Tuesday, March 16, 2010

differences in paper, differences in style, diffferences in thought

8x8 pastel on BFK
Changing my paper from a sanded surface(wallis, Uart)  to a smooth surface (rives BFK) has changed my work style in many ways. It's funny because it changed my style and then it changed my thinking. First, I no longer do a watercolor underpainting, instead I underpaint with bands of rubbed in color (pastel) which I believe has helped my color harmony. The second change is harder to explain and I think that has happened because now I work in glazes of oil as well (on separate paintings). It relates to how I view layers of warm and cool. The methods I am employing in oil are part of my repertoire in pastel.
One more good thing about smooth papers is that I have fingers and fingernails without abrasions or scraped off nails. And that feels really good.
Oh, by the way Daniel Smith Artist Materials has a great selection of papers, of which I ordered a plethora last night. They have 20% off till tomorrow with the promotional code WR0310CT. Enjoy!
Bottom line, change is good. Shake up your methods a little, take chances and have a little fun.


Double "D" said...

i like it a lot.

the color is beautiful and serene.
i can see what you mean by layering.

however, i will miss the watercolor under paintings.
they were always exciting and so well done.
hope the sun is shining on you today.

SamArtDog said...

I'd been experimenting with pastel w/out washes, but it gave me such raggedy hands I went and got a manicure. Ack! I am SO not the manicure type (that damn cast reduced me to trying all kinds of weird crap). The manicure didn't last a day, so now I'm trying to get used to gloves, a la Astrid. But I don't like them at all, so I'll cut my nails short, use a rag, sacrifice my cuticles for art and get manicures when I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Richard McKinley posted yesterday about rubbing in pastels as underpainting, suggesting the use of a rag or paper towels. He also talked about washing over with water, alcohol, thinner or turp. Have you tried any of these as washes?

SamArtDog said...

To be clear (for a change)--experimenting with pastels as underpainting.

Caroline said...

Lovely colours and it is hard to imagine that you are using smooth paper, surely pastels need something to adhere to. I guess the quality of the paper is very good so that will make a difference. Are you sealing every layer with a spray and then working onto the dried area?

loriann said...

Hi PB,

No need to worry I have not left watercolor underpaintings forever. Who knows how what I am doing now will influence them later!:-D
Thanks you about my color.
And YES the sun is shining like crazy today and it will be for days...70 degrees. Yipee!

Hi Sam,

I know all about the challenges of which you speak. I will write about it in tomorrow's post so that I can share the info with all. K?

Gloves are a beast, I can't use them unless my fingers are torn up and open wounds are present.

Tomorrow I will tell all.The manicure must have felt good. For pastelists they last only hours.

I am lucky to have had Richard as my mentor for many years. He is awesome!!

Hi Caroline,

Rives BFK is really great. I decided to try it when I read something written by Wolf Kahn. He was waxing about sanded papers and how they waste pastel, leave it all on the floor. That's when I decided if he could do it, I too could find a way. I don't know what kind of paper he uses though.
I probably spray 2 times a painting (average). There are some pastel paintings that take a year to create- then I may spray 25 times. A one shot plein air might be sprayed once or twice or not at all. The trick is never on top. That way all the little sided crystals are intact and glowing.
I use Spectra-Fix (non toxic) and some times I don't even wait till it dries. I did it first when I was impatient and then I liked the effect. I guess you never know!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

How right you are! A change of surface makes all the difference. You just have to be willing to paint some awkward paintings while you get used to it. I'm playing with Bristol paper these days, but will get ahold of some BFK soon and give it a go. My standby/favorite is Kitty Wallis paper, but I have to say that my hands are happier with the smoother surfaces. Thanks for sharing the Daniel Smith discount, too! Keep up the great posts! And thanks!

Jala Pfaff said...

I love the way you did the little pond.

New to blending myself, but I'm finding the PastelMat to be a dream for that. (Painless, too.)

Caroline said...

Have you tried hair spray as a fixative? an artist was telling me she used hair spray as it was so cheap to buy and her funds were low. Thank you for telling us about your pastel painting process it really is interesting. I have seen an artist use smooth paper for pastels as an experiment when they ran out of paper! and it was very successful. Thanks again for letting us know about the suppliers of the paper.
I am learning so much from your blog, thank you.

loriann said...

Hi Katherine,
Awkward and clumsy moments are part of the deal when switching surfaces.The benefits are great though, don't you think? Each move we make opens up our minds to new possibilities and breaks down some "have-tos." Kitty Wallis was my favorite long ago. Then for a while I kept getting batches of "orange peel-like" wallis paper that actually repelled pastel and watercolor. An expensive mess. That's when I changed to Uart. I do have a couple of beautiful very old (reliable) white wallis mounted papers in my storage. I hope one day it becomes reliable again. How has your luck been?

Hi Jala,
What are you using to blend your PastelMat? Your paintings are gorgeous.

Hi Caroline,
Yes, I have tried hairspray as a last resort. It's smelly and darkens the pastel. The wonderful Spectra Fix is naturally made and doesn't darken the pastel. Non toxic. Check it out: http://www.spectrafix.com/
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Brian McGurgan said...

Hi Loriann, I'm enjoying your posts on using smoother paper and rubbed pastel as an underpainting. As you know, I'm a big fan of traditional, non-sanded papers and many of the ones I use are fairly smooth. Recognizing that I can't apply quite as many layers of pastel as I might on a sanded surface, I try to work with a light touch. Choosing colors for a rubbed pastel underpainting based on value, temperature, and hue becomes more important since with the light application of pastel over it, the underpainting will really influence the final appearance of the work. I typically use chamois, paper towel, or a stump for rubbing the underpainting. I've become more concerned lately about the dust this creates, though, and have been doing a little less rubbing while relying more heavily on toned papers.

This is a lovely painting with a wonderful sense of mood and rich color.

Karen said...

Really insightful how you talk about how a change in materials can change the way you think! Subtle, and so true. It changes one's entire approach and handling.

Thanks for the intro to Tryon...really beautiful!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi again, Loriann.

I have only been painting for the last five years or so, and I have NEVER had a problem with Kitty Wallis paper. The only time I experienced a textured surface was when I used Dakota boards (matboard with Kitty Wallis seconds paper mounted) and that had some orange peel look to it.

Experimentation is key! The awkwardness of trying something different keeps me from getting complacent (which would make things boring). K.

loriann said...

Hi Brian, I never thought about using chamois. Your paintings are really beautiful. Your light touch and temperature sensitivity is delicate like a pristine lake, untouched by man. And you are the paper expert!

Hi Karen! Always good to hear from you. Materials can be a door to growth. Don't you think?

loriann said...

Hi Katherine, I am delighted to hear that you haven't had a problem. It gives me hope that maybe it has been worked out. You are right complacency is something we would never want. happy painting!

Jala Pfaff said...

Fingers! Only bare fingers.

loriann said...

Hi Jala, Just fingers, eh? I guess I will give pastel mat another try.