Exploring Techniques,and Materials for Soft Pastels

Who hasn’t seen an especially appealing, or unique work of art and thought “I want to do that!”?  I love to study the works of masters, both past and contemporary to learn new to me techniques and perhaps try those techniques on different surfaces or with different tools and materials.

After reading about the use of under painting for soft pastels I decided to give it a try. I sprayed a bit of adhesive on the back of a piece of Canson Mi- Teintes paper and stuck it on gator board.  I drew a light sketch on the paper and then got out my water colors and went to work. I just blocked in color, not trying to do a finished painting by any means. With my under painting dry I was ready to go to work with my soft pastels.  I did get some waves to my paper, but when I was finished I took it off the gator board and taped it back to the board painted side down. Then I carefully applied water to the back making sure my tape held securely. When it was completely dry I weighted it down with some heavy books for a few minutes just as an extra measure.  Viola! A flat painting ready to frame.

Heading For the Barn – Leah Wiedemer

Next I decided to try the same technique with different paper. I chose a piece of Uart Sanded paper and again used the spray adhesive on the back. This paper definitely lent itself better to the water color under painting. I experienced none of the buckling as the previous attempt and I loved the effect. This is a landscape just before the fog lifted near Barga, Italy.

Vineyard Path by Leah Wiedemer

For my final experiment I tired a piece of beautiful handmade paper from India. I’m a sucker for deckle edges so I was pretty excited about this paper. I prepped the paper the same as in the first two paintings. Sadly the paper didn’t hold up well to the water color under painting. It seemed to want to disintegrate under my brush. In my head I heard “Abort! Abort!”. So I did. This is the finished painting anyway. It is the scene out of my window where I stayed in Barga, Italy at Casa Cordati.

View From the Big Room by Leah Wiedemer

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