Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying Pan Pastels

To tell you the truth, I've never been tempted to buy Pan Pastels.  Part of what I like about soft pastels is a tactile thing - being able to hold them and blend with my hand, painting with nothing between me and the paint.  I didn't think I would like Pan Pastels (if you don't know what Pan Pastels are, click here to find out).  However, since I recently received them for free (my award for the Pastels USA show) I took the opportunity to experiment with them.

I started with a sheet of Pastelmat paper.  This support seems perfect for the Pans.  There were lots of tools included, so I pulled out a large oval sponge and spread green all over the paper.  It was awesome!  It took just a few minutes and didn't require the blending that my other pastels would have needed.  Using the other tools took a bit of getting used to, and was a bit awkward for me.  Sometimes I liked the results, sometimes not.  Of course, I had to supplement colors from my existing pastel stock.  I found I could use the tools with softer pastels (like Terry Ludwigs) in the same manner as the Pans, but it didn't work with my Mount Visions.  However, the tools blended the Mount Visions just fine on the paper.

Turns out, I liked the Pans much more than I thought I would.  I particularly liked being able to cover a large area so quickly and easily.  I wouldn't want to use them exclusively, but I think they are a nice addition to my existing stock of pastels.



"Retired"
19.5" x 27.5"
Soft Pastel on Pastelmat

19 comments:

Jo Castillo said...

This is a great painting, composition and all. You make me want to try the pans. :)

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Jo! :)

Roby Baer said...

Kari...I love this, you are amazing!! You can do it all, thats what I love about your work! You are one talented girl!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Roby, that's so sweet of you to say! I'm glad you like it. :)

Caroline Bray Art said...

This is brilliant! The title, composition and execution...all wonderful! Pan Pastels look interesting...thanks for the info! I might try them sometime.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Caroline! My son gave me the title. He came in while I was painting it and said, "He's retired, isn't he." I thought that was perfect.

Arti said...

The title says it all!Brilliant execution.didn't know about pan pastels.You did a great job with the detail.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Arti!

Amanda Makepeace said...

Thanks for sharing your experience! You're in the EBSQ Friday Five.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Amanda! :)

hmuxo said...

I love this painting! I have some pan pastels and never opened it! I'm not much for change so it scared me a bit but now I'm tempted to try..it would probably be perfect in a landscape where you need to cover a larger area. Again, beautifully done!

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Hilda! That is so funny - get those Pans out and experiment! I don't really paint landscapes, but I imagine they'd be perfect, particularly for an underpainting. I only had one green, so I used it as an underpainting and used other brands on top of it. I think they would be great for large areas of background as well. Anyway, give them a try. I'll be interested to see what you do with them.

Art with Liz said...

I so admire pastel artists Kari and this is an amazing painting! You are so lucky to have access to all these wonderful mediums (media?). Pan pastels indeed! we have to oder a lot of those lovely pastels from overseas - our art population just does not support a huge variety of painting paraphernalia!

RJ Noel said...

It's a beautiful piece of work...it reminds me very much of my father who passed just 3 weeks ago. I have just a small set of regular pastels that I have worked with. I've been looking into oil pastels but may try the pan pastels instead. Thanks so much.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Liz! That would certainly put a damper on art supply buying (one of my favorite pastimes!).

Thanks, RJ! Sorry to hear about your father. :( Personally, I hate oil pastels. I can't seem to get the control I want with them. I think soft pastels are much easier, but then that's just my opinion. ;) The Pans are pretty fun to play with.

Ravi said...

Hi Kari,
Many times I wonder if your paintings are actually photos and if you are actually deceiving us (sorry, just kidding!!).

On a serious note, I am just dumb struck seeing almost all of your paitings. They are truly out of the world! I am sure you are a gifted artist and thanks so much for sharing your creations with the us.

Though I had linked your blog from my blogsite a while ago, this is the first time I am commenting here.

Kari Tirrell said...

What a nice comment, Ravi, thank you! I'm glad you like my work and I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and comment. Thanks. :)

Terri Buchholz said...

Kari, As always, your paintings are amazing. Congratulations again on your accomplishment and thank you for adding the clip on PanPastel. I had never heard of them but after watching the demonstration, I'm kind of curious and want to play with them. It will be interesting to know if you continue to use them.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Terri!