Notebook, 1993-


Pastels - The Pastel Chalks - Manufacturing the Chalks - Table of chalks & Binders - Binders - Supports & Grounds - Paper for Pastels - Painting Procedure - Fixative - Care and Display

From: Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.

Pastels - Manufacturing the Chalks

Glass Grinding Slab
Mortar and Pestle
Wood Block 1"x 3" x5"

Pigments - Poisonous pigments [lead whites, Naples yellow, chrome yellows and greens, cobalt violet, emerald green, cadmium and manganese colors) should be excluded from the pastel list as much as possible, and if any of them must be used, they should be handled with care. With these reservations, the pigments that are permanent in oils and water techniques are used, with the addition of whiting, precipitated chalk, and China clay.

Binder - See Table of Chalks and Binders
Gum Tragacanth

Beta naphthol or Dowicide A (sodium orthophenyl phenate).

Making the Chalks l. To make a batch of white chalks, use whiting (Paris white) pigment mixed with an equal volume of precipitated chalk, the total to weigh about 9 ounces. Add about 2 and 1/2 fluid ounces of Binder B. Mix these ingredients well, whether by using the mortar and pestle or the spatula and grinding slab. The consistency should be that of a stiff, slightly sticky dough or clay.

2. Take a small amount of this dough, and roll it into a rough cylinder. Place this on wrapping paper and roll it back and forth lightly with the flat wooden block to make the cylinder smooth. Be sure that the ends of the cylinder do not become hollow or deeply concave.

3. Set the finished crayon on a porcelain tray or a glass slab to dry at room temperature for a day or two. If a hard crust forms on the outside of the chalk when it is dry, scrape it off to expose the drawing surface.

4. Before making up the whole batch of crayons, make a sample and dry it thoroughly over a radiator or stove. Test it when it is dry to see that it is not too hard or too soft. The pigments may need an adjustment of the amount of binder used, some needing the strong Binder A and others the dilute B or C. Still other pigments will need only water since they seem to have some naturally cementitious quality. Pigments of the same name sold by different firms may vary considerably, and so the following table, indicating the pigments and their binders, should be used only as a stating point.

5. Mixtures of colors can be made by mixing the dry pigments before adding binder. However, to insure the proper mixture of binders in proportion to the mixture of pigments, it is easier to mix each of the pigments with the binder that is proper to it. Then the pigment-binder pastes can be combined. For example, to make a set of raw sienna chalks, mixed with white to produce graded shades, the following procedure is used:

[pp. 206-209]

[Kay, Reed. The Painter's Guide to Studio Methods and Materials. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1983.]



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