I'd ordered some of the fairly new pan pastels and they arrived late yesterday afternoon. I wish our delivery people would come earlier in the day because all the companies seem to arrive about the time I have to start dinner, feed the critters and do the barn chores! No time to play with any new toys!
But, I managed to paint the attached and it only took a few minutes! The most time-consuming part of of the experience was unscrewing all the colors so I could see what I had!
Anyway, I know this isn't great art (just look at that crooked horizon!) - it's all free-hand (from a photo from Morgue File, btw) and it's on a scrap piece of cheap watercolor paper! There's not much layering on this because of the time factor but I can tell that they will layer beautifully.
So, what do I think about the pan pastels?
I really, really like them. I'm someone who hates the feel of pastel on my hands and have even had some cracking of the skin on my hands when I've used soft pastels in the past. I don't like working in gloves so the pastel pencils and these pan pastels are perfect for me!
I got the portrait set because it seemed to have the colors that I thought I'd use most for pet portraits. I added a single black because the portrait set didn't have black in it but I think I could have done without it. There's a dark umber and a very dark blue that I think would mix a good black. However, I was going by experience and past advice about not really being able to mix colors in pastel so was trying to get the exact colors I thought I'd need.
I was really impressed with the smooth lay down of color and with how far the colors go on the support. I got a really good collection of the Softt tools and sponges with my set and I like the way they work. I've heard that detail isn't possible with the pans but I'd think you would be able to get quite a bit of detail with these tools and some improvision (I think the Style Stix would even work to put color down precisely). But, even with regular soft pastels, you still need the pastel pencils at times for detail.
I was also impressed about how well the pastel clung to the paper and how little dust is produced when working with them. While I admit that I didn't have the tooth of the paper completely filled, I was still delighted to find that what I did have didn't fall off when the back was thumped hard!
I'm anxious to try these on the proper support and with a more detailed subject but I have to go out today to help a client find a frame (yaaaaay! more art stores and she's buying lunch!) and I'm nearly finished with the commission I spoke of in another post so want to complete that.
BTW, I tried Teresa's advice for getting motivated to paint and it does help! (see the comments under the Painter's Funk post). Of course, new art supplies work wonders too! lol