Reclaim old pastels

  • Painting with pastels is a joy, that is until you accidentally drop your pastel box on the concrete floor and watch them smash to million pieces!
    left-overs
    Naturally, I started swearing in my mother tongue and feeling quite upset :) Well, after calming down, I tried to see the upside of this event. I had all this tiny pieces, assorted in colour families.... hmmmm why not try to put them back together I say. I heard that if you grind up the bits and add water you can reclaim the pastels.
    Collect all the bits (I sorted them in colour families)
    Grind it up well, or use coffee/spice grinder 
    Add water with spray bottle and mix it well with a painting knife. I made couple of lumps and gradually added some white pastel to get different tints.
    Shape them in rough rectangles and let them to dry for a day. The quality is OK, they feel rough and "chalky", wich would be great for underpainting.  One interesting byproduct of grinding up different pastel colours together is that you get a slight confetti effect, meaning colour in not 100% uniform. I kinda like that, it makes the painting process a bit surprising. 
    I ended using them in this study painted from a couple of different photos taken during my Turkey vacation.
    Bodrum, Turkey

2 comments
  • Michael Pieczonka
    Michael Pieczonka very cool, I wouldn't have thought of this.. but a really smart idea.
    August 29, 2011
  • Jane Boyd
    Jane Boyd How clever... who knew! Like the your study.
    August 30, 2011