Thursday, May 26, 2016

Attended Pan Pastel Workshop

I wanted a spring break vacation in March 2016  but my teen sons refused and begged to just stay home to sleep late and to see friends and relax at home. My husband and I are not willing to take chances leaving both kids home alone, they were 15 and 18 at the time. The older has been home alone but not both of them together and not the younger who has friends who drive. We just know that teens can have bad judgement and if it's not our son himself it can be peers. Also teens in groups can make bad decisions that a responsible teen makes when alone.

Anyhow, point being I needed an escape of some sort from my real life so I attended art workshops for half a day at Art Supply on Main in downtown Houston.

One class I took was an intro to pan pastels using PanPastel (TM).

In a nutshell the instructor explained what they are. They are a one size little plastic container with the pastel in it. Each pan is the equivalent usage of 2.5 sticks of pastel crayons. That can help you do a cost comparison. The pan pastels are applied using a sponge which is the same design as my eyeshadow.

I learned it's very important to swipe in one direction only and to do a few repeat swipes before using. The biggest mistake is to dig and scrub at the pan pastel, or to grind it. The instructor was very clear but a number of students ignored him and just wrecked the pan pastels by digging and grinding. All this does is waste material as the action kicks up clumps and spreads them all over the working area and it gets the pigment or color onto the sponge/brush in a mess instead of being nicely applied on the sponge/brush. The pan pastel at 2.5 sticks only is when used correctly! Also when you kick up flakes of color into the other pans it corrupts them. Honestly it's simple to swipe, swipe, swipe so I don't know why people choose to not follow directions!

We followed the instructor to try different colors and to see the high saturation of pigment. We saw the different use of the different shapes of the sponge "brushes" and then how to blend them at the edges.

The pan pastels are sold each separately or you can save some money by buying sets. Sets are grouped by type such as the common landscape colors and some sets are put together by certain celebrity names in the art and craft world using their favorite color palette. Here you can see crafting as a business as those artists are then using their online platforms to use an advertise their own product line. But I digress.

I faced the decision of whether to patronize the art store I was standing in or to buy at discount from Amazon. The sale price that day which realted to the art workshop weekend was just a bit lower than Amazon's everyday price so I chose to buy them at the store. I also bought some sponges. They do wear out so you need more than one in case it craps out in the middle of your current project.

The instructor focuses on portraits and lansccapes. He said everything you paint with crayon pastels, you can do with PanPastel.

PanPastels are nontoxic.

I thought I restrained myself well as I bought only a small set of landscape pastels and a blender the instructor said I must have. I bought a set of brushes that are of various shapes and I plan to start with the pastel paper pad I already own at home.

After this workshop I was busy with my Drawing I college class and here it is over two months later and I only now unpacked my shopping bag and put away the supplies. I stared a small bin in my Target ITSO organizing system for everything PanPastel related.

I also took a class on using the gelli plate which I will blog about separately.

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