Monday, 23 September 2013

Playing with Pastels (no not Pan...)

Hello everyone and thank you for dropping in here today.

Recently I have been much inspired by the beautiful work of Maria from Maria's Knutsel Plezier. She makes the most amazing backgrounds but just in the last few days has been playing with Pan Pastels.
Well that gave me the inspiration to try something just a little different:


Now to be really honest, I am not a huge fan of Pan Pastels I only have very few colours, but I loved what Maria did with them, so I started to experiment with something else. I have a small set of  Faber Castell Polychromo Pastels which I use occasionally for my other art work (that I don't blog here). I love these pastels, there is nothing quite like them. They blend like nothing else I have come across, just using your finger in a piece of cotton fabric (I use cheesecloth)
This is what the pastels look like:

You rub them onto your finger (inside the cheesecloth) and then start to blend in a circular motion onto your paper. I used smooth stamping card but they work brilliantly on water colour paper too. Oh and just in case you are wondering , - no I am not on Faber Castell's Design Team or anything (wished I was), I just love these pastels lol
For this one I blended my two blues, a tiny bit of the pinky red and the orangy yellow. Around the edges though I used a Pan Pastel brown. The Pan is much more powdery and "solid" in colour and you have to use it very lightly for this technique. Next I stamped the poppies and grasses (Chocolate Baroque) in embossing ink and then rubbed my pastels over it again. I coloured the image with Distress Markers and my water brush. I then masked it, stamped a Darkroom Door script stamp in random places and added a swirl stamp from Stempel Glede around the edges. Then I rubbed over it again with my pastels to bring out the detail.
For the next one I first ran my piece of card through a little snow flake embossing folder (a freebie that came with a magazine some years ago). I then used exactly the same technique but just the two blues and a tiny bit of brown again. The stamps are from Crafty Secrets and then the same script and swirl stamps.



I rubbed a tiny bit of Treasure Gold in Pewter over the snow flakes. I just love how the colours are so translucent and subtle. Very, very different from blending Distress Inks for instance. I'll try and show you the difference in the last one:
The main stamp is from Chapel Road Art Stamps and this time I used all of my colours. The apple sentiment however was done with Distress Inks, stamped in Potting Soil Archival, cut out and then adhered to the card.
You can no doubt see that the intensity of colour is very, very different. Don't get me wrong, I love my Distress Inks, it just all depends what effect you want to achieve.

Well hope you like my little exploration with pastels here and thank you for visiting!!

43 comments:

  1. What beautiful creations Astrid. I love the gentleness of the pastel colouring. Hugs Rita xxx

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  2. these look great , love the one with the santa image x hugs x trace x

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  3. Love the subtle effect of these backgrounds - something a bit different too.

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  4. Gorgeous cards Astrid, The blending of colours is beautiful... I think I need some of these..The images are fabulous too...Hugs May x x x

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  5. Beautiful blending on both counts Astrid :)
    Von ♥

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  6. Beautiful Astrid you have such a lovely soft style,I work with soft pastels and watercolour on my paintings,never tried this type,must try :)

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  7. they look stunning Astrid, very artistic.

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  8. You are so artistic! These have such an ethereal glow - love the effects you have achieved and particularly love that Santa one! Nicola x

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  9. You are just totally amazing lady, and these are gorgeous. I really wish, I could do you after on these things. They look so gorgeous, especially the last one of the 3 on that pic is just jumping right into my heart. Soooo beautiful blended and nice colors. You are the most gifted artist, I´ve come across for years, that´s for sure, and I just so love, what you show us here all the time, and these are fabulous too.

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  10. They are so very beautiful, I love how those pastels bring out your stamps ,and the tones are wonderful .dear Astrid,- the blending looks fantastic.. you also gets a feeling of : looking through ,to the layers under. I don`t know theese special kind of Faber Pastels,but they make amazing colour tones ,I can see!
    Warm hug from me,- and thank you again Astrid. You will hear from me.
    Dorthe

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  11. Hi Astrid, these are such beautiful cards. I love the delicate blending you've achieved with those pastels, it looks fab
    Claire xx

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  12. They look amazing. Your colour combinations are matching so well. Beautiful cards!!
    xxx Marianne

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  13. Wow those are lovely Astrid.

