06 March, 2007

Pastel


The sound of harps playing in the background; a little bell ringing. Those sounds accompany the conversion of one more soul to the pastel medium.
Okay, okay. I'm making too big a deal of it. We pastellists are sure "into" our little misunderstood medium. I won't bore you right now with the whole French-Revolution-and-what-it-did-to-the -pastel-medium story.
Mrs. Snowy has purchased a box of the little addictive sticks. Pastels, I mean!
Here is a link to a nice, short summary of what the pastel medium is. Go here to get another peek at my own pastel palette. The first view is free, kid...

7 comments:

Angela said...

Wonderful Casey! Makes me think of using pastels.

Casey Klahn said...

Listen...
The sound of the harp, and a little bell ringing!

MrsSnowy said...

My world has been turned on its head, Casey! My nice neat little cupboard/studio is in chaos. There's a messy drop sheet on the floor, baby wipes all over the desk, abandoned surgical gloves and, worst of all, nasty smears over my sanded paper. I'm not sure I have the temperament to be a Pastel Person! But I am so in love with that box of colours. I didn't get as far as Florence. I bought 36 Faber-Castel Polychromos in Arezzo. Of course that isn't enough colours but I couldn't shell out over Euros 200 for the big set, until I'm sure I can handle this. Now I look at your palette and drool because, of course, I'm already missing colours.

Casey Klahn said...

You don't need a lot of colors. You just need 4 or 5 values; color is irrelevant to making the picture work. It doesn't hurt to have a set of grays in warm and cool, though.
Or, you might do an under painting in grays with watercolor, on watercolor paper, and then put the pastels down over that.
Sanded paper is best, though. Expensive, too!
I wear the gloves when I make pastels, but not when I paint. In point of fact, the toxicity of the old school pigments is a thing of the past. I'm not worried about migration of heavy metals through my skin. Best not to atomize the particles, and breath them in, though! I wear a mask to sweep or dust my studio.
Put a piece of mat board, half folded, on the tray of your easel to catch the dust.
The Polychromos are on the hard side, which is very, very good for starting out.
Keep it up!

Casey Klahn said...

Or, I should say, the greater toxicity is in the past. Best to use some caution, now. Just don't live in morbid fear of your pigments, as there are standards imposed on toxicity levels, nowadays.

MrsSnowy said...

I'm not afraid that the pastels might be poisonous - I just don't like the feel of the dust on my fingers. Of course that may change. I now have a second box of 20 pastels! These are Italian made FERRARIO - Extrafini per artisti! They are so soft and buttery and the colours are amazing. I found them in a little local craft shop, so there was no opportunity to buy more but they do make 100 colours. I'll probably find more in Florence.
I'm loving all your links and Pastel talk and looking forward to Degas tomorrow.

Casey Klahn said...

Try getting a hold of a tube of "mechanic's glove", or the barrier cream that mechanics use on their hands prior to work. Non-greasy, and a salvation from getting one's hands cracked. The pastel catalogers sell expensive versions, but the local auto parts store has this item for less.
Might be harder to find in Italy than the USA.
My personal reasons for bare hands (and many, many artists wear gloves with pastel work) is that I want the freedom to do that "no-no", which is to sometimes smear with the fingers.
Save the tailings and dropped or broken parts. We will be making new ones later this month.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism