How to Fill Pastel Paper so that the Texture does not show through

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Jaqueline has sent me her second pastel painting of the Goldfinch project and has queried her approach to the background; this gives me the opportunity to explain where she has gone wrong and how to put it right. Jaqueline writes:

“The background for the finch I have had trouble in filling the tooth of the paper. Is this how it is supposed to appear.”

How to fill a background of a painting so that the texture does not show through2

The answer is no the texture is standing out too much distracting from the visual effect. I have used the same Ingres pastel paper with the tooth running in the same direction on my original painting.

What is needed is a strong base colour well rubbed into the pastel paper filling the tooth. Using a light touch with strong colours will result in the effect Jaqueline has got in her painting. With a strong base colour the remaining colours are again well rubbed into the lighter base tones, with a little practice this is easily achieved.

So how can Jacqueline get out of trouble with her painting? All she has to do is reapply a light base colour.

I would use 103 (Ivory in the Faber-Castell Range) and this is then rubbed into the existing colour with a finger.

After that the stronger colours can be added as desired again rubbing these in with a finger. These colours must be rubbed right up to the edges of the subject, see the black circles where this has not happened; it is difficult to do this with your finger so a colour shaper would be the tool to use.

I have been asked if I would find it easier to work with a paper that has no tooth, my answer is definitely not as the tooth of the paper helps give all our pastel pencil work a special magic, ok it needs a little more work but it’s well worth it.

By | 2018-03-15T15:13:13+00:00 February 23rd, 2016|Animal Tips, Tips & Techniques|0 Comments