Experiment: Underpainting with Pan Pastels

Hello fellow creatives!  I know it has been a while since my last post, but I am still here. 🙂 

I haven’t had as much time at my easel lately as I have been pursuing another of my creative passions—music!  However, I recently completed a painting in which I experimented using PanPastels as my underpainting.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with PanPastels, they are ultra soft pastels that come in a cake-like form. Containing very little filler or binder, they are blendable, erasable, and produce very little dust, making them an excellent option for people who have respiratory issues or other sensitivities.
(Note: I would still be careful with the application of these pastels if a severe reaction is possible.)

For more information on PanPastels, visit http://www.panpastel.com/

For this experiment, I used a more basic set which has 8 colors plus black and white:

In the image above, you can also see the soft pastel stick palette I chose for this experiment.
I used these on top of the PanPastel underpainting and they played very nicely with each other. 😉
You can also see some of the sponge tools I used to apply the PanPastels to my paper.

Speaking of which, you can use pretty much any kind of paper with PanPastels.
For the underpainting below, I used a piece of Pastelmat, which is very easy on the sponge tools.
In the past I have used sanded papers with PanPastels; however, I do not recommend it as it can quickly destroy the applicators!

Here is the completed underpainting using only the PanPastels colors in the basic set:

I actually quite liked the bold colors I was forced to use since my palette was limited!

And here is the final piece with soft stick pastels applied over the PanPastels:

My Thoughts….

As an artist, I am always pushing myself to try new things.
I think that this experiment was meaningful in that it forced me to learn how to apply pastel in a different way—more like painting with a paintbrush. 

I’ll be honest, I probably would not use these pastels on a regular basis; however, if I had large swaths to cover in a loose way, Pans might be an option I reach for.

I personally don’t like to have any sort of application tool between me and my pastels.  
That’s probably why I haven’t gotten into painting more than I have and why I like the immediacy of pastel sticks over pastel pencils.  But hey, that could change!

So give it a go! If you don’t like the dust that sticks can create, or don’t like getting your fingers dirty, these might be just the ticket!

Till next time,

Stay creative friends!


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