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Friday, December 15, 2017

Do You Have an Icing Pastel?

'Winter Wishes'         11x14        pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $165
Do you say Icing or frosting?  Is it a regional thing? I guess I use both terms interchangeably but not being much of a cook or baker I am not sure what is the proper word. But in the pastel painting world I will call it Icing the Cake!  What am I talking about?

ICING: That moment when you get to put some thick pastel in your painting as a final highlight or accent mark. Like when you add some thick snow to a tree in a winter landscape.

You can use any light value pastel for your icing but there are some pastels that do a better job than others. The softer the better. You can create icing with a hard pastel but it is very hard to get the thick texture that a super soft pastel will give you. My favorite Terry Ludwig and Diane Townsend pastels will work but this is the time for me to take out my ICING PASTELS.


I find the Sennelier and Schmincke pastels are too soft for the way I paint. But I do love them for making those final icing marks. It takes little effort to get a nice thick juicy mark! That is a mark that leaves a measurable amount of pastel on the paper.

Do you have Icing pastels? Check out this chart on Dakota Pastel's website. It lists pastels in order of softness.


2 comments:

Sea Dean said...

I’ve always thought ICING was british and FROSTING was North American. Although icing in England tends to refer to a more watery paste of icing sugar and water, butter icing is more like the American topping and royal icing is made with egg whites, sets stiffer and is used for decorating wedding and Christmas cakes. Frosting on the other hand tends to refer to a frothy American style topping that doesnt but stays soft and gooey. Cream cheese frosting is the Queen of these, which I first discovered on carrot cake. Of course in Australia there is paste ICING made in sheets and draped over the cake then decorated with flowers etc. ... very pretty and unique. Oh and one more thing, if you say ICING in winter in North America, you are generally referring to ICE HOCKEY. Hope that helps.

robertsloan2art said...

Oh yes! I love my Senneliers for that. I discovered that about them when I first bought the set to go along with my Rembrandts - they were too soft for everyday painting but just right for those last, textured icing strokes. Very cool point the difference between frosting and icing on different sides of the Atlantic. I think of icing as the drizzled thin sort that goes on a pastry, but frosting as the stiffer stuff on a cake. But the textured heavy Sennelier applications are more like the heavy decorative sort of icing! The kind you'd sculpt into roses sort of thing.

It's great to have lights and darks for those, sometimes darks need to go in over everything else too. Or even mid values.