Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Making Your Own Pastels

Making My Own Pastels from Old Bits & Easel Tailings

Since I am getting hits for the time-honored DIY pastel subject, let's revisit my attempt at the topic from last March. Post #1 had us setting up and gathering supplies, and Post#2 had us making the little critters. The latter post also has a good list of DIY resources for you.

Especially helpful to me was the Paul de Marrais link, whose method unlocks the super-secret, never-before-revealed and classified gnosis on how to make the pastel sticks. Can you say: "de-mystify"?

Now, my post only went far enough to get you started re-constituting your broken sticks or your easel tailings. The next move for you is to buy some pigment and make your own pastels from scratch. See the bottom of my second post for pigment information.



Gesa said...

These are yummy pictures again... I had a look around about how to make pastels myself. I'm sticking with reassembling for the time being but will buy some of the Wallis wet pastel paste when in the US in spring... can't wait.
Many thanks for the links, Casey!!!

Casey Klahn said...

I may be remiss in not having made a full posting on making pastels from scratch. Maybe I can in a month or so, after some other obligations pass.

Re-reading my posts, I see that I did offer a fair explanation, but without pictures. The simple thing to do is to get a jar of French Ultramarine, which is the most cohesive pigment to my knowledge. Then make a "body" with 2/3rds whiting & 1/3rd French talc and water. Now make a water and blue pigment compund. Mix the "body" and the blue piles together. There is your blue paste which you roll into a stick.

It is nothing more, now, than halving your "pure tone" blue stick, and adding titanium white (for example) in an equal part to this half stick. Here is your first tint.

Now, repeat this process til you have a set of 5 or 6 tints of blue. Be thoughtful about how much you will need to make your first stick big enough to be halved.

Clear as mud? I value simplicity, and I hope this is a simpler explanation than some you may read.

BabsintheHouse said...

Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. It's helped me a lot. I have a question about how you square off your chalks though. I'd love to make something other than a pointy ended tube.

Thanks Barb