Pastel Pencils, Derwent Artbars and Matte Medium demonstration. Mixed media by Grace Mendez
creativity,  tutorials

Pastel Pencils, Artbars and Matte Medium

One of my favorite things to do is try out new artist supplies like theseĀ pastel pencils.

The good news is the colors are vibrant and they easy to use, the bad news is they smudge.

The ability to smudge is great when you want to blend colors. What I don’t want is that when I am done with my image, that it continues to smudge during handling. I suppose it is because I am using it in a way it might not have been meant. I understand that when a pastel drawing is done, it is best to frame it under glass.

Most of my work is done in journals. Pages that are dusty and smudgy are not what I am interested in.

The reason why I wanted to seal each layer is so that I could continue to build colors without disturbing the previous layers.

So I thought I would experiment a little with using Golden’s Matte Medium as a fixative instead of using a spray fixative. While I was at it I also wanted to try the matte medium with Derwent Artbars.

The Derwent Artbars are fun to use. They can be used as crayons and they are also water soluble so you can use them like watercolors.

What I didn’t say on the video:

  • The paper I used didn’t have any gesso or any other medium on it before I started. — I could try that as another experiment!
  • Unfortunately I didn’t take full advantage of the blending capabilities of the pastel pencils when laying them down on the paper.
  • When applying the medium, dab, or the brush and medium can move the pastel pencil or artbar somewhere else.
  • The Sta-Wet palette worked too well and I inadvertently lifted off green from a previous painting session and her cheek turned a color I was not expecting.
  • I sprayed a bit of water on the palette to water down the medium.
  • The matte medium has enough tooth or grippiness to hold the next layer in place without the pigment slipping a lot. If it was too wet it did puddle a bit.

Overall I think it was a successful experiment and kept me from having to use a messy spray.

Mixed media by Grace Mendez

If you want to see my most recent images I usually post them on Instagram.