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Another ACEO in Pastels



ACEO Mossy Oak is from a photo reference a friend named Carolyn gave me, only I can't remember which of two Carolyns she is. So thankee kindly for it! I had fun doing it tonight while poking the WetCanvas "Pastel Talk" section. Prompts and challenges all over that site. It'll help me a lot for artsomofo this year!

This is a good warmup too.

So of course while I'm doing this, I'm actually getting somewhere catching up on things and ruminating on my new website. Since I'm in the stage of choosing a niche, I've been in continuous brainstorm mode for days.

One phrase keeps jumping out at me. WriteBigDrawSmall just about describes everything I do. Everything I do, I can teach. I'm going to run that one past the software to see what happens, because it is a unique niche if it's got any good keywords coming up for it. Lots on novelwriting including speedwriting, lots on drawing/painting/arting in various assorted media real small so you can get it done in a reasonable time, and lots in general about green living for cheap.

That would make it the connecting site I'd imagined at first, the ArtNWritingSite concept. I'll have to see how it looks when I run the software on it tomorrow. There may be some particular seed word or connecting word that just sets off all of these things and lets me turn Write Big Draw Small into a catchphrase of its own.

I didn't do what I expected to do today and get a pencil and draw a chair, but maybe I'll do that after putting in a day analyzing keywords tomorrow. Or soon anyway. At least WetCanvas was actually up and functional!

I also opened my Blick order and checked the cart at least a dozen times, changing what was in it every time. Weighing every item whether it's something I need soon or something that can wait, something I want to fool with right away or something better waited for. I tossed out a half dozen little luxuries I've been meaning to get sometime and squeezed it tight as I could, but succeeded in making room for a set of Pan Pastels.

I have a free sample of Pan Pastels coming in the mail when it eventually gets to me from my subscription to The Pastel Journal, a magazine I do intend to write for eventually. Probably on some variation of the Street Sketching theme. But... they said it would be mailed in the next 60 days. Yawn. It's not likely to be here anytime soon. I am not sure what color it is, but it's probably an earth red from the picture. It might not be though -- it might just be whatever color's overstocked. So I really do not know.

I found a very long thread on them at WetCanvas and started getting more intrigued by the minute. One of the cool things about Pan Pastels is that they are probably the cleanest form of pastels, period. The full range, if you bought all 60 colors, would not take up a lot of space because each color is in its own little plastic stackable pan and they all screw together.

They look so much like women's makeup compacts that the website keeps repeating "Do Not Use This Product As Cosmetics -- Not Formulated For Human Skin." I bet. Yeah. Try using toxic art pigments on your face near your eyes and suffer the heavy metal poisoning -- but there are probably people out there dumb enough to do it because they liked that color and couldn't imagine something in a round plastic case as being in any way harmful.

The individual colors currently come with an introductory offer of some mini tools and sponges tucked into a second clear storage pan that screws onto the color itself. This is good. Because if you are painting with these little sponge applicators, keeping them separate per color group might be a good idea. They also have Sofft painting knives with little foam covers that go over them. I watched the demo video. More than that, I looked at a WIP by a serious pastelist who's got a major website, teaches classes and has a North Light book or two under her belt.

She had bought the full range and had it sitting out on her worktable in her massive studio the size of my room combined with the living room, occupying the space nearest her along with OMG trays of assorted high priced artist grade pastels, your fancy Unisons and so on, plus tray after tray of assorted mixed-brand individual sticks and half sticks organized by color. The space taken up by the Pan Pastels even spread out was pretty small compared to the Pastel Sprawl.

I've always thought it would rock to get the giant 525 color Sennelier set. But those trays are nearly a yard long and almost two feet deep and there are three of them, so there's your banquet table setup in one set. Much with the need for space to use them and a pastelist's need for either a Big Cart like the Jackson Square ones had, or the long tables to hold the range. I would probably fill a pretty big table if I opened all my sets to use them all at the same time, and need a chair on wheels to roll around it or a power chair. Instead, I use one set at a time most of the time.

