Montag, 9. März 2015

Drawing Pastel

Image design with pastel pigments

The visual effect of pastel drawing is similar to the effect of oil painting. But while
you can paint, building the image slowly with oil paints, it is advantageous in pastel drawing to have the image target firmly in mind and rather alla prima to draw.

The pastel painting “Stormy Sea” featured in my blog and my PGE Gallery was drawn alla prima. It's amazing how easily the soft pastels give the image design color and expression. I have tinted the acrylic box with a mixture of pastel primer and some acrylic paint.

Stormy See

History of paintings 

Cave art is the oldest evidence for the use of pigments and binders. It originated in the Stone Age and the once of the Ice Age, a climatic period which large covered parts of Europe with glaciers. The petroglyphs are mostly of animals and humans, with horses and bison as the main contributors. Character and indefinite lines complement the diversity of the rock art, which is also referred to as "the art of hunting culture". Lines and dots were drawn with colored fingertip or with brushes made from animal hair.
In the spraying technique, the pigment is rubbed to a fine powder which has been sprayed on to the wall with the mouth or with the aid of a small tube. Holding the artist his hand in front of the wall and sprayed with color, this resulted in the template technique.
Fifty-five hand prints have been found in the Cosquer cave, giving a moving documentation of human life in the Paleolithic era. They were drawn as negative (stencils) and as positive (hands coated with pigment and then applied to the rock) images.

These are all situated in the cave, it once constituted a 14-meter deep, dark abyss that must have terrified the first visitors to the cave 27,000 years ago.  The Cosquer Cave contains a large number of drawings depicting various land animals.  The Cosquer Cave contains a large number of drawings depicting various land animals. The identification of each of these Paleolithic drawings required a painstaking attention to detail and meticulous reading.

The identification of each of these Paleolithic drawings required a painstaking attention to detail and meticulous reading. This was due to their deterioration over time and to natural corrosion. They had sometimes even been disfigured right after their execution. Marching along the humid walls are horses, bison, aurochs, ibex and chamois, various members of the cervidae family, a feline, and some as yet unidentified animals.  A total of 142 animals.

In the Grote Chauvet wiping technique was also applied. Bas-reliefs were created by the chiseling of the surrounding area. The true mastery of the cave artists was that they included the three-dimensional effect of cracks and projections of the bedrock in the image.

When the old hunting culture of the Stone Age went over into the time of farmers and ranchers went, the tradition of cave paintings gradually came to an end.  The caves and tents were replaced by fixed habitations whose walls were rendered and painted with red ocher.

In the houses of the Bronze Age the archaeological site of Akrotiri on the Greek island of Thera 3500 years old frescoes were found displaying  bright yellow and red colors, as if they had just been painted.
The presence of pastel has been identified in works of art from about 1500 A.D. The practice of drawing became enormously popular in the 15th century. Leonardo, the most prominent proponent of this art form, is credited with the first known use of pastel in his portrait of Isabella D’Este (1499), a preparatory drawing in black and red chalk with traces of yellow pastel in the sitter’s hair and necklace. A century later it was recorded that Leonardo practiced “a pastello.”
Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera (1664–1754) transformed pastel painting into an autonomous independent art form. She created compelling portraits of the aristocracy, whose penchant for powdered accoutrement and make-up suited the dry friable nature of the medium. Quentin Maurice de la Tour and other pastel artist’s perpetuated a highly blended technique in portraiture. However, Chardin, as well as artists later in the 18th and 19th centuries, used visible open strokes. Delacroix, Renoir, Degas, Cassatt, Whistler, Hassam and Chase were among the many that employed combinations of techniques, broadening the pictorial subject matter in pastel. Today, pastel paintings enjoy the stature of oil and watercolor as a major fine art medium.
Degas discovered in 1870 pastel painting on his own and led them into a three-decade process of creation to completion.
Degas pastels were a model for many later artists. The friendship between Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas is one of the few remaining mysteries of Impressionism. She was a wealthy, independent American suffragist who painted upper-class women tending children and taking in the opera; he was a Frenchman, a decade older, who spied on nudes in brothels and once said that women couldn’t understand style.
Edgar Degas pastel paintings show a virtuoso unique effect of this painting material. The compressed and only weakly bonded pigments of pastels give the image a fine appearance and unparalleled softness, is ideal for portraits.
In the United States of America, pastel painting is widespread. Here I have found a wide range of artists whose work gave me inspiration for my own work.
I mainly work with Schmincke pastels. The round pins consist of the best artist pigments
and a minimum of binders. The proportion of binder is so low that the medium finely grated
pigments just get a stable connection. In a traditional and very expensive process first forms
screw presses the pigment dough into round rods, which are then removed by hand and cuton wire-strung frames to the appropriate length. The still wet rods must dry for about 8 daysin the air until they are then labeled by hand. A machine producing artist pastels is not
possible due to the fine recipes - the precious pins could break. This applies to allmanufacturers pastels. It is of the highest importance to the guaranteed consistency ofquality and softness of all productions of time, the artist can be sure at all times that hiscolor tone is of the same quality. Each artist has their own favorite’s material.
 Because pastels consist almost entirely of pigments, they are of a great intensity. In combination with a mostly toned paper, which necessarily must have a rough surface, thereby adhere the pigments can be up portraits which are so important and delicate soft effects produce outstanding. The softness of a pastel portraits is further increased if you are working on sand or velour paper.

