Guest blog post by Design Team member Terri Ayers
Comments in italics by Deb
Pan Pastel projects
PanPastel Colors are professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a unique pan format (cake-like). To me they are like applying eyeshadow to your desired canvas. PanPastels are easy-to-use, blendable, paintable, quick-to-use, erasable, versatile (works well with other media), easy to control, low dust, portable, stackable, and very addictive! They come in 80 colors plus a handful of pearlescent and metallic colors, as well as a blender and some mixatives.
PanPastel Colors recommended uses are:
- Block-in color – quickly & cleanly for underpaintings, washes & toning paper
- Layering – build up thin layers & glazes of color multiple times without overfilling the paper’s “tooth”
- Apply controlled marks – from intense strokes to delicate marks, for painterly effects
- Mixed Media – combine with other artist’s media & experiment with a variety of surfaces for new creative effects
I experimented with the 5 shade set that also contains few of their Sofft tools for application and blending. I can never stop at just a few and have added more colors to my collection as well as more tools and applicators.
There are numerous videos on the Internet about how to use PanPastels and many that amaze me at what can be accomplished with this fairly new art medium. There are many fine artists that use them for portrait and landscape artwork. I focused on the mixed media arena as that is one of the many areas where I like to play.
Here are 3 techniques that I experimented with.
Versamark background wash
First I embossed a piece of cardstock with a texture folder (Tim Holtz), then I applied Versamark to the entire front surface. Then I applied 3 different colors of PanPastel as a background wash. I sprayed a fixative over the top (outdoors for good ventilation) to seal the work.
Texture paste and stencil
I used a stencil (Wendy Vecchi) on cardstock to apply PanPastel then kept the stencil in place and applied Ranger Transparent Texture Paste over the top of the PanPastel. (Stencils are a great way to use PanPastels.) Just to add a little flair, I spritzed some water and added a sprinkle of ColorBursts powder. The paste did not resist the Colorburst, so be careful where you sprinkle! The nice part of the texture paste is that it will hold the PanPastel color firm and there is no need to use a spray fixative.
Stencil and modeling paste
I did a light background wash on card stock and then applied modeling paste through a poppy stencil. After allowing the paste to dry, I painted on the PanPastel to the top of the paste and inside the image and then sprayed with a fixative. After drying, I then applied more color for shading and enhancement and followed with a final fixative spray.
I am working on a mixed media piece on a canvas board using the PanPastels, stencils, tissue, embossing paste, stamping and maybe a few other art tools. This project will be offered in one of our Exploring Mixed Media classes that take place on the first Wednesday of the month.
The PanPastels can be used over canvas, paper, cardstock, gesso, matte gel medium, and with encaustics. It can be used to distress, add shadows, stamped with and incorporated into other forms of mixed media. It can be used in coloring books and is great for card-making and scrapbooking.
I really enjoyed this product and now have added more colors to my stash. The Sofft tools are very helpful and durable and hold up better than cosmetic sponges (even though they look like they are cosmetic tools). Mistakes are easy to remove with an eraser. If multiple layers are used, or the surface will be touched; it is recommended to use a Spray Workable Fixative. I think it would be really awesome if they came out with a mini pack like an eye shadow case so that I could have all of the colors at once and take it on my travels! (That would be awesome to have!)
Thanks for another great demo Terri. I’ve always loved how easy the PanPastels are to work with. Even though they are a chalk product, they don’t have that gritty feel that most chalks do. They are super soft and a little bit goes a long way. They blend nicely and you can create depth with layers. You will love them!
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
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