So every once in a while I play with creating a more radical surface.

A few years ago I was really experimenting with creating my own surfaces and had some luck with it. With how expensive everything is nowadays I have been thinking about it again.

The easiest thing to do to make your own surface is to get a jar of this stuff- pastel pumice.

You can then paint this on any surface you want to use.  I have seen some artists even paint this on mat board.  That makes me nervous (I worry about warping or it staying archival) so I typically use sanded masonite or gator board. Be sure to sand it or prep it first. 

A few years ago I had come across an artist that was making his own surfaces with black gesso.  That was fun. The black was a bit dark for me, but I adjusted it to a darker midtone, and that went well. I then tried a bunch of different pumice “grits.” I have used the following- 4F,  2F and Rotten Stone. The last one sounds weird, but is actually used to finely sand wood in fine woodworking and I liked it the best.

This was a painting I did thinking I wanted a lot of texture and “swishy” marks in the surface. I found this great scarf at TJ Maxx and knew I wanted to paint it. This is called “His Text.” (I guess this was a warning from the universe about my daughters’ long-distance boyfriend that turned into her husband….😊)

You can see it has a ton of texture and it made me unable to layer the way I normally do. Which can be fun sometimes. I did fight the face a bit, I love to layer and this was like working on extremely rough brick, but the rest was fun to do especially the textures in the scarf. I believe this was done with the rotten stone. 

So here is what you do-  Add equal parts water, pumice and gesso in a red solo cup. Stir until it seems to fall off a spoon like runny yogurt. You can use black or white gesso.  You can even add colored acrylic.

Apply with a brush or a roller if you want a smoother texture.  Let dry and then do 2 more coats. You may find you like it and it is definitely cheaper than buying some of the other surfaces I have mentioned the last few months.  Let me know your experiences with different pastel papers or grits that you like.

Next week I am being interviewed for a podcast showcasing women-owned businesses in Greenville SC. I will be doing that next Wednesday and I will post a link when I have it. 

Now ….drum roll……for the big news-  Next THURSDAY I can cross an item off of my bucket list!!!

I will be interviewed with Eric Rhodes on Art School LIVE as part of being on the faculty of PASTEL LIVE which is the online PASTEL only convention being held this year on August 17-19th.  I will be doing a pastel portrait demonstration. You know me-  it will be the “yellow stage”and I’ll be talking about light!!!! But next week Eric will be chatting with me about my work on Thursday July 27th at noon.  If you can’t catch it live, then it will be available to see on YouTube. I will send out a link afterward.

And signing up for PASTEL LIVE is easy!  Here is my special link to sign up!! There are 30 master artists sharing their tips and tricks so it will be worth it! See ya soon! 


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