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  14. Hello Astrid
    Such wonderful effects, I love working with different media but have resisted so far these pastels, am I correct in thinking they have to be sealed? Your playing around as you call it is beneficial to all your followers, as you inspire each one of us with your Art, thank you for this and for sharing, it is this act that encourages everyone to try different things, to know what will work and what doesn't. The three pieces are just beautiful, soft and warm and so pleasing to the eye.
    Smiles:)
    Sue

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  16. Hi Astrid, you really have achieved the most beautiful blending of colours on all these pieces - they are all gorgeous! I have a box of those pastels lurking somewhere so will give this a go, thank you once again for your amazing inspiration. Hugs, Anne x

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  17. Beautiful cards Astrid, I love how the pastels have blended and the design on each card is gorgeous, as usual. Sue C x

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  18. Three gorgeous makes Astrid x stunning colours blended so beautifully. I have never used any pastels but love the effects shown.

    TFS as always

    Crafty hugs
    Annie x

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  19. Wow Astrid , you don't need the Pan Pastels you have the same effect with your Faber Castell Pastels!! Your creations are so beautiful, I think I need some lessons from you to become a better artist!!You are a real Artist Astrid I admire all of your work very much, thank for mention me on your blog !!!

    Greetings
    Maria

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  20. That beautiful diffused appearance is incredibly appealing and I appreciate that you shared different examples so we could see an Autumnal version and one suited for Christmas.
    I don't own Pan Pastels and when using pastels I already have in my stash I didn't achieve results I was satisfied with, could it be time to try again I wonder!
    Wishes
    Lynne

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  21. They are beautiful Astrid Especial the one with the poppies and the grasses. Thank you for sharing Anneke.

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  22. Hi Astrid. I love the softness and how effortlessly everything blends together. All of them simply beautiful.
    Dot x

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  23. The background colours look beautiful, love the variety of stamps you used.
    Yvonne

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  24. Oooooh, that's all beautiful Astrid. Such gorgeous backgrounds. I'm not a fan of pan pastels either, but like you, I've a few and only 1 gets used, lol.

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  25. Hi Astrid, I thought you could only get this effect from pan pastels with them being so chalky, you has shown us that other Pastels can be used to get lovely soft blended backgrounds. Thank you for sharing these beautiful cards will give it a go. Hugs Mo x

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  26. Astrid, these are brilliant thanks for the info. I've yet to try pan pastels, haven't used pastels since art school!

    Hugs

    Jools x

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  27. These are wonderful Astrid! I'm with you; I''m not a huge fan of the pan pastels. I have a couple of colors and really not high on my list. But; I do love your results with your pastels. And; blending with your finger and cheesecloth - brilliant. There's a softness, to the backgrounds, yet the colors are vibrant!

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  28. Saw these on fb and had to come and see them up close. You are such a clever lady Astrid and I would so love to get some lessons from you. These cards are super gorgeous. Love the soft colours and you have blended them so beautifully, they almost seem to glow. Love, love, love!!! ox

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  29. These are such beautiful cards! Love the backgrounds!!

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  30. I'm not familiar with those pastels but I can see they blend beautifully and you have used them to such great effect on your cards. Lovely!

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  31. Gorgeous, Maria does make beautiful things! I do have some PP, but a good idea to use other pastels like that! I have a whole set, of Van Gogh. I also like products from Faber and Castell (not on DT either, I'd also like to be)! LOL

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  32. I'm not a fan of pastels either but these works are wonderful. Bet they would look great for journal making.

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  33. Oh, beautiful, Astrid! I've been enjoying Maria's makes too... and have some ancient pastel sticks somewhere - no doubt they'll surface as I start to pack the crafting supplies, sorting as I go. Now they'll go in the "keep" pile...

    Gorgeous stamping too, and the gilded snowflakes look lovely.
    Alison xx

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  34. Oh these cards are gorgeous! The blending of colors is so subtle and the highlighted snowflakes add such a richness! I bought some Pan Pastels and don't really care for them, but was not sure if I just needed much more practice! Have a great day! Hugs!

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  35. Wunderschöne Karten, tolle Stempel und super schön coloriert, Astrid.
    Alle drei Karten sind was Besonderes, finde ich.
    Man kann genau deine "Handschrift" erkennen.

    Umarmung und Grüße
    Sophie xx

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  36. Love these Astrid, the pastels give that luminosity to the colours. I love it when art and craft collide.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

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  37. Astrid these are stunning...never used pastels although I have some tucked away somewhere...might just give them a try...your've inspired me..

    Anne

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  38. How wonderful and inspiring, Astrid
    Rosie x

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  39. Wow!! Beautiful work ... and you worked those pastels like magic!

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  40. Wow, amazing and beautiful ... I might have to raid my Mum's pastels .... am sure she has these!!!

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  41. Traumhaft schöne Karten sind das, ich bin begeistert von diesen toll gestalteten Hintergründen und Farben.
    Liebe Grüße.

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