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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Can You Wash Off Uart Pastel Paper? Let's Find Out!

'Meadow Magic'               5x7             pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available  $100

I had someone ask me a great question. I had been sharing the benefits of using good paper for paintings rather than struggling on the cheaper paper. I said something about repurposing and reusing paper and that I had washed off Uart. The question was "Can you REALLY wash off Uart paper and still paint on it?"  Well I have done it and it works but I realized I never documented this on my blog.

So I pulled out an old failed painting from my pile. It was perfect for the experiment. It had a lot of dark and rich pure pigment.....Terry Ludwig eggplant and bright blues and oranges. Would these rich pigmented and dark colors really wash off?  I gave it a try and documented it in an Instagram story (@karenmargulis). Here are the results.......

The very dark painting It was actually 5x7
The first thing I did was to take an old toothbrush and brushed off as much pastel as I could. I took the painting outside and held it over the trash. There was still a layer of pastel that was staining the paper but the thickest layers came off in this initial brushing. 

Next I put the painting in the sink and used the same toothbrush under running water to scrub off the remaining pastel. I admit I wasn't sure the the dark pastel would come off. Surely there would be staining of the paper. But I was pleasantly surprised to see the pastel come off.  Note that the painting is only 5x7 so there wasn't much pigment going down the drain. For anything larger I would probably use a hose and wash off the painting outside. 

After washing the painting in the sink there was still a little bit of a ghost image on the paper. I used a Magic Eraser to see if I could get more pastel off the paper and it worked great. I was left with a very slight ghost image. So slight that I could hardly see it.

The paper was very wet so I hung it up in front of a fan to dry. It dried quickly but it did buckle slightly. I put the paper on a flat surface under a heavy book for about 3 hours. It came out perfectly flat! I was ready to paint!  The paper still felt toothy and worked great for my painting. The paper was no worse for wear and I can call this experiment a success!


Kerry said...

You can wash off Pastelmat as well, though on the ones I have tried there was a slight ghost image. I layed the paper between two pieces of super absorbent kitchen roll and then put a book on top - that soaked up most of the water and stopped the buckling.

Martha Lever said...

Hi Karen! Thank you for all you great instruction. I can tell you are an elem ed because you are a good teacher!n I am elem ed too.
I have been following your blog for many years from mum blog, Art du jour and was always intrigued at your "paintings" in paste. Little did I know back then that I would be pursuing pastels too!

Just a thought for some future videos that I would like to see you teach.
First of all--how to safely send a painting to a buyer (not that I have even had that opportunity as yet!)

Second. The thing that makes your flower paintings so alive is the stroke sequence you use. Have you ever considered helping us paint poppies, roses, tulips etc with just a few stroke sequences so as not to over work them? We could follow you doing a page of poppies, etc.

Just a thought! Thank you so much. Love you new set or TL. You made some great choices and I have used it exclusively for a few weeks now.

Thanks again Karen!