Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My first video: the working palette

I thought I'd figure out how to make a video, and decided to upload my first one here so people can see my well-used, dirty pastel palette. This is the real thing, folks, not some shiny, cleaned up version for video!


I hope it's interesting and helpful to see it. The Ludwig pastels I mention are a few of the confetti colors Terry makes. If you haven't tried them, give it a go--what fun to swipe a gold and find bits of red, green and blue making a gorgeous stew on your paper!

You'll also see a 3" foam brush, which is a trusty tool I use every day, and several Colour Shapers, as well as a Sofft sponge, a stick of extra soft vine charcoal, and a 'white' (more black now) plastic eraser.

If I can learn how to make decent video clips, I'll add an occasional ones here to show you how I do things. Let me know how I did...


  1. Great little video! I like it. Keep making clips, this one is excellent. Your palette's great. I'd use something like that but I think I'd probably find Ari sleeping in it and see a multicolor fuzzy tummy as soon as he got up. Anything I set out with pastels in it has to have a lid.

  2. I can just see Master Ari all dolled up in pastel and ready to stretch out on you!

    Actually, this box has a lid with six latches around it. The bottom holds foam padding covered with some loose weave fabric, as does the top, so when I close the box my pastels are firmly trapped between the pads. I carry it to my classes each week. This is my smaller box, although I have one that's half again as large, which you can see in the DVD/Videos from North Light. Works pretty well...

  3. Great little video Deborah...what size is your tray? I'd also have to have a lid on it...my cat Harry likes to explore too, and is just as likely to settle down on my pastels if I didn't keep a lid on it!

  4. I think you did very well!

    the pastels are looking like you have a lot of lighter and mid tone pastels but not a lot of darks. i know you have darks as I can see them in your paintings, so I'm thinking that it is just the video image is not completely true to color?
    I love looking at other peoples palettes. I just got a new one for plein air from guerrilla painter and i need to set it up. it comes with four of those guerrilla painters pastel trays that you can get for the 9x12 box. I already had four so now have 8 and am thinking of using them in the studio as well since i needed more space for my pastels. Buying more pastels can be such an addiction! I love that you seem to have that under control!

    Love your blogs Deborah! I have learned a lot from them and continue to do so! I guess it's the next best thing to being there right?


  5. Thanks for commenting, Deirdre! That box is 12" wide by 30" long (I'll let you do the math conversion!) I have another one that's 16x30", too. My cat, who passed on years ago, used to sleep on a comfy cushion in the corner near my pastels. She never seemed to want to explore them much, except when the mice got into the act--and then only in my storage drawers below where she slept. How insulting is that, to have mice at play under your bed?

    Sara, thanks. I suspect the light wasn't strong enough on the palette to show the colors well. This isn't a vidcam, it's just my Canon Elph. I thought about taking it outside but we live on a very busy street and the noise would be deafening, so it was light or noise... Perhaps in the future I can add more light and see if that helps. Oh, and I'm so glad you're enjoying the blogs. :)

  6. LOVE IT!!! You have inspired me so much to arrange my palette of pastels.... I still need lots more though!
    :) thanks Deborah!!!

  7. There you go, Susan, a REASON to get more pastels...you need to fill out he color/value range, of course!

    I do find this arrangement of color and value works quite well for me. I'm not the kind who wants a slot for every color. I like to have a sense of where the color of the right value "floats" among the rest. I can glance over and find pretty much what I'm looking for that way, even if it isn't the exact same stick I used before. In some ways I find that enhances the use of colors of the same or similar values, but if I need to keep one color in use I push things aside a make a "puddle" of sticks to go back to over and over.

  8. Very good video Deborah. If you decide you want an actual easy to use video camera, I highly recommend the flip video, it's small and very easy to upload.

  9. Thanks, Margo. I've looked at the Flip camera and I'm glad to hear good things. It might be just about my speed...

  10. Deborah, this is a great video hope you could do more, time permitted because my God! where can you find the time to do all the projects you are involved with for our sake, THANK YOU.

  11. Well, I have an ulterior motive, Jose. I want to do some video clips for online workshops! Meantime, y'all get to watch me learn. :) Thanks.

  12. Great video Deborah and I will be the first to sign up for any online class you do. Keep us posted and thank you!

    Jude M

  13. Thanks, Jude! That's nice to know. I have ideas in the works and will definitely post news here when I have plans.

  14. Love the video. So neat to see your 'real' palette, not all prettied up! I just got a new box (Degas) and spent several hours cleaning all my pastels and getting it all set up. Took the color shot and greyscaled it, and now I have a little rearranging to do. I have the same cat problem so I made a thick cardboard cover for it so I can leave it open. The cats think it's just for them. I have a sheet of memory foam under the cardboard so it won't slip. Works fine. Looking forward to more videos!