Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Pastel Blender

Many of you know that while pastel is my medium of choice, I really hate the feel of the dust on my hands.  That's why I'm always on the look out for the perfect blender.

A while ago I touted the virtues of the Loew-Cornell Style Styx and I still like them a lot.  But I recently read on Wet Canvas's Pastel Forum about using foam pipe insulation as a blending tool.  I didn't have any on hand and didn't want to drive 30 miles to a home improvement store so I looked around at what I did have on hand.

I found some dense foam lengths that are actually used in swimming pools as floats or kid's toys and decided to try a section to see how it worked.  It's amazing how well they do work!  You can cut the foam into any shape but I found the wedge shape works the best.

The foam sections that I had were purchased from a local Dollar store for a dollar or less each and one length is more than enough from which to cut dozens of the little blenders.  These wedges hold up well and while, like the Style Styx, they may stain, they can be wiped off and used repeatedly.  Or, they're cheap enough to have one for every color in your pastel collection!

Happy, happy painting!


sue said...

I shall definitely be investing in some foam pipe insulation when we next pass a DIY store. Brilliant idea

It will be interesting to see if it works with coloured pencil and solvent as I've been on the lookout for blenders 'tough' enough for the job

Christine said...

That's excellent info, Jan! Thanks for sharing it.

Dors said...

Great idea Jan. I am not really into pastels but I have done a little trying out with the Pan Pastels that were given to me as samples from the company. The sponges from pan pastels stain also. With the cheap sponge you can afford to purchase lots.
Good one Jan.,

Jan said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies! Let us know how they work with solvent and cp, Sue.

I've found that the pipe insulation isn't perfect and seems to "plow through" the pastel after layers have been built up a bit. It works well for the initial layers though especially on ColourFix Suede or PastelMat where the first layers are very hard to blend.