Friday, August 24, 2018

New Fall Pastels

Golden Beeches, pastel on sanded board, 9" x 12".
Rock Creek Reflections, sanded pastel board, 12" x 9"

Here are two new pastels of old favorite subjects painted for the Fall 2018 Art at the Mill show. It seems my old standard Wallis sanded paper is no longer available anywhere, so last year I bought these sanded pastel boards to try out. The new boards have a finer sanded surface than the Wallis paper, and they are the thickness of a regular mat, so they don't curl and can be handled much like small oil panels. This may make them more portable.

I may try using pastels for the Art in the Valley Plein Air paint-out in September, just to see how the boards perform outdoors, though I'm not committed to this medium--pastels are messy to handle  and I don't like wearing gloves if I can help it. It's always a risk to carry pastels in the field, since they can break and shatter easily if the box is dropped. I usually work with three different sets of pastels: a Sennelier half-stick set of 80 colors, a 45-stick set of Rembrandt landscape colors and an ancient 60-color Grumbacher portrait set I inherited from my mother-in-law. Sometimes it's hard to find just the right color, even among all these to choose from.

I may stick with watercolors for the Plein Air, they're definitely cleaner to handle and more flexible.