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Monday, February 11, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pastel Surfaces

'A Dreamy Summer Day'        16x20        pastel       ©Karen Margulis
This is the demo I did for the Booth Artists Guild.  Purchase here
 All you really need to paint with pastels is a few pastels and a piece of paper. Simple. But it gets complicated when we look at all of the options available to us. Let's take paper. It used to be easy.  You had Canson Mi-Teintes and other drawing papers and if you wanted more tooth you would make your own surface (more on that later this week)

Now have a look at the papers and surfaces we have to choose from today.  Overwhelming!  I always recommend trying the paper sampler packs from Dakota Pastels. This allows you to try many papers before purchasing larger quantities.  But  I have another suggestion for learning about papers.

My demo for the Booth Artists Guild last week
Last night while researching homemade pastel surfaces I stumbled on this wonderful Squidoo Lens on Pastel Surfaces  by Katherine Tyrrell of Making a Mark an excellent art blog.  What on earth is a Squidoo lens you ask?  It is simply a webpage that you can create on any subject that interests you. The pages are called lenses. I have my own Squidoo lens on Pastel painting. But Katherine's page is amazing!  It covers everything you could ever want to know about papers and surfaces for pastels. Click here to visit the lens. Here are some of the things it covers:

  • A listing and description of all the available papers and supports for pastels 
  • Reviews of the available papers
  • Links to resources on making your own supports
  • Links to resources for purchasing supplies and papers
The lens is set up as a collection of links so there is a ton of great information. You will want to bookmark this site. Thank you to Katherine for her hard work in putting it together and for featuring some of my blog posts!

Today's painting is the demo I did for last week's demo for the Booth Artists Guild. I did an oil stain underpainting and a limited pastel palette (Richard McKinley Great Americans)

7 comments: said...

This took my breath away. Absolutely gorgeous!

Karen said...

Thank you very much Julie!

Donna T said...

Thanks for the link, Karen. Wow, that is a beautiful painting!

Beena said...

Thanks for the interesting links! And it's too true: buying paper samples is definitely the way to go before making a larger purchase. I have applied the same logic to the purchase of certain brands of pastels themselves, just buying a few first before buying a set.

(laughing)...While there is no such thing to me as "bad" pastels, some are certainly better suited for some tasks than others!

Karen said...

Your welcome Beena! I too like the sample sets of pastels. It is a great way to try them out before you spend a lot of money. And True no really bad pastel....just a matter of discovering what they work best for.

Karen said...

Thank you Donna!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links.