Basic pastel tips:
- Contaminate the tip of a pastel stick with another color from your work and begin your marks with this. Any continuity of color throughout the picture plane is useful. Michael Chelsey Johnson recently alluded to color continuity when he posted about the "mother color" methods.
- Use PVA to cover areas with what is essentially a liquid "patch". It may save a work from the dustbin!
- I like to keep my harder, square pastels separate from my medium soft and soft pastels. I use the two and three drawer boxes offered at various retailers, such as the ones from from Dakota Pastels. They are noted as STORAGE ONE, TWO and THREE, respectively. (I tried to give this link to Daniel Smith, but their links always seem to break!) The main reasons for me trying to give it to them is that they are local to me, and I think that I have bought two of these boxes from DS. They tend to be the higher quality ones, and I have seen poor knock -offs of the same boxes elsewhere. I would trust DS or Dakota for these.
- While we're on the subject of organizing our palette, I also like to keep my grays in a different box. Much more about grays next Friday, when I can spiff up some photos and illustrations to go with.
- My method of handling dust that drops directly off the paper is to tilt my upright drawing board a little forward on the easel, and to place a piece of mat board under my drawing board. Further, I score the mat board and fold it slightly so as to make a trough out of it. I also tape the score cut with 2" clear tape to prevent build up in the cut and to make it last. Then, when the trough is a little full, I tip the "tailings" into a mason jar and save them to make new pastel sticks with.