Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Journey to Using Pastelbord With Colored Pencils

Jessica  -  8"x 10"

It occurred to me recently that I don't think I have ever explained why I love Pastelbord and why it is my favorite surface. SO I thought  I'd take the time to talk about it now and show ya'll the paintings I've done on Pastelbord.

It all started when I lived in Shiloh, North Carolina out by the outer banks. It is very hot and humid out there and we did not have air conditioning. Yes, I did say NO AC! It was my husband's house of 30 or so years and we moved into it our second year of marriage, after my son graduated high school. I initially worked on paper, mostly Colourfix paper by Art Spectrum (which, by the way, is STILL a favorite of mine!). In the winter it wasn't so bad working on paper, but once winter was over, I discovered I couldn't do it. Heat and humidity do terrible things to paper, and I certainly couldn't sell any of the artwork done on paper in that humidity. I had to come up with a new plan.

I did some work on wood. One was a squirrel that by brother claimed right after I finished it and he still has it displayed in his living room. I don't have any pictures of it, but maybe I can go by his house and take a quick photo to show you.Working on wood takes a certain technique, and while I like the look of it, it wasn't how I wanted to do most of my work. So I searched for more options.

Pinky & Rosie  -  6" x 12"

Illustration board wouldn't work because ultimately it is still paper and thus would still get ruined. I tried canvas board and although one painting I did on that surface sold quickly, it was not the surface I wanted to do the bulk of my work on.

Equine Bling - 8"x10"
THEN, I found Pastelbord! I don't remember how I came up with the idea, but I had bought a 5" x 7" board to try my pastels on and since I like to use pastel surfaces for my pencils, I decided to give it a try. I immediately fell in love with it.  I still had to experiment to come up with a technique for this new surface, and find it I did.

I was looking for a way to blend my layers of pigment that would give me that smooth painted look I loved, and one day I just grabbed a bristle stencil brush and started brushing my pencil pigment. It worked perfectly! From then on, my technique was to lay down several layers of pigment (minimum of four) then blend with a bristle brush until all the colors blended together. Then I'd lay down more pigment, then blend, etc., until I got the look I wanted for that painting. It's really much like
Golden Retriever - 5"x7"
the way I work on Art Spectrum's Colourfix paper. When I'd finish a painting I would spray it with several layers of varnish and it truly looked just like it was done in acrylics or oils. Everyone who ever saw these paintings were shocked to find out they were done in colored pencils, and Prismacolors are the perfect buttery smooth, wax based, pigment rich colored pencils to use on it too!

Now I had found a surface that was literally impermeable to heat and humidity! I could work on it year round if I wanted to and did not have to worry about it getting ruined. When I needed to stock up on pastelbords, I usually did so in November when Jerry's Artarama had their yearly trade show in Raleigh, NC. I would call Ampersand and tell them what sizes and colors of pastelbord I wanted to purchase at the show and they would pack them up and bring them to the show for me. I did this because I liked to get the off sizes that many stores, Jerry's included, did not typically carry. Sizes like 6" x 12" and 14" x 18". Ampersand is a great company by the way! Texas based, fantastic products, and super customer service! I highly recommend them.

Study In White  - 5" x 7"

So, that is my story of how I came to use Pastelbord for my colored pencils  artwork and how it came to be my favorite surface to work on. If you have any questions I would be most happy to answer them.

Until next time, Happy Arting!! 



Elegance  -  8" x 10"

NOTE: All paintings seen on this article were done on Pastelbord.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there! This post couldn't be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.

    Thanks for sharing!