I enjoyed sharing my materials and folk art images and stories with AWS, Artists of Western Sonoma County, last week. The image above has been finished in the studio. I demoed the difference between a 9x12 image done in acrylic and done again, larger (16x20), in pastel. Like painters of all mediums, pastel painters have a wide variety of materials, both in brands and textures as well as quality to choose from. I brought a materials list for hand-outs but ran out and promised I would post the list on my web-site. This list is a list of my favorites and why, not the list that everyone should go by. They are what feel right to me and allow me to create the worlds I enjoy sharing.
I try to shop locally but a reliable on-line source is DAKOTA PASTELS
Color Spectrum…for plein air field work. Water and solvent tolerant for textures and layers, but not as accepting of as many layers as some of the higher price papers.
Pastel Board…for plein air and studio work. Great for building up textures, painting over old pastel paintings, adding brushstrokes to the texture, and leaving ridges to catch the layers of light. Once the texturing has taken place, Pastelboard needs high quality Terry Ludwig, Blue Earth for layers that are the most satisfying.
Wallis Paper… for the way I work, this was my favorite. Difficult to get now.
Pastel Premier…closest thing to Wallis I have used. Other Wallis fans that like putting paint under pastel or solvent with their pastel have gone to UART.
PASTELS IN MY COLLECTION
Hard: Good for, but not limited to,underpainting and for chiseling into trees and bushes, and making distinctive strokes
Alpha Color (a ‘low quality’ but very effective pastel, often used in schools)
Soft: Terry Ludwig: most versative for underpainting and painting over multiple layers. Great for turning on side as well and end and dragging across paper. Often used for my underpaintings
Schmincke: soft, buttery, creamy and covers other layers well. Often not rolled perfectly so not as good for using on their sides
Unison: one of my favorites, esp for darks, but not as adaptable to multiple layers on Pastelboard as Terry Ludwig or Schminke or Blue Earth
Blue Earth: My all time favorite for atmosphere and dragging over mulptiple layers on board. Too expensive for me to use as underpainting.
Diane Towsend Terrage: they include their own grit so can go over anything, with one cautionary note…I used them for underpainting and they fall like dust to the floor. The darker colors are spectacular. Great for light spots in the sky and scrubbing away softer layers.
If you would like to read earlier installments of Painting The Sky, you can find them here.