Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pan Pastels questions answered

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.


Dots Dabbles said...

Hi Brenda...I love looking at your scenery cards. Great PP tips too, I always thought that you had to use the pastels first and then stamp, so it is handy to know that you can do it the other way around...opens up what colours to add and where.
Dot x

Anesha said...

Two beautiful cards. Anesha:)

Stamps and Paper said...

Beautiful cards Brenda and fabulous colouring, I dont have any Pan Pastels but think I ought to give them a go if this is the results you get as I am rubbish at brayering!


Dawn said...

Hi Hun ;0)

Loving these cards, as you know I don't make cards much these days but I really like the effect of the pans and your explanations. Will chew over weather I want them or not, but thanks for the info very helpful. Dxx

Dawn said...

Hi Hun;0)

Love these cards, and helpful tips love Dawn xx

Gerrina said...

The cards are just beautiful, Brnda! It shows that you're working with the Panpastels for a time now! Enjoy your dat in... Hugs, Gerrina

Paula (PEP) said...

Your questions & answers are terrifically thorough - I managed to do an introductory workshop with the PanPastels at a craft show. The scenes & your handling of these is a real example of what can be done & learnt by working with them & - as you rightly point out - the correct tools for the job.
Paula (PEP)

Fliss said...

Really gorgeous cards Brenda and thanks too for the Pan Pastel tips - mine don't get enough use yet so will have to try and change that!
Weather not nice here either.
Hugs, Fliss xx

Charlotte said...

This are really beautifull cards Brenda! Really love them!

Ruth said...

Another two beauties, Brenda. I'm always in awe of your very professional looking scene cards. Ruth x

milena60 said...

Произведение исскуств...

McCrafty's Cards said...

Thank you Brenda for the Pan Pastel info, I have got some and haven't tried them yet, I will have to have a play, Both cards are absolutely beautiful.
Kevin xx

Sue - bearhouse said...

Stunning cards, the images are gorgeous and the colours are just wonderful.

Thank you for all the information, I had been thinking of adding Pan Pastels to my Christmas list as I love the effect you achieve with them


ellyscard creatief said...

Beautiful cards.
Gr Elly

Rosalee said...

Beautiful cards Brenda. I love the beautiful details and gorgeous colors. Very Beautiful.
Hugs, Rosalee

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Thanks for the PP information :) Both of your cards look wonderful, love how you've colored them. Great use of the Pan Pastels.

scrappymo! said...

OMG! These are so beautiful! I think these are my favourites of tall this style that you have done!


walchowDesign said...

Stunning cards, Brenda! I've seen pan pastel but never knew how it works and also thought that they are like chalks. Thank you for all the information.

linda said...

these are beautiful brenda! the blending looks so soft and seamless.

Desire Fourie said...

Brenda these cards are just so stunningly beautiful - you are truly soooo talented!. Thanks also for the very interesting Q&A.
Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday.
{Doing Life – my personal blog}

Lau W said...

Aw ! superb cards once again ! Your colouring is just fabulous, fantastic !

NancyD said...

Brenda, these are two very lovely and peaceful cards. I especially appreciate the bird reflection in the top card - so nice. Thanks also for the Q&A. I love my PanPastels and use them often. NancyD

Marja's Stamp Addiction en Marja's Creativity said...

Love your creations Brenda, so soft and beautiful these scenes.
Lovely greet

Tanya said...

These are fantastic Brenda, amazing scenes from you as always! Just beautiful - and a great Q&A too :)

Tags xx

pinky said...

Your cards are just stunning and I am so glad I got to read all that info. Something I have always thought about. But I have to admit I thought the pan pastels were creamy for some reason. Might have to invest in some as I love the effect on the sky. Do you recommend any colours to start with or do they come in ready made sets? Hehe, just when you thought you'd covered everything!!

Lorraine said...

Two gorgeous cards Brenda. I love the scenes and you have coloured them beautifully.
Lorraine x

ALI said...

These are just gorgeous and my fav has got to be the second one.

Craftnut said...

