Washing off your Pastel

I thought I’d share the working process of my recent textured pastel.

After creating the first textured pastel in class, I wanted to try it at home. I used a Gessobord instead of cutting a foam/gator board to a specific size then applying gesso to it. I created an underpainting of the scene then I dripped acrylic paint to the areas where I wanted more texture to appear. One classmate worked on her textured pastel at home as she wasn’t in class for the application process of the acrylic paint. She specifically used different colors for drippings depending on their location in the image. Many of us liked that idea and I thought I would try it on this one. When the acrylic paint was dried, I applied the acrylic ground so the pastels could adhere to the toothy surface.

The underpainting, acrylic drippings, and acrylic ground applied to the surface.

I started on the background and slowly moved to the middle ground. After a while, I started working on all parts of the pastel but soon realized I had a problem. The colors started becoming muddy looking especially in the trees. At this point I thought I’d try what my teacher once suggested—if it’s not working, wash off the pastels and start again.

The colors were looks muddy and I didn’t think I could get new colors adhere to the surface.

I had done it once before and thought I’d try it again. I washed off the textured gessobord and let it dry.

Washing off the pastels from my textured Gessobord.

Looking at the artwork, I decided more texture was needed. Once I washed off as much of the pastels I could, I let it dry then dripped more acrylic paint in some areas.

I started applying the pastels again after a few days break. This time it was working and I really liked how the trees were looking.

Once the trees were set, I worked on the remaining sections. The middle was coming along nicely but I wasn’t happy with the stream and reeds in the foreground. My teacher had recently sent an email about her new blog entry. She discussed how she washed off a section of a pastel that wasn’t working the way she had hoped.

Check out her blog entry at https://jeannerosiersmith.com/blog/122388/metamorphosis

It was worth clearing off that section as in my opinion it just didn’t look great. I washed off the stream and reeds and started again.

I am happy how this textured pastel progressed. Creekside Stroll is on display as part of the Journey through Open Spaces exhibit.

Final version.

 

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