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Saturday, July 25, 2020

How Can You Use a Palette Knife with Pastel?

'Another Blue Sky Day'                16x20                  pastel               ©Karen Margulis
available $325

 I get on these kicks sometimes. I try something on a whim and I like the results.....and the process. So I want to do more! I am on a texture kick this week. The one thing that is somewhat difficult to do with pastels is to create raised texture. Think palette knife paintings done with oil and acrylic. I love the look and feel of thick paint. It suits some subjects so well.

Thick texture is a challenge with pastels but there are some workarounds! Clear gesso is a simple way to get a bit of texture in your pastel paintings.

I have written about using clear gesso but this time I am adding a new twist!  I decided to take a an older demo painting and reimagine it with clear gesso. I know this works to give a bit of grit to paper and I know that when the gesso mixes with the pastel of the original painting it makes a thick muddy mixture. It is fun to use this as a base for the new painting but this time I decided to add more texture......with a palette knife!

Using a palette knife to drag through the thick paint and gesso

I knew I wanted to paint a close up of wildflowers with a tangle of grasses. I used the palette knife to drag through the gesso to create the grasses and stems. I had so much fun! When the gesso dried I was left with ridges. These ridges allowed the pastel to skip over the grooves showcasing the texture.  See the photo below!

close up of the texture and pastel

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