I quite enjoyed Brenda technique corner! i must not buy pan pastels, i must not buy pan pastels. Happy Tuesday Tracy x

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Hi Brenda, your cards are beautiful, awesome coloring with the PP. Thanks for the Q&A on the Pans, I love them but haven't spent enough time with them yet... it will come :) Hope you are doing well, Shirleyx

Vicky said...

Stunning Brenda...and so beautifully coloured too hun :o)

big hugs Vicky xx

Hannapanna said...

Wow, Brenda, these are stunning! Oh I wish I could colour like you do. Breathtaking! Hugs, Hanna

coldwaters2 said...

Oh my word Brenda these are two of the most beautiful scenes ever, I love them both.
lorraine x

Lindsay Craftymonster81 said...

These are both absolutely stunning scenes, love them both and a fab Q&A on the Pans
Lindsay xx

Tedz said...

I like these very much Brenda and thank you for the hints for the Pan Pastels. I agree with you that they are a really nice to use. Pauline xx

Joan said...

Beautiful cards Brenda, love how you do your scenes, I love my pan pastels but don't have enough pf them (yet!)


Wendy Fraser said...

Stunning cards and thanks so much for the helpful hints and tips for Pan Pastels, I'm new to them and loving them. xx

Beryl said...

Two beautiful scenes Brenda - (especially the first one.lol)
Beryl xx

Rhonda Miller said...

These are beautiful!

Rufus said...

Love both cards! Thanks for the info on the Pan Pastels...they do sound interesting and you certainly use them beautifully. But I've sworn to be good, thrifty and frugal, at least for awhile, lol!

Mrs.B said...

Two beautiful cards Brenda, I never tire of looking at the scenes you create, and such beautiful backgrounds.
Avril x

Jane said...

They are both gorgeous cards Brenda. Thanks for all the Pan Pastels info...I had thought they were just chalks..that was so helpful. It's been blowing a gale here today and SO dark and wet...horrid! Keep dry and carry on crafting,
Jane x

Ellie said...

Sounds like a fun crafty weekend, and your cards are some real pieces of art. Love the use of scenery stamps, and the way you colored the scenes!
Have a great rest of the week, hope the wind calms down a little bit!

May said...

WOW... Gorgeous cards.. the scenes are Beautiful Brenda.. Thank you for the tips on the pans... I am thinking of buying some as your results are always amazing! Hugs May x x x

Pat said...

Two absolutely stunning cards Brenda, both beautiful scenes.

Pat xx

Kat said...

I never cease to be amazed at the amazing effects you get with the pan pastels. Thanks for a very informative Q&A, very helpful. I'm resisting cos with my track record I'd buy loads of them and not use them much.

Hope you're well.

Take care,

Kat xx

Janice said...

Beautiful cards again Brenda & a lovely Q&A set on Pan Pastels - would love to try them but I'm not sure the investment would pay off in my case. You have mastered the art for sure & I think my efforts would look more like a primary sch project! Jx

mags said...

Your cards are beautiful Brenda. Thanks for the Q & A on pan pastels. I have a couple and just need to get round to using them.

Denise said...

Beautiful work love them Hugs Denise xx

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

oh B. they look so very superb with Stampscapes!!!

Just adore them both but esp the fist.. no idea what sort of paper you mean by the first one named

... and so wish they were not so very dear.. what would be the basic colours you suggest in case I do succumb.. would have to make it a special present not general as they are incredibly dear

..and so many colours, are able to use deeper colour and just apply very light and thus save the number you have to buy??

I was interested to hear of the makeup sponges bit as thought the same thing, love Shaz.xx

PS. will email this question list.. wondered too if there was a cheap place in Uk to buy them as dear on eBay where do most of my purchasing.

Merry said...

Wonderful scenes you have created Brenda.... I bet all those Q & As were helpful too.

Izzwizz said...

Hi Brenda, many thanks for that informative q & a. I must confess that I haven't tried these at all. I love my distress inks and had also thought pan pastels would be like chalks. I have a problem with the feel of chalk, I really hate ur, so have been scared to try these, but perhaps you have encouraged me to give them a try! Your stamped and coloured scenes are absolutely wonderful, you really are a very talented lady. Maddy x

aussie aNNie said...

Thanks B, xx