Large pastel sheets invite you to the spontaneous work that does not adhere to detail. The softness of the strokes and lines also lends the experiments rather inexperienced artists a fresh and successful impression. The big picture and the impression of an individual subject in the foreground, not the meticulous preparation of small details. Therefore, this medium can be very liberating. Where necessary, you can still touch up details with the little harder pastels.

The by itself already soft impression of pastel colors can be enhanced by smooth transitions yet. With the wiper adjacent color areas can be blended subtly with a clean rag can be two overlapping colors make a new color. The most toned papers contribute more in the soft impression, since no hard white interferes with the pastel impression.

Unfortunately, the softness of a pastel image is also reflected in a high volatility of the low-adhesion pigments. This extreme sensitivity makes it difficult of course to work with this medium. Therefore, we recommend a careful selection of pastel cartons or carrier pastel drawing.I prefer to work at the easel, as loose pigment dust falls here. In front of the handle according to a new color, it is important to wipe off the finger to a clean cloth, not to contaminate the colors. It also makes sense to work on the picture preferably from top to bottom.

The sensitivity of a pastel image absolutely needs fixing. Unfortunately, most fixatives have the pleasant side effect, affecting the color and soften colors or intensify, so that the fixed pastel pictures always look different from the unfixed state.

In my experience, a two-time weak position is sufficient to bind the pigments. I only use Schmincke Pastels fixative AEROSPRAY. Provided himself with a fixative, the images should be protected at all costs under glass and the window only be cleaned with a damp cloth - can itself by the static attraction of a dry rag solve fixed pigments and adhere to the glass.

For the pastel painting is required papers with rough surface because the pigments are not liable on plain paper. These can be made with pastel primer itself. The storage requires an additional protective paper and a place where the plants can be stored horizontally. A great range of pastels (70 to 100 shades) is essential because the colors are difficult to mix with repeated paint over. After two or three layers of the pigments lose their grip.

Bloming canola

It's easy and fun to use to experiment with pastels to display delicate, blurred tones and density in layers to intense bright colors. In common usage, the term "Pastel" used for bright transparent colors in fashion. In drawing colors can be intense and bold as desired.
A thin layer of paint is applied after the other, thereby gradually intensifying the colors and contrasts are identified. Pigments can be applied linear or planar. Soft and smooth color transitions result from Blur. You can create dark and bright light on dark colors.

To details in a pastel is difficult and requires a lot of patience. The softer the pastels are, the harder it is to apply a precise point. You can sharpen the pastels on sandpaper or simply shatter to get sharp edges.

Showing Detail can be difficult. This does not mean that you should completely renounce details. You must apply only large amounts than for example in pencil drawing. With pastels it is possible to establish any subject, be it figurative or abstract. Pastels can be combined harmoniously with charcoal, ink or watercolor paints.

 Rügen, Baltic Sea

Apart from Schmincke soft pastels I use extremely soft pastels of PanPastel®.
PanPastel colors are high quality and have a soft consistency. The pigment is packed in shallow bowls and will be processed with special sponges. There are over 80 colors.
PanPastel® colors are designed for artists to take, manage and be able to paint, with control than in the otherwise usual drawing the color slightly.  As a result of the softest soft pastels came out, the fine consistency is placed in small bowls.

The artists draw with PanPastel developed sponges and applicators. The pigment consumption is reduced and pigments dust avoided. 

Tips for using PanPastel Colors:

All PanPastel Colors are made using a unique manufacturing process requiring minimal binder and fillers, resulting in rich, ultra soft and super-blendable colors.
Each color is loaded with the finest quality artists’ pigments for the most concentrated colors possible. The colors have excellent lightfastness and are fully erasable. Uniquely, for pastel color, they can be mixed together for a complete painting palette.

Pans contain 0.30floz (9ml) of color -  40% more material than the average pastel stick*, yielding at least 4-5 times more coverage than sticks.

