Working Clean

  • Use push pins to attach baby wipes or a damp paper towel, kept in a small plastic bag, to the side of your easel. Reach in to clean your working hand or glove and the bag keeps the wipes from drying out quickly. Use a spray of water to refresh the wipe or towel. 
  • Keep pastels clean while working to avoid unwanted smears of other colours. Place a clean paper towel or cloth near your easel to drag a pastel across to clean the tip of broad side. Try to clean the stick automatically before putting it back, that way you won't get a nasty surprise.
  • Reuse clean meat trays to separate basic colours in use when working.
  • To keep dark colours clean some artists work from the top down and slant their easels forward. If you need to work all over the surface light particles of dust could attach themselves to the dark areas which are situated below. Always do a final cleaning to keep the colours briliant. Go over every dark area with the same colours and wipe the light dust off the dark stick before reapplying, and the same  for the light areas.
  • To catch excess dust, stand the easel on a carpet piece that can be vacuumed or washed and, eventually, thrown out. 
  • An old mail tube cut down the middle or a wallpaper tray can be attached to the bottom of your easel making an excellent dust catcher. Or,  protect your easel by making a wider ledge of foam core board wrapped with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and securing it to the easel ledge. It can also be a stand for your pastel board. Make sure the opening is wide enough to catch the pastel dust, then just empty.
    Some artists collect the dust, mix it with a little rubbing alcohol, roll it into a stick or patty between pieces of waxed paper and let it dry. The binder that was already in the stick will be activated by the alcohol. The result will be a very interesting neutral colour.
  • To make clean-up easier, place a damp cloth on the ledge of the easel to capture the falling particles, or place folded layers of paper towel to fit and have a spray bottle of water handy to keep the toweling moist. Gather up the towel when you are through. To keep your painting board off the damp toweling make 'feet' with several push pins across the bottom of the board.
  • "Hold It" is excellent for using as a pick up for pastel particles in unwanted places (ie. on your nice clean mats), and is more workable and flexible than a kneaded eraser. 


Posted over 3 years ago
Holdit is an adhesive putty that can be found at Curry's or hardware stores. It can pick up dirt off artwork or mat board just by dabbing instead of rubbing with an eraser. Product description: Use Holdit Putty Adhesive to hang posters, artwork, anchor throw rugs and knickknacks, or to clean jewelry, cameras and calculators. Sticks to any clean, dry surface such as blackboards, whiteboards, brick, glass, mirror & concrete. Do not use on fresh paint or wallpaper. Holdit never dries out and its uses are limited only by your imagination. Non-toxic.

Posted over 3 years ago
what is "Hold It"?


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