Saturday, May 12, 2012

PanPastel - A Pastel Powder

In late 2007, I came across PanPastel as a newly marketed material on the web.  The "pan" of the product is a 2.375" plastic "Petri" type dish with a cover.  It is filled with a compressed powdered pastel pigment without the binders required to make a pastel stick.
This image reminds me of my mother's rouge compact from the 1945 era.  Her face powder was also packaged like this.  Cosmetic companies today use a blend of silicone compounds as a medium for pressed powders.  There is no published information from PanPastel about their formulation of a pressing compound, not that you want to go through the problems of making your own.  

Autumn in the town park woods.  PanPastels with detail in pastel pencil.

In experimenting with PanPastels, a small scraping of the pan powder into a small mixing container, when stirred with with a small amount of denatured alcohol, will result in a smooth paste.  Adding drops of alcohol for the right consistency, it can be applied with a brush.  The alcohol evaporates quickly. Probably, the pastel pencils can now be set aside for fine details.

The best and recommended tool for applying the pastel is using the foam tipped Sofft Tools from the same company. Sofft tools are small foam sleeves which slide over plastic knives in four basic shapes.  I like to hold them as a pallet knife.  There are assorted foam blocks for filling in large areas in a jiffy.  Below is a package of the entire line of foam Sofft tools.

There are the 80 colors at this LINK.  If you are a painter and are accustomed to mixing colors you will not need 80 colors.  Like a painter's pallet, you only need your basic mass tones, a few more favorite colors, plus black and white to mix most of the colors that you need. 

When I was testing the product, I got a set of black, white and grays to play with.  I then added basic colors to work with.  I did not like screwing the caps on and off so I converted an old pastel box into a case for the individual colors with no caps.  The seal was the bubble wrap fixed to the top lid.  Later on, I added a few more colors that I just had to have.
From 02/2008.  This was a lot of work to build.

PanPastel now makes plastic trays for either 10 or 20 pans in an easier, lighter and more economical material. Covers are included. (No construction required.)

I also experimented with various types of paper.  Categorically I dislike the sandy textured papers as they chew up the foam tips.  The PanPastels themselves adhere well to smooth paper.  Strathmore Bristol Vellum is a very good choice.  I also like Canson Mi-Teintes on the smoother of the two sides.
Female Athlete. Notice highlights accentuated with an eraser.
Monochrome PanPastel on Bristol,vellum finish.  Fine details are pastel pencil.
Additional samples of my work is on exhibit at the PanPastel Gallery under portraits and landscapes, as well as samples of other artist.

1 comment:

Lene DeMorais said...

Love your work, and I appreciated the review. I just got my 20 shades of PanPastels and can't wait to play with it. I want to try the fall trees, hope it will be as good as yours.