I have surprised myself this month. Doing the 30 paintings in 30 days has kept be very focused, very busy and surprised at all that I accomplished. I have stated before I do not really get a painting a day done, I work on several backgrounds at a time. I find it usually takes me 3 days to do these little oils. The pastels vary between 1 1/2 - 2 days for these little works. All in all it has been a very good month.
Yesterday, was a nice surprise too. The steaming process that is attributed to Degas techniques worked pretty well. Ruth & I started by putting a ground with texture, pumice or aluminum oxide to a gel medium or gesso. After that was dry we started our paintings with soft stick pastels, blocking in the colors. To the steamer, we used a clothing steamer. You need to watch for it dripping and spitting water.
Degas used a palette knife and or brush to push the pastel around in this state. It becomes a thick watercolor. Once it dries it is back to powder again but the texture remains. Continuing on we added details, steam a second time, the colors darken as it steams but return pretty close to what was applied. The whites are lost some but not near as much as I thought. One more application of details a final steaming.
After the paintings dried in the sun, we sprayed them with UV Protective sealer, 2-3 coats, then Used Matt Spray around 4 good sprays, may require more depending on how heavy the application of pastels is on the individual painting. Check in between sprays on each: dark, bright and light area. Different pastels dry differently. Once we were done with the spraying the works are sealed and protected.
It was a good day. I did two drawings with my experiment, used the same image but did one on the primed canvas and one on Rives BFK which I had mounted on a canvas board. They both worked beautifully.
Today is the final day of 30-30 and the beginning of paper making.
|Ruth painting in soft pastels, after 1st steaming|
|Ruth's pastel painting, finished after steaming and sealing|
|Ruth steaming one of her pastels|
|Linda's soft pastel on primed canvas|
|Linda's soft pastel on Rives BFK paper|