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Thursday, January 11, 2018

How to Sign a Pastel Painting

'Winter Light'       11x14         pastel          ©Karen Margulis
available $165
It was an accidental discovery. Another use for a common tool is always exciting. Like when Stan Sperlak passed out his 'magic sterling silver pins' at a workshop a few years ago. They were really only stainless steel push pins from the office supply store but they were magical. Stan showed us how the pins could be used to scrape away pastel with precision. They are like tiny erasers. Ever since then I've kept a jar of pins by my easel.

Today I was using a pin to create some of the thin branches in my bare winter trees. The do a great job making painterly lines. It is like doing scratch art. When it was time to sign my name I still had the pin in my hand. Ahhhhhh why not sign my name with the pin! It worked! I'll add it to my toolbox.

Signature with precision
TIP: The pin signature works best when there is a dark layer of pastel under a lighter area. This way the scratched mark reveals the dark making the signature visible.

Stainless steel push pin perfect for signing or scraping away pastel for fine detail

creating fine branches with a push pins
I usually sign my name with the sharp edge of a hard pastel such as Nupastel in a contrasting color that harmonizes with the painting which also works well.

1 comment:

robertsloan2art said...

Interesting. I like the effect for thin branches and all, would work well especially on smaller paintings. I hadn't thought of scraping like that on soft pastels. I do it all the time on oil pastels, didn't realize it'd work for soft pastels.