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Soft pastels

Aussie

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Soft pastels
« on: July 07, 2013, 04:52:18 AM »
Hi Matt
I really like the soft  pastel on a portrait you did is there any chance in doing one on a dogs.

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Re: Soft pastels
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 12:41:20 PM »
Hey Aussie,

Sounds like a great idea.  I'll add it to the list for August!

Aussie

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Re: Soft pastels
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2013, 11:16:35 AM »
Thanks Matt

Soft pa
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2015, 04:05:43 PM »
Types of Soft Pastel

There are three types of texture within the soft pastel family; soft, hard and semi-hard. The soft-textured pastels are smoother to use, but they also produce more dust. Hard pastels are a little more hard-wearing on paper. Less pigment is expended when used, so they tend to adhere a little better to surfaces and smudge less. On the other hand, since less pigment is used, they do not cover surfaces as smoothly as the soft-textured pastels. Semi-hard pastels are in between the two.

Pastel Paper

Pastel can be used on various surfaces, but in order for them to be able to "stick," a surface with tooth is best. Paper that is made expressly for mediums such as pastels, charcoal and conte are somewhat rough to the touch.

There are many different brands of pastel paper, and they come in a variety of sizes. In the end, which paper is best to use is based on individual preference.

Painting with Pastels

Painting with pastels differs from other paint mediums. Like watercolors, pastels need to be layered in order to create shades, shadows, and light. Unlike watercolors, which are layered from light to dark, pastels need to be layered from dark to light.

It is important to keep in mind that the teeth of the paper can only hold so much. Once they have been filled, it becomes much more difficult if not impossible to add any more layers. With this in mind, layers should be built lightly.

Even though pastels paintings are built first from the darker tones, it is a good idea to block out the areas that are meant to be paler, and only shade it with light layers of dark pigment, thereby making it easier to cover with lighter pigment later on.

To Fix or Not to Fix?

There are spray-on fixatives available in many art and arts and craft stores. These are used to spray a pastel or charcoal drawing or painting when finished in order to "fix" the pigment to the paper. The advantage is that the pigment is prevented from smudging.

One of the unique visual characteristics of soft pastel paintings is that they have a luminous quality to them that is not found in other mediums. Spraying a painting sinks the pigments into the paper and covers them. This dulls the painting and removes the glow.

Storing Pastel Paintings

Pastel paintings are not difficult to preserve. When framed, there should be a mat between it and the glass, and it should be hung out of direct sunlight. Paintings that are not framed can be stored between pieces of newsprint and stacked.

Artwork done in pastel can last for over a hundred years without having to be restored, unlike pieces done in mediums such as oil or acrylic.