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Pastels

Discussion in 'Painting Techniques' started by steve j, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. steve j Active Member

    Country:
    England
    been told i could use pastels for weathering could anyone tell me a bit more and point me in the right direction if there is one
  2. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I used pastels as "brick dust" on my recent Paratrooper figure, and have used them for weathering for years. I have a box of 36 Reeves soft pastels that I have for ages. All I do is get the colour I want, then shave a little off with a scalpel blade onto a tile. If it is too gritty, just grind it with the back of a spoon until you get a fine dust. Use an old paintbrush, pick a little up, then drybrush it onto the model. (it sticks to matt surfaces best)
    Hope this helps,
    Steve(y)
    Funky50 likes this.
  3. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thats about it in a nutshell ,shave a bit off and dust on with a flat brush.
  4. housecarl A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Wings5797 likes this.
  5. Alex Long A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    I used to use pastels back in the day and grind them up for weathering but since the advent of pigments such as those manufactured by Mig, Vallejo and AK Interactive which are pretty much pastels already ground up, I haven't bothered. The pigments are aimed mostly at the AFV market but since the colours that they are produced in mirror all manner of dirt they are still ideal for weathering figures. Of course they are a tad more expensive than an individual pastel but are quite convenient. You have a choice of how to apply them, either with a dry brush onto the figure, which only works if the surface is nice and matte (they won't take to oils unless you dullcote them first), or you can choose whether to fix them on with either an enamel fixer or an acrylic matte varnish. This can be done in two ways, either apply the pigment/ground-up pastel with a dry brush and then apply the fixer over the top or, apply the fixer and sprinkle pigment over the top (which is useful for creating clumps of mud effect or simulating texture), there are loads of intructions on how to best use these products on AFV sites and on the AK Interactive site and forums. You have to be careful if you use an enamel fixer over oils or enamels as it can remove the paint, you don't get this issue with acrylic varnish. You can also choose not to fix them at all which does lend itself to a nice dusty effect. Best bet is to experiment!

    Hope this helps alittle bit.

    Alex.
    Karlosfandango and housecarl like this.
  6. tonydawe A Fixture

    Country:
    Australia
    I've used pastels on all my figures over the past 20 years and swear by them. You can use them use fine dust on boots, or slap them on to create mud. The versatility of pastels is only limited by your imagination. My box of earth colour pastels has been going since 1995.

    Alex is correct in advising you to seal the pastels onto the surface of the figure with an enamel fixer or acrylic matte varnish. If you don't,the pastels will eventually drop off or will be rubbed off easily if you handle the figure.
  7. sippog PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Known as the "poor man's airbrush"
    David Fisher does some great video tutorials on using pastels on figures in his Modelmania series.
  8. JonP PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    I have used pastels for weathering and for flattening the sheen on oils. I painted Andrea's Grant and had a real problem with his coat so I used some blue pastel dust applied with a soft brush and had quite decent results. As has been said before I scrape the side of the pastel with a blade to create the dust.
  9. Gellso A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Steve,
    I used pastels alot on afv's. Make sure you dont buy the oil based ones there no use.
    You can get some great tones and effects with these and I feel they are less grainer than mig pigments so are great to use on figures.
  10. Einion Well-Known Member

    Pastels are a great introduction to weathering with 'pigments' because they come in a far larger array of colours (hundreds) and they should work out far far cheaper.

    I also shave off from the stick with a sharp blade. You'll also see guides that say to rub them against abrasive paper but this runs the risk of introducing particles of abrasive, had it happen a few times myself in the early days and it's a killer so never do this now. If you scrape right you should get a fine enough powder (scrape don't shave) you can grind them down further as mentioned, but you can just rub the pastel against anything abrasive that doesn't give off particles, like a piece of rough wood, and this will yield ultra-fine dust.

    If you don't own an airbrush pastel dust is the way to do dust effects that look really realistic, particularly that very slight dusting. A big, soft brush is ideal for applying it for this, e.g. a squirrel mop (watercolour brush) or the right type of makeup brush, which you can often get cheaper.

    Be careful about using a drybrushing motion to apply pastels - for the same reason you wouldn't use drybrushing you shouldn't apply pastels this way, unless that's exactly the effect you want.

    I liked to apply them wet for heavier applications, to prevent having to overwork the surface of the paint which can lead to buffing. A lot of pastels will try to resist being wet with water, two ways around this are to add a little alcohol (so gin or vodka make great wetting agents) or just a tiny addition of dishwashing liquid. They'll also wet well with mineral spirits/white spirit or turps, these dry much more slowly so give you the chance to move the pastel slurry around on the surface of the model for longer if you want to create intricate organic patterns of weathering (useful for shields for example).

    Einion
  11. Showlen Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I use pastels on the face, for red cheeks and shadows etc. It helps me tremendously with tying together the transitions. Never thought of using pastels for weathering on everything else, I'm anxious to try this and there a lot great tips in this thread.

    What about for basing? Anyone use pastels for any effects on their bases?

    Ron
  12. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    For ground work they are superb.

    Ron T
  13. steve j Active Member

    Country:
    England
    wow thanks guys dont think i've ever had so big a response one question though why are oil pastels no good
  14. Gellso A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Steve,

    As Enion advises, youre better to scrape the pastel. With oils based ones they don't really go into a fine dust.They turn into a kind of thick sticky paste and you cant really work them with water.
    Chalk based ones are the ones I use for applications of AFV's and figures as they also go on with a matt finish. The oil based ones can be quite shiny. I've never used oil based ones on groundwork so I can't make an historically accurate assumption regarding this.
    Gells.
  15. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Oil pastels are bound with, as their name suggests, oil! ? (funny, that!) They are quite greasy/waxy to use, so try to get the soft chalky ones for weathering.
    As an aside, oil pastels are great for blending small scratches on car paintwork; just rub the appropriate coloured pastel over the scratch, then apply a suitable wax polish!
    Steve(y)
    Gellso likes this.
  16. steve j Active Member

    Country:
    England
    thanks again guys been out this morning and got a couple to try and i like them better than pigments might be getting a set tried an oil one to on a flat i've been doin to make a little girls cheeks rosey it looks quite good blended in nice
  17. JonP PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    England
    As there has been some interest in using pastels for weathering and we have an account with Winsor & Newton we will be adding them to our range of products. They are Conte a Paris (sadly now made in China!) and we currently have Raw Umber, Brown Grey and Naples Yellow in stock to test the water. We will have them with us at the shows with something to try them on all being well.

    http://www.conteaparis.com/index.php
  18. Gerry Active Member

    Why not just use Artist Grade pigment powders? there effective, and if you have a look at the pro pigments from www.modeldisplayproducts.com
    your find some great earth colours , just a thought! you can mix them with oils etc as well as acrylics! maybe you tried them? as you say you tried pigments.
  19. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I used pastel chalks, too, I got a reasonably-priced set of earth colors at an art supply store.

    Regarding the commercially prepared pigments, they're not just ground chalks, but they have compounds added to promote adhesion to the surface. I'm with those who don't buy those, though, because I grind my own for much less.
  20. Einion Well-Known Member

    Pastels, following the usual rule, should work out cheaper than anything packaged for the hobby. They also have a binder included, making them a little easier to apply and have them cling in place. And if you needed another reason there's another huge advantage, they're available in a wider array of colours (far wider - hundreds of colours at best).

    Einion

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