Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

See additional work on my website

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Re-working Pastels Class Review

The February pastel class at the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild Gallery was about how to repair or rework a pastel painting.

The best way is to have a good plan before starting and stick to it.   You don't require big changes that way!

If you want to reuse a paper or board for a new painting:

  • Brush all off the pastel with a medium stiff paintbrush, outside and do it gently to avoid breathing in the dust.
  • Wipe with soft cloth or soft paper towel (Viva)
  • You can then brush with water, alcohol or turpentine.  This makes a new under painting, use as is or turn upside down for new painting
  • You can wash some sanded paper or Pastelbord  with more water if you want.  It will not remove all the color but will give you a soft background.  Colourfix paper, Wallis and Pastelbord can take a wash off.  Some of the other paper will as well, but I have not done it myself.
To make corrections to a pastel:

You can use the following helpers:

masking tape or other tape - lift with the tape and use a clean piece to lift more
soft brush (when brushing beware of the dust)
erasers - brush away loose pastels first
kneaded erasers - lifts pastel 
fresh bread - ball the bread and use like a kneaded eraser
If the pastel has filled the tooth, you can spray lightly with a fixative, dry, and add new pastel over it.  Spraying will wet the pastel and darken the color so use carefully.  SpectraFix  recommended, no fumes, and gives soft edges.  You can cover the painting with paper and just spray the area you need to fix.

If you have damaged the tooth and just can't fix with the above ideas you can add new surface with Art Spectrum primer.  See the link below.

Ampersand Pastelbord  http://www.ampersandart.com/pastel.html
Spectrafix  http://www.spectrafix.com/
Art Spectrum Colourfix paper and primer  http://www.artspectrum.com.au/old/colourfix.html 

Here is a post about a painting on Pastelbord that I washed off and an almost 5 minute video of me painting and fixing:

Post  http://jocastilloartblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/small-seascape-and-fishing-guy-home.html

Video click on Demos and Videos on the tabs above and scroll down a short way.


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

very helpful :)

Jo Castillo said...

Thank you, Jennifer. I have wiped off many pastels and started over. Luckily I have liked the second version better or the completely new painting. :)

Bag Blog said...

I have a few things I could wash/wipe off and start fresh. I needed this post.

Jo Castillo said...

Bag Blog, Sometimes I wipe off a practice and just do another practice. I should do it more. Sometimes I do the same painting and sometimes I do something entirely different. Have fun.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

I never actually thought you could do this, thought once you mess up with pastels thats it so this is good to know :)

Jo Castillo said...

Jennifer, pastels are very forgiving. Washing off depends on the surface. Can't wash regular paper of course. :)

Regina Burchett said...

Great post Jo, and very helpful to pastel artists! There are so many great aspects to painting with pastels and this is one of them. We don't waste our surfaces!

I've done this a few times and it's a relief to get rid of a painting that just won't ever be what you want it to be, but you still retain remnants of it as an underpainting.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi, Regina! This is part of the reason I like pastels. It gives you some freedom to try things when you can wipe it off and go again. I like what you said about remnants.......

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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