Saturday, February 25, 2017

Returning to an Old Love

On of the first painting love affairs I had was to use the soft pastels for plein air painting.  I was so fortunate to have painted with a great group of artists in Coastal North Carolina both in studio and plein air.  Our main medium at that time was soft pastels which were easily portable and great for creating plein air scenes without delay so it was easy to capture the light before there were changes.

Plein Air Painting in February
After moving away, I found that there were fewer artists in my new area that painted with pastels, and favored the use of oils and acrylics over pastels especially for plein air painting. Unfortunately I also found that
sometimes the medium was misunderstood by artists, framers and the general public.  Too many people looked at the almost pure pigment and disgraced it by calling it chalk!

Soft pastels can render unique effects that can not be achieved by other mediums although most pastel artists may determine that oil comes the closest to obtaining that presentation.

Pastels provide immediate gratification with color and paint application.
There is a down side to the soft pastel use...primarily in storage to prevent  damage to the painting and special considerations for framing which is under glass and with off sets to preserve the art.

Easy transport of paints for plein air.

I have also found that I can adapt my pastel painting from the plein air setting use as an "underpainting" if I decide I do not want to frame under glass. While this turn the painting into a mixed media rather than a pure pastel, it gives me options on what works best for a particular painting.

In later blogs I will share information I received when I attended
multiple workshops and IAPS Convention about the pastel painting and framing .

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