Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pastel surfaces demonstration

Pastel painting surfaces are myriad, and it's quite important to select the right one for how you work and what you'd like the final outcome to look like. This precise topic was the subject of my demonstration two night's back for the Foxboro Art Association

The nearly two-hour demo concentrated on four different surfaces and somehow I quickly was able to sketch four (!) paintings to show just how varied these surfaces can be.

Sennelier's Pastel Card is my favorite and so it was my opener. I created this landscape with two hay bales on dry-mounted charcoal colored Pastel Card. I find the paper, with its cork tooth, grabs color vibrantly. This is a work-in-progress, but I stopped at this point because it demonstrates the point.

©2011 Kim Morin Weineck
original pastel, 12x16"
Sennelier Pastel Card
The next surface was Canson Mi-Teintes paper, which has two distinct sides. The 'right' side (with the Canson watermark) offers a zillion small circular 'nubbies' on it which I am constantly feeling the need to overcome. I have a hard time with this paper on the 'right' side.

I created this sketch on this paper, again selecting paper in a charcoal tone for continuity to the above sketch. A member made the observation that this piece looked like it had a netting over the entire surface - the exact 'nubbies' I'm describing! Yes, it does look just like that!

©2011 Kim Morin Weineck
original pastel, 12x16"
Canson Mi-Teintes paper, RIGHT side
If you turn this Canson Mi-Teintes paper over to the 'wrong side, an entirely different effect is achieved. No 'nubbies' are there. It's smoother and, for my way of working, I am not fighting the paper the entire time I'm painting. The pastel pigment sits nicely on the paper, I find. 

©2011 Kim Morin Weineck
original pastel, 12x16"
Canson Mi-Teintes paper, WRONG side

To finish up, I painted this incredibly dull start of a pastel which needs so much work I nearly didn't post it here. For the purposes of the demonstration, though, I'm including it. 

PastelMat by Clairefontaine is a relatively new surface which is so mind-boggling in its ability to accept more and more pastel and yet confounds because it has no tooth or grit to grab the pigment. The paper I had was white, and a lot is still showing through. More work to be done, but those in attendance got to see how one works on the surface. 

©2011 Kim Morin Weineck
original pastel, 12x16"
My goal is to finish up what I can on these and post when they're completed. I hope I can keep on this positive flow of energy since the demonstration this week and get to them soon! Please cut me some slack on these studies. They were done in great haste and aren't refined yet.

People asked me some wonderful, pertinent questions about materials. Keep in mind that this is my opinion. Please experiment and enjoy your own process of discovery! I'm reluctant to use the word 'best' here, but in my opinion, that's what they are!

The plein air set
The best go-to set of pastels for plein-air:
Sennelier's 80 half-stick set for Plein Air

The best paper for plein-air:
Sennelier's Pastel Card pad in either size available

The best fixative to protect your pastel and not have too much dulling of color:
Lascaux fixatif

The pastels I used for the demonstration:
Sennelier (so beautiful with Sennelier Pastel Card), Unison (loved these with the PastelMat surface), Terry Ludwig, Nupastel, and Girault.

The best sources for on-line ordering of pastel supplies:
Dakota Art Pastels
Dick Blick
Jerry's Art A Rama
Terry Ludwig

Please find me online at and follow my blog, should you like.
I'm also at Gallery9 at Custom Art Framing as the Gallery Director. I'd be delighted to see you there.

What a wonderful experience it was to test myself for this demo. The crowd was wonderful with amazingly on-point questions and such encouraging comments.

Thank you to Foxboro Art Association for having me!

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog and thank you for all the info. Lovely paintings! Looking forward to more!