|'Meadow Magic' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
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!