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Thursday, January 03, 2019

How To Clean and Organize Pastels


'A World Away'                 9x12                pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $165

What a pleasure to paint today. I had a box of clean and organized pastels to work with. It was very satisfying even though I dreaded the cleanup process. I had so much dread that I put off cleaning my pastels for 3 years! As a result I was painting with small bits and pieces of pastels even though I had replacements in boxes....somewhere!  It was time to get organized!

I am sharing some photos of the clean up process but I made a video while cleaning. You can see the video on my YouTube channel here. https://youtu.be/5ytNrP6l1i4 Be sure to like and follow :)


Click here to see the video on YouTube


The finished box. 

A box of Nupastels and a rolling cart of extra pastels. The overflow!

All my extra Terry Ludwig pastels from sets I had broken up.
I still keep special TL sets in their original boxes and use them separately.

Work in progress. I am emptying the big studio box

I pulled out the smaller pieces of pastel.
I will use them for smaller paintings.

Three years of daily painting leads to small pastels!

Even smaller bits went into these containers.
I will make pastels with these bits soon.

All clean!


My Heilman box collection (some given to me and some awarded.)
I still need to go through these boxes and clean the plain air /workshop pastels.

I used cornmeal to clean the pastels. This is the cornmeal at the end of the clean up.

I hope you enjoyed the look at the pastel clean up. Let me know if you have any questions after you watch the video!

Painting notes: Painted on Pastelmat with my clean pastels! (Terry Ludwig and Diane Townsend)

5 comments:

Kathy Johnson said...

I loved this video. The overflow drawers on rollers is really interesting - what brand? Where did you buy it? Just in case I get far enough along in my collection . . .

Karen said...

Thanks Kathy! I got it at Costco several years ago but I have see them in Office supply stores and craft stores such as Michaels.

Unknown said...

Just rewatched this and plan to clean and organize my pastels and organize my studio while I am cooped up at home! And paint some, too!

Anonymous said...

I am cleaning and organizing as well. I have the large Dakota box and am struggling to determine which pastels to include in it as my working box

Any suggestion?

Karen said...

I cover this extensively on my Patreon Page. The short answer is I use the color wheel and make sure I have 3 values of each color and a variety of pure colors and neutral/grayed color.