When they are not all out, the sixty color range would go into half a dozen little stacks with their tools tucked under them. But I don't think I'll actually want the full range, since 40 of the colors are Shades (mixed with black) and Tints (mixed with white). The 20 color Painter's Set has all but one of the actual colors in pure pigment form, and I think that got left out to make room for white or black. It has both black and white. Thus, I could mix my own Shades and Tints and just use them up faster that way, since they do handle like paint more than like regular pastels.

I'll be finding out, because I found a way to shoehorn that 20 color set into my order without cutting into my savings. A lot of little convenience items went back to the wishlist to make it so, but it's going to work.

Oh yeah.

That means it'd be coming pretty durn soon. Blick's distribution center is about two days away from me. They ship, and two days after the email that sends the tracking number, it is there in my house. Which means that I may be able to use these rich new Pan Pastels in Cheetahs Fire Dancing especially in the background, combine them with the pastel pencils I already have and get some painterly effects with those tools.

Plus, I did not have to throw out the Derwent Tinted Charcoals or the essential alkyds for doing the Classic Still Life group. It more means skipping some fancy stuff that would've been convenient and/or pretty, and not also getting a different Colour Shaper tool with ... a sponge applicator on the tip, just like the changeable sponge applicators on the Sofft tools. No Museum Cups thinner and medium cups to clip to the palette, just using the old ones or getting some small jars with lids to hold thinner and medium. That sort of thing went by the wayside.

But one cheap convenience remained! Blick has done something wonderful and sensible. I have two Blick drawing boards, both nice masonite boards with a heavy clip and a big rubber band. I love those. They rock when I do anything 9 x 12" or larger. With the rubber band I can put a large piece on the clip board and even keep it there while it's in progress. But... those rubber bands degrade in a year or two under heavy use, ie if you don't take them off the board. Blick now carries extra rubber bands so you don't have to replace the $10 drawing board to get the 25 cent rubber band. I ordered six of those. I'm hard on them and I really like my drawing boards.

I will need to wait for a coupon to do this order, but I was able to squish it enough that with a coupon, it's doable. I can be that patient. I was expecting to have to be so patient I wouldn't have a shot at it till November anyway, and October is when I'm doing lots of daily art. Besides, they always do a coupon around the start of the month, it's part of the rhythm of Blick. And so I'll be continuing to do more pastels, just see how it goes, and maybe do some more 4 x 6" and larger ones to try to make this set pay for itself fast... and then write an eHow on using it, of course! Or a site article. And a review. They seem to be to the pastelists' world what the Caran d'Ache Luminance are to colored pencils nuts, so the Pure Colors set is the right one to start with. The only color left out is a dull green, Chromium Green -- but it is easier to mix a touch of red in to dull a green than it would be if it was the other way around and Pthalo Green wasn't in the set.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
Proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
New Topical Blog: www.robs-art-supply-reviews.blogspot.com for all the cool art stuff that isn't oil pastels!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 2nd, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)
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Did you hear? Russian agressor attacks USA...
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SHOKED!!
(Anonymous)
Dec. 14th, 2008 08:07 pm (UTC)
I love my Shoes from Sofft, they are the only brand of dress shoes that I will ware all day. This the style I just bought is
Sofft Caitlyn - Black (http://www.shoepeddlers.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77_248_250&products_id=5466)
robertsloan2
Dec. 14th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
Okay, this is confusing because I was referring to Sofft palette knives and pastel tools, which are palette knives covered with a foam sock that help you pick up Pan Pastels and apply them to paper. I had no idea there was a brand of women's shoes sharing the same name, but my post has nothing to do with women's shoes. Sorry, this went way off topic.

Maybe somewhere out there you'll find a blog where a woman who's into shoes is interested, but not from a middle aged man who hates wasting money on clothes when he could get art supplies instead.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance
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