From time to time I am asked what is a “Solid White” in pastel pencils. I reference this when doing Animals or Skies and its when I really want it to be solid with no pastel paper showing through.
The white is either put on as solid, ordinary or light applications. If it is solid then very little colour will be put on top of it perhaps a tint of other colours like grey or pink. If I wanted to put colours into the white with more substance, for instance a shadow with grey, ochre or a bit of pink I would not do the white quite so solid. The pastel pencil colours I then put on to the white would register better. A light application of white is what I usually use in the ears followed by a light application of ivory and then I need much stronger colours like ochre and grey and they register.
When doing a sky, a solid white is applied to cover the ingres sand coloured pastel paper. I rub this in with my finger and if I do not fill that the colour is solid enough, I put a second coat on. This ensures a good base for the blue and grey to produce the effects that I require.
The solid white on the clouds is again an ideal reception for the greys or ivory and sometimes ochre to be applied on top. These applications are light and are blended into the solid white base.
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