Color Spree

Color Spree
My favorite color is "all of them." What's yours?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Pearlescent Pan Pastels and Mediums

The folks at Pan Pastels are at it again with gorgeous new products! Of course I had to get the full set of Pearlescent Pan Pastels in a tray with some new tools, couldn't resist a few new tools along the way, and all five Mediums at Dick Blick. That's usually where I get my supplies. Mediums came in a stack of five Pans with Colorless Blender, White coarse and fine pearlescent medium and Black coarse and fine pearlescent medium.

Last month's Blick swag
includes Pearlescent Pan Pastels and five Mediums stack

The first day I got my swag, of course I had to try out these new Pans! So I used my Stillman & Birn Beta journal, which with or without sanded primer is my pastel journal, to paint a pearl using all the Mediums and all the Pearlescent colors. These Pearlescents come out as light as tints of their spectrum colors, they are convenience colors with hue and Fine Pearlescent White Medium. Mixing the black Pearlescent Mediums creates a shade with a hue.

Pearl in Pearlescent Pan Pastels and Mediums
7" square on 180lb rough white watercolor paper.

Oh these Pearlescent Pan Pastels performed so beautifully! I did the background around the sphere with red and violet Pan Pastel, then swept Coarse Black Pearlescent Medium into it at the top and shaded through to Fine Pearlescent Black Medium at the base, using a gradient of value and texture to flatten the dark reddish glittering cloth under the pearl. Within the pearl, I used Fine White Pearlescent Medium and all six Pearlescent Colors to shade it to the lights and darks of a pearl I had on my desk to model - much smaller than the painting, the real one was only 1/4" across. To get the deepest darks I swept a little Fine Black Pearlescent Medium mixed with Blue Pearlescent Pan Pastel across it over a heavy layered application of the others, so it blended nicely and worked as a "black" to bring it down to medium value shimmering gray.

The glitter effect of Coarse Pearlescent Medium is visible at the top where light catches on what looks like mica flecks - it's a gorgeous effect and sparkles wonderfully in person. The photo captures it but the iridescence is much more visible in person. I swiped a touch of Coarse White into the lightest highlight on the pearl and blended it in too. Beautiful and subtle effect. 

Art journal artists take note, these mediums mix with any Pan Pastels you already have and will modify the colors the way white or black do, but with a shimmering zing. Wonderful special effects. I used them again today in a skyscape to see how they'd work in a different setting - and I am very happy with the luminescent sky in this painting.

Shimmering Dawn Skyscape
8" x 10" horizontal
Aquabee Hemp Draw multimedia paper
Photo reference by DAK723 on for 
Oct. 2014 Pastel Spotlight Challenge

Pearlescent Pan Pastels have the value of tints in six spectrum colors. They are convenience colors, just as the Tints are - but oh they are so convenient! It was very easy to get a luminous sky effect sweeping hue after hue into the shapes of the clouds, building back and forth and blending on the paper with light applications.

The foreground is entirely in regular Pan Pastels, trees in Deep Dark green shade and land in Violet with green, violet and blue Tints over it. The violet is a bit stronger in the photo because I adjusted the color to make the sky read true, its effect in real life is closer to a grayed green with violet undertones and shadows except on the left where it's a field of lavender. 

Definitely pick these up if you enjoy using Pan Pastels. If you've never tried Pan Pastels before and enjoy Art Journaling, the Pearlescent Pans set might be a fun starter to decorate pages with swift pearlized color easily controlled. Definitely get the tray set if you do, since that includes good tools to get you started and a tray to use them easily. The Pans trays are very convenient too, I put my four Mediums in with the Pearlescent colors. Stand by for a review of the Colorless Blender. I still need to see how well that works, if it's transparent or opaque, if extending colors with it lightens them or just lets the surface color show through. I might try it on black mat board for that experiment.

If you just want the effect and already have some Pans, the Mediums set of five is a good bargain. You can mix all six Pearlescent colors yourself with a Sofft sponge and of course get Pearlescent Shades using the black Mediums. Both of these products are well worth  the money. Yay, I have a full range of Pan Pastels again!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you posting, Rob. Hope you are well. I've just completed my set of PanPastels as well, and have been working them in every way I can imagine in prep for an online class. So much fun. Keep creating.