pastel still life

In anticipation of the pastel class that I’m going to be teaching at McLean Project for the Arts in the fall, I’m experimenting with pastel materials for newcomers, and because the sanded surfaces are so marvelous to use, I’m trying to find a way to make-your-own so that students can enjoy the process without buying expensive sanded papers. I’m fully persuaded that a solution is out there, but I haven’t found it with this first trial.

I got some Golden pumice mix and it turns out to be a little too sandy for my task. It will eat the pastels up thoroughly and given the cost of pastels, that’s not a happy development. It’s a wonderful material such as it is and so I’m trying to figure out what I’ll do with it.  It might be better used with a composite technique of some sort.  For now, though I push on with my search.  Golden makes a “pastel” surface too.  I guess I’ll try that one next.  Maybe I should have trusted the label that said “pastel.”

In the detail below, you can see the surface effect more vividly. It’s not unattractive, but it’s not the thing I’m looking for which is a moderately toothy surface that holds pastel without eating the pastels up.

pastel still life detail

The little object outlined in the foreground is a clay whistle shaped like a bird with its wings outspread.



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