Pastel class notes from 2/18 and 2/19

February 19, 2009
pastel with alcohol background on scrap of Wallis paper, about 2x6"

pastel with alcohol technique on scrap of Wallis paper, about 2x6"

pastel with alcohol technique, 9x12 on Wallis paper
pastel with alcohol technique, 9×12 on Wallis paper

Concepts presented:

  • Rubbing alcohol (or water or Turpenoid) can be used to created blended backgrounds on top of which you can place additional layers of pastel
  • Technique works best on Wallis paper, does not work on LaCarte, try a small test sample if you are using a paper other than Wallis
  • Start by blocking in colors in large areas
  • Using a soft flat brush, drag some of the rubbing alcohol across the surface to blend the colors together and coat the paper
  • This technique is great if you are working on a large painting and need to cover your background surface, it really saves time and creates a beautifully blended background upon which you can build your layers
  • Both of the examples above, although very different in feeling and subject, have used this technique
  • Atmospheric effects as in the sunset painting can be acheived using this method, as can the gritty feeling of an urban environment to set off the bright neon and taxi colors
  • This method also helps to make your darks darker, which can sometimes be a challenge with pastels
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