|Pot With Lemon|
Today, Painterly Pastels was about painting with pastel washes. There are four mediums you can use to wet your pastels: Turpenoid, water, rubbing alcohol and acetone. I had rubbing alcohol in my case. I chose to go with it, because I had it. I also thought it would evaporate quicker than Turpenoid, and was a lot less smelly than acetone. Water was out. I had read that water did cause sanded paper to buckle. I figured why mess with that problem, when I had so many others going on learning to understand this new medium? Mineral Spirits I rejected on my own; it has an oily feel to it, which would cause it to totally saturate the pigment.
What you see here, is how this painting walked out of class. It still needs work, but it is a CLASS. This session was meant to teach how pastels behave when wet. I did get the drift of how much fluid to use, to always dip the brush in and auto-wipe off the excess if you want to avoid drips, (there's one down the center of the page),do expect to have to go back in and enhance highlights. One of the difficulties was handling the brush--fitting it to where you wanted to use it. That'll take practice--and a few more brushes. My favorite today was a 1 1/2" house painter's trim brush. You can't get a brush you don't care about cheaper than that.
When I first whetted the painting, 'Oh My God' immediately flew out of my mouth. The stroke turned the pastels blackish! I wondered why I bothered to put all those lovely colors into the background when they just disappeared with one fluid stroke. But then they returned when the stroke dried. They were blended, but noticeable. The alcohol dried quickly--more so than water--more so than Turpenoid--which had to be put outside in the wind for a bit to avoid the odor, some classmates objected to. I didn't notice that the sanded paper had been damaged, as Vianna said it would be. The sanded layer did remain adhered to the backing. --Actually, the rubbing alcohol worked just fine. I think it will work even better, if I lay the paper flat...
But I'm not going to do anything more to this. I want to play with my own still life to work on this technique, but first I need to make a trip to the market. While I have plenty of pots, roundish fruit are definitely lacking in our frig. (I do understand why I see so many lemon and lime paintings online though; those acidic fruits have a long life, very suitable for still lifes--pomegranates too).