Josie Tipler – Pastel/Mixed Media Still Life Demonstration

Josie is fond of cubism and ‘wonky’. She works mainly in acrylics, pastels and pencil and does a lot of animal art commissions for which she takes her own photographs. She brought with her an eclectic mix of objects – her old teddy, a jig doll, a drum, a glass dish, a metallic dish, a green glass amphora and a glass
bauble. There were lots of challenges – metallic reflective, transparent and reflective glass, silky and plush fabrics and wooden surfaces.

These are some of the tips Josie gave:

  • Buy good quality pastels
  • Scrape back and then add highlights
  • Oil pastels are quite chunky so difficult to get details – use pencils to add these
  • Use chalk pastels for soft blended backgrounds and textured matt materials
  • Use oil pastels for hard surfaces – wood, glass, metal etc
  • Use blenders for chalk pastels not oils – useful for getting in the small gaps
  • Don’t put chalk pastels on top of oils
  • Any opaque paint will work with pastels – but gouache could crack
  • Black acrylic ink/ acrylic mix on a rigger flows well for details
  • Try ink over oil pastels for a transparent effect
  • She does not like fixatives as they can dull the picture
  • Brush or blow off loose powder gently
  • Mount as soon as possible using double mount with a gutter

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