Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pastel painting is enjoyable!

Landscape, pastel.
Status: Sold

I'm gradually discovering the magic of pastel painting. I've had a large box of oil pastels from years. Occasionally, I had tried using it, but not for long. Then one day I bought a book of pastel papers by Fabriano. And the wheel started spinning.

From vague sketches, I have graduated to detailed drawings, and then to paintings.

The most arresting feature, apart from the high saturation of the color of pastels, is the texture that goes with the application of pastels. Is it only me who is so hung up on texture? The whole premise of pastels is texture of the ground. No texture, no pastels. It is the ground that holds the loose particles of the color, and then a binding agent is applied when the work is completed.

The fascinating feature is also the different qualities of oil pastels as compared to soft pastels. Using soft pastel is like applying butter to paper. It is also like skating on smooth ice, isn't it? The painting gets done fast, and one needs to distrbute the colors and then fix it.

Usage of oil pastels requires a little bit more of pressure from the fingers than in soft pastels. But the effect is so amazing. And if I use smaller size paper, I finish quickly and get a new painting in a few hours. How about that. I can finish 2 pictures in a day. Isn't that great? There is such a sense of accomplishment when I am able to do that.

One of the important aspects of a pastel painting is to store, display or preserve it in the correct way. That means, it should be fixed. Fixing the colors is good for keeping the work appear the same as it was in the beginning. After the fixative has dried, the next step should be to keep it framed. It is the best way to enjoy a piece of art.

After all, isn't a thing of beauty a joy forever? And, when the thing of beauty can be seen on the wall, what more does one want to make a day beautiful and happy?

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