In my previous post I mentioned my switch from charcoal to PanPastel and I thought I'd write some more on this fantastic medium that is, for reasons unknown to me, relatively unknown in the artist world.
PanPastel is a member of the soft pastel family. On their website www.panpastel.com it states; 'PanPastel Colors are professional artists’ quality soft pastel colors packed in a unique pan format (cake-like). The special qualities of PanPastel Colors mean that artists can blend and apply dry color like fluid paint for the first time.'
Since I only use black for my dog portraits, you might wonder why I'm such a PanPastel enthusiast. Well, let me try and explain to you why that is. As you might know soft pastel is known for its rich colors and versatility. Since I was looking for a medium that could give me a rich black color, the switch to soft pastel wasn't all that surprising. But why not switch to traditional soft pastel sticks or pencils you wonder?
I wanted to use a medium that I could do the full portraits with. I didn't want to do mixed media. Using only soft pastel sticks would have meant I'd had to combine them with soft pastel pencils for the finer details, since I couldn't see myself creating super fine lines with a stick. Using only soft pastel pencils would have meant I couldn't create the softness that soft pastel sticks can create. Then the store clerk pointed PanPastel out...
As the name already states, PanPastel comes in small pan's. It's appearance may remind you of things you'll normally find in a make-up bag, like blusher or eye-shadow. To apply PanPastel I was recommended to use the specially designed Sofft tools and applicators; sponge tools that come in various sizes and shapes. Achieving tight detail takes a lot of practice, but as my dog portraits show, it can be done!
Furthermore PanPastel creates far less dust than charcoal or traditional soft pastel sticks. An added bonus for me, since my whole living room was sometimes covered in grayish powdery dust after a drawing session with charcoal...
Most soft pastel artists still choose to use sticks and pencils over PanPastel, but I take great pride in the fact that I have 'mastered the art of PanPastel'!