Meet Emillie Claire. A new companion for my painting travels. She has her own painting kit ready to plein air. It is amazing how many people will talk to you when you have a teddy bear on board. Perhaps it breaks the ice. She certainly brings a smile to many.
Ever had one of those paintings where your pastels just go crazy and your pastels get all mixed up and muddy? You just zone out being all creative and then you look down.... Oops - dirty pastels. You can no longer determine if it is blue or a red! Time to spring clean your pastels.....Here is how I do it. Using oat bran I fill a ziplock bag half full. In go the pastels. With a bit of a shake and shuffle for 30 seconds - hey presto! Clean pastels.
The ultimate question on how do i limit my pastels! This is how my head works when I pack my pallet. You will choose different colours when you pack your pallet because you love different colours to me but the theory is still the same. Keep them sorted by tone and by temperature and it becomes easier. The reason I use 2 boxes is for packing to fit into my carry on luggage - but it is also handy that all the colours on the left are my cool colours and all the ones in the right side are warm. I know that to grey something down I just choose something in the other box! I hope this helps you. I would love to see your pallet set up!
I get asked a lot - how do I pack my pastels for travel? We buy these fabulous sets and have great timber draws at home - but they are heavy and too big to take plein air or to workshops that are away from home.
There are a few ways to pack your pastels for travel with many on the market to purchase. Some easels come with compartments for your pastels which are good too.
My way is just one way of many that is home made.
I have two small boxes that are each about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. I have lined the boxes with foam rubber top and bottom. With a layer of paper towel on the bottom of the box so I can clean it every now and then. (the boxes are old rembrandt 60 half stick set boxes. But you can use plastic food containers or whatever you have that is light and sturdy.)
One box has cool colours and one box warm. I sort them by tone and then temperature then intensity.
When travelling the two boxes are stacked on each other and held tightly closed with large elastic bands. As they are closely packed they do not move much and therefore do not break. They are all half stick size pastels. I also have similar size boxes of Unison 63 half sticks that are great for plein air and travelling too.
The best thing is they fit in my carry on luggage if flying so I can keep them safe with me.
Weights about 1kg for two boxes.
I hope this helps you next time you travel with your pastels.
Having a workshop at Daku resort has been not only eventful in our painting sessions but we have been entertained, dined and taught the Fiji culture. Definitely learning to relax! I have found this wonderful time of day between 4:30pm and 7:30pm. The light has dimmed so we are unable to paint so work stops. But dinner is not served until later so there is 3 hours just chilling out. I must find the reason we don't do this at home!
Wow, from the cold snow of New Zealand to the tropical paradise of Fiji. Talk about climate change!!
Flying over the islands of Fiji I am in awe of its beauty. The mountains, the coral, the crystal seas. Can't wait to paint them all. The resort we are staying in has a postcard view. Watching the people move so slowly and effortlessly in "Fiji Time" you can not do anything but relax. Looking forward to explore this fantastic place and meet its people.
What a fantastic spot. The moody sky and deep green ocean was just too tempting not to paint. We were surrounded by tourists and Nicole helped guard my pastels for me as children ran up to have a look while she competed a sketch. A few albatross made their appearance to much camera clicking madness, Unfortunately they eluded the lens. Some days may not be sunny and bright but it is still good to paint. The subtle colours in the rock cliff were amazing and would not be captured well by the camera. I do love that perspective high over water. Lots of fun.