Pricing Your work
In order to price your art realistically, you must understand and respect how the art business works and how collectors shop and buy. You must step back and objectively evaluate the significance and quality of your art in relation to all other art.
To protect your lungs, never blow at accumulated pastel dust. Take the work outside or hold it over a newspaper and tap the back to get rid of excess pigment.
Storing Pastel Paintings
Storing pastel paintings layered on a shelf, in a large drawer, in print racks or bristol board folders can be a problem especially when you need to go back through the stack to find a certain piece.
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.
There is no 'hard or soft' rule when it comes to pastels. So why do we misleadingly refer to them all as 'soft' pastels when it's so obvious that some are harder than others?
Making new pastels from old
Every pastelist uses their sticks of pastel until they are so tiny they can't be held anymore, but even then we are loath to toss them into the garbage. Instead, create a divided container into which you toss your nub ends, sorting generally by colour (blues, greens, reds and pinks, yellows and oranges etc.) and save them until you have a small stash.
Papers and Substrates
All pastelists have their favourite papers. Of course, an acid-free paper is a must to preserve the image and the stability of the pigment on the surface. As artists we owe that to our customers.
The use of fixatives on pastel paintings is a much-debated point among pastelists. Some artists feel that fixatives darken and dull the colors in the painting and therefore will not use them. Others feel that fixatives used properly avoid that pitfall and further, can be used effectively as a tool to create an impasto effect or to create scumbling textures.
Experimenting with materials and techniques
To achieve the airy and light appearance of a watercolour with pastel is fairly easy. Using white paper only, stroke with the broad side of your pastel stick across your paper (break it in half if the stick is too long). Vary the pressure using the darkest values first, lightest values last.
Travelling with pastels
When travelling by car, keep a margarine tub filled with small bits of pastel in cornmeal. You can do quick sketches along the way when the moment hits. The cornmeal keeps the pastels clean and safe. As an alternative, use rice.
Shipping your work
First, you must decide whether to ship the work framed or unframed.
This will help determine what type of packaging to use. The best way to
reduce the cost of shipping is to select wrapping material which
reduces the total weight.
Framing and presenting your work to the world
When framing your work, it's best to keep the KISS formula in mind.
Even though you may feel at the mercy of a framer who is pushing fancy
mats and frames, it's important to remember you are in control.
Be professional. Read the Call for Entry carefully and follow
the registration instructions completely. Any of the terms not met
can be grounds for rejection.
Slides and Digital Images
With digital technology fast taking over, slides will soon become a dim
Meanwhile, many of us still have our work recorded on slides.
Documenting your work: the photography has to be the best possible. The image should be centered, in perfect focus and represent the true colours. There should be nothing in the image area but the painting itself.