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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Best Tool Ever for Blending Pastels

'Nature's Glory'        6x6       pastel      ©Karen Margulis
click here to purchase at Daily $55
I am not a big blender.  I will occasionally blend a sky or an area that I want soft usually to contrast with a busy passage in a painting. If I do blend an area I usually go back and add a fresh layer of pastel just to bring back some of the lost luminosity.

I also love to do Dry Underpaintings by rubbing in my first layer of pastel. This gives me a soft 'ghost image' to work on and a head start on my color, values and composition. But I don't want to use my fingers to rub all of this pastel into the paper. Especially sanded paper! So when I discovered this blending tool I was thrilled!

Dry Underpainting using foam pipe insulation

FOAM PIPE INSULATION!  I learned about this tip from Terry Ludwig at his workshop several years ago. Cut into pieces this stuff makes wonderful blending tools.  It is cheap, readily available at any hardware store and can even be washed and reused!
 In my opinion it is the least expensive art supply you will ever buy!

I did a You Tube video to share this more about this wonderful blending tool and how I use it. I'd love for you to take a look and share it with your pastel friends!


Marie Marfia said...

I love these videos and especially that your dog is sharing your studio space! Please keep posting them. Great tip about the insulation. I'm putting it on my list.

Karen said...

Thank you Marie. Glad you like the tip! Thanks for watching!

Beena said...

I tried leaving a comment earlier from my phone, and not sure whether that worked or not. So I will try again.

First off, another great movie! I found myself really looking forward to it this week, so please keep on posting them!

I buy blending stumps in bulk, I go through so many. And for larger areas, I have been known to use paper towels. So I will definitely have to give your tip a try!

Debby said...

Just found some pipe insulation in the garage. Can't wait to give this a try. Love the videos, & can't wait to see what you will be positing next!

Jane said...

Great tip ! I never tied pastel...but I am going to.... feel so inspired !