to me. I'm off to find some trays!!!
Thanks for sharing!!!!

robertsloan2art said...

Great idea! I love arrangements like that, where it's easy to see by section. You could easily put that on a lazy susan and have all of them in easy reach while painting.

VickiRossArt said...

Love this hack! I have my studio pieces sorted on flat trays by value...very similar. Marsha's lazy Susan idea is great! Probably one of those lightweight kitchen storage units would be sufficient with top tray/legs removed.

L. Samson said...

You can pick up a lazy-Susan at a hardware store It's just two metal plates with ball bearings between them. There are holes in the corners so you can attach them with screws but I just set my item I want to turn on the plate so that if I want to change it to another item. If you have kids then I strongly advise attaching the screws! You can get really small ones or some big enough to spin a car (joking)! I picked mine up for about 5-6 dollars.

Janette Meetze said...

So clever! Love the idea! I have noticed that one can spend a lot of time arranging Pastels. :-)

Anonymous said...

A good tray like this to use is the Tupperware six compartment veggie tray with dip center and a snap on lid. It even has catches on the sides for it's carrying handle. It is 13'' diameter and 1&3/4 inches deep. You can find used ones at the St. Vincent DePaul Store, Salvation Army Store, or Good Will. Depending on condition
they are around $4.00 to $6.50. Very sturdy, easy to wash and clean. The paper towels for lining the bottoms is a perfect idea!

Rebecca Knight said...

I have a tray like this from Jamberry nail parties! LOL! I'm going to have to give this a try. I got it on ETSY I think if anyone is looking for a tray like this. It's customizable but I'm putting towels over the lettering anyway.

VickiRossArt said...

Rebecca, I’m still happy with it! If I need to reclaim the space, I fold a towel for cushion, then a piece of foam core for a rigid surface. Glad you liked it!