The Pastel Palette Method

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Day 34 My Book: "The Pastel Palette Method" My Pastels, What You Should Begin With.

My Pastels, What You Should Begin With.

There are many pastel brands out there. Each brand with its own degree of softness and color saturation. With so many pastels on the market, it could be very overwhelming. I will be breaking down my pastels and why I use them.

When I start a painting in pastel the initial pastels I use are from the Cretacolor Pastel Carre 72-piece set. These wonderfully saturated pastels leave a minimum amount of pastel on the painting surface. They are perfect for not over loading the painting too early.

After this initial layer, I will go into the pastel brand that is my main staple throughout the pastel painting’s progress. These pastels are from the Holbein Soft Pastels 72-piece set. They are the perfect bridge both from the hard and to the softer pastels. They have the an exquisite amount of saturation and they still won't over load the painting surface too early. The Holbein Pastels also have a very nice coverage when wanting to paint in opaque passages.

At the end of the pastel painting, the surface will get heavy loaded with pastels and this is when the softer pastels are needed. My favorite brand for this is the Sennelier pastels. A set of 40 half sized sticks are a great way to start your collection. These pastels have a creamy consistency and cover other pastels marvelously.

There are moments in every painting when you need to have the point of the pencil for tight detail. The Pitt Pastel Pastel Pencil is perfect for this. They have a beautiful saturation and they can give you the laser focus of a pencil point. A set of 36 is a great start with this wonderful tool.

With the pastels that I had outlined here, you will be able to fully utilize all the techniques of the Pastel Palette Method. This is a great start and then you can always add individual pastels and sets from other brands. You will will always be building your collection.

Here are the links where you may purchase these pastels I outlined that are available on Amazon:

CretaColor Pastel Carre 72 Piece Set

Holbein 72 Piece Set

Sennelier Half Stick Set of 40

Pitt Pastel Pencil Set of 36

Friday, July 27, 2018

Day 33 My Book: "The Pastel Palette Method" How and When to Use Pastel Pencils

How and When to Use Pastel Pencils

Pastel pencils are the perfect marriage of drawing and painting in one tool. The precision and familiarity of a pencil is hard to resist. It could be tempting for you to paint your whole picture in pastel pencils. Not so fast! Although they are a very wonderful tool, I feel that the pastel pencil has its rightful place in the painting process.

You do not want to use the pastel pencil in the lay-in stages of your painting. This tool is not well suited for covering larger areas of color. Its small point doesn’t allow for even blends. Although pastel pencils come in a very wide range of colors, they will rarely be the exact color that you need.

When the pastel pencil does shine it's during the "end game" of your pastel painting. This is when you are painting in the subtle nuances of your portrait. You want that laser focus of these smaller areas and the pastel pencil is up for such a challenge. A few perfect times are the reddish black of a nostril, the crease of the eyelid or the wrinkles in the upper lid. For those moments and many more, you will find that there's no better tool than the pastel pencil.

Resist the temptation to use the wonderful pastel pencil for larger areas of your painting. If you are working on the smaller and more detailed areas of your pastel painting then the pastel pencil is made exactly for that. The pastel pencil is a "must have" for the pastel painter using my method, especially if you use it correctly.

Check out my YouTube channel where I give free video tutorials in pastel, drawing and airbrush:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Day 32 My Book: "The Pastel Palette Method" Do You Need Fixative for a Pastel Painting?

Fixative is No Real Fix

Many people have asked me over the years whether or not I use a fixative on my completed pastel paintings.

In an earlier chapter I had mentioned that I use a workable fixative in emergencies when the painting’s surface becomes overloaded during the painting process. That is as far as I will go when it comes to the use of fixative in my studio. Here are the two reasons why I don’t use fixative to preserve my pastel paintings.

The first reason, is that the fixative will darken all the values of your painting and the pastel loses the vibrancy of the pure pigments. The spray fixative is applied in a wet spray that causes this darkening down of the values even after it dries. You most certainly will need to reintroduce the lights and highlights on your pastel painting for a second time. My feeling is, why paint it twice if you don’t need to?

The second reason, is that the fixative spray creates a uniformed texture to your pastel pigments. The hard work that the artist does to create a variety of textures such as hair or skin, is negated by this uniform texturing of the fixative.

Lastly, if you frame your pastel painting correctly, which I will go over later in this book, your pastel painting will look as vibrant and fresh as the day you painted it. This can always be done without fixative.

You may also check out my YouTube channel where I give free demonstrations and tutorials in a variety of mediums including pastels:

Day 34 My Book: "The Pastel Palette Method" My Pastels, What You Should Begin With.

My Pastels, What You Should Begin With. There are many pastel brands out there. Each brand with its own degree of softness and...