Monday, October 29, 2007


High Plains Hills pastel 40x30"

Gray Smokestacks pastel 20x24"

Alone pastel 16x26"

In soft pastels the pigment is held together by a loose binder, and the result is a pastel that is softer and chalk-like. (think of the sidewalk chalk children play with.) They are known for the vibrancy of their colors. Traditionally they are created on a textured or sanded surface that will hold the pigment.

My own approach to pastel painting is sightly different. I work on cold press illustration board that has had a mono- chromatic acrylic or watercolor wash applied. Keeping it flat, I create the backgorund using the powder from grated pastels, building up layers like one would do with glazes on an oil painting. This requires repeated use of a fixative spray which dulls the color somewhat, but that is in keeping with my intent. The foreground and the main subject are then rendered in a more direct, traditional manner, the repeated use of the fixative providing the necessary tooth needed to accept the pastel.

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