An Hour with Pastels

Tonight I put another layer on my mule (Troy Soldier) and my G3 pony (unnamed).

Weasel the Arabian foal and my Tiger Horse mare are also in progress and nearing completion

Earlier this year when I finally got my hands on Dullcote, I thought my fixative woes were over. Yesterday when I was trying to put a layer on the pony I was unpleasantly surprised to find that the pastels weren’t sticking very well to his barrel. “WTF?” I thought. “I fixed the last layer so he should have plenty of tooth!” Then I realized, duh, that the last layer was on his legs- and I had held him by the barrel in order to spray the fixative. So of course that area wouldn’t have tooth. So now I’ll remember to spray twice- once to fix, and once to add tooth to the area where the next layer will go.

The pony with his third (or so) coat of base color

Soon I’ll be adding darker pastels (purple, perhaps!) to move towards my reference picture

Random Pastel Tip: when you’ve completed a layer of pastels, check over your horse to make sure the dust hasn’t fallen and been smooshed onto any areas where it isn’t supposed to be. Often when I am putting on a rich layer of color, the dust will fall and get trapped between my glove and the horse, so the pressure of my hand applies it to the horse.

The chestnut dust has fallen onto the light areas on the legs- you can see a particularly dark smoosh mark on the inside of his knee.

The smoosh marks do not match my reference picture

This is where a good moldable art eraser comes in handy. They are pretty cheap at art stores and are a good addition to your pastelling tool box. Do NOT use one that has been used to erase pencil marks, lest you get residual graphite on your horse.

Another good tool for getting rid of (less persistant) errant pastel dust is a make-up brush.

Handy dandy

I acquired mine by buying an unused makeup kit at a garage sale for a pittance and then chucking the makeup. Make sure you get an unused brush and then keep it nice and clean so dust does not move from model to model. These are especially nice for getting excess dust out of pesky spots like in ears and eyes and other sculpted details. The brush is nice and soft, so it only removes the surface dust and doesn’t take off the applied color.

2 responses to “An Hour with Pastels

  1. Oooh, I LOVE the reference pony! ^^
    I have so many issues with spray sealers – I envariably end up either overdoing it so the model ends up super glossy and lacks definition or I don’t do enough and I get random patches of matte. :/

  2. I totally know what you mean! But Dullcote does seem to be the best option. What do you use?

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