Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Material Challenges

Here is another page spread of color/collage study in my sketchbook. I read somewhere (wish I could remember where) about using gesso and/or matte medium over pastels. I've had a great big set of Rembrandt soft pastels for the longest time, and I just hate them! All that dust goes flying, it rubs off the paper. They look so inviting - all that rich color - but I just can't seem to do anything decent with soft pastels. Using matte medium over them eliminates that whole dust thing, and you can smoosh them around like paint or leave the characteristic drawing marks. Like the pages from the last post, these are just playing around with materials and color. If anyone has more ideas about how to use pastel for a non-pastel person, please let me know!

Just for fun, here is another page:

Pastels with matte medium, gesso, marks with a knitting needle, and then some of those "water soluble oil pastels" called "Portfolios". Everybody raves about these Portfolios, but I can't seem to do squat with them. They rub off of an acrylic surface, the color is not opaque... So in my playing-around-in-the-sketchbook mode I tried them once more. I used them over a gesso texture along with the soft pastels. I'm still not sold on them, but may try them again. Please send me your suggestions as to what to do with these! I need to get out of my acrylic box now and then. Thanks.


  1. Now, look at this! You are making me drool with the smudges and the line and the little peeks of color. I'm going to get out my portfolios RIGHT NOW.

  2. I love what you did there Jane. Not a surprise, I always do. When I use my portfolios.. it's usually on paper first and then over each other, but I've never used them over paint or gel medium. I think it needs some "tooth" to grab on to.

  3. One more thing - did you read the reviews on Dick Blick about the Rembrandt? Click on your link and click the reviews tab. Good and Bad for sure.

  4. How strange that you are not at all happy with your materials and still, I am oh so inspired by your pages! I need to start a colour study notebook for sure after seeing these pages! I've written about the water soluble crayons on my blog but I'm not sure it will help you? Anyway, thanks for sharing these, I love them!


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