PanPastel Colors offer many advantages:

Super-blendable: the pan format and their ultra-soft formulation means that PanPastel Colors blend beautifully for an infinite palette of colors.
Paintable: for the first time ever artists can apply and mix (dry) pastel color like paint
Instant: no drying or preparation time needed. Simply lift the color using a Sofft Tool to start painting immediately
Easy: no solvents, water or other special mediums are required – use PanPastel colors “dry” for the benefits of wet paint without the hassle.
Erasable: Pan Pastel is a very forgiving medium to use – use any eraser to correct mistakes or remove the color. An eraser can also be used to create highlights and for subtractive drawing techniques.
Versatile: compatible with other artist’s media and almost any art & craft surface (even thin delicate papers as there is no bleed-through or buckling because Pan Pastel is dry color).
Control: using Sofft Tools it is easy to control the color, and to achieve a wide variety of marks and effects.
Very low dust: for a cleaner, more pleasant working environment. Generating less waste.

  1. In order to avoid excessive color removal, slide the soft sponge 1-3 times with a circular motion on the pigment cup. Pulling through the surface of the pigment shell with a soft sponge is removed too much color.
  2. Clean the sponges of the soft blade by wiping side to side on a paper towel - this will prevent the sponges be deducted from the tip of the soft knife.
  3. Careful color absorption and cleaning of soft sponge tools prevents premature damage.
  4. Best cleaning results when washing the sponges are achieved when to the water adding 25-50% alcohol. Do not put wet tools, fluids or other media directly to the PAN Pastel surface.
  5. PAN pastel colors must be protected like any soft pastel illustrations after completion with pastel fixative. PAN pastels are compatible with all other pastel products.
  6. Before closing the palettes, color dust removed from the surface of the pigment cup.

Pastel cardboard and papers

I am using the Pastel Drawing often PastelMat or Sennelier Pastel Card, sometimes Mi-Teintes box. The surface should be rough and colors and offer good adhesion for the pastel pigments. Colored tinted papers have a similar effect as in painting the imprimatur. Especially white and light colors illuminate the colored paper well. On PastelMat under painting can be created wet. You can work on this paper with wet media without problems as long as you wait until it's dry again.

According to information by Schmincke can be dispensed with SANSFIX pastel on cardboard fixative. For me personally, the carton is too rough, I get when using very fast indeed sore fingers and back of hand. At SANSFIX you have to work with gloves.

On SANSFIX and Sennelier Pastel cardboard, the pigments may not be distributed with water also because dissolves the coating of pastel boxes.

PASTELMAT® is a pastel cardboard which quickly became my favorite surfaces. Once I fixed it on my drawing board and stroked some areas with flat edge of a pastel, I was immediately convinced by this paper.

SCHMINCKE as well PANPASTEL pastels and other soft pastels seem to slide into the toothing of the paper. For this reason, the finished picture needs little or no fixation.

Technique of pastel drawing

Although the pastel colors can not be recorded transparent, airy parts of the image such as cloud images are very possible.

Weitsee, Chiemgau

Since the pastels easily blur, blurred image details often look to as a soft filter. Parts of the image with bright pastels candles on dark paper and have a good image effect.

Many beginners often do not know that there are hard and soft pastel colors. As in the oil painting there are also strict rules: soft to hard, thick to thin, light to dark and bright to matt!
Pastel artist working primarily with soft pastels.

Golden October

Pastels halved to get smaller pieces. Hold the pastel pieces with three fingers and rub with the long side surface on the box. This results in edges that can be used especially for trees and buildings. Leaves, and smaller areas I paint with the tip pastel pieces, which again edges are created at the top, which are useful for very thin lines. You can use pastels for grasses and small branches - but draw on the soft pastels only partially. Better little pastel remnants and splinters repeal!

Pastel demonstration

        Pastel bow I glue with tape ribbon on a sheet of plywood (or MDF). Then I Cock the board it into the easel. So can fall loose pigments while drawing down.
Uncommon I use pastel fixative for intermediate fixing. The latest highlights are not fixed.
 Clouds are among the lightest values in the landscape. They are bright and they float in the sky. Remember, though, that the shadow on the bottom of the clouds is one of the lighter values in your drawing.

Dark clouds are never darker than the tones of the earth because they block the light with the shadows that makes the earth seem darker. An excessively dark cloud spoiling the picture! Remember: clouds are composed of water droplets and ice, through which light. Not a cloud could be as dark as the shaded rock of a mountain.

To paint an attractive sky, the pastel coloring the carton offer or finger mixing the sky colors from the zenith to the horizon. Always remember that the sky at the zenith of the darkest and brightest on the horizon. Place your drawing board and flat out with the flat side of the pastel piece that you have selected for the lowest level, thus bringing a thin layer on the entire sheet of paper. You do not need to be thick. If you put too much pastel on paper, you've just wasted.

