PASA - Pastel Artists of South Australia



  1. Firstly, I have prepared my 3 mm thick masonite board with a ground of gesso (this was  a National Art Materials product which allows you to scratch into it to create texture and also gives the best surface for using inks and binding tissue papers to.)
  2. I scratched some marks into the surface of the gesso before it dried. Then I used a binder medium to glue my previously prepared tissue papers. I had put spots of Art Spectrum Pigmented Inks onto the tissue and used water to spread the inks. Then I laid clingwrap on top of the wet ink and scrunched and pleated it to create a pattern, in my case a tree like pattern. When doing this you need to lay the tissue onto plastic. A kitchen tidy bag cut open is ideal as the tissue needs a support until it is dry. Once dry you peel off the cling wrap and remove the tissue from the under plastic support. 
  3. After gluing the tissue onto the masonite support, wait until it is dry, then coat the surface with a layer of Art Spectrum Clear Colourfix Primer. Allow to dry.
  4. Next comes the drawing stage, here I have used a pastel to draw my bear roughly.
  5.  From here I added more soft pastel and rubbed it in to the surface as I had a lot of very deep texture marks scratched into the surface so the pastel mostly sat on the ridges.
  6. Following on, I used more hard pastels (mostly nupastels) than soft and a few pastel pencils, using a very light touch to layer over and over until I got the effect I wanted, working on the eyes to get the depth of the eye sockets and then the nose before turning to the fur, in general occasionally alternating between soft (Terry Ludwig, Schminke & Unison) pastels and the nupastels for more detail.
  7. The fur texture looks very detailed but only because I had a lot of scratch marks in the original ground which created ridges for the pastel to adhere to.
  8. Finally, I dragged soft pastels over the background to soften the look of the “trees” and to create a look of a forest, being careful not to completely cover the original colours in the tissue papers. Some of the background colours are also repeated in the bear to integrate him into the background. I like the feeling of the bear just appearing out of the forest but being a part of it also, not a separate entity.
  9. I hope you find this an interesting process and are inspired to have a go. It is a lot more time consuming than using Colourfix or other paper but much more rewarding in the unique results you can achieve.

Words & pictures copyright of  Lesley Jorgensen. September,2020.

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