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Thursday, January 17, 2019

What Can You do with Your Pastel Bits and Pieces?

'The Height of Summer'           8x10              pastel              ©Karen Margulis
available $155

 It is an inevitable result of painting. Pastels wear down. They break. We are left with bits and pieces of once favorite colors. My big studio box is filled with these tiny pieces. I can't bear to part with them. But they are really too small to use. Or are they?


Don't throw them out! Bits and Pieces of pastel can be used. We can always crush them and make new pastels. I have not done this but it is on my list of things to try. I use my pastel bits in two ways. I save them for my tiny travel kits.  I also put them in my 'spice jars'.

A few of my Spice Jars
Every painting needs some spice. I consider spices the small finishing touches. Those bits of eye candy that help lead the viewer through the painting. Little spots of color that the viewer can savor. Spices can also be small areas of texture from a heavier application of pastel. Little bits and pieces of pastel are the perfect size to make these small spicy marks.


Before Redoing the painting and adding some punch!

When my pastels get too small to hold comfortably I put them in little containers. I like to use plastic baby food containers. They are small, can stack and allow quick and easy access to the pastels. Any color can be used as spices. It depends on the painting. If you are organized you can keep colors separated. I am not that organized so I tend to have a mix of colors in my spice containers. I choose the spice color by scanning my containers and choosing the color that I think will work. 

My color choices are mostly intuitive but if I am not sure of the right spice color I will use a color wheel. See my post on choosing spice colors here.

Since I just cleaned my big studio box I have replenished my spice jars! Let''s add some spice to our paintings!

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