Thursday, 14 August 2014

Making Pastel Sticks

I've been packing for days for my move to Montana.

So I needed a little fun.

While packing I came across the little containers that I pour the dust into that collects at the bottom of my painting.  There were about 9 little tins of various shades of grey.

It was time to turn them into pastel sticks.

All you need is a few tablespoons of pastel dust from your painting process. - the stuff that accumulates at the bottom of your paper
 (or on your shoes if you forgot to put a catcher under it.)
I keep mine in these nifty little containers with see-through lids so I can see what the color is in that tin.

Put the pastel dust in a bowl and stir with a spoon, crushing the solid bits that are not dust yet.
Or you can use a mortar and pestle to grind it up evenly.
Then add about a teaspoon of distilled water and stir.
You want it to be barely wet.

Form it into a ball.  - use gloves for this step.

Then roll it out on a paper towel into a cylinder or chunk.
 Then let it dry.

The resulting sticks are great grayed tones. 

 I can't wait til they're dry to try them out!

                                      The cigar box that holds my dust collection.  

                                 Have you tried this?  How did they turn out for you?

Thursday, 31 July 2014

A Nice Loose Start

 It was a treat recently to paint plein air with my friend Janet Palin out at Connary Cove, one of my favorite places on the island.  Wide meadows,  beaches with great rocks, and nobody there.  

Janet has a lovely loose style of drawing - loose loopy lines exploring her subject.

Here's a page from her sketchbook.

      and her ultra loose block in


      I'm always trying to paint looser so it was great watching her.

            My  almost finished pastel that morning.
              Then we went and ate crab rolls

                and talked for hours.

    Sunday, 20 July 2014

    Last Week's Pastel Workshop

    A glorious stretch of weather last week allowed us to paint outside every day. 
     A few photos form the Starting Stronger Paintings workshop in Stonington, Maine.

                                               Sketching Thumbnails

                                             Lobster rolls and nap for lunch

                                             Painting the yellow house