Tuesday, February 7, 2012



8x11 inches

Coloured Pencils and solvent on Pastelmat

I entitled this artwork Joy for two reasons - the look of sheer glee on the face of my little neice Bailey and the absolute joy I had working on this portrait, I am definitely a fan of working with the Zest-it on the Pastelmat. It enabled me to get a lovely smooth canvas of skin in a relatively short time frame, and also smoothed out the texture of the Pastelmat, allowing me to add nice crisp details where they were needed. The only aspect I struggled with, was waiting for the paper to dry between applications of solvent before doing more pencil work - patience is not one of my virtues, but I think it did pay off in the end! :)


Mona Diane Conner said...

Karen, you are such an intrepid experimenter in mediums that you are teaching by example and I admire this so much about you as an artist! I like the texture of the dry method, but I can certainly see the advantages of this method time-wise for you, and this portrait is joy personified, your niece is a delight!

I read a little about Zest-it online after reading your post, and it's probably my fears of the older versions, or citri-solve-type solvents which were hazardous, but would there be any concern at all that would make a respirator important with this, now that you have tried it?

Unknown said...

It's an interesting question Mona. It does say on the bottle that ingesting the zest-it could cause lung damage, which I thought strange, as I wasn't aware of the hazards of using the citri-type solvents. This one is citrus oil, so probably does have potential risks. I will have to look into it further. Thanks for alerting me! :)

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Karen, you have been busy! Love your new portraits on the Pastelmat. You've captured such endearing expressions! I love reading about what you are trying next. You always have success which ever medium or surface you try!

Unknown said...

Well, I wouldn't say always Barbara, but thank you so much for the lovely sentiment and encouraging words!!! :)

Cindy Lane said...

Fantastic Karen! You sound like you have a New Best Friend, I bet everything smelt pretty.

Solvents & I go way back and I do blame their extended use for the memory loss. I wouldn't have thought citrus based solvents would be anywhere near as harsh.

Unknown said...

Well, I've been researching it ever since Mona mentioned about the hazards. There is definitely some mixed information out there. It certainly isn't 100% safe, so I think it needs to be handled with caution. The only warning on the bottle is that drinking the zest-it could cause lung damage and to avoid contact with eyes and skin. I don't use it for a prolonged period and our room is large and well ventilated, so hopefully all is good!!! :)