Now take a large piece of foam and rub so thoroughly in all directions. You can distribute the pigments quietly strong, the bow PASTELMAT® is not damaged. The pigment penetrates into the depressions (tooth) of the paper. You will notice that a dark color is much lighter. Not inhale the dust of pastel pigments. Then rub lightly with a paper towel over the surface to ensure there is very little color to stick to before you go.

Even a small piece of chamois leather served for spreading of larger areas of color, different paper wiper pads and good services here. Erasers in various forms are important for performing corrections. Especially art eraser are well suited for raising of excess paint particles. Eraser works well for fine points.

MARAN, mountain footpad

You use a photograph that you have made yourself if you are working with a template.
With your own photo you have already made an important decision, as they judged the camera on the subject, both the compositional choices as well as the section of the imaged subject. Also you so infringe any copyrights and also avoid warnings. Some lawyers have specialized in warning letters.

While drawing I put the selected pastels on several layers of paper towels in a small plastic cup. The first layer is too dirty, I fold them together and let the pastels (pieces, rolls, parts) roll on the underlying. Of course, I throw the dirty kitchen towel away after that. In this way, you can repeatedly replace the pad and pastels stay clean.

Framing the pastels

Pending Framing means framing with a large intermediate space to the glass pane.The framing of pastel paintings should be as shown below:Between the image carrier at the rear wall of the frame and the Passepartout intermediate space is manufactured. ue to the distance of the pastel image for Passepartout ensures that falling pigments remain in the intermediate space and do not fall on the cutting edge of the passepartout.

Sources and image directory

CLOTTES (Jean), COURTIN (Jean) - La grotte Cosquer. Peintures et gravures de la caverne engloutie, Paris, Seuil, 1994, 189 p.

CLOTTES (Jean), BELTRAN (Antonio), COURTIN (Jean), COSQUER (Henri).- La grotte Cosquer (Cap Morgiou, Marseille). Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française, 1992, T.89, n°4. Paris : SPF, 1992, p.98-127.

CLOTTES (Jean), BELTRAN (Antonio), COURTIN (Jean), COSQUER (Henri). - La Cueva Cosquer (Cabo Morgiou, Marsella, Francia) y su arte rupestre. Gobierno de Aragon, 1992, 39 p.

CLOTTES (Jean), BELTRAN (Antonio), COURTIN (Jean), COSQUER (Henri). - The Cosquer cave on Cape Morgiou, Marseille. Antiquity, vol.66, n° 252, sept.1992, p. 583-598. 

CLOTTES (J.), COURTIN (J.), VALLADAS (H.), CACHIER (H.), MERCIER (N.), ARNOLD (M.). - La grotte Cosquer datée. Bulletin de la Société Préhistorique Française, T.89, n° 8, 1992. Paris : SPF, 1992, p.230-237. 

CLOTTES (J.), COURTIN (J.), COLLINA-GIRARD (J.). - La grotte Cosquer revisitée. - INORA (International Newsletter on Rock Art), n° 15, 1996, pp.1-2 

CLOTTES (J.), COURTIN (J.), COLLINA-GIRARD (J.), ARNOLD (M.), VALLADAS (H.). - News from the Cosquer Cave : climatic studies, recording, sampling, dates. - Antiquity, 71, n° 272, 1997, pp. 321-326 

CLOTTES (J.), COURTIN (J.), COLLINA-GIRARD (J.), VALLADAS (H.). - Nouveautés sur la grotte Cosquer. - L'homme préhistorique et la mer, 120e Congrès CTHS (Comité des travaux scientifiques et historiques), Aix-en-Provence, 1995 (paru en 1998), pp. 69-74 

CLOTTES (J.), COURTIN (J.), VALLADAS (H.). -Nouvelles dates directes pour la grotte Cosquer. - INORA (International Newsletter on Rock Art), n° 15, 1996, pp. 2-4 

COLLINA-GIRARD (J.). - Du Cap Morgiou à la grotte Cosquer (Marseille, France) : itinéraire géologique. - L'homme préhistorique et la mer, 120e Congrès CTHS (Comité des travaux scientifiques et historiques), Aix-en-Provence, 1995 (paru en 1998), pp. 53-67 

Le secret de la grotte Cosquer, by Bernard REBATEL and Gilles SOURICE, Fanny Broadcast / TF1 / Henri Cosquer, 26', 1994.
Trou de mémoire, by Béatrice BERGE, Bernard REBATEL and Gilles SOURICE, Fanny Broadcast / Thalassa, 1995.

Images © Fritz Engelhardt, VG Bildkunst













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