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Chalk to the hand

Makeshift Pastel Paper, a DIY video

As hinted, I’ve been working with pastels recently. One large piece on paper is about 52 x 120″ and taped to the wall in the hallway. It’s a nice surface for soft pastels. There’s something I really like about working large in this medium.

I wanted to learn how to make homemade pastel paper after watching tutorials online. While on coronapocalypse quarantine without clear gesso, pastel ground, ground pumice, marble powder, or any of the other materials mentioned handy… creativity stepped in.

I spent some time experimenting with materials on hand like white gesso, matte varnish, and plaster of paris.

Since something actually worked & worked well, I made a video.

My favorite combination used equal parts of matte varnish + plaster of paris, as shown.

I also had success with equal parts gesso + plaster of paris as well as equal parts water + gesso + plaster of paris. If I didn’t use gesso in oil painting, I’d have been equally as happy to go with that.

Of course, adding acrylic paint to the mixture would work to make a tinted variety.

If you end up doing this or some variation, please share & tag me on Instagram @jodeeclifford. I’d love to see!

Comments and questions welcome.

Okay, time to paint. Until next time, stay well.


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