The Pastel Palette Method

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Day 4 My Book: "The Pastel Palette Method" Peanuts as blending tools.

What do you need to blend the pastel with?

My foam and foam core triangles are best suited for applying the color on the surface and are not as optimal as blending tools. They are not the best for blending because they would most likely have pastel colors already on them. Even if you were to use a clean triangle, they aren’t versatile enough since they only have a small surface area. To blend pastel, I like to have a larger surface area along with a smaller one.

There are expensive items on the market that are geared toward the function of blending the pastel areas together. One item on the market is very similar to make-up blenders used in the cosmetic industry. These load up with pastel rather quickly, thus having a short lifespan and are not very practical for blending color.

Everything that I tried always seemed to do half the job. I used paper stumps and they often became over saturated and soon they were ready to be thrown out along with the make-up blenders. The second issue with paper stumps was the very small surface area. I needed something versatile to blend both small and large areas.

A friend of mine recommended packing peanuts and they worked very well for the large areas, such as the backgrounds; However, they were big and were useless when blending smaller areas. I knew that I needed something that was for both. The packing peanuts that I tried so far were not malleable. So, the hunt for the perfect blending tool was still on. 

Then I was in a Staples, the office supply store and I found these wonderful, green packing peanuts which had a large surface area; However, you can squeeze and manipulate them into tiny points just like a kneaded eraser. They were the blending answer that I was looking for. These packing peanuts were able to blend large and small areas alike. Although these packing peanuts come in a green color, they don’t leave any color when you rub them on your painting surface. They come in a large plastic bag and usually cost between 8-10 dollars USD. Trust me, once you have these packing peanuts in your pastel studio, you will throw away those blending tools that you purchased at the art supply store.

These packing peanuts are the perfect addition to my method of painting in pastel. Their function is extremely complementary to the glazing techniques used in the Pastel Palette Method. I will further explain these glazing methods in a future chapter.

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