Good morning Peeps, although looking out the window is not so good out there, it's been throwing it down all night and the winds been "blowing like a good un" as we say here in the Fens.
Welcome to my new followers and thank you to everybody for your comments and don't forget everyone who leaves a comment this week (or comments - each one will go in the draw) will all be going into the pot for my draw at the end of the week for the four sets of beaded pins here.
I had a very indulgent crafty weekend and thought I would share a couple of the finished projects. With the exception of the Lavinia bulrushes and Art Impressions geese, everything else is Stampscapes and all colouring has been done with Pan Pastels.
On the subject of Pan Pastels, I've had an awful lot of questions about using them and whilst I don't confess to be an expert by any means, I thought it might help if I try to cover a few which seem to come up frequently, based on my own experiences of using them.
(Note added, you will also find my Pan Pastel Q&A on the company's web site and Facebook page).
Q) Do you need to seal/set them ?
A) As far as I'm concerned the answer is no and I know that's also the view of Kay from Indigo Blue which is good enough for me. I've been using them in both demos and for personal use for several months now and not one of my samples has shown any sign of the Pans shifting and they have been well handled in that time. In fact when I finish a piece I always rub over it with gentle pressure using a piece of kitchen roll and that seems to help fix them in place.
Q) What cardstock is it best to use ?
A) Although they will work to some degree on most surfaces, those with a little texture are preferable in my experience. To give an idea the top card was done on to the reverse side of Centura Pearl which has enough texture to grab the Pans nicely and the bottom card is Lavinia mat card stock and because it has a much smoother surface you get a softer feel from the Pans. Watercolour card also works very nicely and I think the only card stock I found which doesn't is very smooth stock such as Clarity card because there is no surface to hold them.
Q) Do they work for resist techniques ?
A) Absolutely beautifully and this is where smooth card stock is the exception to the rule above as the ink provides a surface to grab the Pans. When I do resist technique I still give the finished piece a wipe over with a piece of kitchen towel.
Q) Aren't they just like chalks ?
A) This is probably the most common question I been asked and the answer is most certainly not, although I'll admit before I tried them I was guilty of thinking the same. They are highly pigmented, very hard and extremely smooth and that is why they blend so seamlessly.
Q) If I add to much and the colour is too dark have I ruined my piece of artwork ?
A) Absolutely not and this is again where they differ from any other medium because you can just rub it out with a regular rubber and start again and there are no tell-tale marks left from the error.
Q) Can they be applied with make up sponges ?
A) I thought so initially, but have since invested in the proper Sofft sponges and although they are not cheap allow you to achieve the seamless blending effortlessly.
Q) How long will they last ?
A) An awfully long while, I have used mine repeatedly over several months now and there is not even a visible dent in the surface. An inkpad given that volume of use would be fading by now.
Q) What process do you follow to create your cards ?
A) I stamp the main elements of my card or scene with archival ink, much the same as when brayering and then add the pans.
Q) Is it an easier technique than brayering ?
A) In my view most definitely as there is less chance of error and as explained above they can be erased. I still follow the same technique creating hills, clouds and shading using the torn paper technique but you have far more control adding Pans than with a brayer.
I'm sure I haven't covered everything by any means, I have just tried to think of the questions I get asked most often so if there is anything specific you want to know please just drop me a mail and I'll be happy to try and help.