Friday, February 22, 2008

Five for Friday


Poly Vinyl Acetate Sizing

Basic pastel tips:
  1. 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.
  2. Use PVA to cover areas with what is essentially a liquid "patch". It may save a work from the dustbin!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Note that I've shrunk the tips project to five tips instead of ten and named it: "Five for Fridays". In the first several installments I will endeavor to make these my own personal tricks that I feel don't get exposure in other tips and techniques web pages, and that I use consistently myself. Many of them I have picked up at workshops, or stumbled upon somehow in my studio.


Sara Mathewson said...

Hi Casey,

I'm new to the pastel world, and I am really getting a lot of good info from your tips. Thanks!


Gesa said...

i like five for friday... very good alliteration. i also like the little drawing on top. i haven't touched the pastels for a wee while but dropping by here is always a good reminder of them... soon :)

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, there are your winter colors, Gesa! That drawing is a detail from a winter scene.